The CW’s The Flash has packed a great number of well-known and obscure comic book characters into less than two seasons, but with the number of on-screen worlds about to double, fans can expect many more such appearances to come. All but the most dedicated of comic book fans would be forgiven for not knowing exactly who some of these less-recognizable heroes and villains are. With that in mind, we aim to give you a primer on the Villains of the Week who appear in tonight’s episode, “Welcome to Earth-2.”
It’s been a long time coming, but Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow will get a doppelganger makeover on tonight’s hour as the villainous Killer Frost, a DC Comics character teased in earlier episodes as glimpses of parallel words were flashed across the screen. Less expected is Robbie Amell’s return as Ronnie Raymond, a character who has sacrificed himself a number of times on Earth-1 both before and after his emergence as Firestorm, but his Earth-2 counterpart will see a very different side of him, as the imposing Deathstorm. Let’s get into it.
First of all, from a relationship standpoint, the reunion of Snow and Raymond – villainous though it may be – will be a sweet one for fans who felt that #SnowStorm never really got enough screentime together. Of the two, Killer Frost is probably the more recognizable. Originally created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, the first Killer Frost appeared in 1978’s “Firestorm #3″ as Crystal Frost. The second incarnation of the character was Dr. Louise Lincoln, a mentor of sorts to Caitlin Snow.
In the comics, Caitlin Snow was a young scientist working at S.T.A.R. Labs’ Arctic Circle station, assisting in research on a Self-Sustaining Thermodynamic Ultraconductor engine, essentially a perpetual motion machine. When her colleagues turned out to be H.I.V.E. agents in disguise, they imprisoned her within the engine where Snow ripped out the device’s coolant system, which flooded her system. Now turned into a sort of biological heat sink, Snow became the “heat vampire” known as Killer Frost.
Her powers include existing in a state of permafrost, generating ice-related weapons (cryokinesis), and absorbing energy to exist, usually in the form of the heat of a human body. After her genesis, when battling Firestorm in her hometown of Pittsburgh, she learns that his powers can temporarily neutralize her condition, leading her to research the Firestorm Matrix and attempt to recreate it.
As you might have guessed, Deathstorm is part of the Firestorm storyline, but with a few twists along the way. Deathstorm’s origin grew out of the “Green Lantern” arc “Blackest Night” in which the first Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) comes back to life as an unruly member of the Black Lantern Corps. Upon discovering that then-current Firestorm Jason Rusch and his lover Gehenna Hewitt were connected to the Firestorm Matrix, Raymond tries to sever that connection and ends up accidentally fusing with Rusch.
An epic battle within the mind of the Black Lantern Firestorm rages for quite some time, a conflict between Ronnie and Jason that spills out into the physical world during the “Brightest Day” storyline. It’s during this arc that the fighting Firestorms become aware of a third presence within the matrix: an entity that calls itself Deathstorm. As it pulls itself out of Firestorm’s chest, separating Jason and Ronnie, it takes on the identity of Death itself. Deathstorm then forces Martin Stein to fuse with him, not wanting a good mind to go to waste.
It’s a bonkers bit of comic book lore, but don’t expect The Flash to hew too closely to this one in the two episodes (or more) we’ll be spending at Earth-2. This could open up the door a bit more for some “Green Lantern” action, but again, nothing along those lines has been confirmed just yet. (Bonus Trivia: The Earth-3 version of Deathstorm is a combination of Dr. Martin Stein and a corpse he was experimenting on…)
Make sure to check out a selection of images from this week’s episode and take a look at an excellent behind-the-scenes promo below. And if you missed our exclusive clip featuring Barry Allen meeting his doppelganger, do yourself a favor and watch it before tonight’s episode airs. Then make sure to come back tonight for our episode recap, and tomorrow for our video recap show. So much The Flash!
— The Flash (@CW_TheFlash) February 9, 2016
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.