Today’s Super Comic — The Flash #182 (2002)

flash_v-2_182Let’s continue the super-villain streak, shall we?

One of writer Geoff Johns’s big contributions during his tenure on The Flash was taking the time to flesh out each of the Rogues. Previously, most of Flash’s recurring enemies had been little more than recognizable nonentities. Their gimmicks would pose interesting obstacles for a speedster to overcome, but that was about it.

Johns devoted the occasional issue to one Rogue at a time, and #182 starred Captain Cold, who has since become rather prominent in DC’s television universe. The issue nicely balances expositional backstory with a modern-day plot that has personal stakes for the character. It’s also a Flash-free plot.

While we learn about Lenny Snart’s miserable childhood, in which the only two people he truly cared for were his grandfather and little sister, we watch the present-day Captain Cold on a revenge mission. There had been a cheap Captain Cold knockoff running around in earlier issues, another nonentity named Chillblaine. But Cold’s revenge isn’t about the guy copying his gimmick. No—this guy killed his sister, so Snart must avenge her.

Cold’s focus on a loved one humanizes him, and by the end of the issue, we view him as something more than Flash’s parka-wearing Mr. Freeze copycat.

Writer: Geoff Johns

Penciler: Scott Kolins

Inker: Dan Panosian

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in The Flash by Geoff Johns Book 2 (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up