This is it. After three adversaries that weren’t quite Flash foes, we finally get one who truly is. For Superman, there is Lex Luthor, for Batman, there is the Joker, and for the Flash – there’s Captain Cold. Let’s find out together how the television version of this major super-villain pans out on “The Flash.” Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Going Rogue.”
The Rogues Gallery
The appearance of Captain Cold is very important because among superhero rogues galleries, there are very few that match up to the Flash’s. Batman, Spider-Man, and Dick Tracy all could be said to have more monstrous or diabolical, but the Flash’s Rogues Gallery is diverse, colorful, and dangerous. And what makes them the most dangerous of all is their penchant to work together as a unified force against their superhero enemy. Happily, several have already been cast for the TV series.
Originally created as the Colors of Evil, these criminal characters were meant for a completely different hero by Carmine Infantino, Captain Whiz, who was intended for life in the comic strips. Together – Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard (the real one, not his brother who was seen in the pilot), the Pied Piper, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, the Top, and the Trickster, among others, and a few legacies – make a close-knit team of villains who will at times defend the Flash, in order to have the sole honor of killing him themselves.
More often than not, Leonard Snart also known as Captain Cold, is seen as the leader of the Rogues. Armed with an overlooked and underestimated scientific intellect and a nuclear powered cold gun, Cold lives by a peculiar but honorable set of rules. No drugs, no killing unless it’s deserved, fiercely loyal to his comrades, and to the Flash – the latter in that no-one-kills-the-Flash-but-me type of loyalty. In the comics, besides leading the Rogues, he was also a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and, believe it or not, recently the Justice League, in a mad scheme to rob them.
Greed and honor is what makes Cold tick. In his previous live-action TV incarnation, he was a hit man, but here, as played by Wentworth Miller III of “Prison Break,” he is a logistical genius, a criminal mastermind, and a cold blooded killer. And he knows the ‘streak’ (I guess ‘blur’ was already taken over in “Smallville”) is not a rumor, it’s a man.
Fun and Fanboy Heaven
I loved the opening, with Barry on his day off. The S.T.A.R. Team is testing his super speed ability to multitask, specifically play ping-pong, chess, and Milton Bradley’s Operation, all at once. This is part of what I love about “The Flash,” it’s fun. This show is bright and colorful and fun.
And even when it gets serious with an armed car robbery by gun toting and liquid nitrogen using thugs, it’s still fun. Barry is careful, smart, and a thinking hero. I like that. We’re not seeing that so much in the comic book superhero television and movies of today. And oh yeah, it’s Leonard Snart and company robbing the Blackhawk Squad Security truck for the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond. Fanboy heaven.
Felicity Smoak from “Arrow” makes a guest appearance, probably because things aren’t going so well romantically with that show’s title character. Perhaps she intends to rekindle what she had with Barry. Me, I’m a fan of Emily Bett Rickards, so I don’t mind her showing up here in Central City.
Iris seems happy to see an adorable nerd interested in her ‘brother’ and tries to make a double date with her and Eddie Thawne. Yeah, the last thing Barry wants. And Eddie, the more I see of him the more I think he’s just the unfortunate great great granddaddy of the Reverse-Flash, not Professor Zoom himself. And speak of the devil, I was creeped out when Wells knew who Felicity was too.
Tower of Babel
Speaking of Wells’ dark side, we see him losing it over a missing weapon that Cicso built, the cold gun that Snart eventually gets his hands on. Cisco built it to stop Barry just in case – kinda like that brilliant Mark Waid JLA story “Tower of Babel,” where Batman creates protocols to stop every Leaguer in case they ‘go rogue.’ An enemy, Ras Al Ghul, uses them to defeat the team, just as Cold might here.
When Flash and Cold clash, the gun gives Snart an exceptional advantage, and a man dies. Cisco says he’ll have to live with that and Barry corrects him, no, they will all have to live with it. Another thing I like about this show, Barry isn’t just fun and smart, he is a hero, and knows what’s right and what’s wrong. And as a side note, there was also a heat gun… which of course ends up in Mick Rory‘s hands at the end of the episode…
The Cool, The Hot, and The Lukewarm
The best part was when Captain Cold showed up wearing the blue parka. It was almost as if he stepped out of the comics. And his attitude and serendipity at becoming a new kind of criminal was awesome, especially his smirk when Cisco named him. The fight between Barry and Snart was everything a Flash/Captain Cold clash should be. I also loved the treadmill that looked suspiciously like the Cosmic Treadmill.
I wasn’t so thrilled at stealing the hero’s weakness from Superman II, and even less so at Barry and Felicity’s bemoaning their romantic situations. They could have bonded better on the train I thought, maybe just the kiss. But if these are my only complaints, “The Flash” is still the best show on television.
Next: another Firestorm foe, Plastique!