Mr. Freeze

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Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze and Batman
Art by Greg Land
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceas Mr. Zero: Batman #121
(February 1959); as Mr. Freeze: Detective Comics #373
(March 1968)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoVictor Fries
Team affiliations
Notable aliasesMister Zero, Doctor Zero, Doctor Schimmell
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect
Expert in cryogenics
Wields freeze gun
Wears an exo-suit that keeps his body at subzero temperatures and gives him superhuman strength and durability
 
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For the roller coaster, see Mr. Freeze (roller coaster).
Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze and Batman
Art by Greg Land
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceas Mr. Zero: Batman #121
(February 1959); as Mr. Freeze: Detective Comics #373
(March 1968)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoVictor Fries
Team affiliations
Notable aliasesMister Zero, Doctor Zero, Doctor Schimmell
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect
Expert in cryogenics
Wields freeze gun
Wears an exo-suit that keeps his body at subzero temperatures and gives him superhuman strength and durability

Dr. Victor Fries, also referred to as Mr. Freeze, is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He frequently serves as an enemy of Batman. Created by Bob Kane, David Wood and Sheldon Moldoff, he first appeared in Batman #121 (February 1959).[1]

Freeze is a scientist who must wear a cryogenic suit in order to survive, and bases his crimes around a "cold" or "ice" theme, complete with a "freeze gun" that freezes its targets solid. In the most common variation of his origin story, he is a former cryogenics expert who suffered an industrial accident while attempting to cure his terminally ill wife, Nora.

Mr. Freeze was played by George Sanders, Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach in the original Batman television series, and by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1997 film Batman & Robin. He was also voiced by Michael Ansara in Batman: The Animated Series, and by Clancy Brown in The Batman.

IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time List ranked Mr. Freeze as #67.[2]

Overview[edit]

Originally called Mr. Zero,[1] he was renamed and popularized by the 1960s Batman television series, in which he was played by several actors.[3][4][5]

Nearly 30 years later, a television adaptation of Batman revitalized him once again. Batman: The Animated Series retold Mr. Freeze's origin in "Heart of Ice", an episode by writer Paul Dini. The episode introduced his terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife Nora, which explained his obsession with ice and need to build a criminal empire to raise research funds.[6] This more complex, tragic character was enthusiastically accepted by fans, and has become the standard portrayal for the character in most forms of media, including the comic book series itself, which previously had the character casually killed off by the Joker.[7] Freeze was resurrected in the comic after the episode aired.[8]

The episode was seen as groundbreaking for a Saturday morning cartoon and helped set the tone for the rest of the series. This back story was also made canon in the comics and has been the character's official origin in almost every incarnation of Batman until New 52.

Elements of this origin story were incorporated into the 1997 film Batman & Robin, in which he was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.[9]

Fictional character biography[edit]

From the time of his first appearance in 1959 onwards, Mr. Freeze was portrayed as one of many "joke" villains (see also Killer Moth) cast as stock enemies of Batman.[1] Originally called Mr. Zero,[1] the producers of the 1960s Batman television series renamed him Mr. Freeze (and portrayed Batman addressing him as "Dr. Schivell"),[1] and the name quickly carried over to the comic books.

Silver Age[edit]

Batman #121 (1959), the first appearance of the character as "Mr. Zero". Cover art by Curt Swan

In the Pre-Crisis continuity series, it is explained that Mr. Freeze is a rogue scientist whose design for an "ice gun" backfires when he inadvertently spills cryogenic chemicals on himself, resulting in his needing subzero temperatures to survive.[1]

Modern Age[edit]

Post-Crisis, Freeze was revamped utilizing Paul Dini's backstory. Dr. Victor Fries (surname pronounced "freeze") was a brilliant molecular biologist. As a child, he was fascinated by freezing animals. His parents, horrified by his "hobby", sent him to a strict boarding school, where he was miserable, feeling detached from humanity. In college, he met a woman named Nora, whom he fell in love with and ultimately married.[1]

A year and a half after Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, Nora contracts a terminal illness, while Fries works on a freeze ray for GothCorp. Fries' boss Ferris Boyle decides to tell the mob about the gun, leading Batman to create a team of specialists to help him do his job better. Fries decides to use the device on Nora, to put her in cryo-stasis. His boss interrupts and tampers with the experiment, however, resulting in an explosion that kills Nora. Fries survives, but the chemicals in the freeze ray lower his body temperature to the point that he must wear a cryogenic suit in order to survive. He swears revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife (whom he talks to often), and becomes Mr. Freeze, the first supervillain Batman faces in this continuity.

Batman's operatives find Freeze, who shoots one of them with his freeze gun. Batman eventually apprehends him, however.[10]

Freeze's crimes tend to involve freezing everyone and everything he runs into[1] so he never forges alliances with the other criminals in Gotham, preferring to work alone. On rare occasions he has worked with another member of Batman's rogues gallery, usually as an enforcer for Gotham's mob bosses, such as the Penguin or Black Mask. In one of his notable team-ups, Freeze constructed a cryogenic machine for Hush so that Hush might take revenge on Batman.

During his time with the Secret Society of Super Villains, he fashions for Nyssa al Ghul a sub-zero machine in exchange for the use of her own Lazarus Pit. He attempts to restore Nora to life without waiting for the adjusting needed in the pool chemicals. However, she returns to life as the twisted Lazara, and escapes. She blames her husband for her plight, and she estranges herself from him.

The New 52[edit]

During the Night of the Owls crossover as part of The New 52, the Court of Owls send assassins known as Talons to kill almost 40 of the most important citizens of Gotham, including Mr Freeze. The Red Hood, Starfire and Red Arrow choose to save him, and subsequently remand him into Batgirl's custody.[11]

Batman Annual #1 introduces a new origin for Mr. Freeze. Here, Victor Fries' fascination with cryonics began when he was a boy and his mother fell through the ice of a frozen lake. The ice was able to keep her preserved long enough for help to arrive, thus sparking his lifelong obsession with the cold. It is later revealed that the accident left Fries' mother in constant pain, and Fries ended her suffering by pushing her into a lake. In this new origin, Nora was never Fries' wife. Her name was Nora Fields, a woman born in 1943. When Nora was 23, she was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease, so her family placed her in cryogenic stasis hoping that a cure would be found in the future. Fries, having written his doctoral thesis on Nora, took on a position as a cryogenic researcher and technician at Wayne Enterprises, the facility that housed Nora's body.

Eventually, he fell in love with Nora and became dedicated to finding a reliable method for slowly thawing cryogenic subjects. However, Bruce Wayne ordered the project to be shut down, as he began to feel uncomfortable with Fries' obsession with Nora. Furious, Fries hurled a chair at Wayne, who dodged the attack; the chair smashed into an array of cryonic chemical tanks, the contents of which sprayed onto Fries and transformed him into Mr. Freeze.[12]

The Court of Owls uses Freeze's cryogenic-thaw formula to revive their Talons, and then they try to kill him. Freeze survives, but is captured by the Red Hood and sent to Arkham Asylum. He escapes shortly afterward and rearms himself with the Penguin's help. Freeze decides to kill Bruce Wayne and take Nora, whom he believes to be his wife, so that they can leave Gotham City behind forever. Infiltrating Wayne Enterprises, Freeze has a brief fight with Nightwing and Robin, but he subdues them. Then, Freeze goes to the penthouse, where he finds Batman and the frozen Nora. Batman defeats Mr. Freeze by injecting his suit with the thawing formula, which he had intended to use to revive Nora from suspended animation.

During the Forever Evil storyline, Mr. Freeze appears as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains at the time when the Crime Syndicate arrived from their world.[13] The Scarecrow later visits Mr. Freeze to let him know of the war going on at Blackgate Penitentiary.[14] The Man-Bats are able to bring the remaining Talons to Mr. Freeze after Man-Bat and Scarecrow steal them from Blackgate.[15] Mr. Freeze and Clayface later encounter the Rogues when they land in their territory.[16] Mr. Freeze tells Mirror Master he is not interested in capitalizing on the bounty on their head, only to use Weather Wizard to create optimal conditions for him to freeze Gotham. As the Rogues are fighting the two, Black Mask (alongside his False Face society) arrives to capture the Rogues to receive the bounty.[17]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Like most Batman villains, Mr. Freeze plans his crimes about a specific theme; in his case, ice and cold.[1] He freezes areas around him using special weapons and equipment, most notably a handheld "Freeze gun". His refrigeration suit grants him superhuman strength and durability, making him a powerful villain in Batman's rogues gallery.[1]

In the Underworld Unleashed storyline, the demon Neron grants Mr. Freeze the ability to generate subzero temperatures, no longer needing his freeze-gun or refrigeration suit. However, after his encounter with Green Lantern, Donna Troy, and Purgatory in Central Park, he reverted to his original subzero biology. He then gained a new subzero armor and weaponry.[18]

Other versions[edit]

Smallville[edit]

Mr. Freeze appears in the comic book adaptation of Smallville, partnered with the Prankster of Intergang.[19] He agrees to work for Intergang in order to fund Nora's treatment. Freeze is betrayed by Prankster, however, and is defeated by Batman and Green Arrow.[20]

Robot Mr. Freeze[edit]

In Blackhawk, Mr. Freeze appears as a robot that is controlled by Doctor Thurman.[21]

Justice League Adventures[edit]

Based in the DC animated universe, Mr. Freeze is part of a group of ice-themed villains called the "Cold Warriors" that tried to overthrow a small African nation. The Cold Warriors appear in Justice League Adventures #12 (December 2002).

DC Super Friends[edit]

Based in the DC Super Friends universe, Mr. Freeze is part of a group of ice-themed villains called the "Ice Pack" that encased a city in ice and snow. The Ice Pack appear in DC Super Friends #16 (August 2009).

Flashpoint[edit]

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint, Mr. Freeze attacks the S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City to find a cure for his wife Nora. However, Citizen Cold attacks and uses his cold gun to freeze Mr. Freeze's body. Mr. Freeze tries to escape on robotic legs, but Citizen Cold freezes him to death and tells him that Nora is dead.[22] This version of Mr. Freeze is a friend of Fallout's, and pursues revenge against Citizen Cold for murdering him.[23] It is later revealed that radiation produced by Fallout is the cure Mr. Freeze was searching for.[24]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Eli Wallach as Mr. Freeze in the Batman television series.
Mr. Freeze in The Batman.

Film[edit]

Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Video games[edit]

Mr. Freeze also appears in several Batman video games:

Web series[edit]

Merchandising[edit]

Mr. Freeze is also the name of two LIM roller coasters at two Six Flags parks (Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Over Texas).[56][57]

Lego's Batman line features two sets, The Batcave: The Penguin and Mr. Freeze's Invasion, which includes minifigure incarnations of Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, Batman, Robin, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne, a henchman, and three hench-penguins. The second set, Batman's Buggy: The Escape of Mr. Freeze, includes minifigures of Mr. Freeze and Batman. In 2013, the character Mr.Freeze was re-introduced in the LEGO SuperHeroes theme in set 76000 "Artic Batman Vs. Mr.Freeze Aquaman on Ice".

Dark Horse comic books[edit]

Mr. Freeze appears in the third Batman vs. Predator comic book, Blood Ties. His gang members are killed by the Predators, but he is spared since he is not visible to the Predator due to his lack of body heat.[58]

In Batman/Aliens 2, Mr. Freeze is not seen, but his freeze gun is used to destroy aliens, and an alien cloned from Fries' DNA can be seen.[59]

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • He appears in Batman: Gotham Adventures issue #5, set after the events of "Cold Comfort".[60] He has made further appearances in Batman Adventures. The comic's writers intended Batman Adventures #15 to be Mr. Freeze's final appearance. Though the issue's ending is ambiguous, it does set up for his eventual fate, as revealed in Batman Beyond.[61] Nora finally encounters Victor after her new husband is nearly killed by a robot he himself created in Freeze's image to attack him, hoping to prove to Nora that her first husband was a monster. The story ends with Mr. Freeze's head falling into a pond at the Arctic. Deleted material from the comic portrays Ferris Boyle and Grant Walker being killed by the Mr. Freeze robot. The story implies that Powers Technology takes possession of Mr. Freeze's head and puts it in storage. The company's owner, Warren Powers, father of Derek, a Batman Beyond' villain, states that the secret to immortality is locked inside the villain's head.[61]
  • Mr. Freeze made two appearances in Justice League Adventures comics. In the first, he claims that Captain Cold has stolen his freeze gun design, but in the second they are working together, alongside other cold-based villains as part of a plan to conquer Earth for a race of cold-based aliens, although they turn against their 'ally' when he attempts to betray them only for them to be released by Batman.[62]

Parodies[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "UGO's World pf Batman - Rogues Gallery: Mr. Freeze". UGO. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Mr. Freeze is Number 67". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Batmania UK: 1966 Batman: Villains: Mr. Freeze". Bat-Mania. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Batmania UK: 1966 Batman: Villains: Mr. Freeze 2". Bat-Mania. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Batmania UK: 1966 Batman: Villains: Mr. Freeze 3". Bat-Mania. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Heart of Ice". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-05-09. Mr. Freeze targets the industrialist responsible for his wife's death. 
  7. ^ Robin II: Joker's Wild #1 (1991)
  8. ^ Detective Comics Vol.1 #670 (1993)
  9. ^ Daly, Steve; Thompson, Anne (8 March 1996). "A Tights Squeeze". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  10. ^ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #192-196: "Snow"
  11. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #8 (2012)
  12. ^ Batman Annual Vol. 2 #1 (2012)
  13. ^ Forever Evil #1
  14. ^ Detective Comics Vol. 2 #23.3
  15. ^ Forever Evil: Arkham War #3
  16. ^ Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #3
  17. ^ Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #4
  18. ^ Waid, Mark; Peterson, Harry (w), Porter, Howard; Jimenez, Phil and others (a). Underworld Unleashed 3 (November 1995 - January 1996), DC Comics, 1563894475
  19. ^ Smallville: Season 11 #8
  20. ^ Smallville: Season 11 #9
  21. ^ Blackhawk #117
  22. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (June 2011)
  23. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2 (July 2011)
  24. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3 (August 2011)
  25. ^ The New Adventures Of Batman (DVD). Warner Bros. Home Video. 2007. 
  26. ^ "Batman: The Animated Series - Actors - Villains". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  27. ^ Batman: The Animated Series (DVD). Warner Bros. Home Video. 2004. 
  28. ^ "Deep Freeze". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  29. ^ Batman: The Animated Series Volume Four (DVD). Warner Brother Home Video. 2005. 
  30. ^ "Cold Comfort". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  31. ^ Hilary J. Bader, Dan Riba, Shirley Walker, Koko Yang, Dong Yang (1997-10-11). "Cold Comfort". The New Batman Adventures. Season 1. Episode 3. The WB.
  32. ^ a b "Meltdown". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  33. ^ a b Hilary J. Bader, Alan Burnett, Butch Lukic, Lolita Ritmanis, Koko Yang, Dong Yang (1999-02-13). "Meltdown". Batman Beyond. Season 1. Episode 5. The WB.
  34. ^ Butch Lukic, Dan Riba, Rich Fogel, Dwayne McDuffie (2004-05-29). "Starcrossed". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 50, 51, 52. Cartoon Network.
  35. ^ Burnett, Alan (2007-09-22). "The Batman: The Batman/Superman Story (1) Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  36. ^ Seung Eun-Kim, Michael Jelenic (2005-05-28). "Fire and Ice". The Batman. Season 2. Episode 21. The WB.
  37. ^ Anthony Chun, Steven Melching (2006-05-06). "The Icy Depths". The Batman. Season 3. Episode 38. The CW.
  38. ^ Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman (2007-02-03). "Artifacts". The Batman. Season 4. Episode 46. The CW.
  39. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (June 23, 2014). "Interview: 'Gotham' director Danny Cannon on Batman without Batman and introducing Mr. Freeze". HitFix. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  40. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (July 30, 2014). "Gotham to introduce Mr Freeze: 'The science needs to be real'". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  41. ^ Maslin, Janet (1997-06-20). "Batman and Robin". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  42. ^ Ebert, Roger (1997-06-20). "Batman & Robin". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  43. ^ Berardinelli, James (1997-06-20). "Batman and Robin". ReelViews. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  44. ^ Dougherty, Robin (1997-07-20). "Batman & Robin". Salon. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  45. ^ Jeff Gordinier; Jeffrey Wells (1995-12-15). "Bat Signal". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  46. ^ Michael Mallory (1997-03-05). "An ice-cold Arnold sends Batman back to his cave". Variety. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  47. ^ Joel Schumacher, Peter MacGregor-Scott, Chris O'Donnell, Val Kilmer, Uma Thurman, John Glover, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Part 6-Batman Unbound, 2005, Warner Home Video
  48. ^ Dave Karger; Cindy Pearlman (1997-03-14). "The Bat and the Beautiful". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  49. ^ Masters, Kim (August 5, 1996). "Hollywood Fades to Red". Time. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  50. ^ "Summer Movie Preview". Entertainment Weekly. 1997-05-16. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  51. ^ "Batman Vengeance - MobyGames". Moby Games. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  52. ^ "Game Stop - Batman Vengeance". Game Stop. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  53. ^ "Game Stop - Batman: Dark Tomorrow". Game Stop. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  54. ^ Casarnassina, Matt (2001-11-19). "IGN: Batman Vengeance Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  55. ^ Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery", Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
  56. ^ "Mr. Freeze: Six Flags, St. Louis". Six Flags. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  57. ^ "Mr. Freeze: Six Flags Over Texas". Six Flags. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  58. ^ Gibbons, Dave (w), Kubert, Andy (p), Kubert, Andy (i). "Blood Ties" Batman vs. Predator 3 (February 1992), DC Comics, Dark Horse
  59. ^ Edginton, Ian (w), Johnson, Staz (p), Hodgkins, James (i). Batman/Aliens 2 2 (2003), DC Comics, Dark Horse, 84-7904-703-8
  60. ^ Templeton, Ty (w), Burchett, Rick, Beatty, Terry (a). "Polar Opposites" Batman: Gotham Adventures 5 (October 1998), DC Comics
  61. ^ a b "The World's Finest - Batman Adventures: #15". World's Finest. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  62. ^ Justice League Adventures #12

External links[edit]