As such, it’s our last monthly showcase for the 20th anniversary of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, in which we chose TV superheroes and super-villains as our theme.
In the past, we’ve inducted Burgess Meredith’s incarnatioin of the Penguin and the animated version of Mr. Freeze, voiced by Michael Ansara into the Hall. So who else among the superheroes and super-villains would be appropriate for the month which kicks off the coming Winter season?
And like Mr. Freeze and the Penguin, Captain Cold is multidimensional. Played by Michael Champion, he was seen in Earth Prime-Time in the first TV series for ‘The Flash’. He was also in the alternate Toobworld which houses ‘Smallville’ and ‘The West Wing’. And there are several incarnations of the artistic style which were used to depict him in the Tooniverse.
Additionally, Green Arrow dealt with the Rogues’ Gallery stalwart turned hero in the following:
- ‘The Flash’ – “Rogue Air”
- ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ – “Pilot Part One”
- ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ – “Star City 2046”
Captain Cold (Leonard Snart) is a fictional supervillain/antihero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Captain Cold 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 foe and begrudging ally to Wally West, and one of the killers of Bart Allen.
IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains Of All Time List ranked Captain Cold as #27.
Actor Wentworth Miller has portrayed multiple versions of the character in The CW's television series ‘The Flash’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- A cold beam that freezes anything it hits instantly.
- Creating a cold field where people and objects literally stop in their tracks. Cold uses this ability to slow down the Flash's movements.
- Bathing his opponent in a wide beam of ice designed to freeze the skin of the target so they stay conscious and do not go numb to the pain.
- Creating a slippery field of ice which can slow down the Flash.
- Forming sharp stalagmites on the ground to impale his enemies.
- An "ice grenade" which was stated to "turn this place into an iceberg". Used to freeze everything in a large radius, and the whole of Iron Heights during the events of Blackest Night.
- Creating "mirages" out of extreme cold-like heat.
Now let’s take a look at the character as seen in the CW’s Arrowverse, as played by Wentworth Miller.
The character first appears as a recurring villain on ‘The Flash’. Snart first appears as a regular robber, but when his attempted heist is foiled by The Flash, Snart obtains a "cold gun", created by Cisco Ramon to subdue a speedster, due to its ability to freeze anything to absolute zero temperatures, from a black market arms dealer.
Dubbed "Captain Cold", he makes several attempts to eliminate The Flash throughout the first season, eventually joining forces with his former colleague Mick Rory and his sister Lisa Snart, both of whom also get their own guns.
After kidnapping Cisco, Snart forces him to reveal the Flash's identity as Barry Allen. Snart then makes a deal with Barry: he will keep his identity a secret and refrain from killing innocent people, and in exchange Barry will not interfere with his heists. Barry later requests Snart's help with a metahuman prison transfer, and Barry eliminates all of the authorities' records of Snart in exchange.
However, Snart betrays Barry by freeing the inmates from captivity. In season two, Snart is blackmailed into working with his abusive father Lewis Snart who plants a bomb in Lisa to ensure his son's cooperation. When Team Flash deactivates the bomb, Snart kills his father in retaliation and is apprehended.
Snart is later freed from prison by Mark Mardon, but refuses to go along with his plan of killing the Flash and instead warns the speedster. In season three, Snart and Barry work together to steal a Dominator power source from A.R.G.U.S.
The vengeful Rory then returns as the Time Masters' temporal bounty hunter Chronos. After Chronos is captured by the Legends, Snart convinces the team to try and reform Rory, who eventually rejoins the team.
At the end of the season, Snart sacrifices himself by blowing up the Time Masters, who are revealed to be working with Savage.
In season two, Eobard Thawne travels back in time to recruit a past version of Snart as part of his Legion of Doom in exchange for being able to prevent his death. This version of Snart has not reformed and is disgusted by the heroes his future self and Rory turned into. Snart manages to convince Rory to betray the Legends and join the Legion, bringing the Spear of Destiny with him and allowing the Legion to rewrite reality to fit their goals.
An alternate version, preferring to be called Leo Snart, first appears in the four-part crossover event "Crisis on Earth-X". The official preview synopsis for the crossover calls him "Citizen Cold", but the name is not used within the crossover itself. This version is from the parallel world "Earth-X" where the Nazis won World War II and acts as a hero against the New Reich. Snart is shown to be in a same-sex relationship with Ray Terrill / The Ray and helps Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, Kara Zor-El and their allies fight against the armies of Earth-X.
The Earth-90 version of Captain Cold appeared in the 1990s ‘The Flash’ television show, which was retroactively established as part of Arrowverse at the 2018 annual crossover entitled “Elseworlds”, played by actor Michael Champion. Named Leonard Wynters and costumed in a trenchcoat, he is an infamous albino hitman in his self-titled episode "Captain Cold" who used a nuclear-powered freeze weapon to kill his victims. He was hired by Central City crime boss Jimmy Swain (Jeffrey Combs) to kill local mob bosses and later the Flash. Flash eventually manages to defeat Captain Cold.
This change in appearance and name might suggest that Leonard was adopted. Since he has no super powers, nothing depends on his genetic make-up; it all came down to environment for the development of his character.
This means we can make an assumption that some other character played by Wentworth Miller in Earth Prime-Time might qualify as being the man who would become Captain Cold in the other Toobworlds.
However, we have to eliminate from consideration his characters of Michael Scofield (‘Prison Break’), Senator Mark Hanson (‘Madam Secretary’), and David Scott (‘Dinotopia’).
Once more unto the Wikipedean breach, dear friends:
Captain Cold appears, face unseen, in the ‘Smallville’ television show. In the episode "Prophecy", he appears as part of a group assembled by Toyman. Captain Cold is assigned to kill Bart "Impulse" Allen.
Even though Michael Champion established that Leonard Snart of Earth Prime-Time could not only have different genetics as well as a different surname, that doesn’t mean the mysterious hooded figure known as Captain Cold in the ‘Smallville’ dimension has to be some other actor – despite the fact that he is just that underneath that disguise.
Here then are the credits for Captain Cold to deem him worthy for induction into the TVXOHOF:
Superhero Fight Club
A three minute promotional video
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Welcome to the Hall, Captain Cold! You’ll find a few acquaintances around the place….