Written by: SMP
Okay it’s time to discuss an issue that has been nagging me across fandoms for years—the icing problem.
Yes, the icing problem. Why is it that super heroes can have any power imaginable, some of which should freak people out instead of making people cheer for them, and yet people are totally fine with them?
I mean, a guy who got bit by a spider and now has powers like a spider?! Gross! And for my arachnophobic friends out there, truly terrifying! But slap some spandex tights on the guy, give him a theme song, and we’re all cheering along!
Aliens from other planets? Totally fine as long as they are fine and wear a cape!
Raging monster with multiple personality disorder? Sweet!
Claws come flying out of this guy’s hands on command? Even better!
But you give a person the power over ice? And suddenly all choice, memory, or control is gone! Why is that? What is it about ice that makes this messed up concept run through so many stories? You doubt me?
Well, let’s recap!
#1 Mr. Freeze
Found in the Batman stories and movies. Mr. Freeze was a doctor specializing in cryogenics (the idea that you can freeze yourself now and be brought back to life in the future when technology is good enough to keep you alive forever). Something went wrong (different versions out there), and his body temperature ended up dropping until he needed to wear a freezing suit to stay alive. He then created a cold gun that he uses to terrorize Batman and Gotham City. Villain.
#2 Captain Cold aka Leonard Snart
Speaking of cold guns, we also have Captain Cold in The Flash series running around in Central City as the leader of the “Rogues.” Though he can vary between good guy or bad guy, we’d still have to ultimately classify him as a villain, although to be fair, he was a convict before he ever got his hands on his cold gun. P.S.- Why must Wentworth Miller always play a con, dying and coming back, for the people he cares about?
#3 Killer Frost
While we’re in the Flash Multiverse, we need to address what happened to Caitlin Snow in Season 3 of The Flash. Why can Barry have speed (okay everyone and their dog has speed), Cisco can tell the future and teleport, Ronny and Professor Stein can fly and shoot flames, and they are ALL good. The powers didn’t change who they were. But Caitlin can make things cold and suddenly she has an alter ego freaky personality?! Why?
Wally’s the one who got his powers from an evil source, but he’s still good. Caitlin gets zapped by the particle accelerator like everyone else after “flash point,” and suddenly she’s a villain? What the?! All part of the ice power conspiracy, I tell you!
In Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, the original snow queen was bad. Disney planned to follow that story line in the beginning of writing Frozen, but tweaked the story so Elsa was more of a victim of her own powers instead. But why? The troll even says, “Born or cursed?” when asking her parents where her powers came from.
Why are ice powers a curse? And though she isn’t technically a villain in this story, her ice powers are definitely the main conflict of the story. They even took the same angle of being afraid of your powers and used it in the Once Upon a Time-Frozen story as well.
#5 Jadis aka the White Witch
Another evil snow queen that deserves a mention here is the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia. Terrifying children through the ages.
The evil queen takes over the land and promptly turns Narnia into a frozen wasteland where it’s always winter and never Christmas! So messed up! Villain.
#6 The Frost Giants
In the movie and comics for Thor, the Frost Giants are enemies of the Asgardians. Just look at them!
Of course they’re villains! And Loki, the son of the Frost Giant king, is indeed evil. What I’ve never understood is why he never uses his ice powers. He has access to “the casket” or source of the ice giants’ powers.
But instead he uses infinity stones and magic his adoptive mom taught him. Curious…
#7 Jack Frost
Poor Jack Frost isn’t exactly a villain, although he is considered a nuisance at the beginning of the story. And he is the ONLY guardian who lost his memory. All the other guardians remember exactly where they came from, but Jack? Nope. He got the curse of the ice powers, all lost and alone in the universe.
Which really, makes the whole shipping thing with him and Elsa work even more. Really, no one wants Disney to make a Frozen sequel because they’ll either make her a lesbian or make her get with some other guy when all anyone really wants is for Jack and Elsa to cross Dreamworks/Disney boundaries and be together.
I have to give a full analysis here to be fair. Frozone is the only one with cold powers that isn’t a bad guy or cursed by his powers that I could think of. He does get banned from using them (and being true to himself, also kind of like Elsa), but everyone who was super in that story was also banned, so he’s good.
P.P.S. Did anyone else think it was pretty sweet how Killer Frost took a move from Frozone when she went completely evil? Yeah, that was fun.
In conclusion, like most cold cases, the mystery of why writers almost always associate cold powers with some form of victim syndrome or villainy remains a mystery.