03 November 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Mr. Freeze

Originally called Mr. Zero, Dr. Victor Fries first appeared in 1959. Originally, he was a mad scientist who plotted crimes around ice and cold. In most incarnations, this desire stems from a medical condition in which his body temperature was permanently lowered and he required a refrigerated “ice suit” to survive. Mr. Freeze (not sure why he dropped the Dr in his villain name) has appeared in the Batman live action TV show, Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman, and on theb ig screen in the turdtastic Batman and Robin. The animated series version of Freeze was more calm and composed than previous, campier versions and the comic book version has since been altered to resemble it. Of course, lets not forget to mention that Arnold portrayed this newly revamped character as a pun shouting idiot in the B&R movie using up most of the stock the character had recently gained. Thanks Arnie.

As a child, he was fascinated by freezing animals. His parents, horrified by his "hobby", send him to a strict boarding school, where he was miserable, feeling detached from humanity. In college, he met a woman named Nora, whom he befriended and ultimately marries.

Nora later fell terminally ill. Fries took on a job working for a large company run by the ruthless Ferris Boyle. Fries discovers a way to put Nora into cryo-stasis (using company equipment), hoping to sustain her until a cure could be found. Boyle found out about the experiment and attempted to have her brought out of stasis, overruling Fries' frantic objections. A struggle ensued in which Boyle kicked Fries into a table full of chemicals and left him for dead. Fries survived, but his body temperature was lowered dramatically; he could now only live at sub-zero temperatures, forced to wear a special refrigerating suit to stay alive. As Mr. Freeze, he used cryonic technology to create a gun, which fired a beam that froze any target within its range.

His first act as a costumed criminal was to take revenge upon Ferris Boyle, a plan with which Batman interfered. Mr. Freeze fired his freeze-gun at Batman, but he dodged, causing the beam to shatter Nora's capsule. Freeze blames Batman, and swore to destroy whatever the Dark Knight holds dear (mainly Gotham City, and eventually Robin).

Mr. Freeze's crimes tended to involve freezing everyone and everything he ran in to. In addition, he hardly ever forged alliances with the other criminals in Gotham, preferring to work alone, although he has worked as a hired enforcer/hitman for the Black Mask. Once, in the hopes of reviving his wife, he allied himself with the Secret Society of Super Villains, fashioning for Nyssa al Ghul a sub-zero machine in exchange for the use of her own Lazarus Pit. He attempted to restore Nora to life without waiting for the adjusting needed in the pool chemicals. Sshe returned to life as the twisted Lazara, and escaped. She blamed her husband for her plight, and estranged herself from him.

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Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Black Mask
David Cain
Calendar Man & Calendar Girl
Clock King
Crazy Quilt
Floronic Man
Mr. Freeze

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Dragulf said...

I liked Arnie as Mr. Freeze. B&R was more a like comedic fantasy to me... With Mr. Freeze the franchise finally jumped into a fantasy world, the only place where the Bat-mobile and Freeze-mobile could literally fly over a bridge! Bravo!

Chip Chief said...

so, you liked B&R? you are in the minority for sure, though I confess watching the movie with friends and picking it apart can be a hilariously good time.

Dragulf said...

When Arnie is your childhood hero, he is hard to let go, ya know. *shrugs* I thought he was a great actor back then too. Haha.
I do think Batman Begins is more realistic but not quite dark enough.