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Captain Cold

DC Universe Classics
by Poe Ghostal

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 & Kid Flash instead of Batman & Robin.

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.

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.

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.

The figure is molded mostly in blue plastic, which feels a little more toylike 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. Also, 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. There are no quality control problems - a running theme in Wave Series 7, although I did hear of two separate cases where collectors got Colds with two of the same lower thigh section.

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.

Rather than one Build-A-Figure piece, Len gets two: the crotch and head of the Series 7 BAF, Atom Smasher. Neither bit has any articulation, but since the head is approximately 75% the size of Cold's chest, you get a decent idea of how big the final thing will be.

Captain Cold features a great new body sculpt by the Four Horsemen, and represents a welcome addition to the DCU 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 a little bit more praise. Here's hoping we soon see the rest of the Rogues in the line - particularly Heat Wave, Mirror Master, and Weather Wizard.

-- 09/30/09

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