Nora Fries (Lazara)

Nora FriesGotham came back, and with quite a blast. The new episode, Mr. Freeze, introduced two major villains 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, is the reason the scientist freezes people, using his victims as guinea pigs to find a way to put his wife on cryo-stasis until he can find a cure for her disease. The character already appeared in Batman & Robin, portrayed by Vendela Kirsebom Thomessen: sick with the lethal MacGregor’s Syndrome, she was put on suspended animation by her husband, and she stays on ice for the entire movie (apart from the wedding videos Freeze watches over and over). She’s even nearly killed by a jealous Poison Ivy, but she’s then saved by Batman. Now, let’s see together who this beloved and loving wife is in the comics…and no, there’s no happy ending for the spouses.

Not much is known about Nora’s early life, not even her maiden name. She attended a boarding school in Gotham City, and she excelled in athletics; even in college she was one of the most proficient athletes around. Beautiful, lively, cheerful and full of life, Nora was courted by many boys, but unexpectedly she found herself attracted by Victor Fries, a shy and lonesome boy who excelled in physics. The introverted Victor, just as all the others, was smitten by Nora, and he was the first one to be surprised when she chose him among all her suitors: the two started dating, and they deeply fell in love with each other. Nora and Victor got married soon after, and the latter obtained a job as a university professor. Their happy life together, however, didn’t last long, as Nora fell ill soon after the marriage, affected by a rare and uncurable pathology that would have led her to death. Victor was distraught by the news, and Nora couldn’t do anything but to watch as he gave up to his entire life just to save her: he left his job as a lazaracomics1professor, starting working for GothCorp in order to be able to research for a cure. Victor’s researches proceeded well, but time for Nora was almost over; having specialised in cryogenics, Fries had a revulutionary idea to save Nora’s life: he would have put her in cryo-stasis, preserving her body at extremely low temperatures and stopping the progress of the disease. Thanks to her husband’s efforts, Nora was put in suspended animation, an ice slumber that prevented her from dying, but that also robbed her of her last moments with Victor. While Nora slept, Victor entered in contrast with Ferris Boyle, the despicable CEO of GothCorp, and as a consequence he ended up becoming the supervillain Mr. Freeze. For years, Freeze kept restlessly researching, hoping to save Nora, but he made little or no progress at all.

Years passed, and Nora was still in cryo-stasis: the continuous exposure to such low temperatures started damaging her tissues, and her body was exposed to far an excessive stress. Nora’s skin began to crack, and eventually she fell apart, piece by piece. Victor, who was by that time one of the most brilliant living minds in the world, worked on her day and night with sub-zero surgery, and everytime she broke, he fixed her, using experimentals chemicals to keep her alive. It was only a matter of time before Nora would have died despite her husband’s efforts. The possibility to restore her back to life arrived when Nyssa Raatko, the eldest daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, formed an alliance with Mister Freeze: he would have built a machine for her incarnation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and would have helped her to capture Cassandra Cain, the new Batgirl; in return, Nyssa would have allowed him to use the League of Assassins‘ Lazarus Pit to restore Nora to life. Freeze accepted the offer and captured Batgirl for Nyssa, but the heroine convinced him that his new ally didn’t have any intention of actually using the Pit on Nora. When Nyssa told Freeze that she needed more time to “prepare the Pit”, the scientist ended up believing Cassandra’s words, and he lazaracomics2put Nora in the Pit himself. Nora was effectively restored to life, but years of exposure to her husband’s chemicals and the many adjustments her body went through interacted in an unexpected way with the Lazarus Pit, and she absorbed the unknown substances of it. As a result, she emerged from it as a deranged creature who called herself Lazara, full of hatred and despise towards the man she once loved and who made a monster out of her. Lazara had also absorbed part of the Lazarus Pit’s properties, resulting in incredible powers she used to attack her husband, Nyssa and Batgirl. Finally, Victor Fries’ efforts to restore his beloved wife back to life had success…unfortunately, in return he only received hatred and homicidal frenzy.

Nora Fries is a cheerful and passioante girl, sunny and enamoured of life; she deeply loves her husband, Victor, and her greatest regret in her illness is not being able to spend her life with him. As Lazara, however, she’s a deranged monster, who only feels hatred and anger towards the man who sacrificed everything in his life to save her; her body is incandescent, making it impossible for her husband even to touch her, and she can manipulate that fire in powerful blasts of energy; she’s also able to resurrect the dead and to bend them to her will, having inherited the powers of the magical pit that healed her. What Nora loved, Lazara hates, and what the first took care of, the second seeks to destroy. There’s no place for love in her tainted soul anymore.



  1. […] Nora Fries (Lazara) […]

  2. […] when he killed during a battle Mr. Freeze, a criminal who was trying to find a cure for his wife Nora. Freeze’s death started a chain reaction that would have led to Cold’s downfall, but of […]

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