Doctor Schivel, better known by his alias of Mister Freeze, was a super-criminal who constantly plagued Gotham City and clashed with its two most famous lawmen, Batman and Robin. Formerly an ordinary human criminal, he was accidentally doused with a chemical solution that mutated his body, rendering it unstable when outside of subzero temperatures.

Criminal Career

Early Crimes

Even prior to becoming Mister Freeze, Schivel was a lawbreaker — a criminal scientist who invented an "Instant Freeze" solution meant for illegal ends. His activities eventually brought him into conflict with Batman, but during a battle in Schivel's laboratory, the Caped Crusader accidentally knocked a beaker of the "Instant Freeze" solution onto Schivel, leaving the scientist's body with a "reverse metabolism" that could only function in temperatures fifty degrees below zero (or lower). Thereafter, Schivel donned a refrigerated bodysuit and the moniker of "Mister Freeze", vowing revenge on Batman.

The Three Strikes

On one occasion, Mister Freeze combined his vendetta against Batman with mundane greed in a "three strikes" system: three successive crimes, all themed after diamonds. After announcing his return to Gotham by vandalizing an ice rink, the wily criminal set out to initiate the first "strike": stealing the Star of Cashmere, the most valuable diamond inside the Gotham City Diamond Exchange. To distract Batman and Robin, Freeze and his gang recruited ten extra men for the heist — five dressed as Freeze himself, and five dressed as Batman. This tactic paid off, allowing Freeze and his gang to steal the diamond while the impostors overwhelmed the Dynamic Duo. Freeze carried out his second "strike" soon after, this time targeting the most valuable diamond in the world: the Ghiaccio Circulo, owned by Princess Sandra of the nation of Molino. Once again, the heist was a success; when Batman and Robin attempted to intervene, Freeze turned his specialized gun on the duo, freezing both solid. Ironically, Freeze was dismayed at this, as he had intended to kill the duo after he had humiliated them with all three "strikes".

Fortunately, the Dynamic Duo were quickly thawed out with help from the police, and Freeze resumed his initial plans. For his third "strike", the arch-criminal kidnapped Paul Diamante, the star pitcher of the Gotham City Eagles baseball team ("Diamante" being Italian for 'diamond'). Afterward, Freeze offered to return Diamante, but demanded in exchange that Batman surrender himself and take Diamante's place as his captive. Despite protests from his allies, the Caped Crusader agreed to Freeze's demands and presented himself at a secret meeting spot; and Freeze, true to his word, released Diamante before having Batman delivered to his mountaintop hideout. With the lawman now at his mercy, Freeze intended to make Batman suffer before killing him — first by tormenting him with the subzero temperatures inside the hideout, then by revealing that Robin (who had secretly trailed Batman) was also his captive. What Freeze did not realize, however, was that Batman was faking helplessness; the lawman was wearing special underclothes that protected him against the frigid environment. (These were specified here as "Super Thermo-B Long Underwear," and later called "Bat-Thermal Underwear" and "Super-Thermalized Bat-Skivvies." In all three cases, they evidently consisted of thermal under-clothes with electric heating coils built into them.) As soon as Freeze dropped his guard, Batman quickly beat him into submission; subsequently, Freeze and his men were all delivered to prison.

The League of Shadows

In 1977, the Riddler, Cheetah, Killer Croc, Clayface and Mister Freeze joined forces with the League of Shadows. Ra's al Ghul tasked the super-villains with confronting Batman, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Nightwing and Catwoman at Arkham Asylum. While the league of arch-enemies fought the heroes, Ra's and Talia were able to escape to the Lazarus Pit.[3]

Powers

Abilities

Weaknesses

Equipment

In Mister Freeze's mountaintop hideout, Freeze creates a "hot area" (marked by red light) to allow his henchmen to join him at the dining table, and a "hot path" so his butler may bring his meal into the room.

  • Refrigerated Suit: The airtight bodysuit that Mister Freeze usually wears at all times circulates extremely cold air internally, keeping Freeze's metabolism stable. Without the suit, Freeze cannot survive outside of subzero environments.
    • Freeze Collar: A collar built into later versions of Mister Freeze's suit, equipped with jet nozzles kept Freeze's head constantly enveloped in chilled air.
  • "Hot Path/Area": A control panel that allows Mister Freeze to regulate the temperatures inside his mountaintop hideout. With the device, Freeze can designate which areas of the hideout are to be room temperature (marked by red light) and which areas are to be subzero (marked by blue light).

Weapons

  • Freeze Gun: Mister Freeze's trademark weapon. Attached to a pair of canisters on Freeze's back, the gun sprays out what is presumably a concentrated form of the "Instant Freeze" solution, which instantly coats objects with a thick layer of ice. The gun can be switched to an alternative setting, which makes it instead function as a flamethrower.


  • George Sanders first played the character. Sanders' take on Mister Freeze sported a thick German accent and wore a helmet as part of his costume. Sanders was invited to reprise his role when the series' second Mister Freeze storyline was in production, but for unknown reasons — possibly conflicting work commitments — did not accept.[citation needed]
  • Otto Preminger stepped into the role of Mister Freeze for the second appearance. Preminger's interpretation of the character kept the German accent, but opted for a new version of the costume which kept the actor's head exposed. In order to explain how the character could now survive in non-subzero temperatures, the concept of a "freeze collar" built into the costume was established. In addition, this new Mister Freeze was given large red eyebrows which would be exclusive to Preminger's portrayal of the frozen fiend. According to series producer William Dozier, Preminger — who had not acted for seventeen years prior to his role as Mister Freeze — had been coerced into the role by his own children. In addition, Preminger's appearance on Batman caused the Screen Actors Guild to pursue him for various dues, costing Preminger a total of $7600. Possibly because of this, Preminger was infamously alleged to have been extremely unpleasant on set; it is unclear as to whether he chose not to return or was not invited back for Mister Freeze's third appearance.[citation needed]
  • Eli Wallach was ultimately cast as the third actor for Mister Freeze. Wallach, much like Preminger, accepted the role partly for the sake of his children.[citation needed]
  • Only a few years after the series' debut, the comics-exclusive character of Mister Zero changed his alias to "Mister Freeze", and donned a costume closely resembling the one that George Sanders had worn for the TV role.
  • Mister Freeze's favorite dessert is, fittingly enough, Baked Alaska.
  • According to Mister Freeze, a glass of liqueur can be cooled to proper serving temperature after ten seconds in his hands; champagne takes thirty seconds, while martinis take one minute.

Related

External Links

Footnotes


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