|Heart of Ice|
|Season 1, Episode 3|
|Air date||7 September, 1992|
|Directed by||Bruce W. Timm|
|Written by||Paul Dini|
|Music by||Todd Hayen|
On Leather Wings
Feat of Clay Part I
I've Got Batman in My Basement
The Cat and the Claw Part I
Heart of Ice is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It introduces the iconic villain Mister Freeze and revamps the origins of the character completely, giving him a dark and tragic background, which was later adapted into the comic book versions of the character.
This is also the first episode of the show to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.
Heart of Ice was the 14th produced episode and the third episode aired.
Unusual cold related crimes have been targetting GothCorp industries and Batman is forced to intervene against the mastermind criminal who calls himself Mister Freeze. Using high-technology equipment and motivated by the only thought of revenge, Freeze is able to overpower the vigilante and soon he makes way for his ultimate target, the CEO of GothCorp, Ferris Boyle.
As a ballerina effigy dances in her glass dome, a strange, armored man talks to the small dancer, promising a "best served cold" revenge against the "monster" for taking her from him.
Later on, Summer Gleeson gives a report on a series of mysterious heists pulled at various offices of GothCorp, all with the same M.O.: a "freeze gun" that creates a cold wave capable of generating thick sheets of ice and snow, according to eyewitnesses. Ferris Boyle, GothCorp's CEO, says he doesn't know what the mysterious perpetrator has against GothCorp, but hopes any differences can be patched up.
In the Batcave, Batman examines a list of the stolen devices, and finds that, when combined, they form a larger version of the freeze gun, large enough to become a fully-operational freezing cannon to the extent of being a city-wide threat. However, the machine is still missing one more component, meaning Batman knows where the thieves will strike next.
That night, an armored vehicle attacks the GothCorp installation in question. When the Batmobile arrives, a freeze ray from the van creates a sheet of ice that causes the car to spin out of control and crashes. Batman exits the car and engages the thieves. Their ringleader appears, a man in a strange suit of armor calling himself Mr. Freeze. He fires his freeze gun at Batman, but misses and accidentally hits one of his own men in the legs, before managing to freeze Batman. Freeze orders his men to leave his comrade behind, and they escape. Batman manages to shatter the ice on himself, and is forced to take care of the thug, who is dying of hypothermia, rather than pursue Freeze.
After using a special bath to revive the man and melt the ice sheet on his legs, Batman, who has himself developed a cold from the encounter, visits Gothcorp as Bruce Wayne, hoping to learn who might have a grudge against it. Boyle says the only person he can think of is dead: a former research scientist who used the company's funding for his own benefit, and who apparently died in a laboratory accident. When Bruce expresses mild surprise, Boyle states that when employees get out of line, it's time to "pull the plug", so to speak and admits that his "People's Company" speeches are just an act for the sake of Public Relations. As Bruce is leaving, Boyle comments that he is to be presented with a humanitarian award.
Posing as a security guard, Batman sneaks into Gothcorp's offices and finds a security camera tape with footage of the accident: on it, a man named Victor Fries records that he has put his wife, Nora, into cryogenic stasis after she became terminally ill, to give himself time to research a cure. Suddenly, Boyle and a pair of security guards burst in. Boyle says that Fries's funding has been cut and he is using company equipment without authorization. He orders his guards to disconnect the equipment, despite Fries's horrified objections that Nora will die if they do so. In a panic, Fries seizes one of the guard's guns and orders them to stay back. Scared, Boyle attempts to reason with Fries. Fries lowers the gun... and then Boyle kicks him in the chest, sending him crashing back onto a table of chemicals, which fill the room with vapor. As Boyle and his guards flee the room, Fries drags a hand over his wife's tank, calling her name.
Watching this, Batman can only mutter "My God!", when Fries, now Mr. Freeze, appears behind him and tells him "It would move to me to tears, IF I still had tears to shed." and blasts him with his cold gun.
Batman is kept prisoner in Freeze's hideout, partially frozen and without his Utility Belt. Freeze's men have finished assembling the giant cold gun, with which Freeze plans to attack Boyle's award ceremony. Freeze explains his suit: after the accident, he is incapable of living outside of a sub-zero environment, which the suit maintains. Batman tries to reason with Freeze, but he refuses to let the man who ruined his life - and effectively murdered his wife - go unpunished.
After Freeze leaves, Batman manages to free himself. At the building, Freeze's cannon opens fire, covering the lower part of the building in ice. Freeze tells his men to go on firing until the entire building is covered, but Batman arrives and barely stops the cannon. Unwilling to admit defeat, Freeze smashes a fire hydrant and uses his gun to convert the fountain of spraying water into a column of ice that lifts him to the top floor of the building. Smashing his way into the awards ceremony, Freeze confronts Boyle and begins freezing him slowly from the legs up. He has just reached Boyle's waist when Batman arrives and distracts him. However, Freeze reveals that his suit's circuitry also triples his strength, and Batman is outmatched.
As Freeze holds Batman aloft, helpless, Batman remembers he is carrying a thermos of hot chicken soup that Alfred gave him for his cold. He dumps the soup onto Freeze's helmet, and the temperature difference causes the helmet to crack and shatter, letting the room-temperature air into Freeze's suit and paralyzing him. Freeze laments that he has been denied justice, but Batman says he won't be: he gives Summer Gleason the video tape of Fries's accident, then leaves, without freeing the still-shivering Boyle, aware that even if the tape isn't enough to send Boyle to prison, it will damage his reputation forever.
In Arkham, Freeze laments above the same ballerina effigy, and asks Nora to forgive him for failing to avenge her, while Batman watches from an adjacent rooftop.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Michael Ansara||Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze|
|Mari Devon||Summer Gleeson|
|Mark Hamill||Ferris Boyle|
|Michael Bell||Additional voices|
|Robert David Hall||Additional voices|
|John Mariano||Additional voices|