No, we’re not talking about villains who can throw shade better than Skeletor himself; we’re talking ice queens, cold crazies and chilly charlatans – those who cause their victims to freeze in terror. Or because, you know, they zapped them with their powers.
This week on Back Issues we’re taking a look at some of the frostiest foes the heroes of the comics world have ever faced.
Created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, Killer Frost (initially called Crystal Frost) is a DC character that’s been around since the 70s. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned right? Or a woman frozen? Crystal Frost attained her powers after being rejected by her love, after which she accidentally locked herself in a thermafrost chamber. She survived and discovered her new ability to absorb heat from others to project cold and ice. Among her foes (mainly men), she regularly clashed with Firestorm, who eventually killed her after she absorbed too much energy from him.
You probably know Killer Frost best from The CW show, The Flash, where Danielle Panabaker plays Dr Caitlin Snow, who crosses paths with her doppelganger counterpart on Earth-2 in the latest series.
Any geek the world over recognises the Ice King. Although he has a reputation of kidnapping princesses and throwing strops, he’s not even nearly the worst villain on this list. Voiced by Tom Kenny and created by Pendleton Ward (who many of us met at ArcadeCon 2014), the Ice King is a misunderstood chap but it doesn’t excuse all of his terrible misdeeds.
The Ice King’s formidable powers come from his crown, which is also responsible for his gradual insanity and appearance. If you ever need to beat him, just yoink that crown off his head and you’ll be grand.
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Captain Cold is one of DC’s most well known villains. He’s had some pretty dodgy moments over the course of his comic career, like that time he tried to force Iris West to marry him because he fancied her. Awkward.
Captain Cold, or Leonard Snart, wants three things in life: Money, women and to beat Barry Allen to a pulp. Fair enough, at least he’s upfront!
Okay, okay, so she doesn’t have ice-based powers persée but she’s frosty as hell and her name is literally the title so it counts, damnit! Although Frost is no longer a villain, she was a pretty prominent one for a long time in the Marvel universe.
She was White Queen of the Inner Circle of the fearsome Hellfire Club, had a telekinetic affair with Scott Summers while he was still married to Jean Grey and kind of murdered her own sister. So, you know, she was pretty hated for a while there.
Created by Bob Kane, David Wood and Sheldon Moldoff, Mr Freeze has been a pain in Batman’s side for a long time. Initially called Mr Zero, he was popularised in the 60s Batman TV series and rechristened. He’s kind of a tragic character, in that he’s not evil just for evil’s sake.
In Batman: The Animated Series we found out that he was obsessed with ice and the need to build a criminal empire to raise research funds for his terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife. Aw, I almost feel bad for him. Almost.
Who are your favourite icy villains? Let us know in the comments below!