Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Kenner Super Powers Mr. Freeze


Mr. Freeze is a rogue scientist whose design for an "ice gun" backfires when he inadvertently spills cryogenic chemicals on himself, resulting in him being unable to survive at temperatures above sub-zero. In order to survive outside, a special refrigeration suit was designed for himself. Combined with his suit, his strength and durability are augmented to superhuman levels!

Fueled by the desire to make the rest of the world as cold and miserable as he is, Mr. Freeze's crimes are planned around the specific theme of ice and cold, freezing areas around him, often including anyone who gets in his way. This includes not only those trying to stop him, but also any unfortunate bystanders that happen to be around as well!

An additional Batman villain added to the third wave of the Super Powers Collection, Mr. Freeze has cables running from his boots to the "freeze guns" embedded at his waist. Squeezing his legs together not only activates his "Cold Blast Punch," but also makes his "freeze guns" pulsate in and out. His transparent plastic helmet is also removable. Mr. Freeze is another hard to find third wave figure that commands high prices, especially if found in good working order and complete; often these figures are missing the removable helmet or have broken "freeze guns."

Originally known only as Mr. Zero and created by writer Dave Wood and artist Sheldon Moldoff, the character first appeared in Batman #121, cover dated February 1959. Mr. Zero immediately joined Batman's Rogues Gallery of stock villains as a criminal with an ice and cold gimmick. The sculpt was later re-used for a Toy Biz Mister Freeze figure, however it is missing the leg cables and the helmet is made of clear plastic without the purple tint of the original. The Toy Biz version also changes color when exposed to certain temperatures.

The character has been defined by his television appearances as much as, or more so than, his comic appearances. When the character was used for the 1960s Batman televison series, he was renamed Mr. Freeze and Batman addressed him as "Dr. Art Schivel." This new moniker was quickly embraced by the comics as well, however his given name was never revealed in the comics. Mr. Freeze was portrayed by three different actors on the television show -- George Sanders, Otto Preminger, and Eli Wallach.

In 1992, nearly 30 years later, another television show, Batman: The Animated Series brought even further change to the character, this time with an updated origin story. "Heart of Ice", written by Paul Dini, reintroduced Mr. Freeze as Dr. Victor Fries along with his terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife Nora. This explained his obsession with cold and ice along with his need to build a criminal empire in order to raise the research funds needed to find a cure for Nora. Elements of this origin story were also used for the 1997 film Batman & Robin, in which he was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This more sympathetic version of Mr. Freeze proved popular enough that it was also incorporated into his back story in the comics when the character was revived after having been causally killed off by the Joker!

That's right! in 1991 the Joker killed Mr. Freeze, who at that time was considered to be a third rate villain! As shown in Robin II: Joker's Wild #1, Freeze tried to take over the Joker’s old gang while the Clown Prince of Crime was incarcerated. But upon the Joker's return, Mr. Freeze was quickly disposed of using acid and electricity!

This story is also notable as being the very last appearance of the Super Powers version of Mr. Freeze, all later appearances were based off the animated series version.

Now, lets take a closer look at the figure:

And the packaging:

Card Front Card Back

Finally, here is a printable bio-card replacement! Just print these two images out on card stock and cut them out and glue them together to make your own replacement bio-card for Mr. Freeze!

What are your thoughts on today's adventure? What version of Mr. Freeze do you remember? What was your favorite super villain from the Super Powers Collection? Let it be known in the comments section below.

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