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Nora Fries

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Nora Fries
Nora Fries
Information
Real name: Nora Fries, née Smithy[1]
Species: Human
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Black
Relatives: Victor Fries (ex-husband)
Dora Smithy (sister)
Base: Gotham City
Affiliations: Mr. Freeze

"I can only beg your forgiveness and pray you hear me somehow... someplace. Someplace where a warm hand waits for mine."
Mr. Freeze[2]

Nora Fries was the beloved wife of scientist Victor Fries, who through a tragic set of circumstances inspired his transformation into the villain Mr. Freeze.

History

At some point after their marriage, Nora was diagnosed with a terminal and incurable disease. Unwilling to let her die, Victor placed her in cryonic stasis until a cure could be found, illicitly using equipment and funds from his employer, GothCorp.

The tragedy struck when Victor's uncaring boss, Ferris Boyle, pushed into the lab and demanded that the unauthorized "experiment" be halted. He appeared not to understand, or care, that disconnecting Nora's tube would kill her. In desperation, Victor seized a gun from one of Boyle's security guards, leading to a brawl that sent Victor crashing into a tube of cryonic chemicals, which enveloped the entire lab. Victor's body chemistry was altered, making him incapable of surviving except in a sub-zero environment. Believing Nora dead, and vengeful over his own condition, Victor adopted the alias "Mr. Freeze" and went on a rampage against Gothcorp, intent on killing Boyle. He was narrowly stopped by the Batman.[2]

Unknown to him, Nora's tube had been salvaged and preserved by agents of Grant Walker, a major investor in Gothcorp. Walker became interested in Freeze's work and kept Nora safe, knowing that with her he could make Freeze do whatever he wanted. Some time later, Walker broke Freeze out of Arkham Asylum and asked Freeze to re-create the accident, so Walker could likewise become "frozen", and therefore slow his aging enough to be practically immortal. Freeze refused at first, but when he saw that Nora was alive, and still in stasis, he agreed. Walker claimed to have the means to "restore" her, though whether this meant simply bringing her out of stasis, or curing her disease (or whether he was being truthful or not) is unknown.
Nora and Freeze

"We are together again, my love".

After Walker had been "frozen", he planned to annihilate the rest of Gotham City, and ultimately the world, with a cannon-sized version of Freeze's cold gun. Freeze pretended not to care, since nothing mattered to him except having Nora back. But ultimately, it was his love for her that led him to aid Batman and stop Walker—realizing that she could never love a man who would let innocent people die.

In the ensuing fight, Walker's base exploded and began to sink into the ocean. Batman and Robin evacuated, but Freeze refused to abandon Nora. He stayed at the side of her capsule while the entire complex submerged. By a lucky chance, both of them were preserved inside a small air pocket inside a floating chunk of ice.[3]

The current carried the ice to the polar regions, where Freeze built a laboratory and continued his research into a cure for Nora's condition. He concluded that only an organ transplant would suffice, and since there were no (deceased) donors available, he decided to use a live one. Due to Nora's rare blood type, the list of suitable donors was short and it was best to use someone with roughly the same weight and height so he kidnapped Barbara Gordon and held her on an oil platform until Nora was stabilized for the operation. Batman stopped Freeze's plan, and managed to save Barbara and Nora (and a young boy Victor had helping him) before the oil platform blew up. Wayne Enterprises managed to finally cure Nora and release her from stasis.[4]

Unfortunately, Freeze's frozen state had started to take its toll. His body deteriorated until only his head remained (thanks to a few doctors he had kidnapped). No longer a human, Freeze could not reunite with his wife. She gave up on waiting for him, married her doctor, and left Gotham. After going through so much to restore her, losing her forever drove Victor completely mad. He embarked on a nihilistic campaign against Gotham City, seeking to make the world feel his pain by targeting and destroying those things its people loved most. He disappeared after his latest fight with Batman.[5]

Nora had one sister, Dora Smithy, who blamed Victor for keeping Nora in a half-alive state of stasis, which Dora believed unnatural. Dora adopted weaponry similar to Mr. Freeze's and went on her own rampage.[6]

Legacy

Several years into the future, Nora had passed on, but Freeze's head was preserved in the vault of Wayne-Powers. Freeze became the test subject for an experimental process to transfer a person's mind into a healthy cloned body. Seemingly restored to normal at last, Victor Fries tried to atone for his past crimes by establishing a charitable foundation in Nora's name for the families of his victims. But he never got to build it as his DNA reverted, making him Mr. Freeze again.[7]

Background information

Though she had no speaking appearances in the DCAU, Nora was the linchpin of the character revamp that transformed Mr. Freeze from a clownish mad scientist into a deeply tragic character.

Nora's only "live" appearance in the DCAU continuity is in issues of the comic book Batman: Gotham Knights taking place after the events of "Cold Comfort". After her re-marriage, her new husband, Francis D'Anjou, becomes frustrated at her continuing affection for the "monster" Victor has become, and so sets up an elaborate scheme to frame Victor for a series of crimes and "prove" to Nora that he is irredeemable. He creates a robotic imposter of Fries, who stalks and kills both Ferris Boyle and Grant Walker, before being exposed as a fraud. At the end of the debacle, Freeze is presumed killed after disappearing under an ice sheet after a brief reunion with his wife, in which they both proclaim they still love each other. Freeze's head is found locked away in a vault at Powers Technology, and Nora never sees him again, but their last thoughts in the story are of each other.

When Mr. Freeze's comic book origins were retconned to reflect the animated version's, some of Nora's history was added as well. In one comic, the couple first met and fell in love in college, she introducing herself to the shy, withdrawn boy.

In at least one version, Nora is killed when a stray blast from Freeze's cold gun (meant to hit Batman) shatters her cryo-tube, driving him completely insane and hell-bent on vengeance against Batman.

During the final issues of the Cassandra Cain "Batgirl" series, Freeze is working for the League of Assassins, and is promised by their leader that they can use one of Ra's Al Ghul's Lazarus pits to save Nora. When she is later submerged in the pit, she becomes a super villain named "Lazara", who can summon fire and raise the dead and who blamed Freeze for what she became.

Nora also appeared in the live-action film Batman and Robin, again as only a still figure floating in a cryonic tank. She was played by Swedish model Vendela Kirsebom.

See also

Appearances

Batman: The Animated Series

Feature film

The New Batman Adventures

Batman Beyond

Gotham Girls

References

  1. Conjecture based on the name of her sister, Dora Smithy, although it is somewhat unclear whether or not that is Dora's maiden name.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Batman: The Animated Series, "Heart of Ice"
  3. Idem, "Deep Freeze"
  4. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
  5. The New Batman Adventures, "Cold Comfort"
  6. Gotham Girls, "Cold Hands, Cold Heart"
  7. Batman Beyond, "Meltdown"

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