As part of a new series I am starting, I will be looking at the villains of the comics. Since Batman has one of the most well known rogues gallery and some of my favorites, I am going to start with the Arkham Files and analyze the foes of the Dark Knight. My hope is to go into other characters from different rogues galleries, but this is where we will start.
Arkham File: Mr. Freeze
Born as Victor Fries, he spent much of his childhood aloof from the rest of society. His father was brutal and possibly physically harmed Victor at times. He developed an unusual hobby as began to freeze animals for fun and to help escape from his troubles at home. Victor thought he could preserve the animals forever and save them, but when his father found out what he was doing, sent him to counseling. Reports gathered from these sessions gather that this was Victor’s way of controlling his world and enjoying them forever.
The patient continued his isolated ways into his college years where he met the woman Nora, whom he fell in love with despite their vast differences. Victor and Nora married and he was happy with his life. Until the day that his beloved Nora came down with a terminal illness and his life began to unravel. Taking a job at Gothcorp in hopes of finding a way to cure his sick wife, Fries was exposed to super coolants which altered his body chemistry and would now have to stay in subzero temperatures just to survive.
Donning a powered suit to keep his body at the right temperature, which also enhanced his strength, Victor set out to save his wife by any means necessary. He froze her while he continued to look for a cure. Going after Gothcorp executives for denying the funding for his research put him into conflict with the Batman and led him to become Mister Freeze. On occasions Freeze has aided Batman but is continually on the hunt to save his wife and won’t let anyone stand in his way.
Although the patient appears to only be acting in an effort to save his wife, he has been prone to violence and sociopathic tendencies. He has refused to accept reality and this has made him dangerous and a grave threat to those around him. His social skills have always been his week point and has led to Victor being unstable and made him unpredictable in his behavior.
Despite this, Freeze has shown the ability to be compassionate and do the right thing. This has made him conflicted at times as he ultimately just wants to be happy with his wife. He claims to no longer possess human emotions, but his love and dedication for Nora is strongly evident. His condition prevents him from having a normal life even if he was to get Nora back and this has led to anger inside of Freeze. Knowing that even if he can save his wife that he will never have a regular life with her.
Reports show that Batman has taken speacial interest in Victor and despite the harm that he has caused wants to help him and his wife. This makes him an interesting case compared many of the other patients here at the Asylum and calls for further study in future sessions.
It is clear the Victor Fries has psychological problems that have stemmed from the time that he was a child, but it is not been found that the patient is “insane.” His motives are mostly clear and his intention of saving his wife is noble, but will go to any lengths to achieve his goals and this makes him dangerous. His threat level is high and should he ever lose his wife I fear this would drive him further away from any chance of a return to normalcy and possibly beyond help.
Case Files for Further Study:
Batman #121 (1959)
Called Mr. Zero in this first appearance, Mr. Freeze begins a series of robberies using a gun capable of projecting both cold and heat
Detective Comics #373 (1968)
Mr. Zero returns to plague Batman in a new costume and with a new name: Mr. Freeze.
Underworld Unleashed #1-3 (95-96)
Mister Freeze is given enchanted powers by Neron, but loses the ability to generate cold without his freeze gun.
Batman: Mr. Freeze #1 (1997)
Mr. Freeze is provided a fitting modern origin story, inspired by the acclaimed Batman the Animated Series.
Batgirl #70 (2006)
Mr. Freeze hopes Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter can restore his wife using the Lazarus Pit; but, becomes an insane villainess called Lazara.
Batman Annual #1 (2012)
Post Flashpoint, Mr. Freeze’s origin is updated, revealing that Victor’s “wife” Nora was never his wife at all.