|"Freezing to Death"|
|Series:||Justice League of America|
|First Published:||September 11, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Deadshot #1|
|Next Issue:||Shadow Thief #1|
Synopsis for "Freezing to Death"
Three years ago, Dr. Caitlin Snow arrived in the Arctic to run a project at S.T.A.R. Labs Outpost #72. She was greeted there by Dr. Joseph Nolan, who was her second in command. He had heard already that she was the youngest and brightest scientist that S.T.A.R. had ever recruited. She'd be in good company up there, though, because despite being underfunded, the outpost was home to several of the most intelligent scientists in the world. After being introduced to her team as the replacement for their last lead-researcher, Dr. Lincoln, Caitlin was eager to see the chamber, and failed to notice the scowls that her colleagues wore when her back was turned. Dr. Louise Lincoln had wandered out into the snow at night, and frozen to death, and how someone as intelligent as she could have done something like that was a matter of suspicion. The chamber contained the Self Sustaining Thermodynamic Ultra conductor Engine; or STU for short. The engine was designed to subvert the second law of thermodynamics in order to create perpetual motion. Despite being Lincoln's greatest achievement, it was also her death, and though her colleagues warned Caitlin against looking over the dead doctor's notes, she had been curious to see what had been accomplished. Caitlin loved her assignment, though she had essentially been sent in order to keep the meager funding coming until a replacement crew arrived. She had tried to relax, but eventually, seeing how close Dr. Lincoln had come to getting the engine to do the impossible, she became obsessed with trying to make it work as well. After all, in a world where someone like Superman could exist, why couldn't the laws of physics be subverted? After days of tinkering, Caitlin activated the engine and was filled with glee when it it whirred into motion. However, just moments after meeting with success, someone appeared behind her, and knocked her unconscious. She woke in the chamber of the STU engine, with Dr. Nolan and her colleagues looking in on her. They explained that they had underestimated her. She was never supposed to complete Dr. Lincoln's work for S.T.A.R. They had secretly been hired away from S.T.A.R. by H.I.V.E., and they were expected to ensure that the engine was never made public in order to protect H.I.V.E.'s investments in the energy industry. Readily, Nolan admitted that they were responsible for Lincoln's death, and, they would be responsible for hers. To Caitlin's horror, they activated the engine, and she was caught in a beam of energy. Her presence in the circuit caused the ultra conductor to feedback onto itself, and the scientists all dropped to the floor expecting an explosion that never arrived. In her attempts to save herself, Caitlin had ripped out the wires for the engine's coolant system. The unexpected result was that Caitlin's body was encased in a sphere of ice. When the cautious scientists investigated, they were surprised when she broke out of the ice. Her initial actions were entirely instinctive. She was hungry; hungry for warmth. To feed, she grabbed her colleagues, and took their warmth forcibly, killing them. By the time she cornered Dr. Nolan, she had gained an understanding of what had happened to her. The combination of the super coolant and the ultra conductor's overloading had changed her. Though he tried to ply her with promises of help from H.I.V.E., he soon became her victim as well. Though Caitlin could no longer feel the cold, she was plagued by a hunger to fill her emptiness with human life force. She had to kill to get it. She wandered from the outpost to a Norwegian research camp, and took their warmth as well, stealing their helicopter to get back to her hometown of Pittsburgh. That was where she first encountered Firestorm. Since returning home, she had created a suit to help her retain heat, but she still needed to kill to recharge. While fighting Firestorm, though, she had had been surprised to feel herself transforming back into her real self, thanks to his heat blasts. Unfortunately, the effects soon reversed, and she was enraged by the loss of that chance. She knew that Firestorm could help her, but he would rebuff her every time. Even so, she learned something about the Firestorm Matrix with every encounter, and tried to recreate it herself. Every attempt to do so failed, though, in his absence. When she learned that the Justice League - and Firestorm with them had been killed by the Crime Syndicate, she had been enraged, rather than relieved. He had been her one chance to get back to normal, and if he was dead, her hopes would die with him.
Appearing in "Freezing to Death"
- Joseph Nolan (Dies in This Issue)
- Sarah Viera (Dies in This Issue)
- Tobias Thomas (Dies in This Issue)
- Daniel Edwards (Dies in This Issue)
- S.T.A.R. Labs Outpost #72
- Self Sustaining Thermodynamic Ultra Conductor Engine
- None Known
- A letter on Dr. Snow's desk is addressed to "Loise Lincoln" a misspelling of Louise Lincoln.
- Dr. Lincoln's quote is from her journal, not directly spoken.