Sentinels of the Multiverse: Absolute Zero
Incapacitated - Shows Ryan Frost attempting to reach his suit, card in red and the partial words for 'System Failure' cut off in the upper left corner.
- Frost-Bound Drain (x3)
- Absolute Zero deals 1 non-Hero Target 3 Cold Damage. Absolute Zero deals himself 3 Fire Damage.
- Art: A frozen Char behind Absolute Zero;
- Flavor-text: "Too cold? Welcome to my life." - Absolute Zero, The Ice-Man Cometh #7
- Fueled Freeze (x2)
- Destroy up to 3 Ongoing cards. Absolute Zero deals each non-Hero Target X Cold Damage, where X = the number of Ongoing cards destroyed by this card.
- Art: Absolute Zero blasting something with ice, probably on Insula Primalis;
- Flavor Text: "Time for all of you to cool down!" - Absolute Zero, The Freedom Five #201
- Hoarfire (x2)
- Absolute Zero deals 1 Target 2 Cold Damage. Absolute Zero deals a second Target 2 Fire Damage. Absolute Zero deals himself 1 Cold Damage and 1 Fire Damage.
- Art: Absolute Zero blasting ice from his right hand and fire from his left;
- Flavor-Text: "This is gonna hurt you so much more than it will hurt me!" - Absolute Zero, Science & Progress One-Shot
- Modular Realignment (x4)
- Select 1 Equipment card from your trash and put it either into your hand or into play. Absolute Zero deals himself 1 Fire Damage and 1 Cold Damage.
- Art: Absolute zero with Yellow light instead of blue, bending over slightly;
- Flavor-Text: "Aw, hell. Don't shut down on me now!" - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five #392
- Onboard Module Installation (x4)
- You may draw a card. Search your deck for a Module card and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck. You may play a card.
- Art: Absolute Zero with choices of armor, partially uncovered, probably in his Cryo Chamber;
- Flavor-text: "What to wear, what to wear..." - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five Annual #4
- Coolant Blast (x2)
- Power: Absolute Zero deals 1 non-Hero Target X Cold Damage, where X = the amount of Fire Damage that has been dealt to Absolute Zero since the end of your last turn.
- Art: Absolute Zero hitting the ground with ice erupting behind him, sending one Proletariat clone flying, and others reeling back;
- Flavor-Text: "Once in a while, you just gotta improvise!" - Absolute Zero, The Ice-Man Cometh #3
- Glacial Structure (x2)
- Power: Draw 3 cards. Destroy this card.
- Art: Absolute Zero freezing Akash'bhuta in place;
- Flavor-Text: "It's always nice to take a moment for quiet reflection." - The Argent Adept, Freedom Five #641
- Impale (x2)
- Play this card next to a non-Hero Target. At the start of your turn, Absolute Zero deals that Target 2 Cold Damage. If the Target leaves play, destroy this card.
- Art: Absolute Zero standing under Omnitron, with a giant pillar of ice impaling him;
- Flavor-Text: Legacy: "You're out of line, Frost!" -- Absolute Zero: "I'm just getting started." - Legacy, Absolute Zero, A Day In the Life: Absolute Zero
- Sub-zero Atmosphere (x2)
- Any Villain card which would act at the end of the Villain turn instead acts at the start of the Villain turn.
- Art: Absolute Zero obscured in a blizzard;
- Flavor-Text: "What's the matter... cold feet?" - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five #142
- Cold Snap (x2)
- At the start of your turn, Absolute Zero deals each non-Hero Target 1 Cold Damage.
- Art: Absolute Zero blasting a ray of ice;
- Flavor-Text: "This is just like whack-a-mole, but with stupider targets." - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five #247
- Thermal Shockwave (x2)
- Power: Absolute Zero deals up to 3 Targets 1 Cold Damage each. Absolute Zero deals himself X Fire Damage, where X = the total amount of Cold Damage dealt by Absolute Zero this turn.
- Art: Absolute Zero hitting the ground in the middle of a shockwave of ice;
- Flavor-Text: By opening all of the apertures in his suit to let in the scorching air, Absolute Zero can produce quite a chilling effect. - Unattributed
- Cryo Chamber (x2)
- Cold Damage dealt to Absolute Zero is increased by 1. Fire Damage dealt to Absolute Zero is reduced by 1.
- Power: Absolute Zero deals himself 5 Fire Damage. Destroy this card.
- Art: Absolute Zero, possibly without a suit, exiting/entering a sub-zero chamber;
- Flavor-Text: "Better bored in here than dead out there." - Ryan Frost, Freedom Four Annual #2
- Cold Damage dealt to Absolute Zero is increased by 1. Fire Damage dealt to Absolute Zero is reduced by 1.
- Focused Aperture (x3)
- Increase Cold Damage dealt by Absolute Zero by 1.
- Art: A closeup of Absolute Zero’s armored hand with a beam of ice coming out of his palm;
- Flavor-Text: "Dr. Stinson’s upgrades to the team’s equipment led to much greater efficiency in combat”
- Isothermic Transducer (x4)
- When Absolute Zero is dealt Fire Damage, Absolute Zero deals 1 Target that much Cold Damage.
- Art: Fire behind Absolute Zero;
- Flavor-Text: Tachyon: "But the laws of thermodynamics have more to do with-" -- Absolute Zero: "Look lady, all I know is fire gets all weird around me." - Tachyon, Absolute Zero, Freedom Four Annual #7
- Null-point Calibration Unit (x4)
- When Absolute Zero would take Cold Damage, he regains that many HP instead.
- Art: Absolute Zero with his chest-piece glowing blue;
- Flavor-Text: Cold is all a matter of perspective. - Unattributed
|Weight:||175lbs (290lbs in Cryo Suit)|
|Occupation:||Adventurer, Former Janitor
|First Appearance:||Freedom Four Annual #2
|Group:||The Freedom Five
- Base: Tempers are running hot. Time to cool things down!
- Chokepoint: The metal you wear as a skin... I will give it true purpose. You won't need it anymore, soon.
- AZ: Look, lady. I get that you want to take my suit, but I really need it. You need to chill.
- Iron Legacy: You were never really a hero, Frost. Stop pretending and submit to justice.
- AZ:You were always the best of us. What could have driven you to such madness?
- Proletariat Ah! The dog of the government, come to bark at the people. You wear your collar well, dog.
- AZ: I don't know what your problem is, but you are going down. All of you!
- 'Team Villain Miss Information:
Freedom Six: Absolute Zero
- Base: When you get cold enough, you can't feel anything at all. Here, I'll show you.
- Chokepoint: You may have smothered your suit in ice, but it will still answer my call. Come, my pretties...
- AZ: Poor Choke - all grown up and still so angry. You'll find me much less your pawn now.
- Iron Legacy: You have faced me before and failed, Zero. Live up to your name. Give up now.
- AZ: That's cold, boss. Bad news: I'm not so easily frightened. Let's do this.
- Proletariat You and your so-called allies are all slaves! Puppets! No matter your form!
- AZ: I have not seen you in a long time, old foes. Time for you to go back under ice again!
- 'Team Villain Miss Information:
Termi-Nation Absolute Zero
- Base: I'm running out of time, team. Let's put this villain on ice and get outta here.
- Chokepoint: All of your pieces shall be my thralls! Prepare to fall apart, little man.
- AZ: Fine, take my suit. I mean, I'm not really fine with it, but I've got a few tricks of my own.
- Iron Legacy: I've taken down you and your allies before. Your ice cannot withstand the might of iron!
- AZ: You couldn't take me out in your messed up future, and I'm at least as cool as that guy!
- Proletariat You fight for false ideals, government slave-dog. Fall before the People's Hammer!
- AZ: Look, pal. We've been over this. I hate to give you the cold shoulder, but you're going down.
- 'Team Villain Miss Information:
Freedom Five Absolute Zero
- Iron Legacy:
- 'Team Villain Miss Information:
Sentinel Tactics: Absolute Zero
X X X
Absolute Zero has Reach+2
You may have up to Three Power Cards in Play.
- Impaling Structure
- Action: Place three impaling structure markers in adjacent hexes on the map, one of which must be within radius 1 of Absolute Zero. Impaling Structure markers raise a hex's elevation by 1 and generate hazard spaces.
- Art: Absolute Zero Impaling Omnitron-V with ice structure;
- Flavor-Text: "BRRRZZZZZT! Tertiary ocular input feed lost terrain unpredictably hazardous" - Omnitron-V, Freedom Five #16
- Coolant Blast
- Action: Add one die to this attack roll for each point of health Absolute Zero is missing.
- Art: Absolute Zero blasting Zhu Long with ice;
- Flavor-Text: "Gaah! Imposs-ss-ssible! You were almost dead!" - Zhu Long, Return of the Dragon One-Shot
- Action: Roll four dice. Absolute Zero regains one health for each die that rolls a 5 or a 6.
- Art: Absolute Zero harnessing Cold energy;
- Flavor-Text "Cold getting you down? Too bad. Turns out, this is my favorite weather!" - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five #4
- Fueled Freeze
- Ongoing: Expand the radius of Absolute Zero's area attacks by one.
- Ongoing: Whenever you place markers on the map, you may place one additional marker of the same type.
- Art: Absolute Zero standing over frozen terrain as ship crashes in the distance;
- Flavor-Text: "Fully open your continuous aperture-lines; your ice will cover a lot more ground at impressive speds." - Tachyon, Stinson-Montgomery Labs #2
- Sub-Zero Atmosphere
- Ongoing: Absolute Zero and his allies do not trigger hazard spaces within radius of 1 of Absolute Zero.
- Art: Absolute Zero walking among frozen terrain;
- Flavor-Text: "When the Ice you walk on is warmer than your bones, it tends to give you... perspective." - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five Annual #2
- Approaching Zero
- Ongoing: Whenever Absolute Zero deals damage to a target, reduce that target's move value by 1 for each point of damage dealt. (Move value cannot be reduced to below 1.)
- Art: Absolute Zero freezing The Operative in place;
- Flavor-Text "Do you know how hard it is to not make a cold joke about this?" - Absolute Zero, Sentinel Sagas #6
- Thermal Shockwave
- Health Ability:
- Art: Absolute Zero releasing cold blast from his suit at surrounding enemies;
- Flavor-Text:" "Freezing cold?! Hah! You don't know the half of it." - Absolute Zero, Freedom Five #36
Sentinel Comics RPG: Absolute Zero
|Absolute Zero||Ryan Frost|
|Costume/Equipement||When not in a cryo chamber, always wearing white, blue, and carbon-black coolant suit with glowing blue faceplate, palm apertures, chest vents, and mid-chest triangle.|
|During Roleplaying||During Roleplaying|
|You are reliant on your suit and cannot normally function without it.||You have an affinity to the cold.|
|Minor Twist||Minor Twist|
|How did part of your suit get damaged or lost?||What element is currently causing your powers to go on the fritz?|
|Major Twist||Major Twist|
|How is your suit preventing you from functioning as a hero?||What source of energy is currently dampening all your energy powers?|
|Powers||Die Type||Qualities||Die Type|
|Cold||Cool Under Pressure|
Hinder a target using Cold.
Meta: Absolute Zero
Main Episode: Episode 16
- Podcasts/Episode 1
- Podcasts/Episode 2
- Podcasts/Episode 3
- Podcasts/Episode 8
- Podcasts/Episode 9
- Podcasts/Episode 14
- Podcasts/Episode 15
- Podcasts/Episode 16
- Podcasts/Episode 17
- Podcasts/Episode 19
- Podcasts/Episode 20
- Podcasts/Episode 26
- Podcasts/Episode 29
- Podcasts/Episode 35
- Podcasts/Episode 37
- Podcasts/Episode I-10
- Podcasts/Episode 39
- Podcasts/Episode I-11
- Podcasts/Episode 41
- Podcasts/Episode 47
- Podcasts/Episode 54
- Podcasts/Episode 56
- Podcasts/Episode 58
- Podcasts/Episode 60
- Podcasts/Episode 61
- Podcasts/Episode 63
- Podcasts/Episode 64
- Podcasts/Episode X-1
- Podcasts/Episode I-17
- Podcasts/Episode 66
- Podcasts/Episode 67
- Podcasts/Episode 69
- Podcasts/Episode I-18
- Podcasts/Episode 71
- Podcasts/Episode 72
- Podcasts/Episode X-3
- Podcasts/Episode 73
- Podcasts/Episode I-19
- Podcasts/Episode 76
- Podcasts/Episode 78
- Podcasts/Episode I-20
- Podcasts/Episode 79
- Podcasts/Episode 80
- Podcasts/Episode I-21
- Podcasts/Episode X-7
- Podcasts/Episode 81
- Podcasts/Episode 83
- Podcasts/Episode I-22
- Podcasts/Episode 84
- Podcasts/Episode 88
- Podcasts/Episode 90
- Podcasts/Episode 94
- Podcasts/Episode I-25
- Podcasts/Episode 95
- Podcasts/Episode I-26
- Podcasts/Episode 98
- Podcasts/Episode 100
- Podcasts/Episode 104
- Podcasts/Episode I-29
- Podcasts/Episode 108
- Podcasts/Episode 109
- Podcasts/Episode 112
- Podcasts/Episode I-31
- Podcasts/Episode 114
- Podcasts/Episode I-32
- Podcasts/Episode 117
- Podcasts/Episode L-3
- Podcasts/Episode 118
- Podcasts/Episode 124
- Podcasts/Episode I-35
- Podcasts/Episode 126
- Podcasts/Episode 127
- Podcasts/Episode I-36
- Podcasts/Episode 131
- Podcasts/Episode 134
- Podcasts/Episode I-39
- Podcasts/Episode I-40
- Podcasts/Episode 139
- Podcasts/Episode I-41
- Podcasts/Episode 142
- Podcasts/Episode 144
- Podcasts/Episode I-42
- Podcasts/Episode 147
- Podcasts/Episode I-43
- Podcasts/Episode 149
- Podcasts/Episode 150
- Podcasts/Episode I-44
- Podcasts/Episode L-4
- Podcasts/Episode 153
- Podcasts/Episode 155
- Podcasts/Episode P-3
- Podcasts/Episode 156
- Podcasts/Episode P-4
- Podcasts/Episode P-5
- Podcasts/Episode P-6
- Podcasts/Episode P-7
- Podcasts/Episode P-8
- Podcasts/Episode 161
- Podcasts/Episode P-9
- Podcasts/Episode 162
- Podcasts/Episode 163
- Podcasts/Episode 164
- Podcasts/Episode 165
- Podcasts/Episode B-3
- Podcasts/Episode 169
- Podcasts/Episode P-10
- "Frostbound Drain" has the character Char in its artwork. Char is found in The Block environment deck.
- "Coolant Blast" has several clones of Proletariat in the background.
- "Fueled Freeze" seems to take place in Insula Primalis.
- "Glacial Structure" has Akash'Bhuta trapped in ice.
- "Impale" shows Absolute Zero attacking Omnitron.
- Prior to the release of the Wager Master deck, Absolute Zero was the only hero whose face hadn't been fully revealed in any Sentinel Comics merchandise; at that point, his face had gone unseen for nearly four years.
- "Anyway, in the Iron Legacy future, Absolute Zero's (Elemental Wrath Promo) cold powers have begun to manifest physical ice-shields to protect himself, both augmenting and replacing the suit as the ice-shields grow. You can see on the front of his card that his helmet and chestplate mostly remain, as well as other small armor bits, but he's encased in ice and uses this new ice-armor to protect himself from heat and from attacks. However, his powers are fundamentally attempting to protect him from any heat whatsoever, and he is using all of his strength and will to maintain control. On his card back, Absolute Zero is incapacitated due to combat - he has lost control of his powers, and they have run amok! Ryan Frost is entirely encased in meters of ice. He cannot move, but he is safe from heat. And his powers are doing everything they can to keep him safe forever."
- Baron Blade during the Mad Bomber story goes to the Freedom Five HQ with the intention to kill Legacy with the death ray while the other heroes are dealing with the bombs, but Absolute Zero dives in the way and takes the shot - one of the first times that AZ displays the selfless "hero" quality.
- His relationship with Tachyon is the closest friendship within the Freedom Five. 
To Other Works
- Absolute Zero's suit bears a passing resemblance to the Iron Man armor.
- Absolute Zero's pun-based secret identity (Ryan Frost), origin, and powers are all very similar to DC villain Mister Freeze.
Questions Answered on The Letters Page
- What character has evolved the most during the creative process? This would be Absolute Zero - when they were first drafting out the characters and stories for the game one of the characters was one called Absolute Zero who had cold powers. He was just kind of a "blaster" - like a cold version of Ra. Over the course of development they decided that his story was more interesting than that backstory (as was his suit) and so needed more interesting mechanics to match. They fully scrapped his story and mechanics at one point - retaining the name because it's cool [heh], but also developing his personality around that - how much his life is just a series of rock-bottoms and who sees himself as "nothing". How uninteresting the Golden Age AZ was is a reflection of this design process and how boring the first iteration of the character was.
- How do his mechanics match up with the comics world? When he's dealing himself fire damage, that's just because he's letting warm air into his suit and the reaction that has near his skin sets off a chain reaction that lets him blast a lot of cold outward. There's no understandable scientific reason for this to work - their own brilliant scientist character can't figure out how his powers work - "Look lady, all I know is fire gets all weird around me."
- If room-temperature air is "like fire" to him, how does he survive having his suit blown up as it seems to in most major stories? The guys are really mean to him story-wise. He does learn how to patch the suit with ice, or cool the air around him. He also learns to take the damage and just deal with it, not giving up. They also do an art review before recording to see what stuff they need to talk about and even they noted just now many of his appearances deal with his stuff getting broken. He's handy from a comics storytelling standpoint in that you can show violence towards him without gore (tearing up his suit instead of his body).
- His bio mentions that he spent 2 years in the cryo-chamber before joining the fight; assuming this is the same room as in Freedom Tower, do people just not talk about the guy hanging out in the cold room all the time? Was it set up elsewhere? Not the same cryo-chamber - this would have been back in the old FF HQ days that predated Freedom Tower. This was a military/medical facility. After he joined up, they had a bunch of cryo-chambers set up for his use (emergencies, etc.).
- Is there a reason he doesn't have a major nemesis of his own? Touched on earlier in that he doesn't have a lot of solo-heroics going on in which he could develop a nemesis.
- How does he spend his down time? What sort of entertainment options does the cryo-chamber have/how big is it? Did Tachyon have to develop special equipment that could operate at those temperatures? Does Ryan put the suit on occasionally just to get out for fun? He puts on the suit for fun a few times, but it's by no means a common thing. Tachyon builds a record player that can output into the cryo-chamber directly (no speakers system) so he can listen to his vinyl collection without wrecking it. He writes a lot, too - journal-style. He's probably their most introspective character. A lot of the later AZ stories are about him as somebody intrinsically disconnected from the world.
- In the Baron Blade episode it was mentioned that he took the death-ray blast for Legacy and that his super-cooled state kept the blast from having any effect; since he's in such a state, does he need to eat? Does he miss simple stuff like that? Did he feel awkward at Legacy's cookout? He doesn't eat, he doesn't breathe, doesn't really sleep (although can go into something like a coma to recover his energy after a fight). He misses all of this stuff. Later he comes to appreciate his friends and purpose in the world, but definitely misses "being a person". He has a greater appreciation for the stuff he still can do, though (like reading or listening to music). He doesn't feel comfortable in social situations (like the cookout), but he still likes to (occasionally) take part in some of them - not without his normal grumbling, though.
- Biographical discrepancies! In the digital version of the game bios one lists his hair and eyes as white, others black hair and brown eyes, but he's often shown as having no hair in the game art. Can he even grow hair at this point? They should definitely show white for both. He still has eyebrows and he is capable of growing hair, but only very slowly (and what does grow is very wispy and brittle). He can just run his hands over his head/face to break the hair off so as to not have to deal with it.
- The flavor text on "Impale" mentions a comic A Day in the Life: Absolute Zero where he and Legacy are arguing, what's going on in this one-shot and what are they arguing about? It's a fairly late comic in his story. There are a bunch of "Day in the Life" issues, mostly surrounding Freedom Five-related characters. This one involves a big fight against Omnitron and AZ putting lots of big ice structures across sections of Megalopolis - this is doing a good job containing Omnitron and its drones, but also endangers bystanders that Legacy then has to go save (causing the argument). Late in the fight, AZ just wants to leave - he already had plans for that afternoon and had already told everybody that he was busy. He thinks that the team has things well in hand and just leaves (Tachyon intervenes with Legacy telling him that it's a rough day for Ryan). AZ goes to a second-hand store that employs ex-cons in a work-release thing and asks a guy if he remembers Christine O'Neil. The guy (the drunk driver who killed her) sputters a bit and Ryan calms him, just wanting to talk about how its been 30 years since she died [that seems like a long time in "comic book time" to me, we get a rundown of around 17 years between the her death and when he started being a hero - 5 as a janitor, 10 in a coma, 2 in the cryo-chamber - but whatever] and how much things have changed, and to tell him that he's glad that he's getting back on his feet and making peace with him in general.
- It seems harsh to make him "pay" for the suit by being a hero, why couldn't they have worked out some other way for him to pay for it or why couldn't Tachyon just chalk it up as an experiment? Any other of this kind of morally-gray, semi-coercive things the FF has done? It's not the Freedom Five extorting him, but it's part of the government (kind of an extension of the same programs running the Ironclad project and Fort Adamant). The other members of the FF want the best for him and they aren't the ones doing the coercing.
- Would AZ count as "powered" in Citizen Dawn's accounting of things? Yes. She probably wouldn't bother trying to recruit him, but if he showed up on her doorstep wanting to sign up she'd take him. The suit isn't his power, it just allows him to more readily use his innate power.
- Has anybody bothered studying why fire gets all weird around him? If not, is it out of respect for his privacy? Tachyon definitely spends a lot of effort studying him and it's one of earth's greatest scientific mysteries. At first he just wants to leave him alone, but as they become friends he helps out more.
- In the ARG Event, we see him talking to his therapist about Writhe as a person outside his "super" persona; is AZ more social than he seems, making a point to get to know the others as people or was that just Writhe in particular? He really is that standoffish loner that he seems to be, but he saw a kindred spirit in Writhe and how people react to them (and both are middle-aged, a lot of the Sentinels cast skews older than "normal" in comics) and that got them talking to one another about life.
- What was his dream job mentioned in his bio? He has always loved music, writing, and writing about music and he has a degree in journalism and the dream job was (in the '70s) getting a column in Rolling Stone covering blues and jazz and the influence of those in the music world.
- Has he ever had the opportunity to interact physically with somebody without the suit since he got his powers? No - he's too cold, any physical contact would give frostbite immediately.
- Has he tried dating again since his fiancée died? He hasn't had any romantic storylines throughout the Multiverse era until the near the end, after he's become a bit more personable, he's getting out there in online dating. He's got to be up-front about who he is and the limitations inherent there, though. He's not so much looking for a "romantic" partner as he wants more human connections.
- Sub-Zero Atmosphere affects Heroic Infinitor's character card. It moves Heroic Infinitor's "Deal 1 Manifestation 2 Melee Damage" to the start of the villain turn.
- Supersonic Response does no extra damage on Tachyon's first turn, since she hasn't had a "last turn." The same applies to Coolant Blast.
- Sub-Zero Atmosphere
- "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" causes villain cards which would act at the end of the villain turn to instead act at the start of the villain turn. So now the Villain end-of-turn actions happen first? No. Each villain's start-of-turn action is always listed before their end-of-turn action on their card. "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" reassigns end-of-turn actions as start-of-turn actions but does not rearrange the order of the abilities on the card. Thus, using "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" will not cause end-of-turn actions to happen before start-of-turn actions, it just causes them to happen, for example, before the villain plays a card.
- Further, if "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" is destroyed after the villain start phase but before the villain end phase, any end-of-turn abilities which had been moved to the start-of-turn phase will return to their normal end-of-phase position, and so will trigger again once you reach the villain end phase. Unfortunately, there is no rule mandating that abilities may only activate once per turn. When "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" leaves play, its effect cancels immediately. This means that if, for example, an effect which deals damage to each hero target at the end-of-turn phase, but which is triggering during the start-of-turn phase due to "Sub-Zero Atmosphere", incapacitates Absolute Zero (which causes all of his hero cards to be removed from the game), any remaining hero targets will not take damage from the effect because "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" is no longer causing the effect to trigger early. However, when the end-of-turn phase comes around, that same effect will trigger again, targeting each hero target as normal, including any which had been targeted earlier.
- So, why would you ever want to change end-of-turn actions to become start-of-turn actions? To buy the heroes more time. Many villain cards have effects which take place at the end of the turn. when one of those is played during the villain phase, its ability will usually take effect that same turn, during the end-of-turn phase. but if "Sub-Zero Atmosphere" is in play, the ability won't take effect until the following start-of-turn phase. This gives the heroes a full turn to deal with the card before its abilities will affect them.
Comic Books: Absolute Zero
Small note: Items that are in bullets are from the Podcasts, so their form may not make sense, or feel like they are missing a part - its probably on another tab
Spoilers May Be Ahead - SCU and Miststorm Universe Tabs may contain spoilers for future products.
Twenty years ago, Ryan Frost was on the fast track to success. A recent college graduate, Ryan had everything he could want: a new apartment in the city, a beautiful fiancee, a dog, a car, and the promise of his dream job just over the horizon. Everything seemed to be going his way - until the night fate took it all away.
In the midst of an unreasonable fight about groceries, Ryan's fiancee walked out of their apartment. They'd had bigger fights before, and they both knew that this was just a bad moment. What neither of them knew was that it was their last.
While she was driving across town, a drunk driver ran a red light as she was driving through an intersection. The police said the other driver was probably doing around 110 when he hit her. Her car rolled six times, and she was dead before the emergency crews even got there. The other driver? He survived. His ribcage was crushed, and his leg was broken. But he survived. A repeat offender, he was sentenced to the maximum time possible: 15 years. With good behavior, he'd be out before Ryan's fiancee would have turned 40.
Ryan Frost died that night, too. His body lived on, but his spirit was torn apart. He would always blame himself for her death, questioning what he could have said to keep her from going, regretting fighting over something so stupid. Frost spiraled into a deep depression. Nights of drinking melted into weeks. When his dream job finally called him in for an interview, he never even showed up. When his money ran out, he took the first job he could find, becoming a janitor at the Pike Cryogenics Laboratory.
For five years, Frost labored in obscurity and depression until fate took another ugly turn. While waxing the floor of the cryolab, Frost was caught in the explosion of a malfunctioning sub-zero atomizer. Miraculously surviving the blast, his mangled body's core temperature was permanently dropped to nigh absolute zero. Temperatures warmer than liquid helium were as fire; room temperature air burned his body as if he were engulfed in flames. The shock of the explosion, combined with the drastic change to his biochemistry sent Frost into a coma. With no known cure for his condition, the lab placed him into stasis until a treatment could be found.
He spent over ten years unconscious and alone in his frozen chamber, until the government took his situation over in the name of the Freedom Five Initiative. He was operated on under the extreme conditions of a cryogenically frozen operating room, designed by Dr. Meredith Stinson. When the procedure was finished, he regained consciousness, but could not leave the tiny cryo chamber. He was offered a choice. Dr. Stinson had created a mobility enhancing suit for him that was capable of maintaining internal temperature of absolute zero. He could have the suit and work to pay it off as the fifth member of the government's team of heroes, or he could spend the rest of his life locked inside his cryo chamber. Frost refused. "Better bored in here than dead out there," he told them. However, after two mind-numbing years, he reconsidered. Ryan Frost accepted the offer, becoming Absolute Zero and fighting for the good of mankind to pay off his debt and attempting to live as normal a life as possible.
- Notes from Letters Page 16:
- Jump forward to Freedom Four Annual #2 and the introduction of the modern Absolute Zero. This is the same issue as the first appearance of The Matriarch, but it also included two flashback scenes. One to Dr. Stinson (pre-Tachyon powers) working on a cryogenic chamber in which a surgeon is working on somebody whose core temperature is near absolute zero and another showing the backstory of this frozen person, Ryan Frost. See the AZ bio for how Ryan wound up in this situation. He's now revived, but has to remain in the cryo-chamber. General Armstrong approaches him with a job offer, letting him use a suit designed by Dr. Stinson that would allow him to leave the room, but in exchange for his working for the Freedom Initiative to pay for it. He turns this down. Back to the present, he's watching TV coverage of this whole bird-lady situation and how many problems the Freedom Four are having. Eventually the TV feed goes out and he knocks on his door and asks to speak to General Armstrong. Cue to this guy in a dark grey and bright blue suit showing up on the battlefield blasting birds with ice, announces himself as Absolute Zero, and joins the Freedom Five.
- The suit is always under development by Tachyon. General features: he can shoot blasts of cold air and generally mess with the temperature of stuff around him - as he learns how to use the suit better he learns more advanced tricks like building structures out of ice and so on.
- He's the "negative Nancy" of the team, sarcastic, probably complaining any time he has to leave his cryo chamber and suit up. This mellows over time, but at first he's "all doom and gloom." Not to say that he's not a good teammate. His friendship with Tachyon is very close (they spend a lot of time in the labs together after all - she's working and he lives there). Ryan asking her about whatever she's working on (because he's bored) was useful to the writers as a means of getting some exposition done, but it wound up being something that grew into an actual friendship regardless of their differences. He's not into magic shows, but he has a good time going to them with her. She's not really into music or movies because it happens at a set pace that you have to pay attention to, but he's a big blues/jazz fan. They do start getting into books together, though (in particular The Count of Monte Cristo was one they both liked). This kind of became the game with the writers, developing an ad hoc "Sentinels book club" for their readers by mentioning whatever it was that AZ and Tachyon were reading in the letters page ("Freedom Fan-mail"). As mentioned in the show notes for this podcast, the current recommendations are - Absolute Zero: The Force of Spirit by Scott Russell Sanders, Tachyon: The Eight by Katherine Neville
- AZ is powerful and a works well with other heroes (not just the FF - he does appear in other books occasionally), but he doesn't have that drive to go off and fight evil on his own and so doesn't really have any solo stories.
Henry Goodman was a lab assistant in a military facility. You have find new ways to beat those Nazis after all; that is, until those Nazis break into your lab in an attempt to prevent you from being able to do so. The ensuing fire fight destroys a lot of the equipment and kills Henry's boss. Henry grabs a prototype Negathermo device and fires it at the Nazis - freezing them in a line of ice across the room. He later refines this device into hand-held "guns" and becomes the hero known as Absolute Zero to fight Nazis.
He didn't have his own book. He was introduced in a b-story in Justice Comics and continued to show up in one-off stories in anthology titles (All-Preferred Comics, Greater Comics, United Men Comics, Fearless Comics), none of which were successful titles that lasted (explaining why the game features no flavor-text from them). Not even characters that appeared in them proved popular enough to be retained for the long-haul - Bunker showed up in them occasionally too, but that specific iteration of the character didn't last either, he wound up being reworked when The Indestructible Bunker launched later. Absolute Zero was popular at first, but was not very interesting as a character (nor was he well-written) and quickly fell by the wayside as more popular/enduring characters got introduced.
This story of the Golden and Silver Age of Sentinel Comics explains the complete rework that Absolute Zero took when Christopher and Adam were first designing him, from basically a cold version of Ra, a blaster, to the more nuanced version in the original SotM box set.
A few issues later he's visited by Wager Master who tells him that his "friends" have been lying to him, using him, and that he doesn't need the suit. He teleports them both from the cryo-chamber to Magmaria with no ill effects. Wager Master then warns him that he can't just leave, because then they'll know that you know and you should bide your time and take your revenge (and, hey, I could use your help in defeating the Freedom Five anyway). Time passes back in the cryo-chamber with AZ resolving that he knows what he has to do, and the readership is well aware that he's now something like a double-agent, just waiting to turn on the heroes somewhere down the line. Delicious tension ensues during subsequent battles. Then the big Wager Master fight happens, showing the culmination of various plots he put in motion, including when he calls on AZ to turn on his allies! AZ then attacks Wager Master, encasing him in ice. He was never planning on turning on his friends (of course, Wager Master was behind the oddity during the Proletariat fight all along). AZ did learn a lot about his powers during this time, though, including dealing with being out of his suit.
- Vengeance: Baron Blade putting together a team of foils for the FF was tricky in that he didn't have anybody really lined up for AZ, specifically, because he didn't have any kind of solo adventures that could have resulted in him developing a nemesis. Blade did know about a Soviet super-weapon that had been put on ice years ago, though. More detail in the Vengeful Five episode, but in short he convinced Proletariat that Absolute Zero was the "bad" version of himself - this unwitting slave of capitalism, etc.
- In one fight with the Vengeful Five, however, he and Proletariat wind up isolated without the rest of their teams nearby. Eventually, AZ's faceplate gets knocked off. Normally this is such a danger to him that he needs to patch it with something or retreat, but this time nothing happens. He doesn't experience the burning that it would normally cause, and is able to defeat Proletariat. He replaces his faceplate and joins up with the rest of the team. He's suspicious of this whole situation.
The heroes known as Bunker, Absolute Zero, and Unity are working to uncover the mystery behind the villain Chokepoint. How did she get so much power? And why was she locked up in a secret bunker in Fort Adamant? What is really going on here? Armed with some new tricks, the heroes have to get to the bottom of this, before it's too late...
When Ryan Frost stepped into Vance's work bay, he could immediately tell something was bothering the two heroes working there. As opposed to the normally affable tinkering that took place when Vance and Caspit worked together, instead, the two were locked in conversation, both so concerned that they didn't even notice Absolute Zero enter the room. They were preparing to go on a reconnaissance mission to an army base that Vance used to be stationed at - Frost had nothing better to do and invited himself along, figuring he was signing up for a leisurely trip with a couple of friends. Instead, they were handily defeated by a familiar and yet different foe, who now went by the name Chokepoint.
Regrouping at their headquarters, the three heroes developed new tech and tricks to take down this new threat. Absolute Zero knows that his entire suit - the only thing that keeps him alive - is a weapon that is all too easily turned against him by their foe. He still had to have the Modules that allows his suit to operate, but rather than housing them in a metal suit, he covered them with a thick layer of ice. This amplified his power by putting his cold power out in the open. However, this ice suit also made him more vulnerable to damage than ever. Knowing that could only be a short-term solution, Absolute Zero is eager to end this fight quickly.
- This plays an important role in the Termi-Nation story given that Chokepoint is able to dismantle Bunker's, Unity's, and AZ's gear. More about this story in particular in the Chokepoint and Freedom Five episodes, but his main development is that he's more able to directly control the moisture in the air around him and he uses ice to protect himself and his modules, minimizing the amount of "suit" he has to wear. It's a high-risk, high-reward strategy.
The Freedom Five stand together against the onslaught of OblivAeon and it’s Scions. They were seemingly defeated early on in the OblivAeon conflict, but they reappeared in Megaopolis to bring the fight to OblivAeon itself.
Ryan Frost thought this "hero" business was a bunch of nonsense. If he hadn't been so abysmally bored, he would have just stayed in the cryo-chamber and goofed around on the internet for the rest of his frigid life. He certainly didn't plan on staying around any longer than necessary.
But things have rarely gone how Frost thought they would. And now, Absolute Zero is one of the most resolute members of the Freedom Five. No matter how dangerous the foe or how hopeless the situation, he soldiers on, knowing that he has seen worse.
- During Progeny and OblivAeon he's not a main focus. He's there and is a big help in the fight, he helps out Tachyon when she gets hurt for one, but more than anything he winds up being the rock that steadies the team itself as they waver while fighting these dangers from beyond. From his perspective of "everything is always bad" this is just another problem for them to face down together - you can't demoralize him and he's inspiring in his own way here.
This information is from the Miststorm Universe, one of two branching timelines. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Tactics (and expansions). Prime War (and expansions)
Maia bought out the rest of Absolute Zero's government contract on his suit, allowing him to go free and do as he pleased. When Ryan Frost was informed of his freedom, he stood silently, unmoving. Dr. Stinson reassured him that she would provide regular suit maintenance for him and that they would help him find a way to live that would make him most comfortable. "I am..." the normally frigid man said after a moment, a hint of emotion betraying his reaction. "I am most comfortable with you - my family." And thus, Absolute Zero remained a full-fledged member of the team.
- Tactics - Two Absolute Zeroes to discuss. During the break with the government, when the Wraith buys-out Ryan's (and the rest of the team's) remaining obligations, he sticks around voluntarily given that they're his "family" now. He's slightly more upbeat now. The second person to mention isn't going by the name "Absolute Zero", but in the core game artwork we do see the granddaughter of the original AZ, Henry Goodman.
- RPG - [here's where the guys finally make the "he's dead" joke for all the bingo players and that spurs a short discussion about how he's functionally immortal - as long as he's kept at the right temperature range and isn't subject to sufficient trauma, he's likely going to be around] The FF is now in a more mentor role and the other members all have had their roles described and it largely makes sense given their previous heroics. Ryan is teaching a lot about "what it means to be a hero" - a lot of philosophy and ethics of heroism and "vigilante justice" that's important to understand if you're going to be a superhero - how to stay grounded as a person.