Tag Archives: Captain Cold

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 3

A recap of the list so far:

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)

And now, onward and upward!

15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)

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It’s a tough task trying to be a menacing villain in a comedy-heavy film like Thor: Ragnarok, but Cate Blanchett pulls it off wonderfully. Hela is powerful and incredibly deadly, while still managing to throw in a couple dabs of humor as well without making her seem like any less of a threat. It’s a testament to her ability as an actress to strike that perfect balance. My only disappointment with Hela, and it’s nothing to do with anything Cate Blanchett did, is that Hela was not used as the stand-in for Death in The Avengers: Infinity War.

14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)

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While Wentworth Miller’s take on The Flash’s nemesis, Leonard Snart, might rank at #14 on this list of best portrayals, it might be among my absolute favorites personally. As I’m not a huge fan of the character in the comics, I never expected to love it so much in a live-action setting…but man do I. Incredibly charismatic, with a line delivery that borders almost on the absurd, but regardless draws you in, Captain Cold is highlight of The Flash, and the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, as he attempts to gain some redemption for his past transgressions, but still manages to keep his twisted sense of morality.

13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)

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The first truly homicidal psychopath Joker to grace the screen. Even though Jack Nicholson did a great job bringing the Clown Prince of Crime to life, much like Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octopus, I was not a fan of linking the villain to the hero in a personal fashion unnecessarily. In the comics, the Joker is not the man that murdered Batman’s parents (that distinction goes to petty criminal Joe Chill), and changing that fact served no purpose in the film other than being able to deliver the “You made me!/You made me first.” line. But even still, his actual performance hits the high notes of the zany, ultra violent insanity we’ve come to expect from the Joker.

12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)

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He may not have been any sort of physical threat to Captain America, Helmut Zemo was one the most dangerous villains in the MCU. His methodical approach to exacting revenge on the Avengers for the deaths of his family in Sokovia by forcing them to turn on each other, was absolutely brilliant. I loved the subtlety in his performance. When you have a film with so many big hero personalities, trying to squeeze another big villain personality could have made the film feel over full. So choosing to tone Zemo back and have him operate mostly in the shadows was fantastically done. He’s also distinct among movie villains, in that he actually achieved his goal. While Cap and Iron Man didn’t kill each other, their bond was broken and most of the Avengers were left as fugitives. I only wish he would have donned some form of his mask from the comics at some point.

11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)

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Magneto has long been among my favorite villains in the comics. He is the perfect example of how a person’s life experiences shape their world view, and Ian McKellen…and to a lesser extent Michael Fassbender…have done an amazing job bringing that to the big screen. McKellen’s portrayal is layered, powerful, and multi-faceted. His hatred and rage, even when more subdued and subtle, are always very tangible and delivered in a way that is believable and understable. He’s also rare in that while most villains end up dead in comic book movies, he has managed to survive through multiple films.

Come back tomorrow where we’ll crack the top 10 among the best live-action performances of comic book villains. See you then.

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Top 5 Rogues Galleries in Comics – #4

Last week, we took a look at the rogues gallery of Marvel’s super team, The Avengers. This week we get our first solo hero on the list.

The Flash

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Coming in at #4 in our countdown of villain collections is DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster, The Flash. While there have been several different characters to hold the title of The Flash, the crop of villains associated with the title have remained pretty consistent.

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Much like The Flash himself, the title of Reverse Flash has been used  by multiple villains. They’ve all typically worn costumes that are the opposite color scheme of The Flash, literally being his “reverse”. Despite being the second villainous speedster (behind The Rival), Eobard Thawne was the first to be referred to as Reverse Flash. He quickly became the nemesis of the second incarnation of The Flash, Barry Allen. His singular objective is to cause pain and suffering to Barry Allen and those he loves. He is responsible for the death of Barry’s wife Iris, and through his ability to use his speed to travel through time, also Barry’s mother Nora.

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The third speedster villain, and nemesis of Kid Flash, Wally West. Unlike The Rival and Professor Zoom, Zoom does not actually have superhuman speed, but rather slows time around him which essentially mimics the effects of super speed. Hunter Zolomon was once a cop and close friend of Wally West, but after an attack on Iron Heights Prison left him paralyzed from the waist down, and Wally refusing to alter the timeline to prevent it, Zolomon attempted to alter it himself using The Flash’s time traveling device the Cosmic Treadmill. When it exploded, he regained the use of his legs, but was left detached from the timeline. Using his new found abilities, he followed in the other Reverse Flash’s footsteps and began tormenting The Flash.

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Leonard Snart, otherwise known as Captain Cold, may be more concerned with profit as a criminal than he is the suffering of The Flash, but he has proven to be a rather large thorn in the side of The Scarlet Speedster. He is a master strategist and criminal mastermind, but is definitely most known for his use of the Cold Gun that can freeze anything down to absolute zero temperatures. Snart has shown the ability to begrudingly work with The Flash when it suits his own ends, though these cooperations tend to be short-lived. Captain Cold has also been the sometimes leader of a team appropriately named The Rogues comprised of major Flash villains like Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, The Trickster, Heat Wave, The Top, and Captain Boomerang.

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Gorilla Grodd was granted super-intelligence, telepathy, and telekinesis by an alien after its spacecraft crashed into the jungle. After using Grodd and his fellow gorillas to build a super-advanced civilization known as Gorilla City, Grodd has the alien killed and assumes rule of the city with world domination as his next goal. Eventually gaining the ability to control the minds of others, Grodd has become a prominent antagonist against The Flash. Has also been an occasional member of The Rogues as well.

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When an unexplained mystical event renders Richard Swift ageless and immortal, with the ability to conjur, control, and travel through shadows and darkness, The Shade was born. The Shade has been a foe of both the Jay Garrick and Barry Allen incarnations of The Flash. Seemingly unable to be harmed by any form of inury (once had his heart ripped out and continued to live), he is a worthy foe for The Scarlet Speedster. He is only vulnerable when he is rendered shadowless. Meaning his shadow must be removed through magical means or by surrounding him with light so he casts no shadow at all.