Victor Fries (Mister Freeze)

misterfreezefilmGotham left us with a tasty surprise, as just before the winter break the show gave us a first look at another major villain making his debut in this season. At the end of Worse Than a Crime, a man is chased down an alley by a mysterios masked figure, who kills him with a freezing gun: that’s Mister Freeze, portrayed by Nathan Darrow. Of course, this is not Freeze’s first live action portrayal: he appeared in the 1960s Batman tv series, portrayed by three different actors (George SandersOtto Preminger and Eli Wallach), and had his secret identity changed into Art Schivel, a German criminal who mutated when Batman accidentally threw to him some chemicals; from that moment, Mister Freeze started using a freezing suit and gun to commit campy, ice-based crimes. In the awful Batman & Robin the villain was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and albeit his flashy and shiny armor, he was given quite a tragic background, resembling his comicbook counterpart’s one. Now, before seeing what this more “grounded and gritty” new version of Freeze will be, let’s take our usual look at the original one.

Victor Fries was born in Gotham City, the son of Charles and Lorraine Fries. Charles was a control maniac, who organised his son’s life in every single detail, forcing young Victor to find any kind of escape from this chocking “parental love”. Gifted with a bright intellect and a sane curiosity, as a boy Victor became fascinated by science in general, and by cryonics in particular, and he committed himself to a “research” that he actually lived more like a game, as all children do. Unfortunately, his hobby required him to freeze living animals, guinea pigs for his defrosting experiments: this kind of pastime wasn’t exactly socially acceptable, especially in a family like his own. As soon as his parents learnt about what he was doing, they started looking at Victor with horror, and eventually they sent him to a misterfreezecomics1strict boarding school, hoping to correct his character. The boy felt simply abandoned and alone, and the new environment only increased his loneliness. That same winter, as all the other children came back home for the holidays, Victor found out that his parents had disowed him, abandoning him to himself: he was seen by Charles and Lorraine as some sort of freak, a mistake soon to be forgotten. Obviously, this didn’t do much for the child’s self esteem, and Victor Fries believed he would have never felt the warmth of love in his entire life. Fries grew up a lonesome and gloomy teenager, and he consecrated all his energies to science, perseverating on his childhood’s passion and specialising in cryogenics. In college, Victor met a beautiful athlete, Nora, who was everything he had never been: lively, warm, cheerful, Fries couldn’t help falling in love with her. Surprisingly enough, Nora reciprocated the feelings of the shy and introverted scientist, and the two became romantically involved; eventually, Victor and Nora got married. The man obtained a job as professor of cryogenics in the local college, and started his new life with Nora: finally, he was feeling the warmth and love he had been missing all of his life.

Victor’s happiness, however, didn’t last: Nora fell terminally ill, hit by a rare pathology there was no cure for. Victor, distraught, didn’t give up: he left his job as a teacher and started working for GothCorp, a rich drug company, in the effort of finding a cure for his beloved wife. Time was running out, so Fries suspended his regular work to build an equipment that would have allowed him to put Nora in cryo-stasis, giving him time to find a cure. He succeeded, and put Nora in an ice-slumber, keeping her alive all the time he needed to find the cure…but GothCorp’s CEO, Ferris Boyle, found out that Fries was using the company’s money for his own researches, and cut down the project. He then rushed into the scientist’s lab, and tried to put Nora out of stasis, firing Fries. Frantically wanting to save his wife, Victor tried to stop Boyle, and in the resulting struggle he ended up being engulfed in his own misterfreezecomics2cryogenic coolants. Scared, Boyle ran away leaving Fries for dead, but the man miraculously survived, albeit with grave consequences: the chemicals had modified his body chemistry, and he was now able to survive only at sub-zero temperatures. Wounded and confused, Fries left GothCorp unnoticed, taking with him the frozen Nora and some of his equipment. He used the latter to build himself a special suit, that mantained his body temperature below zero; wanting to exact his revenge on Boyle as well, he also deviced a special ray gun able to freeze any target. Naming himself Mister Zero (later changed into the more effective Mister Freeze), Fries used his new tech to rob jewellers and museums, hunting mainly for diamonds, stones as hard and cold as he had become, but as beautiful and lifeless as Nora was…and, most of all, simple enough to sell on the black market, so that he could finance his own research of a cure for his wife. The scientist, however, didn’t forget what Boyle had almost done to him and Nora, so he hunted him down, and tried to kill him with his freeze gun. His first revenge attempt was foiled by Gotham’s new protector, Batman. Defending Boyle, Batman authomatically became a target for Mister Freeze: he would have let nobody stand in the way between himself and the safety of the woman he loved.

Victor Fries is a brilliant yet socially awkward man: his somehow tragic past convinced him that life has nothing in store for him but cold and indifference, and he acts accordingly. A genius scientist, a polimath with masterships over chemistry, physics, neurobiology, medicine and much more, he’s one of the most skilled inventors on the planet, able to rival with Lex Luthor or Mister Terrific. As Mister Freeze, he’s equipped with a suit that not only mantains his body temperature below zero, allowing his survival, but also increases his strength and durability, making him a formidable opponent; his trademark gun is able to freeze anything (or anyone) is hit by its ray, much like Captain Cold‘s one. Imprisoned in an eternal winter for all his life, Mister Freeze had in his beloved wife Nora the only ray of heat and love he ever knew, and he won’t allow anybody to take it away from him, at all costs.

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7 Comments

  1. […] Victor Fries (Mister Freeze) […]

  2. […] all his remarkable skills at the service of the team, recruiting other elusive colleagues such as Mr. Freeze or Fadeaway Man, and spying on new heroes such as Supergirl or Blue Beetle. Definitely a better […]

  3. […] from the Batman mythology, and also a secondary character deeply tied to one of them. Learning of Mr. Freeze‘s origins, we meet his wife, Nora, portrayed by Kristen Hager: the woman, terminally ill, […]

  4. […] his vengeful hunt for the Dark Knight. When he found him, however, the hero was already battling Mr. Freeze, and Clayface and the frosty scientist started battling each other over the right to kill […]

  5. […] had forseen, she decided she would have not trusted Black Canary anymore. When the supervillain Mr. Freeze started observing the Birds of Prey, Starling spotted her way out, and betrayed her teammates […]

  6. […] ice-based supervillains visit Charm City and freeze everything in sight. Many of them are named: Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, Killer Frost, Minister Blizzard…but, among these, eventually it’s […]

  7. […] all across the country to have them arrested. Icicle joined a group of ice-based villains like Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold and Killer Frost and joined the hunt, but they were all defeated. Always the team […]


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