Get to Know a Villain: Captain Cold
Name: Leonard Snart
Aliases: Citizen Cold, The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero, Leonard Wynters, Dr. Freeze, Blue Iceman
Born: general vicinity of Central City
Family: Lisa Snart (Golden Glider)
First Appearance: Showcase #8 (1957)
Abilities: Leadership, marksmanship, tactical analysis, engineering (designs and builds own freeze guns), code of honor (no drugs, no senseless violence, no killing women or children); in new 52, ice powers are metahuman in nature
Affiliations: Rogues Gallery, Injustice League, Suicide Squad, Secret Society of Super Villains, Justice League
Snart grew up in an abusive household, the only safe place he knew his grandfather’s ice cream truck. After his grandfather’s death, Snart left home and joined a gang of petty thugs in Central City. Eventually caught by the Flash, Snart decides that, when he got out, he’d go solo and solve the Scarlet Speedster problem.
Having read an article theorizing the energy emissions from the “cyclotron” would interfere with the Speed Force, Snart, upon his release, broke into a lab and stole said device. With it, he constructed a gun that reduced the temperatures of anything in blast range to absolute zero. The device, and his prowess with it, elevated him to super villain status, though for the majority of his career Cold committed only non-lethal crimes. When he did act with a partner, it was most often either Heat Wave or Golden Glider.
Snart periodically left the life, once even working with Lisa as a recovery agent (read: bounty hunter). During his stint on the light-isn side, Snart’s soul is stolen and he is declared “dead.” He eventually makes his way back but, in the interim, Lisa has been murdered by the last in a long line of sidekicks all named Chillebane. Start murders his sister’s killer in turn and turns once more to crime though he does work occasionally with The Flash (now Wally West) when the situation is dire.
Inertia (a villain, not the physics concept) reunites Cold with the rest of the Rogues after yet another jail term and together, the Rogues kill the newest flash, Bart Allen. Cold, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard express remorse after discovering how young Wally was and Cold decides, yet again, that he wants out. The Flash’s pals are understandably pissed off, however, and hunt the Rogues relentlessly, eventually remanding Snart to Hell Planet. He does make his way back and his new purpose is avenging himself upon Inertia. Captain Cold does not like being used. Not does he like his father whom Inertia mistakenly thinks he can use as leverage; Snart kills Intertia and has Heat Wave summarily dispatch Snart the elder. He threatens to quit again but doesn’t. Because he doesn’t want Barry Allen, back from the dead, to think he’s a quitter.
Ah, super villain peer pressure.
In the New 52 universe, Lisa isn’t Golden Glider; she’s simply Snart’s sister and dying of cancer. Snart discovers the hospital where she is being treated doesn’t have enough energy to power her life saving laser treatment (um, generator for the essential equipment maybe?) because of an EMP caused by The Flash and vows revenge, breaking with the Rogue’s policy and actually attempting to kill The Speedster. His powers in the new 52-verse are metahuman in origin, which is stupid, because the original origin story is much better.
Blah blah blah Grodd, blah blah blah alternate Lex Luthor, blah blah blah beats the bad guys and is pardoned by the government, joins the Justice League, the end.
Though that little blah blah blah end bit does, along with the fact Cold does help Wally West out on occasion, sets the precedent for him to maybe, possibly help Rip Hunter. For the right price, of course.
Besides, Wentworth Miller is so deliciously campy as the man himself, I’m happy for any excuse to watch him chew scenery.
Sources: DC Comics Database, DC Wikia, Wikipedia