Despite being far less famous, Captain Cold debuted in Showcase #8 two years before Mr. Freeze (then called Mr. Zero) appeared in the pages of Batman. While Captain Cold soon established himself as the Flash‘s archenemy, Mr. Zero remained one of Batman’s lesser foes until he was renamed and popularized by the 1960s Batman show. If the Flash had gotten a high-profile television series instead of Batman, it’s possible we would have been forced to sit through Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lethal puns in Flash and Kid Flash instead of Batman and Robin.
While casual fans may wonder why the DC universe needs two villains with such similar gimmicks, Flash fans know Captain Cold is one of the most intriguing and well-developed characters in mainstream comics. For an example of this, check out Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins’s recent Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge.
Packaging: The usual.
Len Snart began his criminal career by concocting a ray gun designed to interfere with The Flash’s superspeed. Instead, the weapon became irradiated accidentally, its emissions instantly freezing moisture in the air. Thus armed with his new cold-gun, Snart adopted the stylized parka of Captain Cold, a supervillain specializing in thefts and freezing solid any would-be pursuers, including the Scarlet Speedster.
Sculpt: Captain Cold gets an entirely brand-new body sculpt. It’s the Four Horsemen’s usual excellent work, from the folds of the clothing to the fur around Snart’s parka. I’m not sure what other characters could make use of this body, minus the belt and parka–any ideas?
They’ve also captured Snart’s trademark sneer–he’s not a handsome man.
The biggest problem–and I’m not sure if this should count as a sculpting issue, since it could have happened during production–is that Captain Cold is a bit short. In the comics, he’s supposed to be 6’2″, a full three inches taller than Barry Allen, but in real life this figure would be closer to 5’6″. It’s noticeable, although it’s definitely not anywhere near as bad as Sinestro.
Plastic & Paint: The figure is molded mostly in blue plastic, which feels a little more toy-like than usual here. A light paint wash might have helped to minimize that effect, and to have brought out all the great detail in the clothing.
I also think a slightly darker blue, closer to the character’s modern portrayal, would have made him more menacing and less cartoon-ish, but to be fair, these are the colors of the Silver Age Cold.
Articulation: Standard DCUC articulation.
Accessories: Captain Cold comes with his distinctive cold gun. While the design is faithful to the weapon’s look, the gun is silver instead of the distinctive magenta usually used in comics.
Personally, I think the silver makes a lot more sense than magenta, but for those of you from whom the “Classics” in DC Universe Classics really matters, the silver might bug you.
Quality control: No problems–a running theme in Wave 7, although I did hear of two separate cases where collectors got Colds with two of the same upper knee section.
Captain Cold features a great new body sculpt by the Four Horsemen, and represents a welcome addition to the DCUC rogues’ gallery. His flaws are that he’s a little short and could have used a paint wash. Had he been a little taller, he’d easily get another half-point.
Here’s hoping we soon see the rest of the Rogues in DCUC–particularly Heat Wave, Mirror Master, and Weather Wizard.