Sub-Zero vs. Iceman: Who Wins?

credit: Mortal Combat

Setting up a fight between two characters with roughly the same power set is fun since it raises the question of who can use the power more efficiently and who can top the other in a one-on-one battle. In this particular fight, it’s fair to think that many fans would take sides almost immediately, but there might be a few that are on the fence simply because there are a few factors that offset each other when it comes to who would be standing at the end of this fight. Iceman, aka Bobby Drake, of the X-Men, is what is known as an omega-level mutant, meaning he’s one of the most powerful of his kind, while Sub-Zero is one of the most feared and respected ninjas of the Lin Kuei and one of the most popular characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise. The fact that both have ice powers means that some might think they’re on par with each other in a hypothetical battle. The only trouble with this is that these two combatants are unequal, meaning the fight would not be as easy to call. 

credit: Mortal Combat

There is one significant difference between these two combatants, and it could be a game-changer. 

When it comes to their ice powers, Iceman is far more powerful since he was born with the ability to alter the temperature of anything he touches and can do this up close or from a distance as well. When it comes to fighting ability, though, Sub-Zero outclasses Bobby Drake in a big way. One might want to point out that as a part of the X-Men that Iceman has had access to the Danger Room more than a few times throughout his life. But another point that people might need to realize is that while Drake does have combat experience, he’s never been the type to take his martial training that seriously. Iceman relies too heavily on his powers and the ability to freeze everything. In contrast, Sub-Zero is a highly trained fighter that can and will exercise violence while using his power to the best of his ability. 

Calling this fight would be tough for a few reasons, but it would still favor Iceman more often. 

If this fight were to be fought up close and personal, the advantage would swing toward Sub-Zero since his fighting skills, and his use of tactics would allow him to gain the edge over the mutant since, despite his power, Iceman is not as skilled as many other characters. In a fight with Sub-Zero, no matter who carried the mantle at the time, Iceman would fall very quickly if things came down to a fistfight. But then again, Iceman isn’t stupid, and he does know when he’s outmatched; it’s simply a matter of whether his ego would allow him to back down when he needs to since his ice powers are strong enough that they tend to give him the idea that he can overcome anything. This is one of the other reasons why this fight wouldn’t be as easy to call, since despite not being a dunce, Iceman is a little too cocky for his own good sometimes. 

credit: Mortal Combat

From a distance, Iceman would still have the edge. 

There’s no denying that Iceman would beat out Sub-Zero when it comes to the raw power that he has at his disposal since even with his fighting skills and ice mastery, Sub-Zero is still considerably weaker than Iceman given that he can affect an area, but not an entire region as Iceman can. Bobby Drake is the type of mutant that could cause a new ice age, or so it’s been said if he wanted to. It makes a person wonder how much protection Sub-Zero would have from this opponent and whether or not he could use his tactics in a manner that would keep him alive for any length of time. Many would no doubt fall back on his status as a ninja and state that he would decimate Iceman quickly and without mercy, but one has to remember that Bobby has come back from a few situations that should have been the end of him in the past, and it’s not hard to think that he could take whatever Sub-Zero might be able to throw at him, barring the loss of his spinal column. 

The fight would go to Iceman, but it wouldn’t be easy. 

Sub-Zero never goes down without a fight; that much is well-documented. But in a fight against someone like Iceman, it feels fair to state that all his skill and expertise wouldn’t be enough unless he ended the fight quickly. This is possible, but it’s also far more possible that Iceman would strike quickly and first as he is a bit impulsive, not to mention fully capable of stopping Sub-Zero in his tracks with various attacks. 

Despite his skill and his power, Sub-Zero just doesn’t measure up. 

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