The Cold Gun was first seen in Showcase #8 - The Secret of the Empty Box! / The Coldest Man on Earth!
The gun was created by the villain Captain Cold & is used to combat The Flash, a speedster in the DCU.
The gun was created by Leonard Snart as means to combat the superhero known as The Flash. While Snart was serving prison time after his first encounter with the Scarlet Speedster he began to study kinetic energy and thermal motion, eventually the concept of Absolute Zero caught his eye.
Snart learned that temperature is determined by atomic movement. The faster an atom is moving the hotter something is, as atoms begin to slow down the temperature drops and objects become colder. Absolute Zero means that an object has zero atomic motion.
While Snart got out on parole he broke into one of the labs that he had been reading about, not a gifted scientist he stole blue prints from the labs database. Using the blueprints for the "Thermal Motion Negator Engine X" he was able to craft himself a weapon.
Snart needed something to power his weapon however and quickly learned of a simple form of centralized radiation within the magnetic circles of cyclotron radiation. Using this form of radiation he was able to power up his Cold Gun and begin his life as the Super Villain known as Captain Cold.
Captain Cold's weapon is one of the most advanced Cold technologies in the DCU, famed expert on Cryogenics, Mister Freeze, has remarked that Captain Cold's weapon is leagues above his own technologies.
The following are abilities granted to Cold while using his Cold Gun
- Absolute Zero - When discussing Captain Cold absolute zero is one of the phrases thrown around. Captain Cold's weapon is able to operate at the lowest possible temperature, this is known as absolute zero. When an object is hit with a blast of absolute zero it's atomic motion is slowed down to a stop, this goes for any object that passes through the field.
- Cold Field Projection - Captain Cold is able to create a wide field of absolute zero temperatures that he has dubbed his 'Cold Field'. The field can be of varying sizes as he can create either a bubble around himself or others while also creating a small shield in front of himself. The field is invisible to the eye, however those with great perception might notice a shimmering when the field is activated. The field is incredibly durable and is able to withstand elemental blasts such as lightning. The field is also able to instantly freeze or stop anything that enters this field, it has been shown to stop bullets in mid air and has slowed The Flash down to a crawl.
- Ice Blasts - It is a misconception that the Cold Gun actually fires ice, in fact it only fires beams of absolute zero. This temperature is so cold however that it turns the water in the air into ice, thus giving the illusion that he can "shoot ice". The blasts are quite complex however and he has been shown to use them to create large pillars or spikes of ice to impale his foes. He has also created giant walls of thick ice using the Cold Gun.
In the Silver Age Captain Cold was also able to use his gun to create complex illusions and mirages, these fooled Barry Allen on more than one occasion; however, after COIE it seems the Cold Gun has either lost this ability or writers forgot about it.
Owners / Users
The Cold Gun is the main weapon of the Rogue known as Captain Cold, however it has been used by various character within the DCU, these characters include:
- Captain Cold - Main Weapon & Creator.
- Chill - Given a Cold Gun by the Penguin & was one of the "New Rogues".
- The Flash - Wally West once dismantled a Cold Gun in order to learn how it worked, he then used this information to modify a cyclotron in S.T.A.R. Labs in order to prevent an alien invasion.
- Chillblaine - A thug who was hired by Golden Glider, Captain Cold's Sister. Chillblaine was given the weapon by Glider however he then used it to kill her. Chillblaine met his demise when Captain Cold sought him out for revenge and proved that he was far superior when it came to using the weapon.
The New 52
In the New 52 the weapon was still created by Leonard Snart / Captain Cold. In this incarnation Snart was infused with the powers of his weapon, turning him from a tech using villain into a meta human.
Due to the genetic modifications made by a member of the Crime Syndicate member known as Deathstrom, the weapon was separated from Snart's DNA.
Snart is now a member of the Justice League & is using this signature Cold Gun.
During the Forever Evil Arc it was shown that Snart installed some sort of Voice Activation into the Cold Gun. By saying the phrase "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" he can activate the gun causing it to fire a blast of absolute zero. This function was used to freeze & then shatter the leg of Johnny Quick, the evil version of Flash from the Crime Syndicate.
In Other Media
- The cold gun appears in the Flash live-action show. In the series, the device's origin is slightly different. The weapon was built by Cisco Ramon in order to neutralize Barry Allen in case he turned out to be a villain, something which causes friction between the two young men. It was later stolen from STAR Labs and sold to a black market weapons dealer, who in turn tried to sell the device to Leonard Snart. After being reassured the no one else knew about the cold gun, Snart killed the dealer and took the gun for himself, which he subsequently used in his various plans to defeat the Flash. The cold gun in the show is shown to be much larger than its comic counterpart, likely in an attempt to make it seem more realistic.