Ranking Animated Adaptations: Mr. Freeze


We’re approaching the winter months, and with Mr. Freeze set to appear on Gotham soon, I thought it would be the perfect time for him to make an appearance in my ongoing series ranking animated adaptations of various Batman characters.  Mr. Freeze first appeared in Batman #121 in 1959.  He was originally called “Mr. Zero”, until he was re-named Mr. Freeze for the Batman ’66 TV series, a name which later carried over into comics canon as well.

In order for a character to qualify for these animated adaptation rankings, they must appear in at least four of the following five franchises: The Timmverse, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Beware the Batman, and Batman Unlimited.  Mr. Freeze appears in all of them except Beware the Batman.  Let’s take a look at how he has been interpreted.

Next: #4: Batman Unlimited...

4. Mr. Freeze in Batman Unlimited

Mr. Freeze has not been featured in either of the two Batman Unlimited direct-to-video animated films, but he made his debut in this universe by starring in the short “Iced Out”.  This short was actually one of the better ones out of the 22 that were made, placing fourth in my rankings of that series.  Mr. Freeze wears an exo-suit that can fire ice from its handpieces, but after Batman destroys it, Mr. Freeze uses a freeze gun to finish the battle.  I would definitely love to see Mr. Freeze appear in a movie as part of this underrated franchise, but until then, there’s just not enough content that he’s shown in to place this adaptation higher.

Next: #3: The Brave and the Bold...

3. Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Batman: The Brave and the Bold was known for giving nods to different eras in Batman comic book history, and it did just that with the character of Mr. Freeze.  Mr. Freeze initially appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold known as Mr. Zero in one of Bat-Mite’s illusions.  Throughout the rest of the series, he was known as Mr. Freeze, and he appeared in a white costume rather than his green-and-pink Mr. Zero one.  One of his best appearances in the series comes in the third and final season, when he captures Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man and tries to freeze Gotham City.  Overall, as per usual with this show, there wasn’t any depth to his character, resulting in this lower ranking.

Next: #2: The Batman...

2. Mr. Freeze in The Batman

In one of the best episodes of the first season, “The Big Chill”, Mr. Freeze debuted.  It featured Mr. Freeze’s origin story, which was really unique, because Batman was involved, having an influence on the accident that made Victor Fries need to remain in an iced state.  While Mr. Freeze is out to steal jewelry, he also has an extra incentive to get revenge on Batman.  He later on appears in an epic episode that is inspired by The Dark Knight Returns.  In the episode, “Artifacts”, Mr. Freeze froze himself for 1,000 years, so he could wake up to a Batman-less Gotham.  We then get to see flashbacks of Batman and Nightwing (who never appeared in present time in the show) in their final battle with Mr. Freeze.  Clancy Brown did a phenomenal job voicing him in The Batman, making him sound very intimidating.

Next: #1: The Timmverse...

1. Mr. Freeze in The Timmverse

The Timmverse made Mr. Freeze into everything that he is today.  For a long time, he was never taken very seriously as a Batman adversary, but this adaptation gave him depth and even makes you sympathetic to him.  In Batman: The Animated Series, Dr. Victor Fries’ wife Nora is severely sick.  Dr. Fries begins putting unauthorized money into finding a cure for her, but when he is confronted for doing this, the fight that ensues results in an accident causing Dr. Fries to only be able to survive at freezing temperatures.

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He then became Mr. Freeze, using freeze guns to get revenge.  Mr. Freeze stars in the excellent direct-to-video film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, in which he continues searching for a cure for Nora (whose condition has worsened) at all costs.  In The New Batman Adventures, he is again out for revenge, this time because Nora was cured, fell in love with her doctor, and left Victor, while Victor’s own body deteriorated.  He also makes a final appearance in Batman Beyond.  This version of Mr. Freeze was so well received, that the origin story was adapted into comics canon, and it also inspired his character for the film Batman & Robin.

Next: Ranking The Animated Adaptations of The Penguin

When written well, Mr. Freeze can be one of the most intriguing members of Batman’s rogues gallery.  Let me know in the comments what you think of my rankings and which animated adaptation is your favorite.  Also, be sure to keep it locked to Caped Crusades for more installments in this ongoing series of rankings.