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Blizzard (Shapanka) (Iron Man enemy) with the blue suit

Blizzard

(Dr. Gregor Shapanka profile #2) (a.k.a. Jack Frost)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Blizzard is an Iron Man jobber  villain from the 1970s. He had a cool costume/weapon and was particularly handy.

I remember him as a classic baddie, but his actual career was pretty short. It just happened to match my arrival into the world of super-hero comics.

This profile assumes that you’ve just read the Jack Frost (Gregor Shapanka) profile. Among other things the Jack Frost II profile has his origin sequence.


Background

  • Real Name: Dr. Gregor Shapanka
  • Other Aliases: The Human Snowstorm, “Ice Man” (as Hulk called him), Jack Frost II
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Employee of Justin Hammer
  • Base of Operations: New York City
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers & Abilities

The Blizzard costume is a great improvement over the Jack Frost costume. It likely relied on additional engineering from experts employed by Justin Hammer. Shapanka boasted that his Blizzard suit was “a million times” more powerful than his Jack Frost one, but that was exaggeration.

His costume’s ice-wielding powers are no longer limited to encasing people in oxygenated ice. He carries his own tank of water so he can create ice under any moisture conditions. He can generate an actual blizzard about him, very cold and drastically limiting visibility (in DC Heroes terms Fog, Temperature Control).

Blizzard can deliver many attacks : volleys of ice daggers, heavy ice spears, jagged flow of ice, barrage of large, sub-zero sleet, etc. or even pure cold. These are way sharper than they should be, and one such projectile actually managed to shear through Iron Man‘s power armour . How they are propelled with such force is unclear.

Other applications of the Blizzard suit include :

  • body armour distributed within the costume, allowing him to withstand a few powerful attacks
  • complete cold-proofing, and soles allowing him to walk or skate on ice
  • covering surfaces in slippery ice with “cold beams”
  • super-cooling materials to make them brittle, and thus vulnerable against further attacks (including Blizzard’s)
  • moving around by sliding on ramps of solid ice with perfect balance, like Iceman (Robert Drake). Somehow he can even slide *up* such ramps at a good clip. Blizzard has also occasionally created ice stairways, or floating mini-icebergs
  • coating himself in ice armour that doesn’t hinder him, and reinforces the power of his punches
  • drastically slowing down ageing. Daredevil noted that Shapanka’s heart was beating far more slowly than normal when he was suited up
  • creating super-dense ice. How that happens is unclear, but applications have included :
    • most projectiles that Blizzard hurls (which is part of why they’re so deadly)
    • freezing projectiles in his vicinity (such as bullets fired at him) with ice so dense that they crash into the ground
    • covering flying targets in ice so dense and heavy that they’ll crash
    • covering a small boat in ice much denser than water, making it sink

Power level

During his first appearance as Blizzard, Shapanka was genuinely dangerous. He then sharply declined to become a D-list jobber.

The factors explaining his initial lethality were :

  • higher morale and momentum (in DC Heroes terms, doubled Hero Points )
  • a lucky shot that ripped through Iron Man’s armour and exposed him to the cold (in DC Heroes terms, he rolled a good double)
  • blanketing the battlefield in a severe blizzard. Once Shapanka started teaming up with other jobbers he couldn’t do that anymore (lest his allies be caught within), but this thing was a damage field that denied visibility to his opponent. It was bloody dangerous.
  • lack of preparation against cold-based attacks on Tony Stark’s end. That was corrected by the time their first clash ended.

Most projectile attacks using the Blizzard suits are large beams or volleys of projectiles, and Shapanka is well-trained with those. This means that he’s likely to consistently hit his targets… unless he’s dealing with extraordinarily agile persons such as Daredevil.

During his last appearance, Dr. Shapanka seemed confused and diminished, perhaps even lethargic.


History

After his 1963 arrest as Jack Frost, Dr. Shapanka vanished. He wasn’t seen again until 1976. At that point he was using the name Blizzard. He also sported a much better looking, more powerful costume.

It seems likely that Shapanka has begun to associate with criminal financier and industrialist Justin Hammer. Hammer was clandestinely acting as a patron for minor, tech-based super-villains such as Shapanka.

Shapanka escaped from prison using a fully-assembled Blizzard suit. It thus seems possible that Hammer’s men corresponded with him and has micro-circuits and other components smuggled in via other prisoners and guards on the take.

Climate change

Blizzard single-handedly invaded the Stark research plant in Long Island, where he had once worked. He froze all nearby persons and covered the complex in snow. When Iron Man (Tony Stark) responded, Blizzard overwhelmed him. He might have killed him, but “Pepper” Potts-Hogan came in.

Blizzard was after the “Climatron”, a weather manipulation device he had worked in before being locked up. Being too dangerous, this machine had been locked into a Stark vault for years. But Shapanka intended to use it for blackmail.

Blizzard vs. Iron Man (cover detail)

He walked out with it, but ranting at Pepper apparently made him forget about finishing off Iron Man. Pepper revived the armoured hero using a nearby generator.

Iron Man intercepted Blizzard over the Long Island Sound, destroying the Climatron. He then used electrical equipment he had cobbled together to resist Blizzard’s attack then burn out Shapanka’s suit micro-circuitry. Shapanka was arrested and spent several months in prison.

It was perhaps at that point that Blizzard was plucked from the time stream by Zarrko and brought to 1995. There he briefly fought a modified Fantastic Four team, along with other villains from the 1940s, 60s and 70s. He was then slung back into his relative present , quite possibly without any memory of the incident.

Blackmail in print

In 1977 Shapanka managed to reassemble his suit, possibly getting smuggled equipment again (though of course he didn’t mention it if that was the case). He checked that his costume worked, but he didn’t have access to a power source sufficient to do anything worthwhile with it.

Right at this point Electro (Maxwell Dillon) escaped by electrically blowing his cell up. This charged up Blizzard’s suit, but there was too much energy and it partially fused the costume with Shapanka’s body, internalizing some powers. This didn’t appear to have much of an effect, though – but might explain a later mutation (see infra).

Blizzard and Electro allied to steal the payroll of the Daily Bugle and the Daily Globe, but J.J. Jameson published a coded message for help on the front page. Both Daredevil (Matthew Murdock) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) intervened and defeated their foes.

It may be after this incident that Dr. Shapanka worked on a robot that would super-freeze his body after his death.

Stop ! Hammer time

In 1979, Blizzard teamed up with 2 other Hammer associates – Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti) and Melter (Bruno Horgan). They raided an Atlantic City casino, but ran into Iron Man.

By then, Stark’s suit was too powerful for any of them to handle individually. Yet, they managed a good bit of teamwork, with Blizzard and Melter using simultaneous cold and heat attacks to weaken Iron Man’s suit. This left Stark vulnerable to Whiplash’s blow. However, before they could kill Iron Man, Stark’s bodyguard Bethany Cabe broke their combo and the trio was defeated.

Justin Hammer had them freed almost immediately, as he was marshalling his forces for his big showdown against Iron Man. During the famous battle at Hammer’s floating villa, Blizzard and Melter combined their beams anew, but in the chaos nobody took advantage of that opening. Iron Man defeated everyone.

He’s as cold as ice

*Apparently*, Dr. Shapanka then mutated as the reaction started by Electro a few years before ran his course.

Now with an inhuman appearance and cold powers, he easily escaped and hid in the Rockies, living as an hermit for a few months. Howbeit, the Hulk stumbled upon his hideout and buried him under tonnes of rock and ice. See the Jack Frost (Gregor Shapanka) profile for more.

Blizzard returned years later, in 1986. Though there was no overt sign of the misadventure with the Hulk and he was back to human form, Shapanka was oddly lethargic and inaccurate.

It is *possible* that the Hulk and/or his temporary mutation left him with sequellae such as brain damage. But this is a long shot and not supported by anything overt in the material.

Winter comes to an end

An oddly unfocused Shapanka attempted to rob a bank with a crew of armed henchmen. Spider-Man stopped him with the barest of effort. In fact Blizzard apparently didn’t have time to actually commit a crime, as he was out by the next day.

Blizzard faces Iron Man 2020

The dark blue Blizzard suit was confiscated, but Dr. Shapanka had been working on a more powerful, white suit.

Blizzard tried to gain revenge on Spider-Man. Although he did not manage to catch Spidey he saw him with a boy that seemed to be his friend. Shapanka nabbed the kid, hoping to use him to draw Spider-Man to him.

A man in an Iron man suit then swept in and captured the kid. Blizzard angrily struck back, downing “Iron Man”.

Unbeknownst to Shapanka, this man was actually Arno Stark aka Iron Man 2020, coming from the future. This Stark had none of the inhibitions against killing of his ancestor, and returned fire with deadly repulsors. Never realising he was not fighting “his” Iron Man and what was happening, Shapanka was obliterated by the blast.

Post mortem

Justin Hammer’s men later updated the Blizzard technology and trained a new man to wear the suit. See our Blizzard (Donnie Gill) profile for much more.

At an unclear point before his death, Dr. Shapanka built one or more robots – quite possibly with the help of Hammer experts, since he never otherwise displayed skills in robotics. Using a version of the Blizzard costume, these robots were programmed to activate after Shapanka’s death, recover his corpse and freeze it.

Presumably, his hope was that medical science would one day be able to resurrect him.

Such robots have occasionally attacked Iron Man, wrongly assuming that he held Shapanka’s corpse (which was burned to a cinder by Iron Man 2020). One such attack occurred in 2011. Howbeit, they don’t seem that dangerous given the power of modern Iron Man suits.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Shapanka’s condition has worsened into megalomania. He wants all the money, and to be feared by everyone. He talks like a haughty lord wielding immense power, dripping with contempt about everyone. He insists that he’s in control, the smartest man around, and that everybody else is a cretin.

As can be seen in the quotes he’s big on theatrical, overwrought, sesquipedalian villain tirades. In fact he might even forget what he was doing as he focuses on delivering his lines.

Embittered and unbalanced by his time in prison, Shapanka seems to have rewritten history. In his take, Stark had him arrested to steal his work and he was condemned by corrupt judges.


Quotes

“I knew feigning helplessness would cause you to lower your guard… and now, you costumed cretin, before you can recover… recoil before the power of Blizzard !” (launches a volley of ice darts)

“Consider it a mission of vengeance, Iron Man — the righting of a wrong you did to a man you no longer even remember ! Think of it as payment for years of suffering at your hands ! Years of humiliation ! Think of it anyway you want to, you armoured clod ! Think of it on your way to Hell !”

“But [Stark] reckoned without the power of Blizzard – Intense concentrations of sub-zero cold !!”

“[The corrections officers] could do nothing ! Nor could the guards at Stark’s gate — nor could Iron Man ! I am invincible, Miss Potts — and there is no one who can stop me from taking what I’ve come for !”

“Frightened fool ! I have you on the run !”


DC Universe History

There’s already Captain Cold and Mister Freeze, but Blizzard has such a cool costume… So to speak…

Gregor Shapanka was the scientist who wrote an unpublished article theorizing how a cyclotron slowing down molecules could affect the Flash if needed. One Leonard Snart came across the paper, and used it to become Captain Cold.

Shapanka only discovered this years later. Seeing that his theories were sound he built his own cold-generating equipment, using a cyclotron. He stayed away from the Flash, however, seeing that Captain Cold’s powers were not efficient enough. He fought Captain Atom a few times instead.

Or he could also have been a researcher at STAR Labs who was fired for conducting unauthorized experiments. He then was contacted by an agent of Luthor who began financing his research.

This version of Shapanka devised his cold suit after discovering the work of a Secret Age hero called the Cold Warrior. Lex then blackmailed him into committing crimes to repay his investment. Shapanka had no rights to his work, not even the right to publish it.

During his criminal career with 2 other Luthor-financed lackeys he came into periodic conflict with Steel and was finally killed by the Eradicator. Luthor then built a new suit and gave it to the first schmuck he came across and told him that he was the greatest Blizzard who ever was.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Dr. Gregor Shapanka

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Wealth: 004
Init: 010 HP: 025

Skills:
Artist (Ice sculpting): 03, Gadgetry: 05, Scientist: 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 02, Weaponry (Jack Frost systems): 07

Advantages:
Scholar (cryogenics), Stroke of Genius (Ambulatory cryogenics, Jack Frost and Blizzard suits), Language (*possibly* Hungarian, based on the place of birth listed by secondary sources)

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Hammer Industries (Low)

Drawbacks:
Debt 1 (Working for Justin Hammer), MIA toward Vengeful bitterness, Uncertainty (usually caused by gloating instead of acting). Shapanka *may* have had a Distinct Appearance (costume fused to his body) for a while.

Equipment:
BLIZZARD SUIT [/BODY/ 08, Cold immunity*: 08, Fog: 06, Friction control: 07, Ice production: 12, Icing: 07, Numb: 06, Sharpness (Special): 04, Skin armour: 02, Suspension: 05, Temperature control: 05, Advantage: Slow Aging, Bonuses & Limitations:

  • All Ranges are capped at 06 APs
  • Fog has a Special +10 Bonus to Volume (+1) for a total volume of 21 APs. Every block of 5 APs of volume beyond the first has the Fog effect within in less effective by one AP, though.
  • Friction Control can only be used to Decrease Friction (-1), using ice (-1). It will melt, extensive experience at moving on ice will mitigate the effects by one CS, and ice-walking and ice skating equipment will bypass the effect
  • Ice production is capped at 5 APs when it comes to movement rate
  • The Physical Attack component of Ice Production can have Scattershot if Blizzard so wishes
  • When using Ice Production to encase a flying target, Blizzard’s dense ice is considered to have a weight equal to its current Volume – which may very well overload the target’s lifting power and force it to crash (+0)
  • Sharpness is only usable against immobile metallic masses (-2), and Blizzard can only engage one AP per Phase (i.e., it takes four consecutive Phases to reach the full 4 APs) (-2). However once it’s in it lasts as long as the metal will stay frozen and brittle. Sharpness applies to all Physical Attacks against that target – including from Blizzard’s own Ice Production
  • Skin Armour only against small projectiles with a RV against cold below its own APs (this covers practically all bullets) ; it is Contingent on Temperature Control
  • Suspension is always Combined with the Encase use of Ice Production and with Temperature Control. It only becomes active for targets against whom he gains RAPs equal to (target DEX + target BODY, using standard non-exponential addition) using the ’encasing‘ role of Ice Production or targets that have been knocked unconscious via Temperature Control damage. Otherwise, Suspension only gets engaged with 0 APs.
  • Temperature Control Only to Subtract Heat (-1) but it can be Combined with Fog and active throughout the Fog. Every block of 5 APs of volume beyond the first has the Temperature Control effect within in less effective by one AP, though.
  • RAPs gained through Temperature Control subtract from the target’s Initiative even if they have been LDDed. Initiative points have to be Recovered.
  • Numb is Combined with Temperature Control, but can only come into play on targets whose Initiative has been reduced to 0 by Temperature Control as above

Rise and fall

During his first appearance as Blizzard, Shapanka had an uncharacteristic 050 HPs. During his last appearance, he seemed to have none. Zero. Zilch. O nada. Que pouic.

It is also vaguely possible that his INT and WIL had been lowered by 02 by brain damage.


Can’t touch this

Working with Hammer Industries costs a 50% cut. This is generally handled as the Debt 1 Drawback. For the likely benefits, see our Justin Hammer profile.


Fire and ice

When working together with the Melter, Blizzard demonstrated a classic comic book bit – combining his cold beam with the Melter’s heat beam to greatly weaken the material strength of the target.

This Team Attack is considered to be a special application of the Sharpness power that first appears in the Blizzard suit (see below), with the two following changes:

  • Anybody with a heat-based attack can Team Attack with Blizzard ; as usual this lowers the OV by one CS, or more if there are more than one ally.
  • Due to the thermal shock, it takes but a single Phase for Blizzard’s Sharpness to reach maximum AP, instead of the usual build-up.
  • Blizzard’s heat-wielding partner can either attack normally as part of the Team Attack, or increase Blizzard’s Sharpness up to the APs of their own heat power (with a maximum of 6 APs of Sharpness, though)

White suit black ice

The performance of the white Blizzard suit is unrevealed. The one attack it produced was pretty powerful, but there are reports of the durability of the Iron Man 2020 suit of that time being oddly low (and Spider-Man could badly damage it with his bare hands). And of course it could just have been a good roll.

Ice Production: 14 is possible, with other Powers being increased by 0 to 2 APs compared to the blue suit. 0 to 1 would be a more conservative estimate, as Dr. Shapanka seemed quite diminished at this point. In fact the white suit might not have been particularly more powerful despite his rant about it.


Post-mortem Blizzard robot(s)

This robot seemed to have the equivalent of Blizzard’s blue suit, but he was seen too briefly. Our notes :

  • He seemed faster than Shapanka was, perhaps as high as DEX 06
  • He recited something without much relevance to the fight – perhaps an essay written by Shapanka during the 1960s
  • It probably had no Fog or Temperature Control (which in turn nullifies Skin Armour and Numb)
  • He had a cold attack that *could* harm Iron Man – an absolute zero cold touch. This is hard to estimate, especially since it seemed that the robot rolled a good double on that attack. Perhaps this touch was also intended to super-freeze Shapanka’s corpse.
  • Stark stated that “that damn thing kept trying” to rescue Shapanka’s corpse. This may mean that there are multiple robots activated serially, or one robot that can somehow repair itself and escape (which seems less feasible)

Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Comics

Writeup completed on the 02nd of June, 2016.

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