Captain Cold
Flash182.jpg
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceShowcase #8 (June 1957)
Created byJohn Broome
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter egoLeonard "Len" Snart
Team affiliationsLegion of Doom
Secret Society of Super Villains
Injustice League
Rogues
Suicide Squad
Justice League[1][2]
Freedom Fighters
Legends
Notable aliasesThe Man who Mastered Absolute Zero, Leonard Wynters, Blue Iceman, Citizen Cold
AbilitiesMaster tactician, Master Thief and strategist
Extensive knowledge of cryonics
Skilled marksman
Possesses a 'cold gun' that allows him to freeze objects to absolute zero temperatures

Captain Cold (Leonard Snart) is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is the leader of the Rogues, a loose criminal association, as well as the older brother of Golden Glider. An adversary of the various superheroes known as the Flash, he has served as one of Barry Allen's archenemies, both adversary and begrudging ally of Wally West, and one of the killers of Bart Allen.[3] As part of 2011's The New 52 reboot, Captain Cold and his team live by a code to never kill.[4]

The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including television series and video games. Actor Wentworth Miller portrayed Captain Cold in The CW's Arrowverse television series The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. In 2009, Captain Cold was ranked as IGN’s 27th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[5]

Publication history

Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the character made his first appearance in Showcase #8 (June 1957).[6]

Fictional character biography

Leonard Snart was raised by an abusive father and took refuge with his grandfather, who worked in an ice truck. When his grandfather died, Snart grew tired of his father's abuse and set out to start a criminal career. Snart joined up with a group of small-time thieves and in planning out a robbery, each was issued a gun and a visor to protect their eyes against the flashes of gunfire. This visor design would later be adapted by Snart into his trademark costume. In recent years he has added a radio receiver to them which picks up the police band to monitor local law enforcement. Snart and the other thugs were captured by the Flash and imprisoned. Snart decided to go solo, but knew he had to do something about the local hero, the Flash.[4]

Snart read an article that theorized that the energy emissions of a cyclotron could interfere with the Flash's speed. He designed a weapon to harness that power and broke into a cyclotron lab, intending to use the device to charge up his experimental gun. As he was finishing his experiment, a security guard surprised Snart. Intending to use his gun only to scare the guard, he inadvertently pulled the trigger and discovered that his weapon had been altered in a way he had never imagined. The moisture in the air around the guard froze. Intrigued by this twist of fate, Snart donned a parka and the aforementioned visor and declared himself to be Captain Cold - the man who mastered absolute zero.[7]

Snart then committed a series of non-lethal crimes, on one occasion placing the city in suspended animation in an attempt to force Iris West to marry him as he had fallen in love with her when he saw her in the prison, but the Flash got through a wall of ice and was able to reverse the process. He later fell in love with a newscaster, and competed with Heat Wave (in his first appearance) over her in a crime spree, but they were both beaten by the Flash. But after Barry Allen's death, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Captain Cold became a bounty hunter with his sister Lisa, the Golden Glider.[4]

During the events of Underworld Unleashed, Captain Cold lost his soul to Neron but Wally West brought it back to the land of the living. He soon returned to crime, this time a member of Wally's Rogues Gallery. The Rogues had first been assembled when another Flash foe, the super-intelligent Gorilla Grodd had broken them out of jail to distract the Flash. The Golden Glider had abandoned her bounty hunter career and had started partnering with a series of thugs who she dressed in a costume, armed with a copy of Captain Cold's signature Cold Gun, and called Chillblaine. Already distraught over the death of her lover, the Top, it seemed that the supposed death of her brother pushed her over the edge. But the last Chillblaine was a little smarter and more vicious. He murdered the Golden Glider, prompting Captain Cold to hunt him down, torture him and kill him by freezing his outer layer of skin and then pushing him off a high rise building. Not long after that, Snart was framed by a new incarnation of Mister Element. He used his Element Gun to simulate Cold's gun, using ice and cold to murder several police officers before Captain Cold and the Flash discovered who was actually responsible. With the death of his sister, and having killed Chillblaine and Mr. Element in vengeance, Cold has again become an unrepentant criminal. However, during a confrontation with Brother Grimm, Cold actually worked with Wally West to defeat the powerful magic user, although this was mainly because he and Mirror Master had been betrayed by Grimm and wanted revenge.[4]

Captain Cold was declared the leader of the Flash's Rogues Gallery. His skill and experience have made him a strong leader to the likes of the Weather Wizard, the new Trickster, the new Mirror Master, and the new Captain Boomerang. Len seems to have taken the young Captain Boomerang under his wing, after the elder Boomerang was recently killed. Tabloids rumoured that Captain Cold's sister, the Golden Glider, was Boomerang's mother, making him Captain Cold's nephew. This turned out to be false, however, as the new Boomerang's mother has been revealed to be Meloni Thawne, who is also the mother of Bart Allen. Despite his more ruthless nature as of late, Captain Cold's heart is not completely frozen, evidenced by having sent flowers to honor Sue Dibny, murdered wife of the Elongated Man.[volume & issue needed]

Traditionally, Captain Cold is driven by three things: money, women, and the desire to beat Barry Allen. Although not the lecher that Captain Boomerang was, Len Snart has an eye for the ladies, particularly models. When Barry Allen died, Captain Cold drifted for a while, jumping back and forth over the lines of crime and justice. He was captured by the Manhunter and served time in the Suicide Squad, worked with his sister as a bounty hunter (Golden Snowball Recoveries), and, with his longtime friend and sometimes nemesis Heat Wave, encountered Fire and Ice of the Justice League. He has teamed up with various villains over the years other than the many Rogues. These include Catwoman and the Secret Society of Super Villains. His favorite baseball team is the Houston Astros.[volume & issue needed]

"One Year Later"

In the 2006 "One Year Later" storyline, he and several other Rogues are approached by Inertia with a plan to kill the Flash (then Bart Allen). Though Inertia was defeated, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, Mirror Master and Abra Kadabra killed Bart with a combined barrage of their elemental weapons. He, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard seemed to express guilt, however, after learning the identity of the Flash and how young he was.

Salvation Run

Captain Cold is one of the exiled villains featured in the 2007-08 miniseries Salvation Run along with his fellow Rogues: Heat Wave, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, and Abra Kadabra.

New Rogues

The New Rogues version of Captain Cold is Chill, a unknown man who possesses a Cold Gun.

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge

In the 2008 miniseries Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, Captain Cold and the Rogues briefly joined Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge story, however, Cold and the rest of the Rogues reject Libra's offer, wanting to stay out of the game. Before they can retire, they hear of Inertia escaping and decide to stick around long enough to get revenge for being used.[8] Cold and his group are challenged by a new set of Rogues, formed by Libra to be their replacements. The new group, having kidnapped Cold's father, challenge the Rogues, and are defeated and killed. Cold goes to his father, talking to him about the abuse he suffered, and the fate of his sister. After the elder Snart insults him and his mother, calling them weak, Cold punches him, but finds himself unable to kill him, instead getting Heat Wave to do it.[9] The Rogues have their confrontation with Inertia, despite interference by Zoom and Libra, and kill Inertia. Libra then reveals that he needs the Rogues because Barry Allen has returned from the dead, and the Flashes are potential threats to him and Darkseid. Though shocked by the news that Allen is alive, Cold still rejects his offer of membership. After regrouping, Cold and the other Rogues agree not to retire, claiming that the game is back on.[10] In "Final Crisis" #7, someone that looks like Captain Cold appears as a Justifier and is seen fighting the Female Furies alongside the other Justifiers under Lex Luthor's control.

The Flash: Rebirth

In the 2009 The Flash: Rebirth miniseries, Captain Cold is seen with the other Rogues, reading about Barry Allen's return and claiming that they would need more of the Rogues.[11] The Rogues are still debating Allen's return, with Cold saying it's time to pull out their contingency plan that Scudder came up with, stating "In case The Flash returns, break glass."[12]

"Blackest Night"

In the 2009–2010 "Blackest Night" storyline, the Rogues realize that the bodies of various dead Rogues are missing and prepare to fight them. Captain Cold knows that his sister, the Golden Glider, is among the reanimated Black Lanterns but is still ready to lead the Rogues against the zombies.[13] He is confronted by the Black Lantern Glider, who attempts to use his feelings of love for her against him. However, Captain Cold manages to suppress these feelings long enough for him to fight back, freezing her within a block of ice.[14] He subsequently kills Owen Mercer by throwing him into a pit with his Black Lantern father when he learns that Owen has been feeding people to his father in the belief that consuming flesh will restore him to life, informing Owen that Rogues do not kill women and children.[15]

The Flash (Vol. 3)

In The Flash vol. 3, Captain Cold and the Rogues visit Sam Scudder's old hideout and unveil a giant mirror with the words In Case of Flash: Break Glass written on it and release beings from a Mirror World upon breaking it.[16] However, Captain Cold is told by Mirror Master he had discovered that the giant mirror is actually a slow acting poison.[17]

The New 52

In the timeline of the 2011 company-wide reboot of all its superhero titles, The New 52, Captain Cold is reintroduced as a younger man than in the previous timeline and now with his Rogues lives with a code to never kill. His origin remains the same, however, his sister Lisa has not been the Golden Glider, and is instead dying of cancer. Upon learning that the hospital does not have enough energy to power a laser that could save her life, because of an EMP seemingly caused by the Flash, Cold blames him for everything that has happened to him, including a falling out with the Rogues, and decides to break the rules of their "game" and kill the Flash. Captain Cold has undergone experiments that have given him ice-based metahuman powers, including the ability to slow down the molecules around him, creating a field of inertia that reduces the Flash's speed to human level, allowing Captain Cold to touch him and effortlessly beat him.[18] He and the Rogues are set to return,[19] but later defeated them with help from Flash, and the Pied Piper.[20]

After freeing the Trickster and attending the meeting at the Justice League Watchtower, the Rogues return to Central and Keystone City, only to see that both have been destroyed by Gorilla Grodd. Grodd returns to Central City during the eclipse, while a ceremony commemorating Flash between the humans and gorillas is occurring. Grodd proceeds to take control of Central City as its king and renames it Gorilla City. Captain Cold sees the city's cops tied up from Grodd, and proceeds to free them. He then asks Mirror Master to help him get to the hospital where his sister is being held in order to check on her. While there, the Crime Syndicate send Black Bison, Hyena, Multiplex, Plastique and Typhoon to finish Grodd's work and destroy the hospital. The Rogues are able to hold them off, only to be interrupted by Deathstorm and Power Ring, who were sent by Ultraman to deal with the Rogues for resisting the Crime Syndicate's offer to join them. After battling Deathstorm and Power Ring, Deathstorm attacks Captain Cold and is able to extract his freezing powers from his DNA. Mirror Master attempts to get the Rogues out through the Mirror World, but Power Ring destroys the mirror causing the Rogues to be separated. Captain Cold ends up at Luthor and his Kryptonian clone's location where they are also joined by Black Manta, who has retrieved Black Adam from the ocean.[21] Luthor realizes that, with the help of his clone, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Captain Cold, he may be able to stop the Crime Syndicate. Captain Cold and the rest of the squad, now joined by Batman, Catwoman, Sinestro and Deathstroke, infiltrate the fallen Watchtower, where Black Manta kills the Outsider and Cold proceeds to shatter Johnny Quick's right leg after having frozen the molecules in it with his cold gun. He then unmasks the hooded prisoner brought over from Earth-3, revealing it to be Alexander Luthor, who is their version of Shazam, Mazahs, who states he will kill them all.[22][volume & issue needed] After defeating the crime syndicate, Captain Cold is pardoned by the U.S government, and becomes a member of the Justice League, along with Luthor.

DC Rebirth

Snart and the Rogues first made a cameo appearance in the DC Rebirth's storylines; they are fleetingly watching a news report about the many newly created speedsters appearing throughout the city in The Flash vol. 5 #3. Snart quips that it is time for the Rogues to leave Central City for a while. Visually the Rogues still seem to be based upon their New 52 appearances in this cameo, though when Snart later appears in one of Flash's memory flashbacks he has resorted to an even older look. He and the other Rogues retain these costumes in their later appearances.

Snart and the Rogues make their first full-length appearance in The Flash vol. 5 #15, where they are attempting to steal a valuable golden statue of the god Mercury from the small island nation of Corto Maltese. The Flash arrives to stop them, but they turn out to be constructs of Mirror Master laid so that the Rogues can commit a crime spree in Central City. Captain Cold reveals what he had been working on in his absence from the city—a "black ice gun" that uses the anti-Speed Force weaponry of the terrorist group Black Hole combined with his regular freeze gun. After a fight, the Golden Glider had a chance to kill the Flash, but was talked out of it by her fellow Rogues. Despite this setback, Flash manages to finally beat Snart and the rest of the Rogues without killing them. By the end of The Flash vol. 5 #17, Snart appears to be ready to take over Iron Heights from the more neophyte villains, including Papercut.

In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Captain Cold and his fellow Rogues are among the villains that attend the underground meeting held by Riddler that talks about the Superman Theory.[23]

Powers and abilities

Like the majority of the Flash's Rogues, Snart had no innate superhuman powers. He instead relied on his cold guns and instincts. Over the years, Snart had modified his weapons to allow a variety of effects such as:

Fellow ice-based villain Mr. Freeze has noted that Cold is the only cold-themed villain in the DC Universe to have mastered "absolute zero" with his weapons.

In the New 52 universe, Captain Cold temporarily had meta-human ice powers, including the power to slow down the Flash or objects traveling at high velocities via molecular deceleration caused by Absolute Zero, but these powers are later lost in the Forever Evil series when he is attacked by Deathstorm—the Earth-3 counterpart of Firestorm—with Cold reverting to using his classic ice gun. Despite his lack of professional or technical expertise, Cold states that he spent so long analyzing the parts of his cold gun that he is able to recreate it in just over half an hour using parts stolen from a standard electronics shop.[24] He's even skilled enough to program it for a host of unique effects simulating some of his powers; like his "Cold Field" which quick cools the atmosphere to the point that everything caught in it grinds to a halt,[25] or an auto activation function which triggers his Cold Gun's freeze ray via vocalized password input.[22]

During the Rebirth storyline, Snart augmented his Cold Gun even further by combining it with the anti-Speed Force technologies by the science criminal cell called Black Hole.[26] The newly christened Black Ice Gun now tacked directly into The Speed Force in order to painfully disrupt a speedster's connection to it. Snart's new cold gun was so powerful that not only could it hinder the Flash in the most excruciating way possible, it was vastly more powerful in scope, able to freeze both the harbor and several city blocks adjacent to their current location.[27]

Other versions

In other media

Television

Live-action

Michael Champion as Captain Cold on the 1990s The Flash TV series.
Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold on 2014's The Flash TV series.

Animated

Captain Cold as he appears in Justice League Unlimited
Captain Cold as he appears in Justice League Unlimited

Film

Video games

Lego series

Merchandise

See also

References

  1. ^ Forever Evil #7
  2. ^ Batman & Robin vol. 2 #33
  3. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 49. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  4. ^ a b c d Wallace, Dan (2008). "Captain Cold". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1. OCLC 213309017.
  5. ^ "Captain Cold is Number 27". Comics.ign.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  6. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  7. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  8. ^ Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1
  9. ^ Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #2
  10. ^ Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #3
  11. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009)
  12. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #6 (February 2010)
  13. ^ Blackest Night: The Flash #1 (December 2009)
  14. ^ Blackest Night: The Flash #2 (January 2010)
  15. ^ Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (February 2010)
  16. ^ Flash Secret Files and Origins (2010)
  17. ^ The Flash vol. 3 #5 (September 2010)
  18. ^ The Flash vol. 4 #6 (February 2012)
  19. ^ The Flash vol. 4 #7 (March 2012)
  20. ^ The Flash vol. 4 Annual #1
  21. ^ Forever Evil #3
  22. ^ a b Forever Evil #6
  23. ^ Doomsday Clock #6 (July 2018). DC Comics.
  24. ^ Forever Evil #4
  25. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #38
  26. ^ The Flash vol. 5 #16
  27. ^ The Flash vol. 5 #17
  28. ^ DC: The New Frontier #2 (April 2004)
  29. ^ DC Super Friends #16 (August 2009)
  30. ^ Teen Titans Go! A horrible tv show #53
  31. ^ The Flash vol. 3 #1 (April 2010)
  32. ^ Justice League Adventures #12
  33. ^ a b Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (June 2011)
  34. ^ Flashpoint #1 (May 2011)
  35. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2 (July 2011)
  36. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3 (August 2011)
  37. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #26
  38. ^ Fowler, Matt (July 18, 2014). "The Flash: Prison Break Star To Play Captain Cold". IGN. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  39. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Legends of Tomorrow' to Tackle Legion of Doom Villain Team In Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter.
  40. ^ Wickline, Dan (November 18, 2017). "CW Releases 92 Images From Arrowverse Crossover: Crisis On Earth-X". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  41. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (2010-07-23). "Comic-Con 2010: Young Justice". UGO.com. Archived from the original on 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  42. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - Kevin Michael Richardson". Behind The Voice Actors.
  43. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - Corey Burton". Behind The Voice Actors.
  44. ^ DC Universe Online at IMDb
  45. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2017-03-09). "New Injustice 2 Trailer Revealed, Shows Off More Characters". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  46. ^ "Funko POP TV: The Flash Captain Cold Action Figure". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  47. ^ "Funko POP TV The Flash Captain Cold Unmasked". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  48. ^ "Flash TV Series Captain Cold Pop!". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  49. ^ "Captain Cold Action Figure". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  50. ^ "LEGO Super Heroes Mighty Micros". Retrieved 2016-09-24.