Nora Fries

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Nora Fries
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance

As Nora:
Batman: The Animated Series: "Heart of Ice"

First Comic Appearance:
Batman: Mr. Freeze (1997)
As Lazara:
Batgirl #70 (January 2006)
Created by (As Nora):
Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
As Lazara:
Andersen Gabrych, Pop Mhan
In-story information
Alter ego Nora Fries
Notable aliases Lazara
Abilities
  • Reanimation of the dead
  • Conjure flame
  • Immortality

Nora Fries, also known as Lazara, is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. She is the wife of villain Mr. Freeze, and was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series.

History on Batman: The Animated Series[edit]

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. This subplot is expanded in 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.

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.

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

Comic history[edit]

Falling ill[edit]

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. Over time she falls to pieces in her ice state, but Freeze puts her back together again.

Lazara[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2]

The New 52[edit]

Nora's history has been revised as of The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe). 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 an 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, leaving Fries's body permanently ruined due to the blistering cold while also causing Fries to become Mr. Freeze.

Some time 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.

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 Freeze's grandmother.[3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Nora also appears in the episode of The Batman entitled "The Big Chill". In the episode, she is briefly shown in pictures in her husband's car before the accident that turns him into Mr. Freeze.
  • Nora appears in season 2 of Gotham portrayed by Kristen Hager.[4] As in the comics, she is the terminally ill wife of scientist Victor Fries, who is performing cryogenic experiments to find a cure. Nora discovers that Victor has been freezing human subjects for his experiments, and recoils in horror. Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock find Victor and Nora's residence and take her into custody. Nora becomes the patient of Leslie Thompkins and is moved to Arkham Asylum. Victor breaks into the asylum and takes both Nora and Thompkins as hostages. He attempts to perform a cryogenic treatment on her that he believes will save her life, but Nora sabotages it and allows the chemicals to freeze her solid and kill her, as she does not want to live in a world where Victor is either dead or in prison.[5]

Film[edit]

Nora Fries is played by supermodel Vendela Kirsebom Thomessen in the 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 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has yet to find a cure. Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) pulls the plug on Nora’s cryogenic tank in an attempt to kill her and have Freeze to herself. Nora lives, however, 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[edit]

  • Nora Fries appears in Batman: Arkham City. She is seen once again in cryostasis. Mr. Freeze asks Batman to find her location in Arkham City, in exchange for developing a cure for the poison The Joker infected Batman with. The player can find Nora and relay her location to Mr. Freeze in a side mission, aptly named "Heart of Ice". Nora's biography states that she was a gifted dancer. Mr. Freeze's interview tapes recount him first meeting Nora at a reform school and marrying her soon after, only to realize Nora was terminally ill. He tried to put her in a state of cryogenic sleep until a cure could be found. Ferris Boyle discovered the experiment and tried to stop it, claiming that Victor was illegally using GothCorp property. victor attacked Boyle, who knocked him into a vat of cryogenic chemicals and left him him to die. Victor was transformed into Mr. Freeze. He plans to murder Boyle and reclaim his wife. While Batman stops him from killing Boyle, Freeze thanks the Dark Knight for reuniting him with Nora, and for exposing Boyle. Dr. Hugo Strange, Arkham City's warden, reveals Nora is being delivered to the Joker. Freeze flies into a rage and vows to kill Strange and rescue Nora. She is last seen reunited with Freeze, who thanks Batman for finding her.
  • Nora Fries appears in Batman: Arkham Origins DLC, Cold Cold Heart, again in cryostasis. In this game her terminal disease is Huntington's Chorea. Victor Fries made a deal with Ferris Boyle, secretly developing weapons for Gothcorp in exchange for Boyle devoting his company's resources to finding a cure. However, when Fries discovered that Boyle never intended to uphold his end of the deal, Boyle removed Nora from his lab to another section. The struggle that followed resulted in the accident that transformed Victor into Mister Freeze. Freeze kidnaps Boyle to force him to release Nora. When Nora's chamber begins to lose power, Boyle tries to stop Freeze from saving her, intent on forcing Freeze to watch his wife die. Batman intervenes, however, and saves Nora while subduing Boyle.
  • Nora appears again in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Cissy Jones. She appears in the December "Season of Infamy" downloadable content (DLC) pack in the side mission "In From the Cold". Members of Arkham Knight's militia steal Nora's cryogenics chamber to try to force Mr. Freeze to kill Batman for them. Batman helps Freeze track down the chamber. When he finds it, he is forced to release Nora. She tells him that she no longer wants him to try and save her. Freeze sacrifices his equipment to stop the militia, and he is reunited with Nora. He removes his helmet, and informs his wife that they have mere days to live. They then sail away together.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andersen Gabrych (w), Pop Mhan (p), Jesse Delperdang, Robin Riggs (i). "Love's Labors..." Batgirl 69 (December 2005), DC Comics
  2. ^ Andersen Gabrych (w), Pop Mhan (p), Jesse Delperdang, Dan Davis (i). "The Resurrection and the Life" Batgirl 70 (January 2006), DC Comics
  3. ^ Batman: Annual #1
  4. ^ Hayner, Chris A. (October 30, 2015). "'Gotham' Casts 'Being Human' Star as Nora Fries - Wife of Mr. Freeze". Zap2it. 
  5. ^ Bruno Heller, Megan Mostyn-Brown (2015-03-07). "A Dead Man Feels No Cold". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 13. Fox. 

External links[edit]