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Killer Frost (Firestorm enemy) (DC Comics) (Lincoln)

Killer Frost

(Louise Lincoln) (Profile #1 - early)


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

Context

Dr. Louise Lincoln was DC Comics’ second Killer Frost, closely succeeding Dr. Crystal Frost. This profile covers her early career, until she gets transmogrified  by Neron to become the modern Killer Frost.

We suggest reading Dr. Crystal Frost’s profile before this one so it makes sense, and to read Dr. Louise Lincoln’s profile as the modern Killer Frost once you’ve finished this here profile.


Background

  • Real Name: Dr. Louise Lincoln.
  • Other Aliases: The Ice Maiden, Dr. Crystal Frost.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Suicide Squad.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’3” Weight: 106 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue or solid white Hair: Blonde (later Blue or a grayish-blue white) Skin: Chalk-white


Powers and Abilities

Killer Frost’s powers are, at this stage, comparable to the abilities of her predecessor. As such she could also absorb heat from her environment to use cold as if it were a radiant energy. She seemed to be more dependent than Dr. Frost upon having massive quantities of heat to absorb. However, she could also absorb hard radiation from a nuclear reactor as well as heat and flame.

Some powers have only been demonstrated after massive energy absorption. It is possible there’s a dynamic where she “unlocks” abilities as she absorbs heat.

Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln) raising her hand

Compared to her predecessor’s, Killer Frost II’s powers were closer to those demonstrated by characters such as Iceman. That included shooting “beams of ice” from her hands or moving around on ice ramps she created from the humidity in the air.

Other assets

Like Frost, Lincoln demonstrated super-strength, though in a less overt manner – she seemed evenly matched wrestling Firehawk. Furthermore, she had surprisingly good reflexes.

Killer Frost once demonstrated the ability to neutralise most of Firestorm’s powers. She also employed her cold to sap the will to live and fight from her opponents (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Magic Blast). Both are rare abilities that may need to be unlocked by absorbing massive heat and/or radiation.

The Killer Frost dress and jewellery were replicas of Dr. Frost’s. Lincoln made those as she researched a way to turn herself into Killer Frost, whereas Frost created them out of thin air. After the authorities took this paraphernalia, Lincoln was stuck with her prison uniform whenever she escaped.

Fight rime with rime

Dr. Frost stopped functioning when at absolute zero. However Dr. Lincoln seems more fragile in that Far less intense cold will take her out. She is not vulnerable to cold she created herself, but even the indirect effects of her own cold will affect her.

In one instance she was taken out by being plunged into ice-cold water. The water was this cold because it was in contact with masses of ice generated by Killer Frost, but she wasn’t specifically concentrating on the still-liquid water and was thus vulnerable to it. Even splashing her with large amounts of water is likely to work, as the water will freeze upon touching her and bleed out her heat.

Any temperature that would kill an unprotected human in 15mn or less (an arbitrary number based on the observed incidents) will defeat Killer Frost. She is not immediately knocked out, but stands dazed, goes sluggish and eventually falls unconscious from the lack of heat to feed on in less than a minute. She cannot take significant action during that time.

There exists a range of temperature (maybe minus five Celsius or so) in which Lincoln can exist without health risks, but remains drowsy and sluggish. This is the temperature at which Belle Reve technicians usually kept her. Dr. Lincoln hates being in such a state and has claimed that she’d rather die than live that way.


Origin

Louise Lincoln was a female graduate student studying physics. That was back in 1970, and thus still uncommon.

Partially as a result of the misogyny around her, she was discreet and mousy and chiefly associated with another female student, Crystal Frost. However, whereas Lincoln was just shy, Frost had genuine issues. She also was something of a bully toward Lincoln, claiming that she was much smarter and a much better physicist.

Despite Frost’s claims, Lincoln was an excellent scientist. After they completed their doctoral studies at Hudson University, Dr. Lincoln was hired by Exeter Labs in New Jersey, whereas Dr. Frost worked for the government.

Star researcher

Though she was still an introvert and preferred to work on her own, Dr. Lincoln’s work for Exeter resulted in several very lucrative patents in just a few years. Exeter management soon largely left their new golden-eggs-laying-goose researcher do whatever she wanted, hoping for more breakthroughs.

Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln) and Plastique

In 1983, Dr. Crystal Frost (now the powerful villainess and murderer Killer Frost) barged in Dr. Lincoln’s life again. She was sick, and threatened Lincoln with execution if she didn’t help her. Frost wanted Lincoln to run tests to determine what was wrong with Frost’s unique physiology.

They established that Frost was terminally ill. Killer Frost left in a daze after slaughtering several guards right in front of Lincoln. The terrorised researcher was left traumatised.

Shaken

Though Dr. Lincoln seemed to recover and function normally, the shock left her insane. She became convinced that Dr. Frost had been her best friend, that she was somehow responsible for her death, and that Frost deserved to live more than she did. This irrational guilt left her certain that she needed to recreate Killer Frost, and that she was a horrible person for having let her “friend” die.

Since she could work with little oversight at Exeter, she toiled to recreate the conditions of Killer Frost’s creation. After several months, she turned herself into the same type of creature than Dr. Frost had been. While the transformation worked fine, it was a disaster for everyone else.

The entire site went up in flames and triggered a six-alarms fire. Hundreds of firefighters struggled for days to bring the blaze under control, and Lincoln’s entire team was killed. Dr. Lincoln encased her lab in ice, absorbing the heat from the blaze to finalise her transformation.


A discussion of this origin

The nature of the powers of Dr. Crystal Frost and, later, of Dr. Louise Lincoln has always been odd. The flow of events when Crystal Frost became Killer Frost gave the impression that she died, *then* became Killer Frost.

When Dr. Simon La Grieve ran tests and simulations to understand how Frost and Lincoln had become Killer Frost, he reached the same conclusion. There was no way for them to have survived the process, altered physiology or not.

The possession

In the context of the DC Universe, this suggests a paranormal explanation. This origin and the nature of Killer Frost’s powers is reminiscent of elementals such as the Swamp Thing or Naiad. The paranormal explanation gained further credence when Dr. Lincoln seemed to have memories that belonged to Dr. Frost.

LaGrieve also commented that the whole idea of Lincoln being on a guilt trip and wanting to become Crystal Frost to atone for her death did not work. Though he didn’t explain why, this conclusion had presumably been reached by psychologists studying Dr. Lincoln’s delusions. This suggested some sort of possession – and that Dr. Lincoln was haunted in some manner by the dead Dr. Frost.

The Monitor

A different hypothesis was that the Monitor was behind it. He apparently always intended to have a Killer Frost on his army to oppose the Anti-Monitor, and Dr. Lincoln became Killer Frost just in time to be recruited by Harbinger.

This one is flimsy at best. It is not supported by anything but the timing, and the fact the Monitor had the means, motives and opportunity. He has an history of monkeying with Earth’s heroes and villains to prepare for the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The virus, part 1

The best-supported hypothesis is that Killer Frost is the product of an intelligent virus designed by the Hutchings Institute in Utah.

Working under the authority of Professor Melrose, Hutchings was a private think-tank with a far right agenda. They attempted to create metahumans during the early 1980s and possibly before. They had remarkable success on several occasions, enhancing the Power Elite and accidentally creating the powerful metahuman Starman (Will Payton).

From LaGrieve’s work and Professor Stein’s and Detective Blackbourne’s investigation, it would seem that Dr. Crystal Frost was infected with the Hutchings virus without her knowledge.

The virus, part 2

Based on the available information, the simplest hypothesis is that the virus only becomes active in conditions of extreme cold. This may have led the Hutchings researchers to believe it was a failure. It is what mutated and saved (or perhaps resurrected) Dr. Frost when she was flash-frozen.

Dr. Lincoln was later infected. Perhaps she was too scared to take the normal precautions when running medical tests on the dying Dr. Frost and came in contact with Frost’s blood. The virus somehow came with memories and personality traits it had “learned” from Frost. It managed to influence Dr. Lincoln in flash-freezing herself so it could reproduce after a fashion.

Note that it is unclear what “intelligent virus” means. It is unrevealed whether the researchers meant actual sapience or “intelligent” in the sense that a smartphone is “smart”.

In this hypothetical, Dr. Lincoln is not insane, but was mind-controlled then psychically damaged using memories from the psychotic Dr. Frost carried post-mortem by a virus.


History

This section resumes where the “Origin” section above stopped.

Posthumous

When Firestorm responded to the Exeter fire, Killer Frost ambushed him and left him to die. Firestorm only narrowly survived. Sensing that she needed to absorb heat, Lincoln flew to the Hudson Nuclear Reactor, breached the core and started absorbing the radiation.

Firestorm again intervened, erecting a lead shield to cut her off from the energy. However, he was knocked unconscious by Plastique, a Canadian terrorist who had recently gained superpowers.

Plastique asked Killer Frost for her help in launching a major terrorist operation, and Dr. Lincoln agreed. As they got out of the nuclear plant, they massacred the firemen, cops and reporters in their path.

Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln) face closeup

Plastique’s plan was to freeze and detonate the water at the Niagara Falls, crippling a major power generation facility for both the US and Canada. Firestorm and Firehawk responded and quickly stopped them. At this point both Plastique and Killer Frost were beginners in the use of their powers, and were still vulnerable to side-effects of their new abilities.

Killer Frost was imprisoned in the US, in a refrigerating coil.

Crisis on Infinite Earths, part 1

Curiously, Killer Frost was on the list of superhumans established by the Monitor during the Crisis. When he had Harbinger summon all these agents, she first recruited the very reluctant Psycho-Pirate (Roger Hayden), then recruited Firestorm and asked him to free Killer Frost.

Though Dr. Lincoln immediately tried to kill Firestorm, Harbinger had the Psycho-Pirate trigger a feeling of overwhelming love in the permafrosted psychopathic physicist. Dr. Lincoln would remain obsessively enamoured with the spooked Firestorm for much of the Crisis, and fought at his side.

The pair was sent back to Arthurian times to protect the Monitor’s assets from shadow-demons. They allied with a local – the Shining Knight (Sir Justin). However, at all points of time and space occupied by the Monitor’s machine, the shadow demons became too powerful to be repulsed.

Crisis on Infinite Earths, part 2

The Monitor saved his agents by creating a limbo world within himself where he evacuated everyone. At this point, however, the Psycho-Pirate’s influence was dimming and Frost realised what was going on.

When she was next seen, Killer Frost had been summoned anew – this time by the villainous army led by Lex Luthor and Brainiac. Having been used by the heroes, she agreed to join the assault against them. She and other specialists — Captain Cold, Weather Wizard and Golden Glider — attacked Earth-S, using their combined power over cold to put all the heroes there on ice.

However, reinforcements came in (including Firestorm and Vixen) and the Earth-S villainous cold-themed team was defeated, as was their support team. A few hours later, the previous reality — including Dr. Lincoln’s native Earth-1 — stopped to exist and New Earth was created.

Suicide is painless

Early in the history of New Earth — in late 1987 — Firestorm issued demands for the destruction of nuclear weapons worldwide. This resulted in US and Soviet intelligence services attempting to take him down.

On the American side, a Suicide Squad team was assembled, favouring people who had fought Firestorm before. That was both for their experience and to help pretend that the team was a random assemblage of villains looking for revenge.

Louise Lincoln cured from being Killer Frost

This team included Killer Frost. How, when and why she had been arrested was unrevealed. They attacked Firestorm while he was giving a press conference on Times Square. Firehawk counter-attacked, and Killer Frost engaged her to taste her heat, absorbing her attacks.

The JLA intervened. Killer Frost took Black Canary out to prevent her from interfering, she was then knocked out by the Martian Manhunter. As she recovered from the mighty blow, Lincoln and Firehawk had their powers drained by the Parasite – but they both survived the experience. Killer Frost was presumably recovered and sent back to Belle Reve, possibly with several years shaved off her sentence for her service.

Vandermeer

In 1989, both Killer Frost and the Parasite were transferred from Belle Reve to the newly-created Institute for Meta-Human Studies at Vandermeer University. Though Belle Reve’s Dr. Simon LaGrieve supported the IHMS, he considered that having two extremely dangerous psychopaths out of Belle Reve’s extensive security was folly.

LaGrieve was more correct that he could have imagined. A researcher who used to work at Hutchings was now on the IMHS staff. He also determined from LaGrieve’s work that Lincoln carried a Hutchings-designed virus giving her her powers.

This man, Doctor Morrison, sabotaged the research to have LaGrieve drop the virus hypothesis. He also plotted to free Dr. Lincoln, apparently having some means to give her orders.

Breakout

Lincoln’s explosive corrections bracelet was sabotaged by Morrison. Killer Frost was ready to act as soon as a guard fitted her with the defective bracelet rather than a live one. She killed the guards and burst out of her Vandermeer cell before it could be flooded with freon.

Dr. Lincoln soon stumbled upon students Ron Raymond and Lorraine Reilly. When Reilly turned into Firehawk Killer Frost was elated, and demanded that she give her her heat in exchange for Raymond’s life. Raymond and Reilly manoeuvred to hit Dr. Lincoln with a fire hose, encasing her in ice formed as the water hit her skin – which knocked her out.

Some months later Morrison shot LaGrieve since he wasn’t abandoning the viral hypothesis, and freed Killer Frost again. Increasingly parasited by memories from Crystal Frost, Louise Lincoln wanted to kill Professor Stein for having created Killer Frost.

Stein survived long enough for Firestorm, now a powerful fire elemental, to intervene. Firestorm easily took Killer Frost out by removing all heat around her. Dr. Morrison was arrested.

Breakdown

For months prior this incident, Dr. Lincoln had been increasingly sick and wasting away, possibly as a side effect of the virus. After the IMHS researchers got her out of the mass of ice imprisoned her, her health further continued to degrade.

With the virus hypothesis having been pretty much confirmed, Drs. LaGrieve and Acharaya designed some anti-viral medication that could cure Dr. Lincoln. However, by that point, Killer Frost was running the equivalent of a fever. She absorbed so much heat that her cell was permanently at minus 100 Celsius, and there was no way to approach her to perform the treatment.

When the Parasite attacked the IMHS to absorb the life force of the superhumans there, he started by bursting into the cell of Killer Frost and draining her powers. Despite the circumstances, Drs. Acharaya and LaGrieve rushed into her cell and injected her with their anti-viral agent while she was knocked out.

Breakthrough

This was a resounding success. For the first time in five years, Dr. Lincoln returned to her human form, and seemed to be cured of the the Killer Frost powers and psychic influence.

But despite this triumph of medical science, things would eventually get even worse.


Description

We’ve kept Lincoln’s official height. But though she’s supposed to be petite she’s usually drawn with a generic height for a female character, closer to 5’6” or 5’7”.

Lincoln’s word balloons occasionally have the icy/stalactite effect but at other times she speaks normally. Perhaps she needs her full powers and concentration to freeze the air in front of her mouth to deform her voice, or something along those lines.


Personality

Early on, it seemed that Dr. Lincoln was possessed by Dr. Frost. She was recreating the first Killer Frost’s appearance quite closely. She :

  • Seemed to share the same obsessions about beauty and vengeance.
  • Hated Firestorm and seemed to know what his powers were.
  • Was using Dr. Frost’s college nickname to refer to herself.
  • Etc..

She wanted to repair a perceived injustice — that she was living while her friend was dead — by becoming Dr. Crystal Frost and playing her role.

Lincoln wanting to kill herself then become Frost – who had never actually been her friend and had girl-bullied her during their college years. This evokes popular depiction of the “Stockholm Syndrome”  as they existed back then, influenced by the Patty Hearst case  during the mid-1970s.

When Killer Frost left after having taken Dr. Lincoln hostage for hours, Dr. Lincoln was overcome with relief that she was still alive. With the psychological trauma this may have turned into gratitude. This type of exaggerated pop psychology based on spectacular cases is certainly the sort of thing you’d expect in a comic book universe !

The ice maiden cometh

Like her predecessor Killer Frost is an insane, cruel villainess. Her delusions are different, though.

She doesn’t have the misandric fixations and childish power fantasies that Crystal Frost had. On the other hand, she is fixated on the fact that she is now Crystal Frost, and keeps pretending that she’s not Louise Lincoln but only Killer Frost reborn.

There’s a mechanical quality to that, as if it were something she keeps telling herself. The memories and fixations of Crystal Frost increasingly ate at her, though. She came to hold the exact same fixation upon Professor Stein as Dr. Frost did, though Lincoln barely had any link with Stein.

The heat, the energy

Dr. Lincoln seemed attracted toward Plastique, and later repeatedly hinted that she was interested in Firehawk. This was kept on the level of allusions but she might be bisexual, at least as Killer Frost.

My guess would be that this Killer Frost is interested in attractive persons who can generate enough of the right kind of energy and withstand her cold, irrespective of gender. Gender doesn’t change much to the heat a person emits.


Quotes

“Louise Lincoln is dead. Lovely, mindless creature who traded on beauty… she did not deserve to live. Now I live in her place. Warn the world… the ice maiden cometh.”

(Threatening Firehawk) “It’s important to you to save this *man* ? Fine, I need your heat ! Give it to me, darling, and he lives. Deny me — and he dies !”

“You owe something to Killer Frost, Professor Stein… your life.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Killer Frost

Dex: 05 Str: 07 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psycho
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 03 Occupation: Psycho
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 018 HP: 040

Powers:
Energy absorption: 14, Enhanced Initiative: 04, Flight: 07, Ice control: 08, Ice production: 12, Magic blast: 06, Neutralise: 15, Temperature control: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy absorption works on heat, flame and hard radiation.
  • Flight can only be used after Killer Frost soaks up on massive amounts of heat or radiation via Energy Absorption. She presumably retains this Power for 3-4 hours then it Burns Out and can only be Recovered through massive Energy Absorption. It was only used after she stood in at the heart of a six-alarms fire or next to an exposed nuclear reactor.
  • Ice Control is its own AV (+0 or +1 depending on house rules) but cannot do ice formations.
  • Ice production’s ice slide application is limited to a movement speed of 04.
  • Magic Blast has the same Limitations as Flight above, having only been used after massive energy absorption.
  • Magic Blast is its own AV (+0 or +1 depending on house rules), is *not* Mystic-Linked, and is resistable by Cold Immunity.
  • Neutralise may have the same Limitations as Flight above, having only been clearly used after massive energy absorption.
  • Neutralise is limited to Powers emitting heat, flame, fission energy, etc. but affects all such Powers the target has.
  • Neutralise only takes effect at the very end of the Phase.
  • Temperature Control only to lower temperature.

Skills:
Gadgetry: 04, Scientist: 04

Advantages:
Expertise (Physics).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance, Serious Psychological Instability, Attack Vulnerability (Exposure to cold, see below), SPR (Lincoln’s skin exists at a sub-zero temperature and constantly absorbs heat – it’s not enough to give her APs of Frostbite but creates various problems such as water freezing when it touches her).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 9th of June, 2011.

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