The Icicle

The Icicle
The comic book history of the Icicle, a villain of the Green Lantern, from DC Comics.

I know we've all looked at a slick winter sidewalk and said, this is a safe and effective way to travel. I wish I could slide on these everywhere. If only you were...the icicle.

Cool like that

Apparently in 1940s Gotham, visiting European scientists had the same level of super-stardom as movie stars and athletes, because a massive crowd gathered to witness the arrival of Joar Mahkent, famed physicist.

Their elation was cut short when the ship froze in Gotham harbor. In July.

Physics is cool! Image copyright DC Comics.

Honestly, how are the people of these comic book universes surprised by anything at all? I mean, you live in a world where costumed super-humans fight weekly outside the windows of your apartments. A ship and all its passengers freezing instantly in the harbor is, like, just a normal Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the rock star physicist...was dead and his new invention, the freeze ray, had been stolen. Also stolen was Joar Mahkent's body after the Green Lantern was knocked out by some rando because the Green Lantern was kind of bad at his job. Meanwhile, in Gotham, a new scourge grew. It was...the ICICLE!

Now, if the Icicle doesn't sound all that scary to you, you've thought about the name Icicle more than the Icicle did.

Cold as Ice

I have some notes on the Icicle's branding. This was in 1947 so it pre-dated the X-Men as well as sweaty 80s volleyball games to the music of Kenny Loggins, so the name Iceman was available. So was Blizzard and Jack Frost. But he went with Icicle, which you kind of only think about them falling and breaking.

I want to believe that the Icicle would be horrified by what his henchman's costumes unintentionally communicated. Image copyright DC Comics.

The Icicle dressed in a completely white bodysuit with white face paint and his henchmen followed him dressed in white with white pointy hoods which...yes...does look like that. I mean, it probably wasn't intentional, but the KKK wasn't as rightfully vilified as they are today. I mean Harry Truman, the president at the time of this comic's publication, had actually joined the KKK but left when he realized they didn't like Irish Catholics. Their dislike of Irish Catholics was what made Truman realize the KKK wasn't for him.

Problematic costumes aside, Icicle's preferred method of travel was taxiing a single-engine plane around downtown Gotham on a sheet of ice.

Despite his whole deal being equal parts offensive and inefficient, Icicle did a fairly decent job, getting the jump on Green Lantern three times, including after Green Lantern surprised Icicle at his hideout. Green Lantern was really snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on this one. Even when, partially frozen, the Icicle chucked Green Lantern into a pit of quicksand that he apparently kept under his Gotham city brownstone, the Icicle forgot to take Green Lantern's magic ring but, of course, Green Lantern forgot to charge it. Really, Green Lantern kind of has no business being a superhero.

Regardless, he climbed out of the pit, went home to charge his ring, and rushed back out to solve the ice-related robbery in progress.

Quick side note, the Icicle freezes water from a fire hydrant to make a bridge up to the fifth story window when he could just threaten people and take the elevator instead of climbing an icy pole in white dress shoes.

I know everyone has climbed the rope in gym class and thought, "yeah, but wouldn't this be better if it was solid ice?"

Anyway, Green Lantern confronted him on the roof and found that the Icicle was none other than Joar Mahkent, the scientist who invented the thing and decided that robbing banks was better than doing science. Who could have seen that coming except literally everyone in any comic book universe.

Anyway, Icicle escaped by falling off a building into some water and went on to join the, quote, Injustice Society which...not to get all Joker here but...isn't that most societies? Regardless, he apparently died fighting to defend Earth, so maybe he wasn't all bad in the end. Or...just didn't want Earth to be destroyed because that's where we all live.

Cool Down

Unfortunately, Joar's son, Cameron Mahkent, didn't take the right lessons from his dad's career in super-villainy. You can't blame him, though. I guess Joar was terrible even before he got into super crime, because his early work on his freeze ray altered his biological makeup enough so that his son developed an innate ability to freeze stuff while he was still in the womb which...if you can see the tragic consequences of a baby getting powers in utero, well, yeah. Cameron's trauma began even before he was born when he froze his mother, killing her, and was abandoned by his father.

Better...but that's not difficult. Image copyright DC Comics.

His 1980s costume was a lot better in that it wasn't inadvertently mimicking racists, but he did look like just sort of a snotty little ice elf. He was the Icicle...2, taking up his hated father's name for...some reason. I mean, it's not like it was even good. Regardless, he teamed up with his dad's old work friends to form Injustice Unlimited so...the lack of good names was kind of an all-around problem.

Holy Comic Book Sources, Batman!

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