Killer Frost has been kicking around The Flash this season in a big, bad way! We’ve known since Danielle Panabaker was cast to play the role of Caitlin Snow that there was potential for Killer Frost to emerge as an important villain for Barry Allen to face, but it’s taken three entire seasons for her to ascend to her true villainess glory—and that new costume really is everything!
In this week’s episode, “Infantino Street,” Captain Cold makes his return to The Flash (he also appeared in this season’s Legends of Tomorrow storyline), as the original ice-based baddie. Seeing how Leonard Snart, a.k.a Captain Cold, was co-created by Carmine Infantino and John Broome in 1957’s SHOWCASE #8, it is wonderfully fitting that he should reemerge in this episode.
There’s the first and biggest #DCTV Secret in this episode. “Infantino Street” is named after the legendary artist himself.
In the comics, much like on The Flash television show, Snart operates under a unique code, which he holds himself to. This eventually extends to all of the villains he teams up with over the decades (Golden Glider, Heat Wave, Mirror Master, et al.) that eventually come to be known as the Rogues. Part of Snart’s disposition toward honor is evidenced by the way he treats the Flash and his alter ego Barry Allen. In the continuity of the show, Snart knows Barry’s identity and has sworn to keep it secret as long as the Flash doesn’t overstep certain bounds.
While this may not be a legally ethical arrangement between hero and villain, it makes for compelling storytelling and very interesting watching. Wentworth Miller is always a delight when he pops up in the #DCTV Universe and his appearance in “Infantino Street” is no exception. I don’t know about you all at home, but I laughed out loud during several of his line deliveries.
Not only is Captain Cold funny, but his tacit truce with the Flash means that he is able to dispense some real wisdom throughout the episode. Not only does he manage to impart to Barry how important it is to be adaptable and go with the flow in the field when a plan goes awry, but he seems to possess a better understand of who the Flash is and what he stands for than Barry does under the stress of Savitar and Iris’ pending death.
This is a really wonderful moment from the Flash writers and the two actors because it hammers home the truism of not judging a book by its cover. Snart is a bad guy, but what he is saying makes sense, so in that moment he deserves to be heeded. It’s also important in a world of metahuman heroes and villains to be reminded that no one is beyond redemption.
“Infantino Street” imparts this lesson from the mouth of Captain Cold to be imparted onto Killer Frost. She makes a pretty strong choice about where her alliance is going to lie and is put into a position to kill the person who means the most to her in cold blood (pun completely intended). Cisco has been the champion of saving Killer Frost and using restraint when dealing with her, but he too is forced to reconsider whether or not he is going to practice what he has been preaching.
In a mirror to her infancy as an evil metahuman on The Flash, Killer Frost is a relatively new comic book character. Caitlin Snow is actually the third super-villainess to use the moniker and was first introduced during The New 52, first in THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #19 and later as a part of “Villains Month,” where we learned her backstory.
In both the DC Super Hero Girls continuity and in DC Rebirth, she is undergoing a bit of rebranding and going by the name Frost. In Rebirth, this was a conscious choice of Caitlin’s after she decided she didn’t want to be a villain during the JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD miniseries. There are indications that this could be carried over onto The Flash and we might wind up with Caitlin Snow renaming herself again at some point during the next season of the show.
Does the idea of a more heroic Killer Frost intrigue you? Then I suggest checking out Rebirth’s new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series, where she’s a part of a team that includes Vixen and Black Canary, who are already part of #DCTV continuity, and the Ray, who will be joining it in the near future by way of a new digital animated series. You can grab the first issue digitally by clicking here.
Icy villains are wonderful foils to a speedster’s ability to move and their cold personalities serve as great literary foils to offset Barry, Wally and Jesse’s warm optimism that make them so dear to the viewers. Both Captain Cold and Killer Frost seem to be wavering in their morality and their allegiances. That’s what makes them some of the best characters on the show.
Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.