Captain Cold


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Captain Cold

(pop culture)
Captain Cold, the first major adversary of the Silver Age (1956–1969) Flash, made his chilling debut in Showcase #8 (1957), the second tryout issue for the Fastest Man Alive. In “The Coldest Man on Earth!” by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino, “ambitious crook” Leonard “Len” Snart fancies putting Central City's new superhero on ice. Breaking into a nuclear facility under the cloak of night, Snart intends to irradiate a pistol of his own design as an anti-Flash weapon, but is surprised when his weapon instead emits a freezing ray. Fashioning a blue-and-white uniform with a parka and donning snow goggles, he considers the adversarial appellations “Mr. Arctic,” “Cold Wave,” Sub-Zero,” and “Human Icicle” before selecting “Captain Cold.” From his Cold Chamber, a sub-freezing hideout, he fuels his Cold Gun with liquid helium and initiates a wintry snap—in July! The fleet-footed Flash is on the skids thanks to Captain Cold's manufactured ice slicks, but he creates a succession of superspeed after-images to confuse his foe, capturing Snart. With his weapon's ability to produce blustery mirages, slippery slopes, and ice-block prisons, this “Master of Cold” was routinely thawed out to battle the Scarlet Speedster, and occasionally teamed up with his climate antithesis Heat Wave as well as the conniving Trickster. Captain Cold and other Flash felons banded together for the first of many assembled appearances in The Flash #155 (1965). In the 1970s he joined the roster of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and was recruited into the Suicide Squad in the late 1980s. Snart's sister Lisa followed her brother's snowy footprints into crime in The Flash #250 (1977), becoming the Golden Glider, with antigravity skates that slid upon ice of their own making, but she later perished when her sidekick Chillblaine turned against her. In 1978, Captain Cold made his television debut as one of the Legion of Doom in Challenge of the Super Friends (1978), his voice provided by Dick Ryal. Michael Champion played a non-costumed Captain Cold, a hitman who froze his victims, in an episode of the live-action TV series The Flash (1990–1991). When the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen) died in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (1986), Snart temporarily mothballed his Captain Cold guise and became a bounty hunter, but he later sold his soul to the demonic Neron for increased powers. Snart returned to villainy, and he remains one of the bitterest opponents of Wally West, the current Flash. Frosty footnote: while the Golden Age (1938–1954) supervillain the Icicle's 1947 debut predated the similarly themed Captain Cold, the captain premiered before DC Comics' most famous ice-based bad guy, Mr. Freeze, first seen (as Mr. Zero) in Batman #121 (1959).