|Real name:||Victor Fries|
|Hair:||None (formerly brown)|
|Eyes:|| (Originally) Black;|
(As a head) Red pupils
|Relatives:|| Nora Fries (ex-wife);|
Dora Smithy (sister-in-law)
Koonak (surrogate son)
|Rogue of:|| Batman;|
Batman (Terry McGinnis)
|Abilities:|| Withstand subzero temperatures|
Superhuman strength and invulnerability
|Weaponry:|| Cryo suit|
|Voiced by:||Michael Ansara|
Through tragic circumstances, Dr. Victor Fries became known as the villain Mr. Freeze.
Victor Fries was one of GothCorp's most brilliant scientists and cryogenic researchers. When his wife Nora Fries became infected with a deadly disease, he developed a special freezing cell and planned to cryogenically hold her until a cure was found. However, Fries had been misappropriating GothCorp money, leaving the company in debt, and the experiment unauthorized. When he was interrupted by GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle, a fight ensued and Fries grabbed a handgun, pointing it at Boyle and his security guards. Fries was then calmly ordered to drop the gun; reasoning that it is not his nature to resort to violence and that a possibility may exist for him to legitimately bankroll Nora's experiment. When Boyle's smooth talk got to Fries as he relaxed and let down his guard, the deceitful CEO kicked the scientist into a lab table full of beakers which exploded. The resulting explosion smashed Fries into his cryogenic freezing tanks and the accident soaked his entire body with the freezing solution and rendered him unable to survive outside of a sub-zero environment. Vowed revenge on those who had wronged him, he became known as "Mr. Freeze" after creating a vacuum tight suit which maintained his body temperature at 50 degrees below zero and tripled his strength as well as building a laser-powered cold gun.
Driven by hatred over the destruction of his life and maddened by his condition, Mr. Freeze sought revenge on Boyle. He first attacked GothCorp, and though his plan was stopped by Batman, who managed to capture one of Mr. Freeze's underlings. Freeze intended to kill Boyle in revenge at a party where the GothCorp CEO was due to earn the "Gotham Humanitarian of the Year" award, but Batman foiled it on account of Freeze putting innocent civilians in danger in his quest for vengeance. Freeze managed to trap Boyle in an ice cake up to his waist when Batman tackled him and the fight ensued. However, Batman had defeated Freeze using a thermos of chicken soup at the spur of the moment to crack Freeze's helmet, thus raising his body temperature and rendering him unconscious. Batman handed over the video security footage to the Gotham Police; presenting evidence that led to Boyle's arrest for his misdeeds. Fries was also arrested and placed into a sub-zero holding cell in Arkham Asylum. Unsuited, Freeze wore a prison uniform and holding a snowglobe of a ballerina which resembled Nora and crying to himself that he failed to save her but hopes she is living peacefully in Heaven.
Sometime later, entrepreneur and businessman Grant Walker discovered Nora Fries's frozen (but living) body and used her as a bargaining chip to gain what Mr. Freeze had always seen as a curse: immortality. Freeze transformed Walker's cell structure to a frozen prison similar to his own. Upon completion, Freeze betrayed Walker and destroyed the "Utopian" society he'd been building. Freeze then secluded himself in a self-made ice block, floating to colder waters until he finally settled in the Arctic. He stayed there with Nora, continuing to look for a cure.
Unfortunately, an exploration crew inadvertently crashed into Mr. Freeze's home. Nora's containment cell was destroyed and her deadly disease progressed into its fatal stages. After freezing the entire crew of the sub, Freeze headed to Gotham City with Nora, his surrogate son Koonak and his two polar bears Notchka and Shaka, to enlist the aid of head cryogenic researcher Gregory Belson, who had worked with Freeze prior to his accident. Though he was hesitant, Belson was eventually "persuaded" to aid Freeze. Together they found a way to cure Nora's disease, but it required an organ transplant. With no deceased donors available, they were forced to pursue a live one. The "donor" they chose was Barbara Gordon and they proceeded to kidnap her. However, Batman and Robin managed to interrupt the operation before it took place; the battle that ensued caused Freeze's lair to explode. Batman, Robin and Barbara were able to evacuate Nora and Koonak in time, but Freeze had fallen into the fiery blast and was assumed dead. Some time later, Freeze watches a news report through a window and hears that his wife is alive and well thanks to his efforts. He shed a tear in happiness and wandered off into the Arctic with his two bears.
In Gotham, Nora Fries waited patiently for Victor Fries to return, but received no form of contact from her husband. Unbeknownst to anyone, the effects of the accident that had made him "immortal" was causing his body to deteriorate. By the time he was able to kidnap doctors to halt the deterioration's progress, only his head remained intact. He used robotic spider-like legs attached to his head's capsule to maneuver around and a larger body shell when needed. Resigned that he would never again be united with his beloved wife, a new layer of ice froze over Mr. Freeze's heart. Having lost that which was most precious to him, he resolved to stamp out warmth wherever it glowed.
With a newer, more powerful robot body and a chillingly sardonic personality, Freeze lost his obsession over his wife and instead concentrated on bringing misery to the people of Gotham and its protector Batman. With a group of "Ice Maidens" armed with ice guns based on his own designs, he launched a series of attacks on Gotham City, seeking out that which renowned individuals valued most and destroying them.
Despite a few encounters with Batman, Freeze succeeded in ruining many dreams and bringing terror to Gotham City, even attacking Wayne Manor and freezing Alfred Pennyworth. This, however, was only a prelude to Mr. Freeze's ultimate blow against the Caped Crusader: using a "reverse fusion bomb", he hoped to leave all of Gotham City frozen solid, thereby destroying Batman's hope. Fortunately for Gotham, Batman and Batgirl stopped the plan, with the former flying Freeze's bomber plane over the ocean before dropping the bomb with its maker attached to it. The blast created an enormous pillar of ice in the water, with Freeze's suit trapped within - however, the icy villain had managed to escape.
For forty years, Victor Fries's disembodied head somehow ended up in storage at Wayne-Powers until Derek Powers and Stephanie Lake transferred his consciousness to a new clone body built from his baseline DNA (as a test of an adequate subject who had systemically damaged DNA for Powers as Fries also had systemically damaged DNA like Powers).
At first, the process seemed to work for Fries. While Fries and Lake visited the burial for his original body's disease-ridden head, an assassin attempted to kill him out of vengeance for his own murdered family that Mr. Freeze killed years ago but was thwarted by Batman. Much to the new Dark Knight's surprise, Fries let the assassin go and promised to show he was a changed man. To that end, Fries used an interview to announce that he established a foundation to make amends to Gotham.
After his interview, Fries's clone body started showing signs of reverting to his original body's previous low-temperature state. As a result, Powers and Lake opted to terminate the experiment by turning up the temperature drastically in Fries's sealed cubicle. When Fries realized what had happened, he escaped.
Using a suit he had in "cold storage", Fries returned to exact revenge on Powers and Lake. During the assault, Batman confronted him. This was interrupted when Blight attacked and badly injured Freeze. Freeze recovered in time to save Batman from Blight, blasting him out of the compound just as Blight was about to land the finishing blow.
Fries's last act was to delay the compound's collapse long enough for the new Batman to escape the destruction while he remained at its heart and was assumed dead when the building exploded. After his demise, Bruce admitted that Terry was right about Freeze being a good man.
Powers and abilities
As a result of the accident, Mr. Freeze's normal body temperature leaves him able to withstand levels of cold ordinarily fatal to other humans. The reverse of this is an extreme vulnerability to heat to the point where he cannot survive outside of a subzero environment. Another side effect of Freeze's condition is that his body's natural aging process slowed completely. Freeze maintains his body's temperature with a cybernetic environmental suit that also triples his strength to superhuman levels and is heavily armored.
His signature weapon is his "freeze gun", a ray gun that can create ice from airborne water vapor or any nearby water source. Both the suit and gun are of Freeze's own invention and he has developed several other pieces of technology that make him extremely dangerous.
Much like the other characters of Batman: The Animated Series, Mr. Freeze underwent a stylistic change when the show transferred to The New Batman Adventures. His changes were subtle, and the character's story was augmented with the introduction of his deteriorated body.
- Mr. Freeze had been a rather poorly received, clownish "villain" from the old live action Batman television series and the DC Comics of the 1960s prior to Batman: The Animated Series. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm re-imagined the entire history and motivation of Mr. Freeze to produce a villain that could be taken as both a believable character and a deadly, serious threat. The creative team invented the character of the terminally ill Nora Fries to flesh out the backstory of a fully-realized tragic villain. It was the first complete overhaul of a pre-existing character in the DCAU, and to this day it is arguably the most successful.
- The DCAU backstory on Mr. Freeze became so popular that it was used as the backstory in the Joel Shumacher film Batman & Robin (with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze) as well as the comics. However, the Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin was much more campy, as he used anything with the word "freeze", "ice" or "cool" in just about every sentence, having Nora hidden in an ice cream shop and many more campy subjects, part of what made the film a critical disaster.
- Mr. Freeze's overall backstory has often been cited among fans as one of the most humane and sad episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.
- Mr. Freeze's original character design for the series was done by comic book artist Mike Mignola (later of Hellboy fame). Interestingly, Freeze bears a marked resemblance to other Mignola characters, most notably mad Nazi scientist Herman von Klempt whose disembodied head is kept in a glass tank and is attached to a robotic body. There is also a similarity with Mignola's The Amazing Screw-On Head.
- The character's history in DC comics was likewise retconned in keeping with the DCAU version. In the revamped comics, Victor Fries first developed an interest in science as a child, freezing insects and small animals in water to preserve them. Interestingly, this childlike obsession is shared by Karl Ruprecht Kroenen (another of Mignola's characters) experimenting with cryonics and ways of re-animating the dead from an early age.
- Mr. Freeze's appearance in Batman Beyond was originally supposed to be a cameo. When Bruce Wayne tells Terry McGinnis to go to the fridge to get him a drink, Terry does so and finds Freeze's head staring right back at him when opening the fridge. However, the producers felt that the character deserved more than that to do his character justice which resulted in the episode "Meltdown".
- In the comic Batman: Gotham Adventures, Mr. Freeze is suspected of killing Ferris Boyle as well as Grant Walker. However, it turned out to be a robotic duplicate developed by Nora Fries' new husband Francis D'Anjou, who was frustrated that Nora still had affections for Victor Fries, whom he viewed as being a monster. By framing Freeze, D'Anjou tried to prove that he is completely irredeemable. At the end, Freeze is seemingly killed in a fight with the robot, and Nora leaves Francis looking for her husband.
- Interestingly enough, Mr. Freeze made a single appearance in each Batman series of the DC Animated Universe (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond) and was only mentioned beyond that (Gotham Girls, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited).
- According to Martin Pasko, Leonard Nimoy was initially approached to play Mr. Freeze but declined.
- "Heart of Ice"
- "The Worry Men" (Cameo as one of Mad Hatter's mannequins of Batman villains)
- "Deep Freeze"
- "Gotham in Pink" (Mentioned Only)
- "Hear Me Roar" (Mentioned Only)
- "A Cat in the Hand" (Mentioned Only)
- "Cold Hands, Cold Heart" (Mentioned Only)
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Cameo as a mannequin)
- "Epilogue" (Mentioned Only)