Flashback Friday: Winter Chills with the First Killer Frost
Nov 19, 2021
“Killer Frost” is the name used by a few DC Comics supervillains otherwise known as Crystal Frost, Louise Lincoln, and Caitlin Snow. They each have similar powers, including the ability to manipulate heat energy into extreme cold, but that’s not where their overlapping stories end.
The first Killer Frost’s story begins at fictional Hudson University. While Crystal was a student there, she fell madly in love with one of her professors, Martin Stein. Unfortunately, Stein did not reciprocate Crystal’s feelings, and this rejection was the major contributing factor to her absolute hatred of all men.
Years later, the mismatched pair were reunited while they were both working on a scientific project in the Arctic. During an experiment, Crystal was accidentally locked inside a thermo frost chamber. Upon emerging from the chamber, she finds that she has been granted cryokinesis, the ability to generate extreme cold from her body. To do so, she had to absorb heat from the atmosphere or other sources, so extreme heat did not burn of even affect her like it would a normal person; instead, it gave her more power. One classic Killer Frost tactic was to freeze a person to one spot and then kiss them to absorb all of the heat from their body.
Along with giving her such powers, the chamber also seemed to have some effects on Crystal’s mind and personality; she had turned into a psychotic killer who now called herself “Killer Frost.” Her first task was to kill Martin Stein, the man who had rejected her love so many years ago. In the meantime, however, Stein himself had become one-half of the fusion hero Firestorm, and he was able to subdue Killer Frost’s attack and she was sent to prison.
Even in her weakened state, she was able to take advantage of a power outage at the prison and escaped in search, once again, of Martin Stein. When Killer Frost attacks him in a Manhattan subway station, Stein quickly transforms into Firestorm and escapes her wrath. Shortly following this incident, Crystal consults with old college buddy and scientist friend Louise Lincoln and even allows Lincoln to perform experiments on her, who finds that Killer Frost’s powers are slowly killing her and that she doesn’t have long to live. At this point, Killer Frost goes completely insane and starts attacking random people. Firestorm shows up on the scene, and when Killer Frost plants one of her deadly kisses on him, his nuclear power combines with her fleeting powers in a reaction that is fatal for Killer Frost.
Upon the death of her dear friend, Louise Lincoln throws herself into one final round of experiments as a last respect. Her experiments end up transforming her into the new Killer Frost, complete with the power of thermokinetic cyrokinesis. She continues the vendetta against Firestorm, whom she blames for Crystal’s death.
This article originally appeared in Gemstone Publishing’s e-newsletter Scoop.