Leonard Snart is back, and he’s brought a friend with him. You’ve seen the episode, now read what you missed in this week’s installment of Flashback!
Leonard Snart (aka Captain Cold) first appeared in Showcase #8 (June 1957). He was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, and was The Flash’s second supervillain. Even though he doesn’t have any super powers, he relies instead on technology – his cold gun – to commit his crimes. The character in comics varies quite a bit from the television show appearance. Instead of being a thief who never finished high school, the comic version of Snart has him designing and building his cold gun.
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.
In comics, Captain Cold is usually the leader of The Rogues.
Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave, made his grand debut in this week’s episode (though he was mentioned briefly in episode four). Heat Wave was created by Heat Wave was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, and first appeared in Flash #140 (November 1963). A pyromaniac from a young age, Mick set his family’s house ablaze, a house of a boy that bullied him in school, and a traveling circus that he worked for as a fire eater.
He created a protective costume made of asbestos (this was back before the dangers of asbestos were known), built a gun-sized flamethrower, and became Heat Wave. It was Captain Cold who introduced Heat Wave to the Rogues, and in his first appearance they teamed up to get rid of the Flash as they competed over a newscaster they had both fallen in love with and fought each other as they each tried to compete a larger crime spree, but the Flash jailed them both.
Dominic Purcell plays the villain in the series, and did a brilliant job portraying the maniac. You may also remember him from the television series Prison Break – Yup Heat Wave and Captain Cold both used to be in prison together, making this episode a bit of a reunion for fans.
FIRE & ICE
Though it may be a painting in this episode, DC Comics fans know that the name is often associated with the duo, Fire (Beatriz Da Costa) and Ice (Tora Olafsdotter). The friends were members of the Justice League and Justice League international from way back in the day. Beatriz has already been name dropped once in the series (episode seven), but no mention of Tora has been made.
Ice was created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire and first appeared in Justice League International #12 (April, 1988).
The princess of an isolated tribe of magic-wielding Norsemen, Tora Olafsdotter has the natural ability to create and manipulate ice.
Fire & Ice have both appeared in Justice League Unlimited, Ice appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and in the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special.
The Rathaways are the very rich couple who buy the Fire & Ice painting in Paris. In the episode, the couple return, and as they make their way back to the car, they have a conversation about their son, Hartley Rathaway. You know him as the Pied Piper. Next week’s episode is called The Sound and the Fury, and though it may be a reference to a William Faulkner novel, the show will actually introduce us to the Pied Piper. Look for a more detailed breakdown of this villain turned friend, turned hero, next week.
THE REVERSE FLASH
We know from The CW presentation at the Television Critics Association event that Wells is the man in the Yellow Suit, but is he the ONLY Reverse Flash we’ll see in this series?
There have been a number of Reverse Flashes over the decades, and each give us a clue to what is going on in the television series.
THE RIVAL – The first Reverse Flash appeared in Flash Comics #104 (February 1949). In this Golden Age tale, Dr. Edward Clariss, creates a formula called “Velocity 9”, which should give him the same powers as Jay Garrick. He was the first to use a darker version of the Flash costume.
THAWNE – Professor Zoom (aka Eobard Thawne) first appeared in The Flash #139 (September 1963). Because of the name connection to Detective Eddie Thawne, many suspected for a long time that The Reverse Flash was indeed a future version of Eddie. Professor Zoom was updated in The Return of Barry Allen storyline (The Flash #74-79) to be a fan of The Flash, only to become mentally unstable after he found out he later becomes a villain. This still gives us the possibility that Eddie will become A Reverse Flash at some point in the series (if he isn’t already). Did you see him wearing running shoes at the office?
ZOLOMON – The third Reverse Flash is known simply as Zoom. Hunter Zolomon first appeared in The Flash: Secret Files & Origins #3. What makes this Reverse Flash interesting is he believes that he was sent back in time to do horrible things to The Flash to make him “a better hero.” This is interesting only because Dr. Wells is so intent on making Barry a better hero in this episode.
Barry’s red and yellow backpack was seen in one of the early episodes of the series when Joe taught Barry to fight. In this episode, Barry pulls out a copy of Cartoon Network Starring Space Ghost Coast to Coast #4, published in 1999. If the series takes place in modern day, the issue would be 16 years old, and if Barry is already a graduate of college and has been working a few years, he would have been 13 or 14 when he picked up the book.
Cartoon Network Starring Space Ghost Coast to Coast #4 was edited by Heidi MacDonald, currently of the Comic Beat website, and was written by Andy Merrill, with art by Clay Martin Croker, and Mike DeCarlo. The two stories told in the issue are “45 Minutes ’til Showtime!” and “The Webbed Trap!”
In case you were wondering, the actual length of this episode minus commercials is 42:33.
Jason became the second Firestorm in the 2004 run of the series. Created by Dan Jolley and ChrisCross Jason became a courier for a local thug to help fund his college education. While transporting a package, he came in contact with the Firestorm matrix following the death of Ronnie Raymond in Indentity Crisis. He was captured by the Secret Society of Super Villains soon after, and used as a power source for their complex, until he was able to escape with the aid Gehenna, a voice floating around in Jason’s head.
At the end of the episode, Heat Wave and Captain Cold are rescued/broken out of captivity by Snart’s sister. In comics, Lisa Snart is a figure skater, whose claim to fame was the ability to spin really quickly. She fell in love with Roscoe Dillon (aka The Top), and when he was killed fighting The Flash, she became a villain.
Lisa Snart was creatived by Cary Bates and Irv Novick and first appeared in Flash #250 (June, 1977)
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
I love that the Rouges used the classic “cut in to all channels in the city to deliver a message” trope that has become a classic way for a villain to call out a hero. Captain Cold calls for the Flash to meet them on the corner of Porter and Main at sundown.
Howard Porter is a comic book artist who worked on The Flash with Geoff Johns in 2004. Howard is a really great person, and I had the opportunity to host a panel with him at Nerdtacular 2014. You can listen to that panel here.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
Revenge of the Rogues – During the Final Crisis event (2008), DC Comics released a three-issue mini-series called Revenge of the Rogues written by Geoff Johns with art by Scott Kolins.
Scarlet Speedster – The Flash is often referred to as the Scarlet Speedster and it was nice to see that name dropped in this week’s episode.
Big Belly Burger – The fast food franchise continues to make appearances in the episode, as Barry downs a ton of them after his open sequence fight against the flying drone.
The Terrific Whatzit (real name Merton McSnurtle, also known as McSnurtle the Turtle) is a funny animal superhero who appears in stories published by DC Comics. DC’s first funny animal superhero, the Terrific Whatzit first appeared in Funny Stuff #1 (Summer 1944), and was created by Martin Naydel.
That image is no happy accident, The Terrific Whatzit actually dons a costume that looks like the Golden Age’s Flash to fight crime. With yet another reference to the Golden Age Flash, are we getting hints he may appear soon? Is The Flash of Two Worlds just around the corner? I sure hope so!
Mercury Labs – Tina McGee runs Mercury Labs. We met her in The Man in the Yellow Suit episode.
Ghostbusters – Yes, the movie is quite funny (and surprisingly accurate).
That should just about wrap it up for this Flashback. What did we miss? What did you think of the episode? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-flag”][/signoff]