The Flash: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Captain Cold

Captain Cold Legends of Tomorrow Poster

Legends of Tomorrow is back for its second season this month, and although Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) isn’t a regular team member any more, he’s still one of our favorite Arrowverse villains. The cold-gun wielding rogue is the ultimate Arrowverse antihero; smart, sarcastic, and looking out for number one… or is he? Since his first appearance in The Flash, we’ve watched Captain Cold grow and develop from a fairly straightforward crook to a hero with a heart of gold. He kept us laughing until the end, when his final sacrifice had us in tears.

In short, Leonard Snart is everything we want in a superhero series regular, and we can’t wait to see him pop up again in the future. Until then, we’ve taken a look back to pull together a few fun facts that you may not have known about Mr. Snart and his icy exploits. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Captain Cold.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Captain Cold Leonard Snart and Sister Lisa Backstory
Start Now

15 His Ice Obsession Comes From His Family

Captain Cold Leonard Snart and Sister Lisa Backstory

We’ve seen some of Captain Cold’s family in The CW series already. Both his sister Lisa (Peyton List) and his dad Lewis (Michael Ironside) have made appearances, with Leonard’s love for his sister often being one of his core motivations. There’s one family member that we have yet to see, however – his grandfather. Raised by an abusive dad, Leonard found solace with his grandfather, who was an ice delivery man. Riding around in the truck with his grandfather, Leonard developed a love of the cold – one that would transfer to his persona as an eventual villain.

Sadly, his grandfather died when Leonard was only twelve, and this tragedy left the future Rogue cold emotionally as well as physically. It was an accident that made Captain Cold’s gun into a freeze-ray, but it was most likely his nostalgia for ice that led to him so wholeheartedly embracing this as a villainous persona.

14 He Has A Long History With The Flash

Leonard Snart becoming Captain Cold

On the series, by the time that Leonard Snart meets Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin on the small screen), he’s an established criminal with his name on the most wanted list. In the comics, however, Snart meets the hero speedster of Central City on his first big job – and doesn’t come out on top!

The young Snart runs away from home to join a gang of thugs, but on their first outing, The Flash was able to capture Snart and his friends and put them away. After this, Leonard decided to go solo for his life of crime, and swore that he would find a way to stop The Flash from getting in his way. He did this with the creation of a new weapon, a gun that he hoped would slow the Flash down (literally). Using a ‘cyclotron’, Snart accidentally creates a cold gun and from there, he becomes Captain Cold and the enemy of The Flash. If it weren’t for Barry, Leonard Snart would be just another common crook.

13 He Is The Only Villain With Power Over Absolute Zero

Captain Cold's gun reaching absolute zero

Captain Cold isn’t the only DC villain who uses ice to battle superheroes, but he is the only one who has mastery over ‘absolute zero’ (the lowest temperature that is theoretically possible). His ‘cyclotron’ created cold gun can do all kinds of fun things by using this theoretical temperature; as well as freezing people and objects, he can create mirages (like heat mirages, but cold-based) and create cold fields (which slow enemies down) and ‘ice grenades’.

Although he didn’t intend to do this when he set out to alter his weapon, he’s a surprisingly intelligent criminal and has since learned all about his gun and how it works. He has even occasionally titled himself ‘The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero’. Not even Mr. Freeze, a better-known Batman villain, has this ability to use absolute zero as a weapon – and woe betide the person who mistakes Captain Cold for Mr. Freeze!

12 He Has Had Legitimate Superpowers

New 52 Captain Cold Leonard Snart Cryokinesis

Captain Cold is one of many human supervillains (and heroes) in the DC universe who use training, skills, and gadgets to elevate themselves to ‘super’ status. In this case, it’s Leonard Snart’s incredible cold gun that makes him a worthy opponent to The Flash, rather than a nameless common criminal. Snart is also smart, cunning and ruthless, which help him compete with the speedster (although he can never truly beat The Flash!).

However, for a brief period of time, Captain Cold actually did have superpowers. Specifically, he had the power of cryokinesis – the ability to control his cold powers with his mind, without needing to actually use his gun. This (brief) super-powered status appeared in the New 52 version of Captain Cold, where his powers were the results of experimentation (as was the condition of Lisa Snart, who was dying). He later loses these powers when he's attacked by Deathstorm, and goes back to using his classic gun.

11 He Is The First Non-Metahuman Villain In The Flash

Flash Captain Cold Gun

This lack of superpowers makes Captain Cold something of a rarity in the CW universe, especially in The Flash, where the vast majority of villains were given superpowers when the particle accelerator exploded. In fact, Captain Cold was the first non-metahuman supervillain that Barry Allen faced off against in the Arrowverse, after Clyde Mardon (the first weather-powered meta), Multiplex and The Mist. Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) is the other non-metahuman supervillain who is usually found at Captain Cold’s side, but he doesn’t actually make an appearance in the episode where we first meet Leonard Snart ("Going Rogue", Season One, Episode Four).

We do hear his voice toward the end, and he quickly joins Captain Cold in the series, but it’s Leonard who hold the title of first human supervillain on the show. Of course, neither Captain Cold nor Heatwave remain pure villains, and they are joined by other human baddies as the series continues.

10 Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell Have Paired Up Before

Captain Cold and Heatwave

In The CW series, as in the comics, Captain Cold (Miller) is partnered off with Mick Rory, aka Heatwave (Purcell). The two make a perfect team, combining hot and cold as well as brains and brawn. The Flash isn’t the first time that these two actors have teamed up, though. Miller and Purcell met on the set of the hit Fox show, Prison Break, where they played brothers and the series' co-leads.

In this show, like the Arrowverse, Purcell was the more physically powerful Lincoln Burrows, in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Miller played Michael Scofield, his brilliant and cunning brother who concocts a plan to break Lincoln out. In many ways, their roles in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow mirror their roles in Prison Break, to the extent that they reference the show in a sly one-liner in Legends, when Captain Cold flat-out says “this isn’t my first prison break”. The two will be reprising their Prison Break roles next year in a miniseries continuation of the show, and are close friends in their personal lives as well.

9 He Leads The Rogues…

First appearance of Captain Cold Leonard Snart and the Rogues

Captain Cold first appeared on an episode of The Flash titled "Going Rogue" – a clear call-out to his comic book history as a member of the Rogues. This villainous team was a collection of various lower-level bad guys who had a better chance against heroes like The Flash when they banded together. Captain Cold is recognized as the leader of the Rogues, and one who was there from the very start.

The Rogues first formed when Gorilla Grodd broke six supervillains out of prison as part of a nefarious plan to slow Barry down so he could beat him once and for all. The plan didn’t work, of course, but the Rogues were left free and decided to join forces as a team. Although Captain Cold is often considered the founder of the Rogues, he wasn’t the one who brought them together (that was Grodd), or even the one who suggested teaming up for the first time (that was actually Mirror Master).

8 …Where He Teamed Up With The Same Villains He Does On The Show

The Flash Weather Wizard Trickster Captain Cold

The original Rogues lineup from the comics included Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, The Pied Piper, Heatwave, The Top and Mirror Master, although that roster has changed throughout the years (and often includes Leonard’s sister Golden Glider). Of these Rogues, almost all have already made an appearance on The Flash, including Andy Mientus as the Pied Piper, Nick E. Tarabay as Captain Boomerang, and of course, Dominic Purcell as Heatwave.

He’s also teamed up with other on-screen villains in his comic book past, including The Trickster and Weather Wizard. (He even tried to sabotage these two in the comics, just as he did on the show.) Now, it looks like the whole team will be coming to The CW, as Grey Damon has been cast as Mirror Master and Ashley Rickards will be playing the Top this season. While the series has not hesitated to make a few creative liberties with the Flash lore, it seems that Captain Cold’s villainous friends and teammates remain (largely) the same.

7 He Helped Form The Secret Society of Super Villains

Captain Cold Leonard Snart Joining Secret Society of Super Villains

Although Captain Cold is better known as the leader of the Rogues, it’s not the only team of supervillains that he’s been involved with. He’s been a member of the Cold Warriors and the Ice Pack (both groups of cold-powered supervillains), the Injustice League, and the Legion of Doom. He’s also spent some time with the Suicide Squad and on the side of the Justice League. He was also one of the founding members of the Secret Society of Super Villains in their first iteration.

Formed by Darkseid, the team soon broke with their leader and struck out on their own, and included Captain Cold, Copperhead, Captain Boomerang, Gorilla Grodd, Mirror Master, Hi-Jack, Shadow Thief, Sinestro and The Wizard. This team quickly changed, and the Secret Society has seen many different lineups as it went from a small team to a sprawling organization. Despite being a founding member, Captain Cold left relatively quickly, and later refused to rejoin under Libra.

6 He Spent Time On A Prison Planet

Captain Cold on Salvation Run

Although Captain Cold is a long-standing enemy of The Flash, he’s routinely captured by the hero and sent to various prisons. He always breaks out to wreak more havoc, but he’s definitely done his fair share of hard time.

At one point, it was decided that an average prison just wasn’t enough to hold Earth’s most villainous villains (which is reasonable, given how often they got out!), and the Rogues were dropped on a prison planet called Salvation. The mini-series Salvation Run starts with Cold and his team (Heatwave, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Abra Kadabra) trying to survive on Salvation, before other prisoners start to arrive. Eventually, the team does get off the planet and back to Earth, of course. This time, Captain Cold manages to escape using Lex Luthor’s teleporter – one of many times that Leonard and Lex worked together. Later, he even becomes Lex’s head of security.

5 He Has Reformed Several Times

Leonard Snart holding a reindeer cup in The Flash

In The Flash, one of the (many) reasons we love Captain Cold is that he isn’t truly a villain. Although he is a criminal, he is a sympathetic one, and he goes on to become a hero in his own right. In the comics, too, Captain Cold isn’t always a bad guy. In fact, he’s reformed several times (although he’s also relapsed and returned to his criminal ways on just as many occasions).

When he first reformed, it was to become a legitimate bounty hunter with his sister Lisa Snart, using his first-hand knowledge of criminals to help catch them. During Blackest Night, Cold unwittingly saved Barry Allen by freezing Zoom, and managed to fight the Black Lanterns attacking Iron Heights. He’s also turned on other supervillain teams, although usually for his own gain, rather than the pursuit of justice. Most recently, he battled the Crime Syndicate, and was forgiven for his past crimes and declared a hero when the Syndicate was defeated.

4 He Sold His Soul To The Devil

Dc Comics Neron Devil

Captain Cold is definitely a devilish sort, but he has also literally sold his soul to the devil in the pages of DC Comics. Or, more accurately, to a devil known as Neron. Neron is the Lord of Lies, and during the events of Underworld Unleashed, he bought the souls of multiple villains in an attempt to come to Earth. Using the promise of power and riches (and real superpowers), Neron convinced Captain Cold and the rest of the Rogues to give up their souls to him.

But he’s not called the Lord of Lies for nothing, and he didn’t deliver as promised. Instead, he sent their souls to Hell and used their bodies as mindless killing machines. Captain Cold’s soul was returned to him, however, when the Trickster was able to tell the heroes of Earth how to defeat Neron. Although he still desires greater power, he’s also far from soulless these days.

3 He Has Died In The Comics (And The TV Show)

Death of Captain Cold in Futures End

It sometimes seems as though everyone in the world of comic books has died at some point, and Captain Cold is no exception. His death is relatively recent, and takes place in the Future’s End miniseries, set in the future of DC’s New 52. In this dystopian future, Captain Cold is one of the good guys, and is first seen helping an older Flash stand against the cyborg bug heroes created by Brother Eye. Their brave stand is worthless, however, and Captain Cold loses his hands to a cyborg Wonder Woman before being assimilated himself.

While he was not resurrected within this storyline, he still lives in the present day DC Universe, as Future’s End is simply a version of the future that we haven’t seen yet. This honorable death as a hero was echoed in Legends of Tomorrow, where Leonard sacrificed himself to destroy the Oculus… although, just as in the comics, death isn’t necessarily the end for The CW characters.

2 Wentworth Miller Sees Him As Pansexual

flash season 2 episode 3 captain cold rogues

Wentworth Miller, who plays Captain Cold in the Arrowverse, said in an interview that he considers the character to be pansexual. During the 2016 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, he told NewNowNext that although Leonard Snart had been presented as straight so far, he would “like to believe there are a couple extra layers to unpeel [and] I instinctively feel like he’s probably pansexual and just gets a hard-on for your soul.”.

In both comics and TV, Captain Cold doesn’t have a serious love interest, but he does do his fair share of flirting on the CW. He wouldn’t be the only LGBT character in the CW Universe, of course, as the Arrow shows already include multiple same-sex relationships, including the Central City police captain David Singh (Patrick Sabongui) and his husband, Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum) and his boyfriend, and Nyssa Al Ghul (Katrina Law), who was in a relationship with Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). He wouldn’t even be the only LGBT character on the Waverider, as White Canary Sara has made a habit of seducing women throughout history on the show.

1 He Was Originally A Joke Villain

Flash Rogues Captain Cold

When Captain Cold first appeared in the DC Universe, he was never intended to be taken too seriously. Like many other Silver Age villains, he was a little bit ridiculous, and always easily defeated by The Flash – which is why he formed the Rogues. As time went on, he developed into more of a serious villain, even being part of the team that killed Bart Allen (thanks to Inertia).

Although he still wears the fur-lined parka that has become his comic trademark, The CW version of the character is a much more legitimate threat to Barry Allen, and a surprising fan favorite. Alongside his partner-in-crime Heatwave, Captain Cold’s move from Rogue to Legend isn’t one that many would have predicted at the start, but we’re thrilled that the Arrowverse decided to take him a little more seriously. However, they haven’t forgotten about his less-than-serious beginnings, and Leonard Snart is always ready with a one-liner to make us smile.


What else should fans know about Captain Cold? Let us know in the comments.

More in Lists