The lore surrounding Batman’s extensive rogues’ gallery has been an ever-changing narrative. The origins of many of Batman’s foes took place during the Golden Age of comic books, when stories were more one-dimensional, only to later be overhauled as the decades passed — in the comics, cartoons and especially movies. The latest re-write of many characters’ respective histories have been taking place on FOX’s Gotham television series.
The latest character criminal to converge on the citizens of Gotham City is set to be Mr. Freeze. As of late, the show has been airing promos non-stop, showcasing a frozen city along with the tagline “Wrath of the Villains,” which sounds like an appropriate follow-up to the first half of the seasons’ “Rise of the Villains” storyline. So far, fans have seen images of the frosty villain (oh, the puns!) in costume, but a new video has surfaced that showcases the younger Victor Fries and his notorious freeze gun in action.
There hasn’t been too much revealed about the Gotham version of Mr. Freeze as of yet. Fans first caught a glimpse of Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) at the end of the fall finale episode ‘Worse Than a Crime.’ We know that Gotham will retain the Batman: The Animated Series origin of Mr. Freeze and likely depict him as an at least partially sympathetic character — what with his terminally ill wife, Nora Fries (Kristen Hager) in the picture. The bulk of the Freeze saga will be explored over the course of a two-part episode arc.
The actual history of Mr. Freeze is somewhat less involved than the version Gotham will present to the viewers. When he first appeared in the comic books back in 1959, he was known by the moniker of Mr. Zero. Mr. Zero, sometimes known as Dr. Zero, was simply a scientist that experienced a tragic accident when his ice gun design backfired, exposing him to cryogenic chemicals. His body needed to be kept at freezing temperatures from that point forward. The villain had a presence in the comic books, but it wasn’t until the 1966 Batman television series that the character really got his day in the sun.
The classic Batman series featured Mr. Freeze in the first two of its seasons on the air (1966 and 1967); each season featuring a different actor portraying the cold-hearted rogue (George Sanders and Otto Preminger in season one and Eli Wallach in season two). Freeze would go on to be featured in the Filmation studios Batman cartoons of the era, The Adventures of Batman (1968) and The New Adventures of Batman (1977). He also had a few comic book appearances, but it wasn’t until the Emmy-Award winning Batman: The Animated Series episode ‘Heart of Ice’ that fans would finally see the character given a deeper and more lasting origin, courtesy of Harley Quinn creator Paul Dini.
Mr. Freeze then became a marketable and formidable Batman rogue, with his own direct to VHS movie, feature film debut and his inclusion in almost every Batman cartoon since Batman: The Animated Series (with the exception of Justice League/JLU and Beware the Batman). Gotham marks the first live-action television appearance by Mr. Freeze since 1967.
Gotham returns on Monday, February 29 on FOX.