Of the many superhero cartoons that have taken the small screen by storm over the decades, none has left as big an impact. Batman: Animated Series. The show, which ran from 1992 to 1999, recreated the Caped Crusader and his related characters to create a whole new image of Batman mythology – and in the process, it did created some of the most iconic and beloved iterations of those characters.
For example, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are still considered by many to be the best actors to ever play Batman and Joker, despite the fact that they’ve only ever worked as voice actors. Harley Quinn, one of Gotham City’s favorites resident, was created specifically for the animated series and was only introduced later in the comics after she proved to be a hit with fans. However, there is a particular villain described in Batman: Animated Series at once so iconic that nearly every interpretation of the character since then owes it to BTAS’ take it – and that character is none other than Batman’s most feared nemesis, Mr. Freeze.
If one were to check Mr. Freeze’s firstBTAS When they do show up, they’ll find a character that’s strikingly different from the one that fans are familiar with today. The villain originates from Batman #121, in which he was not known as Mr. Freeze, but “Mr. Zero.” Created by writer Dave Wood and artist Sheldon Moldoff in 1959, Mr. Zero is a general superhero in a colorful suit, who lacks the pale blue skin and icy demeanor that he has. the character was later known. His only backstory was that he was once a scientist unable to live outside of sub-zero temperatures after a laboratory accident. creates a temperature-regulating costume and becomes a super god (for reasons unknown), only to be defeated by Batman and Robin.No other plot has been established for the character – not even the name his real.
Mr. Zero was later renamed “Mr. Freeze”, a.k.a. Dr. Art Schivel, as he appeared in the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West. He appeared three times during the show’s two-year run, each time played by a different actor: first as George Sanders, then as Otto Preminger, and finally as Eli Wallach. His evil schemes are as diabolical as one might expect – robbing the Gotham City Diamond Exchange, kidnapping Miss Iceland from a beauty pageant and building a giant ice beam. But unlike Cesar Romero’s Joker, Burgess Merideth’s Penguin or Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt take on Catwoman, who plays Mr. Freeze left no mark on Batman fans, making the character a strict B-level Batman impersonator.
Then, in 1992, everything changed. Mr. Freeze is reintroduced in Batman: Animated Series with “Heart of Ice,” written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm. And unlike Joker, Riddler or Scarecrow, who have remained largely unchanged from their comic counterparts, Mr. Freeze is nearly unrecognizable from his predecessors. From its very first moments, “Heart of Ice” establishes this new Mr Freeze as a stoic, tragic figure. The episode begins with Freeze (voiced by Michael Ansara) bringing on a lonely sadness as he holds a snowball with a figurine of a dancing woman. “This is how I will always remember you,” Freeze lamented in an icy monotone. Surrounded by winter, forever young and never old, forever beautiful. Rest in peace, my love. The monster that snatched you from me will soon learn that revenge is a dish best served cold. “Mr. Freeze’s domed face is then shown, framed in the dark, as the see-through red lens of his goggles stares into the camera.
The episode’s story centers on Batman as he fends off a string of robberies by Mr. Freeze, who is trying to create a giant freezing beam by stealing equipment from GothCorp facilities. After his first defeat at the hands of Freeze, Bruce has a private talk with GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle (voiced by Joker himself, Mark Hamill) – a man who acts as a compassionate humanitarian to the public, but reveal the callous, self-interested nature that haunts behind closed doors. Boyle tells Bruce that the only person who hates GothCorp as much as Mr. Freeze is Dr. Victor Fries, a researcher. who is presumed dead after a lab accident when security caught him “using company equipment for personal reasons”. Boyle criticized Fries for “wasting the company’s money”, expressing no regrets about the way he handled the matter. However, he still hid the whole story from Bruce Lee.
After infiltrating GothCorp, Batman learns that Dr. Fries’ real goal is to heal his wife Nora, who was frozen in a frozen room after falling ill with an illness. Nany. Fries just wanted to protect Nora’s body until a cure was found for her, but Boyle ordered him to shut down the project, even if it meant killing Nora. After a war broke out, Fries was mutation upon exposure to his own experimental coolant, turning him into Mr. Freeze. After learning of Freeze’s tragic past, Batman reached out with compassion, but Mr. Freeze refused to be shaken. “Think about it, Batman,” he said. “To never walk on a summer day with a hot wind in your face and a warm hand to hold. Oh yes, I want to kill for that. ”
During the episode’s climax, Mr. Freeze uses his finished freezing beam to attack the group where Boyle is receiving an award for his “humanitarian” work. Freeze almost exacts revenge on Boyle, only for Batman to swoop in at the last second. After a fierce battle, Batman defeated Mr. Freeze by breaking the dome of his suit. But even though he saved Boyle’s life, Batman refuses to let him escape justice – he revealed Boyle’s crimes publicly and gave video evidence of him assaulting Dr. Fries. The final scene shows Mr. Freeze locked in Arkham Asylum, sadly lamenting his failure to once again cradle his snowball. “I can only ask your forgiveness and pray you can hear me somehow, somewhere. Somewhere a warm hand is waiting for me…”
“Heart of Ice” was a turning point not only for Mr. Freeze, but also BTAS Generally speaking. It turned Freeze into a sympathetic character: a loving husband ruined by another man’s greed, causing him to be destroyed by vengeance. He can be cold and cruel, but it’s hard not to feel Freeze. More importantly, “Heart of Ice” is the really great first episode of BTAS, which shows that the series has a moody gothic aesthetic that isn’t just for show – despite being animated, it’s poised to tackle stories that are more nuanced and ambitious than those typically seen on Monday mornings. Seven.
BTAS’ undertake Mr. Freeze was so successful that Victor Fries’ storyline was included in the comics after the sequel-Crisis on Endless Earth restart. Mr. Freeze in Batman Arkham City based BTAS versions, as well as those in Gotham, Batman: The Enemy Inside, and even Batman and Robin, despite Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cheesy portrayal. It’s rare that a single adaptation can redefine a character forever, but BTAS‘ certainly succeeded in “Heart of Ice”.
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