Mayfairstivus – Captains Cold & Boomerang in the 1989 DC Heroes RPG

Today’s guest post is by Frank Lee Delano.

Hello, Flash fans! I go by the alias Frank Lee Delano, was voted second most likely to run entirely too many blogs (after Rob Kelly,) and I will be your substitute teacher for the day. For the second year in a row, I’m running a complex and lengthy inter-blog crossover between Thanksgiving and Christmas, in part because I’m a sadistic misanthrope who takes his hatred of the holidays out on my unsuspecting fellow bloggers. The theme this year is Mayfairstivus, a make believe holiday where we celebrate the Mayfair Games Incorporated DC Heroes role-playing system and its many releases. A large part of the blame for this type of event falls on the shoulders of The Irredeemable Shag, who brought me into his own crossover, Crisis on Earth-Blog, almost two years ago, and continues to conspire with me on these dirty dealings. Shag was your guest blogger forMayfairstivus – Celebrating Flash in the DC Heroes RPG, and when I volunteered to write a second post while your regularly scheduled Kelson was tending to his newborn son, Shag offered the advice, “I believe his blog is typically on the positive/up-beat side, so I wouldn’t trash Captain Boomerang too much (but that’s just me).” As I believe I already established that I am diabolical and make all my promises through crossed fingers, I now present to you Captains Cold and Boomerang, whom I will surely criticize venomously.

I assume I first became aware of Captain Cold through the Super Friends cartoon show, because that’s just what people of my generation did (see also: mustachioed men wearing mirrored aviators and Lacoste polos with skimpy tennis shorts defending original Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.) As you may or may not be aware, Ape Law* dictates that every super-hero must have an ice-themed villain, so to me Captain Cold was just Mr. Freeze on a budget. It wasn’t until John Ostrander wrote Cold into his first Manhunter script as a loser who loved betting baseball that Leonard Snart felt like he had something unique to contribute to the field, as more of a blue collar snow blower. Of course, now Snart is a fan favorite, after taking on a Golden Age attitude toward casual homicide. If you’re going to flash freeze some dope in the equivalent of liquid nitrogen, you might as well indulge the bloodlust of Rome by punching the schmuck’s head into a pink-tinged flurry, right? So cool, Captain Cold is now the baddest gangsta to wear a fur-lined hoodie.

For all this, Captain Cold still didn’t get a character card of his own out of the 1989 Mayfair box set. The only member of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery so honored was Captain Boomerang, not that the set was exactly flush with villains. Boomerang only made the cut because the cards focused heavily on protagonists from solo and team books being published in ’89, one of which featured our own George “Digger” Harkness. Captain Boomerang was so clearly out of step with the times in his festive blue tunic with the little white boomerangs all over it, billowy scarf, and dainty little garrison cap on top. DC had already killed off the Barry Allen Flash, so you could expect to wring some tension out of positioning one of his villains as a member of their new Suicide Squad, infamous for its high cast member mortality rate. A funny thing happened on the way to the stunt death, though. Digger turned out to be Australian, which was very hip in the ’80s, and he was a lovable scumbag, which endeared him to readers. Once again, it was writer John Ostrander who deftly put forth the case that Captain Boomerang suffered from what I like to call Batroc Syndrome.

You see, Batroc the Leaper is the master of savate, a form of kickboxing. Batroc has employed his French foot boxing across the faces of such luminaries as the Punisher, Hawkeye and the Tarantula, but his toes of fury are typically directed as Captain America, which the Star-Spangled Avenger dismisses like day old Freedom Fries. Captain Boomerang used an 18th century Aboriginal flying tool to rob banks and to fling at a man who could run at supersonic speeds. That couldn’t possibly end well. Yet, for performing as well as he did against the Flash, you just know Digger could have killed the heck out of Green Arrow if he’d set up shop in Star City instead of Central. That takes moxie. Captain Boomerang even has it all over Batroc, because instead of speaking in a farcical Français, he’s got a guttural Aussie accent, which makes everything sound dirty. Just to spike the ball, instead of paraphrasing cheesy Crocodile Dundee lines, Captain Boomerang would use his weapon of choice to do jacked-up stuff like chop people’s fingers off. I guess what I’m trying to say is I can’t suck down the Captain Cold Kool-Aid Fruit Pop because Captain Boomerang already beat him to the punch as the original and authentic stone cold rogue.

If you’d like to role-play them in a fight to determine who’s best, their stats are illustrated above. Captain Boomerang’s remained the same through to the final 1993 Mayfair releases, but Cold saw a bit of volatility before the end of the game’s life. Snart gained a point each of Mind and Thief, but lost a point of Weaponry and two in Initiative. Captain Cold lost Lightning Reflexes as a skill, and his change in occupation from criminal to bounty hunter cost him a point of wealth. His Cold Gun developed an additional point of Body and the power of Suspension to the tune of 13.

If you enjoyed this post, I try to be just as snarky on my other blogs. If you didn’t enjoy this post, there are a bunch of other bloggers involved in the Mayfairstivus crossover with hearts that are not at least two sizes too small. To make it easy for you, I’ve divided up the festival table to help you pick at your specific buffet items of interest…

The Anti-Didio League of America:

The Aquaman Shrine:

Being Carter Hall:


Comics Make Me Happy!

The Continuity Blog:

DC Bloodlines 1989 Character Cards:

Diana Prince as The New Wonder Woman 1989 Character Cards:

Doom Patrol: My Greatest Adventure #80:

Firestorm Fan:

Girls Gone Geek:

The Idol-Head of Diabolu:

The Indigo Tribe:

Justice League Detroit:

Once Upon a Geek:

Power of the Atom:

Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery:

Speed Force:

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary:

Also, you might want to try Subject: Suicide Squad [Task Force X], which offers regular Captain Boomerang coverage!

*Okay, maybe that was a bit random and overly long, but it’s apes in the old west and you’re Flash fans. It seemed appropriate.


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