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Supervillain Origins: Mr. Freeze

VO: Dan
Originally introduced as Mr. Zero, this Batman villain was once a one-dimensional and ruthless villain that used his knowledge of cryogenics to achieve wealth. After several decades, he has undergone much change, transforming the cold blooded criminal into one of the most popular and sympathetic of The Dark Knight’s foes. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of Mr. Freeze.
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Supervillain Origins: Mr. Freeze

This deeply logical and intelligent villain uses ice-cold ruthlessness to achieve his goals. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origins of Mr. Freeze.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline, which unfolded in 1959’s Batman #121 and was expanded upon in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice”, and its comic adaptation Batman: Mr. Freeze.

Originally introduced as Mr. Zero, this Batman villain was once a one-dimensional and ruthless villain that used his knowledge of cryogenics to achieve wealth. After several decades he had undergone much change, which quickly transformed him into one of the most popular and sympathetic of The Dark Knight’s foes.

In Batman: Mr. Freeze, Dr. Victor Fries was portrayed as having emerged from an isolated and troubled youth. As a child, he had made a hobby of freezing animals in order to preserve them, fearing they would eventually die. Sickening his parents, they sent him away to a strict boarding school where he became an outcast. He broke from his constant depression when he met the love of his life, a woman named Nora. Sadly, their happiness and marriage turned out to be short-lived as she was soon diagnosed with a fatal disease.

Needing money to provide her medical bills, he began working at a Gotham City lab. There, he began revolutionary work into cryogenic healing. However, with results not coming fast enough, Victor decided to secretly freeze Nora until a cure could be found. While it preserved her life, his actions had been discovered. With security officers ordered to pull the plug, Victor put up a fight. This resulted in a coolant blast to erupt from the machinery and consume his body and the lab.

Surviving the experience, he discovered that his body had undergone a mutagenic change, requiring sub zero temperatures to survive. Fashioning himself a suit to keep his vitals going, he developed a freezing ray. Within a year, Freeze targeted his old employer Ferris Boyle, who was keeping his suspended wife in storage with the hopes of using her to turn a profit.

An intervention by Batman gave the doctor a new primary motivation; the death of the caped crusader.

Over the years the two would confront each other many more times. This was due to Freeze’s need to steal diamonds to power his cry-suit, and to afford the equipment needed to find a cure. Though, on occasion he has found himself partnering up with Batman when he found it to be the logical choice of action. Freeze has also been known to stop himself when he realizes that his wife wouldn’t approve of his actions. He has also learned to make a home of Arkham Asylum, one of the few facilities prepared for his extended stays with a refrigerated cell.

One of Batman’s most iconic foes, Mr. Freeze has appeared in various media over the years. These include his comical portrayal by several actors in the 1960s Batman series and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s over-the-top interpretation of the character in 1997’s “Batman & Robin.” However, the most complex and sympathetic portrayal of the character came in Batman: The Animated Series, and its film “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero.”
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