Victor Fries, better known as Mister Freeze, is a supervillain from DC Comics who is primarily an enemy of Batman. Originally one of the sillier villains from the golden age of comic books, he was finally given a memorable backstory when reimagined for Batman: The Animated Series which aired in the 1990s.
This incarnation of Freeze was depicted as a tragic figure, driven to madness and crime by desperation and grief. He became the infamous frigid fiend we know now whilst trying to find a cure for his terminally ill wife Nora, but an incident in his laboratory exposed him to large amounts of cryogenic chemicals that altered his body chemistry, leaving him incapable of surviving outside of a sub-zero environment. Thus, Victor would create a special refrigerated suit that would allow him to survive and build ice-based weaponry with which to carry out his crimes. Freeze's tragic origins in the DC Animated Universe have since been adapted into the mainstream DC comics and various other forms of Batman media.
Throughout the DC Animated Universe, Mr. Freeze has been voiced by Michael Ansara.
Batman: The Animated Series
Victor Fries was originally a cryogenic researcher who worked for GothCorp Inc.. When his wife Nora was stricken with a terminal illness, he had her placed into suspended animation until he could find a cure for her disease. However, Fries had been misappropriating GothCorp's money, which left the company in debt and the experiment unauthorized.
When he was interrupted by GothCorp's CEO Ferris Boyle, a fight ensued and Fries grabbed a handgun, and pointed it at Boyle and the security guards. Fries was then calmly ordered to drop the gun. The reasoning that it was not his nature to resort to violence and that a possibility may have existed to legitimately bankroll Nora's experiment. When Boyle's smooth talk got to Fries as he relaxed and let down his guard, the deceitful CEO kicked the scientist into a lab table full of beakers which exploded.
The resulting explosion smashed Fries into his cryogenic freezing tanks and the accident soaked his entire body with the freezing solution and rendered him unable to survive outside of a sub-zero environment. After he vowed revenge on those who had wronged him, Fries became known as "Mr. Freeze" and created a vacuum-tight suit which maintained his body temperature at 50 degrees below zero and tripled his strength, as well as built a laser-powered cold gun.
Mr. Freeze would go on to commit various crimes around Gotham City, beginning with an attempt to murder Ferris Boyle out of revenge for what had happened to him. However, his activities were always thwarted by Batman and he would find himself incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.
The New Batman Adventures
Mr. Freeze made a single appearance in the episode "Cold Comfort". Years before this episode's events, Freeze's wife Nora had been cured of her illness, but Victor never reunited with her out of shame over his condition. When he next appeared in Gotham, Freeze had been driven to a state of spiteful rage and resolved to destroy all that was warm in Gotham, anything that was of emotional value to anyone. However, when Batman and his allies confronted Freeze, they were shocked to find that Freeze's body was robotic, his original body having deteriorated until he was reduced to a head attached to a spider-like mechanical base.
Freeze attempted to crush Batman's hope by freezing all of Gotham using a "reverse fusion bomb". Fortunately for Gotham, Batman and Batgirl managed to catch up to Freeze, and Batman encountered him within his bomber plane. A battle ensued in the plane with Freeze greatly overpowering Batman. Freeze was about throw Batman out of the plane, but managed to latch Freeze onto his bomb via grapple gun. With the bomber plane flown over the ocean, Batman opened the plane's hatch dropped the bomb over the water with its maker attached to it. The blast created an enormous pillar of ice in the water, with Freeze's suit trapped within. However, the cryogenic suit was without Freeze's head, revealing that the icy villain had managed to escape.
Mr. Freeze would make his final appearance in the DCAU in the Batman Beyond episode "Meltdown". After being kept in cold storage for decades, Freeze was given a new lease on life when Dr. Stephanie Lake of Wayne-Powers offered to create a new clone body for him and transfer his mind into it. The procedure appeared to be successful; Victor awoke in a new body that was able to survive in normal temperatures.
For a few brief days, Victor enjoyed having a normal life once again and even tried to make reparations to the families of his previous victims. However, his happiness was all too temporary as his body began to revert, becoming intolerant of warm temperatures. He returned to Dr. Lake for help, but Lake had originally used Victor as a test subject to create a new body for Derek Powers, who was suffering from a radioactive mutation. Seeing the experiment with Victor as a failure, Powers ordered Dr. Lake to biopsy Victor's organs before they completely failed to see if they could still be of use. However, Victor was able to muster enough strength to escape the lab and flee.
Returning to one of his old cold storage facilities, Victor donned a new hi-tech cryo-suit with which to take his revenge on both Lake and Powers. He returned to the Wayne-Powers compound where he froze Dr. Lake to death and also froze Powers. However, Powers' mutation prevented him from succumbing to the extreme cold and he attacked Mr. Freeze with radioactive blasts. Terry McGinniss, the new Batman, arrived on the scene to stop Freeze's rampage, but was also attacked by Blight. In the end, Freeze saved Batman by blasting Blight through a wall. As the facility was about to self-destruct, the injured Freeze froze the surrounding structure to hold it together long enough for Batman to escape. Batman urged Freeze to come with him, but Freeze said that no one other than him cared, resigning himself to his fate. With time running out, Batman was forced to leave while Freeze stayed behind, the facility exploding around him.