Season 3 Episode 15

Cold Comfort

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Feb 04, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


A founding member of the X-Men, named Iceman, breaks into a government facility. He refuses to trust his former teammates about his reasons for doing so, but when Jubilee aids him in his quest, it leads to the team going up against another group of mutants, known as X-Factor.


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  • More action packed.

    Xavier is getting a reading from his computer; a former X-Men nicknamed Iceman, is attacking a federal government area. Cyclops isn't very fond of him, indicated by his constant negative behaviour every time his name's brought up. Beast and Cyclops rescue him anyways. Xavier keeps him captive in the mansion, but when his reasons for invading the compound was revealed to Beast, and was eavesdropped by Jubilee, she feels compassion for the man, and frees him. The two were however, captured. The other X-Men get in a heated battle with the X-Factors, the other mutant group they're battling. It appears by the end that the leader of the group set up a skirmish after Iceman invaded the territory. Though even after all that, Lorna admitted to have purposely running away, and fell in love with Havok. Iceman left with an empty heart.

    Basically a pure fighting and action episode. Nothing bad about that, though it doesn't really set itself up to excel. The story would have passed for at least average if things weren't a skirmish and was for real, but then it ended up disappointing. Nothing wrong with that, it just felt like the past twenty minutes were all for nought for Iceman. The action as of late is getting better though. It seems to be utilizing more on tactics rather than simple hacking and slashing and bashing each other's head that the earlier episodes were relying on. On a fighting standpoint, this is actually one of the best X-Men has offered so far. It's more tactical this time around, and quite entertaining, especially with Professor Xavier's ability to distinguish the familiarity the opponents have with the X-Men, and his call to shuffle between opponents.moreless
  • A chilly encounter with the past

    Cold Comfort is regarded by many as a all-time favorite X-Men episode. My opinion is not as favored, although I do consider it to be a solid and entertaining half hour that deserves to be recognized as one of the most classic examples of the series to this day.

    This was the first entry in the series by writer Len Uhley, who wrote quite a few character intensive stories in upcoming seasons. This was not his best effort. No writer really begins on top. But the episode does its job nicely. The animation was also very well done at places. However, I really dislike the character design done by this animation studio. Beast and Jubilee looked simply horrible. Iceman, on the other hand, looked excellent, as well as the battle scenes.

    The episode opens at the Kirby Glen government deposit. A couple of guards are commenting on the difference between heat and humidity. It's actually quite a funny debate between two completely disposable extras. They soon meet their fate when the Iceman breaks in and lowers the heat, (or is it humidity?) freezing the guards. The alarm is sounded on this facility.

    Meanwhile, Xavier is scolding Jubilee for being always impulsive in performing tasks she's not up to. We then get an insufferable scene where Jubilee complains and complains. She acts like a kid, just as Xavier stated himself. At this moment, the alarm sounds, pointing out a disturbance in the Kirby Glen facility. The sensor array recognizes the mutant in the facility as Bobby Drake a.k.a. the Iceman.

    Xavier gathers Cyclops, Wolverine and Beast to rescue their old comrade. Jubilee asks to tag along, but Xavier ditches her (it would be completely out of his character, if not for the upcoming character event in this episode) and orders her to prep the medical ward.

    Iceman may be the star, but the episode is about Xavier. As a stand alone show, it works quite well as a terrific character piece. The problem is that Xavier's characterization is completely out of sync with pretty much every other episode in the series. That's the real problem in the episode. It's not consistent.

    Cyclops obviously can't stand a guy like Bobby Drake, given his lack of respect towards any form of authority. Xavier has always tried to be a strong leader, taking a position that always put him and Bobby at odds. Cyclops, in his natural tendency to be teacher's pet, always snapped at Drake because of it. One thing I adored in this episode was Wolverine's amused reactions to Cyclops losing his temper.

    The X-Men find Kirby Glen where Iceman is fleeing a massive defense unit. That immediately raises a suspicion. What could the government be trying to protect so desperately? The plot begins to unravel.

    I loved the shot where Beast meets Drake. The lighting and camera angle were both stunning. Iceman freezes our furry partner. Wolverine tries to pin him down and is also frozen in a funny fashion. Cyclops blasts him out of his misery. He even makes a spiteful remark about him not being worthy of using the old X-Men uniform. The marines are now out in force, ready to pounce on the X-Men. Xavier proves useful by pitting them against an imaginary member of the Brood. This diversion allows the X-Men to escape to their safety.

    Back in the mansion, the intrigue begins. Despite some pointless questing by his former leader, Drake won't reveal his motives for being on Kirby Glen. Despite his defiance, Xavier decides to give up on his convictions and imprison the poor guy. Now that was way out of character for the Professor. And by the way, this whole suspended gravity force field is the most far-fetched idea I've ever seen on the screen. If Iceman wanted to escape, couldn't he just simply drift to the side?

    Later on, Beast asks him about Lorna. That triggers the real Drake. Jubilee overhears the whole story. This leads to one of the lamest plot devices ever in the show. One that was used more than once: Jubilee's crush. I'm actually quite glad Longshot was delayed for 2 seasons. Otherwise, we would have had 2 consecutive episodes where Jubilee has a crush on a young guy and gets into trouble because of it, forcing the X-Men into nanny mode.

    By the way, unlike No Mutant is an Island, I still had to wait until the final year to watch Longshot.

    I loved Iceman's tale involving him and Lorna. It was a compelling tale where we see how he split from the X-Men and Lorna ended up going with him. Seeing them living together was quite a loving sight. Then the problems surfaced and according to Drake, Lorna became more and more like Xavier, until the day she disappeared. The leftover piece of paper led him to Kirby Glen.

    Jubilee frees Iceman and takes him to Kirby Glen. They are immediately intercepted and knocked out by the X-Factor. They wake up restrained. But he manages to escape too easily. One would suspect the X-Factor wanted them to break out that easily. Wolverine arrives with the X-Men pinning Drake down.

    In this moment, Xavier realizes that his approach to Drake was all wrong. He should have been a friend rather than an imposing leader on Bobby. This moment of therapeutic confession is broken by the words of Havoc and the ensuing battle.

    This was one of the coolest battle scenes in the series. It was perfectly balanced and tested each one of the players to their limit, even Jubilee (Can you imagine that?).

    Iceman faced Strong Guy, who proves his worth. Wolverine faces the multiple man, while Beast has a round against Wolfsbane. We see very little of these conflicts and way too much Iceman. The editor (probably Sharon Janis) should have put in more of a focus on every X-Men, rather than just Bobby.

    Meanwhile, Cyclops and Havoc's powers have no effect on them. This proves the brothers theory established on The Phoenix Saga-Part III involving Banshee and Black Tom. Nice reference to a Marvel universe rule.

    Jubilee is thrown into the air by Quicksilver. She uses her powers to knock out Havoc. Her strategy worked quite well and it moves Xavier to contact the X-Men to rework their battle strategy by changing foes. It works very well and the X-Factor are knocked out flat.

    In this moment Lorna and Forge make their appearance. She immediately goes to Havoc, bringing the unbearable truth to Bobby. Forge introduces himself and the X-Factor, who are created by the government in secrecy. I never really understood whether their purpose was any different from the X-Men, but they resurface in future episodes.

    It turns out that Lorna married Havoc after joining the X-Factor. What I really don't respect is the fact that she deliberately chose to not tell Bobby about moving to the X-Factor. Abandoning your husband without any notice is bound to have consequences as seen on this episode.

    With this, Iceman decides to leave. Xavier asks him to remain and start over. But his mind is made up. Xavier still hopes he returns someday.

    It's a nice end to the episode. I was hoping for more, but I was still satisfied with the end result. Plus, it opens new avenues for stories, as seen in episodes like Family Ties and The Phalanx Covenant.moreless
Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Professor X/Charles Xavier

George Buza

George Buza

Beast/Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy

Norm Spencer

Norm Spencer

Cyclops/Scott Summers

Cal Dodd

Cal Dodd


Alyson Court

Alyson Court

Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (17)

    • Gambit, Rogue and Storm do not appear in this episode. Jean Grey appears briefly in a flashback, but dosen't speak.

    • Though this is Iceman's first (and only full) appearance on this series, he was previously the star of the early 80's toon, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.

    • This episode features the debut of the Goverment-sponsored mutant team X-Factor. Its line-up consists of Havok (plasma-wave discharger), Multiple Man (self-multiplier), Wolfsbane (werewolf-girl), Strong Guy (super-strength), Quicksilver (super-speed), Lorna Dane (not called Polaris here, magnetism), and the modern-day version of Forge (machinery master), whose future self appears repeatedly in all Bishop time travel episodes. Havok, Lorna, Forge, and Multiple Man are the only ones who speak. Though the rest of the team will reappear in cameos, Quicksilver will fully appear next in "Family Ties".

    • Beast makes clear for the first time onscreen that the Spirit Drinker's vessel from "Out of the Past (2)" was a Shi'ar craft, and that its technology is what he's been using as a guide to add upgrades to the mansion.

    • One of the creatures Xavier makes the soldiers see to flee is a member of the Brood, closer to the comics version than will be seen in "Love In Vain".

    • Footage shows Iceman fighting Magneto during his days with the X-Men... except Magneto had never faced any form of the team prior to the third episode, as he was living in the Savage Land during that time.

    • In the flashback, Magneto's neck area is fleshtoned, when it's supposed to be red.

    • The guard claims it's 97 degrees, yet the thermometer reads 85%.

    • When Beast hops off the light-post, Iceman's circle-x on his costume is missing.

    • Beast's eyebrows are light blue when saying the "father son dynamatic" remark.

    • When Cyclops blasts Iceman, the footage of him flying back against the wall plays transparently over the shot of Wolverine frozen in the block of ice.

    • Jubilee's sunglasses' right side is blue when tied to the chair and trying to use her powers.

    • The boxes in the storage area during the X-Factor/X-Men fight change from brown to bright yellow.

    • Speaking of which, why is Forge wearing one of the X-Men's original costumes if he has no ties to them and have never met Xavier before? The Professor ought to sue for copyright infringement! (well, maybe not...)

    • Why doesn't Quicksilver have a uniform like the rest of his team? There's not even an X on his suit!

    • A baker's dozen is 13, and Multiple Man only multiplies to a total of eleven of himself when making the comment.

    • When Iceman blows on his fingers after downing Strong Guy, he's translucent (again when telling Lorna she'll get over it).

  • QUOTES (11)

  • NOTES (5)

    • The newspaper with the headline, "Mutant Crisis!", and the picture of Xavier & Gyrich, is an issue of the Daily Bugle, which Spider-Man works for. The editorial is written by his boss, publisher and all-around hate monger, J. Jonah Jameson.

    • The storage facility name, "Kirby Glen", is a reference to team co-creator Jack Kirby. The number of it, "1917", is his year of birth.

    • Though the connection is never fully stated on this series, Cyclops and Havok are long-lost brothers (hence why their powers don't affect each other, and hence why, though the actor voicing Havok is uncredited, he sounds like Cyclops' voice actor Norm Spencer).

    • Animation Company: Philippine Animation Studio Inc.

    • The season 5 episode "Longshot" was originally produced between "Obsession" and this episode, but was held back 2 years due to animation problems.


    • Xavier: A faulty AE-35 unit.
      The item in the Cerebro computer unit that Xavier needs to replace happens to be the same thing in the novel and film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, that spaceship computer HAL-9000 detects as being faulty, leading to a fateful voyage into space to repair it by one of its crew members.

    • Jubilee: The infirmary? What am I, a candy-striper?
      Jubilee sarcastically compares herself to a volunteer hospital worker, usually a teenaged girl.