by Phil Perich for the Before the Bat podcast
Continuing down the list of names coming to Gotham season 2, this week we get to Victor Fries, or more well known as the Batman rogue Mr. Freeze. Mr. Freeze’s first appearance when he was known as the villain Mr. Zero, was in Batman #121 (February 1959).
In his original origin story, Freeze is a scientist who is trying to create an “ice gun”. After he spills some cryogenic chemicals on himself, he discovers he needs subzero temperatures to survive. While his origin stayed the same at this point, it was after the 1966 Batman TV show named the character Mr. Freeze that DC Comics followed suit. The character of Mr. Freeze is seen as a joke for many years, probably why he was “killed off” in the 1991 Robin II: the Joker’s Wild miniseries.
1992 would see Mr. Freeze get his more popular, definitive origin thanks to writer Paul Dini in the Batman: the Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice” which was later expanded on in the comic books.
The complete updated origin, which was expanded in the comics, explained that Victor Fries was obsessed with cryonics, even as a child freezing animals. Horrified, his parents sent him away to boarding school where he felt miserable and detached from everyone. In college he met and dated a woman named Nora whom he eventually married. Later, as first explained in the animated series episode, Nora developed a terminal disease. Victor puts her in a cryogenic freeze to keep her alive until a cure could be found. Victor’s boss at GothCorp puts an end to the experiment, claiming it cost too much money. There’s a struggle and Victor is bathed in the freezing chemicals. Creating a “cold suit” to survive, Victor becomes Mr. Freeze to gain revenge on GothCorp and steal money to fund his attempts to cure Nora. The new origin was so popular that Mr. Freeze was quickly revived in the comic books. Jean Paul Valley (a fill-in Batman) discovers that Mr. Freeze survived his encounter with the Joker in Detective Comics #670 (January 1994)
The character became a popular villain with the new origin. After DC Comics rebooted their entire history with the New 52 line in 2011, Mr. Freeze got yet another new origin. This time, Victor’s obsession with cryonics once again begins in childhood, this time when his mother falls in a frozen lake during winter. In this continuity, Nora is never Victor’s wife. Nora Fields is a woman with an incurable heart disease. She is put into cryonic suspension and years later, Victor, the scientist studying her, becomes obsessed with her. Now the accident that transforms him into Mr. Freeze is a fight between Victor and Bruce Wayne in the lab.
It was recently announced that actor Nathan Darrow will portray an early version of Victor Fries on Gotham this season.
Do You think Victor will become the villain he is destined to be while on the show? Let me know YOUR thoughts:
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You can hear me and my friends discuss Gotham and all things Batman every week on our podcast, Before the Bat: the Gotham podcast. I also write for two other blogs, the Flash/Arrow blog and the True Believers blog. You can find all my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com
Well, thats it for this week. Until next time, be good. Remember, revenge is a dish best served COLD!