Victor Fries is a former cryogenicist engineer. He worked on finding the means to freeze people and revive them in order to work out a way to freeze his terminally ill wife Nora so he can find her a cure. Victor found himself kidnapping citizens of Gotham City to be used as guinea pigs in his experiments, being dubbed Mr. Freeze by the press in the process. After his wife's death, and a failed attempt to take his own life using his chemicals, his body instead mutated so he was unable to survive above subzero temperatures. After being declared dead and transferred to the facility of Indian Hill, Victor began working for Professor Hugo Strange who was trying discover a way to bringing the deceased back to life.
Ferociously smart and eminently capable, Victor Fries became one of the most preeminent cryogenics engineers in Gotham City. But he struggled with connecting to other people, with the exception of his wife Nora she later got diagnosed with a terminal illness. As her condition began to worsen, Victor began looking for a means to use his knowledge of cryogenics to freeze her but allow her to be brought back as to when a cure for her illness will be found. Victor began resorting to abducting random citizens in Gotham to test out a new formula in order to make the process work.
Quest to save Nora
Donning a large winter jacket, goggles and armed with a cryogenic freeze gun, Victor pursued a terrified civilian during the night. The man ran into a car park, and realising he ran into a dead end hid between two bins. But Victor found the man and freezes him with his cryo gun.
Shortly after the abduction, Victor came across a desolate meatpacking in which fugitive crime boss Oswald Cobblepot planned to use as a safehouse with his underlings. Victor made his extrance by blowing a hole in the wall, but a seemingly unconcerned Cobblepot asked Victor if he was looking for a job. Fries began freezing Cobblepot's crew, and chased him down. Cobblepot managed to escape being captured by Victor with the assistance of Selina Kyle and Gabe who then drove him to safety.
A month following the abduction of the man in the car park, Victor continued his kidnapped spree. During one of the abductions a female police officer got called to the scene. Before she could apprehend Victor, he grabbed his cryo gun and froze her, fleeing the scene. Returning home, he now has a lab set up underneath his house to store the frozen bodies and try to perfect the formula. Nora is oblivious to Victor's kidnapping and experimentation of human beings, thinking that he is doing the tests of mice. Victor promises Nora that he will find a way to freeze her and revive her at a later date. During one of the tests on a subject, Victor manages to defrost them and is delighted that he appears to have perfected the formula, but thinks take a turn for the worse when the man melts into a gooey like substance. To make matters worse, Nora began coughing up blood as she ran out of her prescription. Victor headed out to the pharmacy for a refill, but the arrogant pharmacist refused him as he didn't have a prescription. After several attempts to get the refill, an angry Victor left the scene and returned donning his winter coat and goggles and froze the guard and made the pharmacist hand over the bottles of medication. Despite the man's cooperation, Victor froze him so he can use both the pharmacist and guard in his experiments, and even requested a few civilians to assist in putting the bodies in the car. But a call is put in to the police about Victor's attack, and he is forced to flee the scene without the guard (who is smashed to pieces by a police car) and the pharmacist. Later on that evening, Victor headed out and Nora stumbled across his lab and to her horror realised the true extend her husband went to in order to save her. At that moment Nora got arrested by the police as Victor left her pill bottle at the pharmacy, and Victor witnessed her arrest. Victor decided to hand himself in and headed to the G.C.P.D precinct, but is forced to wait as a few others are claiming to be him. At that moment everyone witnesses the pharmacist back from the dead, and Victor realises his formula worked and left the precinct, promising to come back for Nora.
Upon raiding Ace Chemicals where he took a night janitor hostage, Victor left a message in ice for the police to free his wife. Victor later raids Arkham Asylum to look for Nora. Hugo Strange speaks to him through the intercom where he offers him the keys to a car in the parking lot in exchange for the A-16 cryogenic compound. Victor does as he asks. Then he manages to reclaim Nora while taking Leslie Thompkins with him. After Nora switched the chemical compound upon Victor's return and he sees that she started to crack and died, he tells Leslie to tell the police that he will go quietly. While she does so, Victor turns the chemicals on himself as a way to commit suicide. Although Hugo Strange claimed that Victor Fries died in the Arkham Asylum infirmary, it was cover-up where Hugo had him place in a refrigerated room in the Indian Hill facility after somehow resuscitating him. Hugo reveals to Victor that he shares his obsession with revival and way of bringing back the dead. After mentioning to Victor that his condition now prevents him from surviving in temperatures above -50 degrees with his survival being through the constant use of his cryogenic research, Hugo states that his scientists did some modifications to his suit so that it can keep him cooler outside his refrigerated room and walk freely.
Working at Indian Hill
Three months after mutating and becoming Mr Freeze, Victor continues residing and working at Indian Hill to help with Strange's plans, but by this point has become really angry. When one of Hugo Strange's former test subjects from Pinewood Farms has resurfaced, Strange decides to silent her and thinks it is time to let Victor try out his new modified suit. Strange and his assistant Ethel Peabody approach an angry Victor in his cell to propose to him the idea, which makes him pleased. Suited up and armed with his cryo gun, Victor freezes a road and crashes a prison transport truck containing Karen, as well as James Gordon, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. To defend Karen Gordon begins shooting at Victor, which temporarily stuns him but his suit protects him from being truly harmed. Karen realises she is the one Victor wants, and runs out in front of him where he freezes her with his cyro gun, which is then subsequently followed up by him shattering her into many pieces. Afterwards Victor uses one of his ice grenades to cover his escape and leaves the scene.
A few days later Strange planned to destroy Arkham Asylum and perfecting a way to bring the dead back to the life. In his keeping he had Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Lucius Fox and Selina Kyle as his captives. Realising time is running out, Strange ordered Fries to kill Gordon, Bruce and Fox. When Selina interfered and called them out for their behaviour, Strange got fed up with her and ordered Victor to kill her also. As Victor prepared to do so, Selina's friend Bridgit Pike (now modified as "Firefly") steps in to prevent him doing so. Despite Victor's request for her to get out of the way, she makes a stand and the pair of them end up in a dual, with Victor's ice ray vs Pike's fire. During this Strange accidentally gets caught in the crossfire when trying to make an escape, causing both Victor and Pike to stop their battle. Gordon steps in and manages to resuscitate Strange.
Working for Cobblepot
In an arctic location, Penguin and Ivy Pepper find Victor Fries where they want him to join him in his revenge on Edward Nygma. While stating that he can't survive about -50 degrees, he is hostile towards Penguin for his slander towards the Indian Hill "monsters." Penguin and Ivy Pepper were able to get Victor Fries on their side by returning him his special exo-suit that they confiscated from Wayne Enterprises. When Cobblepot's allies regroup at Oswald Cobblepot's Mansion, Bridgit Pike was still hostile towards Victor Fries and told Penguin and Ivy Pepper to keep him at a distance. Upon Victor Fries noticing a question mark on Oswald Cobbplepot's portrait and asking about it. Penguin doesn't comment about it and tells Victor that he can sleep in the freezer. However, after Oswald has been captured by the Court of Owls, Freeze and Firefly believe that he has abandoned them and leave his mansion. Instead, they are approached by Fish Mooney and agree to work for her instead.
When the Tetch virus has been unleashed on Gotham City, Mooney and some of her goons head to a train station in Gotham where they snatch Professor Strange. While they are leaving, the group is ambushed by Bullock and Gordon who demand Strange from him. Fish realizes that Strange must have an antidote to the virus and that he is the only one who knows it. She states that she now can no longer give Strange to them. Gordon, who is secretly infected by the Tetch virus as well, aims his gun at Fish to kill her but before he can shoot, a freeze ray from the side blasts his gun out of his hand. Mr. Freeze emerges from the shadows and Fish laughs and asks whether Jim really thought she would head into the city without backup. She orders Freeze to take down the two but Gordon rips open a water pipe. Instead of freezing Gordon and Bullock, Freeze's ray hits the water and creates a solid ice wall between the two parties.
Later that day, Freeze is part of the group that accompanies Fish to Strange's secret lab where Strange hands Fish the cure to the Tetch virus. As they turn to leave, Fish sees that the men she had posted outside the laboratory have been slain. The orders the unknown assailants to reveal themselves and a group of hooded ninjas drop from the ceiling, demanding the cure. Fish orders Freeze and Firefly to deal with the men and the two blast their weapons at the ninjas. By using their weapons, the two prevent the ninjas from getting too close. Although the ninjas dodge most blasts, Freeze manages to hit one of them mid-air, causing the now frozen ninja to fall to the ground where he shatters immediately.
Freeze is later called to the docks of Gotham by Oswald. Together with Ivy Pepper he turns up and, on Oswald's orders, freezes the captured Edward Nygma into a solid ice block.
Since learning that his wife had a terminal illness and was on her deathbed, Victor Fries began displaying highly amoral behaviour. The immense stress and desperation to save Nora caused him to abandon ethics as he displays utmost depravity and ruthlessness from freezing people alive to experimenting on them to reanimate the dead and ultimately save her life. Nora herself states that Fries believes that if he can save her life, all the other deaths he leaves in his wake are justifiable. He obviously loved his wife deeply as the second she died, he attempted suicide and later claims he should have died with her after being brought back to life. Despite his ruthlessness, Victor has some form of morality as he planned to imprison himself when Nora was finally cured and states that he did not wish for people to get hurt but was willing to kill nevertheless to cure her.
After being brought back to life, Fries developed an anger problem, presumably due to the feelings of guilt and stress over not dying with his beloved wife. With Nora now dead, Fries lost any conscience as the only thing he shows concern about is advancing his work which might be why he followed loyally on Hugo Strange's orders. Now only loyal to Strange, Fries would have killed anyone if he asked him to despite not being under mind control like the rest of his patients.
Powers and abilities
- Sub-zero physiology: As a result of absorbing his own cryonic formula and his attempt of suicide by freezing himself, Victor's cellular structure underwent a mutation that allows him to survive in environments with temperatures below zero. The mutation also resulted in his hair turning white, and his eye color and veins turning light blue.
- Deduction: Fries was smart enough to realize the GCPD's plan of using his wife as bait to catch him.
- Genius-level intellect/Cryogenics expert: Fries is a very intelligent man and was well known for his work in the field of cryogenics.
- Expert engineer: Fries has shown to be an expert at creating his cryonic weaponry, as well as the exo-suit he wore during his raid on Arkham. He was also able to construct cryonic chambers in the basement of his home which he used to store his frozen victims.
- Skilled chemist: Through a system of trial and error, Fries was able to perfect his cryonic formula.
Victor Fries wields a freeze gun that can freeze anything. He also created some grenades that cause icy explosions.
During his raid on Arkham Asylum, Victor Fries wore a special exo-suit. Following his suicide attempt that rendered him unable to survive above sub-zero temperatures, Victor Fries' suit was modified to help him survive in sub-zero temperatures. After freezing himself, his eyes turned deep blue and his hair completely white. He wears a gray suit created by Hugo Strange's fellow scientists with some metal parts in his chest, legs, arms and shoulders to protect him of being harmed when shot. Around his neck it is a high collar or rim with metal parts and a deep blue light inside, where his neck is covered by a cold steam, to keep him breathing the cold air. Victor also wears a pair of goggles with red lenses and a belt full of his icy grenades.
- Mr. Freeze was originally introduced in the comics as Mr. Zero in Batman #121 (February 1959) and was later given the name Freeze in the campy Adam West led Batman television series in 1966, which was then carried over into the comics in Detective Comics #373 (March 1968). The character was one dimensional and it wasn't until Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 which retold his backstory as Victor Fries and introduced his wife Nora and made him a more multi-layered character and tragic figure. This origin is a popular one and is used in many of his incarnations since Batman: The Animated Series.