Nora Fries
Cover art of Detective Comics #1014 (October 2019). Art by Doug Mahnke
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAs Nora:
Batman: The Animated Series: "Heart of Ice"
First Comic Appearance:
Batman: Mr. Freeze
(May 1997)

As Lazara:
Batgirl #70 (January 2006)
As Mrs. Freeze:
Detective Comics #1014 (October 2019)
Created by(As Nora):
Paul Dini (writer)
Bruce Timm (artist)
As Lazara:
Andersen Gabrych (writer)
Pop Mhan (artist)
As Mrs. Freeze:
Peter J. Tomasi (writer)
Doug Mahnke (artist)
In-story information
PartnershipsVictor Fries
Notable aliasesLazara
Mrs. Freeze
AbilitiesAs Lazara:
Reanimation of the dead
Conjure flame
Immortality

Nora Fries, also known as Mrs. Freeze, is a fictional character appearing in media published by DC Entertainment, commonly in stories featuring the superhero Batman. She is married to Batman villain Mr. Freeze, and was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series, before being adapted into the comic books. Across most versions, Nora suffers from a terminal illness and is kept cryogenically frozen until a cure can be found. Nora doesn't play a major role in most stories beyond serving as Freeze's motivation for turning to a life of crime, which is to cure her illness by any means necessary. However, the character has also been depicted as a supervillain, under the alias Lazara.

Nora Fries made her live-action debut in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, played by supermodel Vendela Kirsebom Thomessen. She has also appeared in the second season of Gotham, portrayed by Kristen Hager, and the 2018 Arrowverse crossover event Elseworlds, portrayed by Cassandra Jean Amell.

Fictional character biography

DC Animated Universe (1992-2020)

After marrying Victor Fries, a cryogenics researcher working for GothCorp, Nora is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Fries uses the company's equipment to cryogenically freeze his wife until a cure can be found. GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle cuts the funding and later goes into Fries' laboratory to shut down the project personally with some security guards. According to “Heart of Ice”, Nora is presumed dead after the resulting scuffle, which destroys the lab. However, in the episode "Deep Freeze" Nora is revealed to still be alive within her chamber.

Victor, who has by then become Mr. Freeze, eventually retrieves Nora's chamber and keeps it in his cave in the Arctic until Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, when Nora's chamber is broken. No longer frozen, Nora does not have long to live. In desperation, Freeze bribes an old colleague into helping her. This leads to Freeze hunting down Barbara Gordon, one of the few women on hospital records with Nora's rare blood type. Freeze plans to use Barbara for a fatal organ transplant to save Nora, but Batman intervenes. Nora is ultimately cured by Dr. Lyle Johnston of Wayne Enterprises.

According to The New Batman Adventures episode "Cold Comfort", Nora waits for the missing and presumed dead Freeze for some time before she decides to marry her doctor Francis D'Anjou. This subplot is expanded in The Batman Adventures, a comic series based on Batman: The Animated Series, with one issue seeing Freeze working with Nightwing and Batgirl to stop a criminal who has abducted Francis D'Anjou out of recognition of Nora's feelings for him.

In Volume 2, after Nora receives a letter from Victor, D'Anjou is frozen in their home in an attack from Victor's technology. Batman and the police believe that Mr. Freeze was behind the attack and are suspicious of both his and Nora's intentions when Nora gets a ticket to the Arctic Circle. Nightwing discovers that the attack was set up by D'Anjou himself in an attempt to frame Victor and make Nora hate him. D'Anjou is quickly defeated and arrested by Nightwing. In the Arctic Circle, Nora reunites with Victor to confirm he wasn't behind the attack and confesses that she never truly loved Francis as she embraces him. Batman and Batgirl arrive to apprehend Victor, who chooses to fight back thinking Batman will arrest him for his other crimes even if he isn't responsible for D'Anjou's attack. During their fight, Batman causes Victor's suit to overload which leaves his head to fall into the Arctic Ocean, devastating Nora. After talking to her incarcerated ex-husband and Victor's former assistant Koonak (whom Victor looked after following the death of Koonak's parents), Nora returns to the Arctic Circle, hoping to find Victor's head.

The web cartoon Gotham Girls also reveals that Nora has a younger sister named Dora Smithy. Dora is very close to Nora and hates Victor Fries for keeping her sister in a coma. Dora's campaign against costumed vigilantes and villains results in her becoming one herself in the series finale.

By the time of Batman Beyond, Nora is not seen; however, when Mr. Freeze (whose frozen body slows his aging to an almost immortal level) returns to his normal human self of Victor Fries in the episode "Meltdown", he starts a Nora Fries Foundation in memory of his wife.

The comic series Batman: The Adventures Continue, which follows from The Batman Adventures comics, reveals that Nora's terminal illness had relapsed, and with Victor still missing then, and therefore not present to put her in cryostasis again, Nora succumbed to her illness and died. Afterward, somehow, Victor had been found, obtained a new suit, and returned to Gotham. In his grief, he becomes obsessed with resurrecting Nora, and steals a shawl that legend (incorrectly) claims has the power of resurrection. The theft brings Freeze into conflict against Batman again, along with Azrael, sent by the religious order that possessed the shawl. Victor is defeated and taken into custody, with Nora still deceased.

Nora Fries has never had a voice actress on appearances in the animated series, she is always unconscious (usually floating in the cryogenic tank); the only time she is seen awake is in photographs and at the end of Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero, when a report is shown of her recovery.

Comic books

Falling ill

Nora is an attractive and gentle girl. She meets Victor Fries in a strict boarding school and later marries him. Shortly after their marriage, Nora falls terminally ill. Victor discovers a way to put Nora into cryostasis, hoping to sustain her until a cure can be found. In time her husband will become one of Batman's well-known enemies, Mr. Freeze.[1] Over time she falls to pieces in her ice state, but Freeze puts her back together again.

Lazara

Freeze helps Nyssa al Ghul by creating a machine for the Society that can also be used to capture Batgirl. In return, Nyssa has offered to help him restore his wife using the Lazarus Pit. Though Nyssa has told him the pit needs to be adjusted for Nora, Batgirl convinces Freeze that Nyssa has no intention of reviving her at all, and he throws Nora into the pit himself.[2]

Because of all the years of being altered and broken, Nora absorbs the pit's alchemy, acquiring the powers to conjure flame and reanimate the dead. She becomes a supervillainess, calling herself Lazara. Mr. Freeze manages to stop her by freezing her once again.[3]

The New 52

Nora's history was revised as of DC Comics' 2011 reboot of its continuity, The New 52. Nora Fries is now Nora Fields, a woman born in 1943 and placed in cryostasis by her parents at age 23 due to her being diagnosed with incurable heart disease. Her case was taken on by Wayne Enterprises employee Victor Fries, who fell in love with her, becoming obsessed to such a degree that he began believing that she was his wife. The project was terminated by Bruce Wayne, and in rage, Victor threw a chair at him. Wayne dodged the chair, which hit a freezing chemical tank and left Fries's body permanently ruined due to the blistering cold while also causing him to become Mr. Freeze.[volume & issue needed]

Sometime later, Mr. Freeze escapes his cell and tries to steal Nora's body and flee Gotham while also vowing to kill Bruce Wayne. Batman intervenes and ultimately tells Freeze the truth concerning Freeze's "wife" with Freeze reacting angrily, saying that it's all lies. The two later engage in a fight with Batman eventually emerging as the victor and stopping Freeze.[volume & issue needed]

This version of Victor and Nora's relationship has been acknowledged as far more disturbing than previous adaptions, to the point of actually bothering Batman, who comments to Freeze that Nora is old enough to be his grandmother.[4]

DC Rebirth

The Nora from New 52 had been retconned, thereby making her history more similar to the animated series and post-Zero Hour. She was the wife of Victor Fries (having a career as a talented ballerina) but discovered she had an incurable type of cancer. She had wanted to live the last years of the life of her own free will, but her husband forced her into the cryogenic storage.

Several years later due to the events in "Year of the Villain," Lex Luthor gives Mr. Freeze a vial that would cure and furthermore revive his frozen wife. Mr. Freeze had to kidnap several women who matched his late wife's characteristics, in both mental and physical states, going as far as modifying their DNA to hers in order to experiment with the vial before reviving his wife. In the end, it worked, and his wife came back to life cured. She soon took up the name Mrs. Freeze.[5]

DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults

Nora and Victor's backgrounds and the beginnings of their romance are the premise of Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story, written by Lauren Myracle and with art by Isaac Goodhart, released in November 2020.[6] Nora's full maiden name is Elinor Grace Faria in this version.

Powers and abilities

After emerging from the Lazarus Pit, Nora Fries becomes Lazara. Lazara is a supervillainess who can summon fire and raise the dead. She blames her husband Victor Fries for her transformation.

In other media

Television

Film

Nora Fries is played by supermodel Vendela Kirsebom Thomessen in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin. She is cryogenically frozen throughout the movie and has no dialogue. In the film, she suffers from a fictional illness called MacGregor's Syndrome. Batman reveals that she has the most advanced stages of this disease, for which Mr. Freeze has yet to find a cure. Poison Ivy pulls the plug on Nora’s cryogenic tank in an attempt to kill her and have Freeze to herself. Nora lives, however, as her cryo-chamber was restored in time, and Batman has her sent to Arkham Asylum so that Mr. Freeze can continue his research for a cure during his imprisonment there.

Video games

Batman: Arkham

Nora Fries appears in the Batman: Arkham series.

Miscellaneous

Nora Fries is featured in the Smallville Season 11 digital comic based on the TV series.

References

  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 141–142. ISBN 9780345501066.
  2. ^ Andersen Gabrych (w), Pop Mhan (p), Jesse Delperdang, Robin Riggs (i). "Love's Labors..." Batgirl 69 (December 2005), DC Comics
  3. ^ Andersen Gabrych (w), Pop Mhan (p), Jesse Delperdang, Dan Davis (i). "The Resurrection and the Life" Batgirl 70 (January 2006), DC Comics
  4. ^ Batman: Annual #1. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Tomasi, Peter; Mahnke, Doug (October 2019). Detective Comics #1014 - Cold Dark World: Awake!. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story at DC Comics
  7. ^ Hayner, Chris A. (October 30, 2015). "'Gotham' Casts 'Being Human' Star as Nora Fries - Wife of Mr. Freeze". Zap2it.
  8. ^ Bruno Heller, Megan Mostyn-Brown (2015-03-07). "A Dead Man Feels No Cold". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 13. Fox.
  9. ^ Gelman, Vlada (September 14, 2018). "Cassandra Jean Amell Joins Arrowverse Crossover as Mr. Freeze's Wife". TVLine. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Hyndman, Tom (April 24, 2020). "Thawing Hearts". Harley Quinn. Season 2. Episode 4. DC Universe.
  11. ^ [1]