Who's Captain Cold?

Who's This? A winter Rogue.

The facts: Leonard Snart AKA Captain Cold first used his cold gun on the Flash in Barry Allen's first comic - Showcase #8 (June 1957) and of all of Flash's Rogues, he's without a doubt the most popular. Though he put in a similar number of appearance as other Rogues in the old comics, he was LEADER of the Rogues, and the one who got to be in the Legion of Doom in Challenge of the Super-Friends. An obvious favorite of one Geoff Johns, he also put in many modern appearances - including in alternate media, see below) - becoming something akin to an anti-hero around the time of Final Crisis and in Flashpoint (as Citizen Cold). He's still an ongoing concern.
How you could have heard of him: Still appearance in Flash-related comics today, Captain Cold owes much of his modern popularity to Wentworth Miller's portrayal of him on the Flash and Legends of Tomorrow TV shows.
Example story: The Flash #114 (August 1960) "The Big Freeze!" by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson
Captain Cold's second encounter with the Flash starts with a news rag mounting a campaign to have him paroled, but Iris West and the Flash speak at his hearing and put the kibosh on that avenue of release. So he'll have to break out. With the help of a miniature refrigerator apparently.
They really shouldn't let gadgeteer supervillains work in prison workshops, sheesh! It's not just a handy AC device, it can also freeze-dry prison bars and make them brittle... and of course zap prison guards as easily as his cold gun can. Now not only is he out, but he's got a grudge against Iris for testifying against him. A grudge? Or a CRUSH?!
A marriage proposal (or DEMAND, I guess) is not what I was expecting. Cold has apparently put the whole city on ice, a kind of suspended animation, and if Iris doesn't marry him, Snart will never release the good citizens of Central City. The Flash comes back to town and grinds his way through the ice shield, so I doubt he'll be stopped by a bit of icy pavement.
Still, a Rogue has to try, and it gives Snart enough time to deploy his actual plan.
The Editor's Note does a lot of heavy lifting here. If heat causes mirages, then it stands to reason that absolute cold can create illusions. I need a fact check on this one. Any scientists in the audience? Of course, this can't be much more than a diversion, because as soon as the Flash moves towards the giant mosquito, he passes through it easily. Is THIS an illusion though?
It's real! And the wave of ice swallows Barry up! (I see the scientists in the crowd have left the building now; can't blame them, really). Time to do more "grinding" and...
...AIR PUNCH! And then it's just a matter of deactivating the paralysis effect by clicking something on his belt and it's back to jail for Snart. And while I see how Captain Cold can be seen as the Flash's antithesis - one vibrates his molecules at super-speeds, the other one relies on slowing down molecules until they've stopped - this story is an(other) illustration of why the Rogues seem like paltry antagonists for this A-class hero. Snart is always surprised that the Flash can get out of his traps, but an ice gun (or whatever other tricks Broome lets him pull off) just isn't on par with the powers of a man who can move at the speed of light.

Who's Next? A man born before his time.



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