The Flash is stepping up its game by introducing one of Barry Allen's greatest enemies, Heat Wave. Not only that, but he is teaming up with new fan favorite Captain Cold. Dominic Purcell will play Heat Wave, aka Mick Rory, on The Flash. Purcell will reunite with his Prison Break co-star Wentworth Miller, who plays Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, in the series' tenth episode. The introduction of Heat Wave means the writers have been brushing up on their comics and mining The Flash's rich history to introduce villains that live up to the other fun parts of the show. In an interview with HitFix, Miller said he had a hand in casting his former co-star. He went as far as contacting Purcell about the role and suggesting him to the producers. Their history together and great onscreen chemistry will bring an awesome layer to these characters. But who is Heat Wave in the DC comics?
As a kid growing up just outside of Central City, Mick became obsessed with fire. His pyromania led him to do some heinous things including not calling for help as his family's home burnt down. After watching the villainous group the Rogues, he decided to utilize his love of fire to become a villain and created his own weaponry and suit. Eventually, Captain Cold invited him to join the Rogues. At one point Heat Wave reformed as a criminal, only to come back into the game. Originally, he was created to be a rival for Captain Cold, but writer Geoff Johns (who is also an executive producer on The Flash) added some interesting layers to their relationship. Heat Wave became close partners with Captain Cold and turned to him to keep his pyromania under control.
Heat Wave has far more brutality than Captain Cold, and it will be interesting to see how the show develops the characters. The Flash seems to understand the antagonistic partnership that defines Captain Cold and Heat Wave in the comics, based on Mick's offscreen introduction at the end of last Tuesday's episode. It will be interesting to see how the show develops their very different forms of being a criminal.
Like Captain Cold, in the New 52 comic series Mick gained actual superhuman powers. It remains to be seen if his and Leonard's counterparts on The Flash will also go through that transformation. But what does Heat Wave have in store for The Flash?
With these villains teaming up, Barry is going to need all the help he can get. Considering their importance in the comics, we'll probably be seeing Captain Cold and Heat Wave on the show for a long time. However even if he doesn't stick around for as long as he deserves to, fans should be excited for the casting of Heat Wave. Teaming him up with Captain Cold means Barry won't be able to bluff his way out of certain death. He'll need to rely on his intelligence just as much as his speed to take down these new partners in crime. Heat Wave's brutality and casting will add a much needed dynamic to the show. After all, what is a superhero without compelling villains?
Images: Jack Rowland/The CW; DC Comics