This is 500 words about a Batman episode. This is the BATMAN 500.
“Heart of Ice” is a great episode, and it’s an episode that’s been extensively written about and praised as the standard bearer of the series. So it’s hard to write anything here that hasn’t already been written a thousand times. But I’ll try. And in this attempt, I’ll start with something that I swear is not coming from some misguided contrarian standpoint. “Heart of Ice” is not one of my favorites. It does everything well, but if I had to make a top ten list of Batman episodes (which I might do when this whole thing is done,) “Heart of Ice” probably wouldn’t be on it. Sorry, people who previously took me seriously as a Batman reviewer. I will turn in my DVD’s and my Batman mask. Did you think that I was writing these articles while wearing anything other than a Batman mask and nothing else? Well, you were wrong. Sorry about that, too.
“Heart of Ice” concerns Mr. Freeze, who just wants to find a help his wife, Nora, who has been put in cryogenic stasis until Freeze can find a cure for her illness. But in the meantime, he decides to get a little revenge on the people that turned him into an evil snowman and ruined his efforts to save his beloved. And these people include Ferris Boyle, CEO of GothCorp, who was the guy that “This is Sparta!” kicked Freeze into the chemicals that turned him into a monster. If you didn’t know, Ferris Boyle is voiced by Mark Hamill, who also voices the Joker. Am I the only person who has heard Mark Hamill as the Joker so much that it’s weird to watch Star Wars now? When Hamill’s dialogue in Star Wars: Episode VIII isn’t just dark jokes and maniacal laughter, I’m honestly going to be a little bummed.
Mr. Freeze drives his giant freeze ray car right up to the building that Ferris Boyle is hosting a party at, and shoots at the building, covering it in ice. He then comes to the party, and slowly begins to freeze Boyle to death, until Batman fights him, cracks his helmet with a thermos, and hits him with the hot chicken soup that Alfred gave Batman to help fight his cold. It sounds silly, but it’s actually kind of sad, and the voice that Freeze is given, provided by Michael Ansara and layered with some metallic-sounding effects, totally sells it. All he wants is to get his wife back. Will it fix him, and make him not so, well, crime-ey? No one knows. But he thinks it will, and he’s single-mindedly devoted his afterlife to her.
We wouldn’t see Mr. Freeze again for a long time (He only gets two episodes in the entirety of the series), but he doesn’t need more. He’s a character that you “get” when those twenty-two minutes are over. More adventures aren’t necessarily going to better his character. It’s not my favorite, but “Heart of Ice” is a treasure.