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Mr. Freeze

Batman: The Animated Series
by yo go re

You loved The Living Lava Lamp, now meet The Human Snow Globe!

At first glance, Mr. Freeze seems like a sympathetic criminal. After all, he has devoted his life to looking for a cure for his beloved Nora so that she may be thawed from her cryogenic state and reunited with him. In fact, Victor Fries is a dangerous sociopath whose single-mindedness has transformed him into a supervillain.

Judgy, much? Victor wouldn't be dangerous if people didn't keep trying to stop him from saving Nora. That's like saying trains are "dangerous" because you think you found a great parking spot on the tracks. At some point you need to take responsibility for the tragedies you bring upon yourself, Gotham City. Bruce Wayne could take Mr. Freeze off the streets forever by just giving him a lab and a salary at Wayne Enterprises. "Spend at least 60% of your day working on cheap, environmentally sustainable HVAC technology and the rest of your time is free." Boom, Batmanned.

Like Scarecrow, this Mr. Freeze is a re-release of one DC Direct made near the end of their existence (figure #48 in the line, to be precise). We'd already had a Season 4 Freeze, but this one is the original Mike Mignola design, with the chunky "spaceman" suit that has the flexible rubber rings around the joints. You can see the connections between what Mignola created and what Freeze was wearing in the comics at the time (or "had been wearing," since Joker killed him a year before), but it's sleeker and simpler. And, if you'll forgive the pun, simply cooler.

The Season 1-3 head is still fresh and full of life... comparatively. It's bald and white, but the cheeks aren't sunken in yet. He wears red goggles rather than having red eyes, and while he does have his head in a jar, it's presumably still attached to his body at this point. The big, clear helmet is a separate piece, but it's too tall: the top of the dome should be nearer the scalp by about a quarter inch.

The articulation is technically the same as all the other BtAS figures, but the arms are pretty much useless thanks to the big rings blocking them: the elbows can swivel, but not bend, and the shoulders can raise to the sides, but not to the front. Plus, the giant disc on his stomach means there's no waist. It's a good thing Mr. Freeze is a slow, lumbering character, or this would be terrible.

Hey, speaking of terrible, McFarlane Toys has decied to give these re-releases "cel shaded" paint to set them apart from the existing toys. On the plus side, that does mean they fit in with those The Adventures Continue toys, if you got any of those. In Mr. Freeze's case, it means some big, obvious stripes on the front of his limbs and his chest. If Todd wanted to do a "Platinum Edition" variant for this series, why not do Shadow Colors Mr. Freeze instead of Yellow Scarecrow?

While Scarecrow just got his scythe and alternate head, Mr. Freeze still gets his freeze gun, scuba tank, and all 10 hands the original release came with! The only thing missing is the display stand, which seems like a fair tradeoff to get a piece of the Condiment King BAF: the backpack tanks and guns. Which in the package almost look like they would belong to Victor.

If there's one thing Batman: the Animated Series knew how to do, it was how to use villains sparingly. As impactful as Mr. Freeze was in the show, he appeared in a grand total of three episodes (and a direct-to-video movie nobody watched). [Are you implying Mr. Freeze showed up in Mystery of the Batwoman? --ed.] The cel-shaded paint isn't too distracting on Mr. Freeze, so that's a point in his favor.

-- 01/17/24

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