The lonesome "Heart of Ice" of Victor Fries is finally laid to rest.
In his final appearance in an animated series, Mr.Freeze is revived from cold storage fifty years in the future by a skeletal radioactive business tycoon and gets his essence transferred into a brand new body and briefly gets to experience life again as an ordinary human and genuinely attempts to atone for his crimes before his condition returns and he begins to revert to his former state, at which point it becomes apparent that his 'saviours' have merely been using him all along, and when they attempt to eliminate him to study his DNA, he decides to go out in a blizzard of glory and help destroy a much greater evil..and how is it? Really good! It manages to restore a lot of the great pathos and dignity to the character that I felt was rather squandered in the flat and disappointing Sub Zero movie, and almost totally ruined in the regrettable stain that was the "Cold Comfort" episode.. And it just very successfully builds upon all of his well-established deep themes like isolation and revenge and it's overall pretty much everything I could have hoped for in a Mr.Freeze story. And even though this is only one 20-odd minute episode, I'm glad they only used him this one last time in Batman of the Future, because it's pretty plain to see that less is definitely more when it comes to Mr.Freeze, and a little of him went a long way. When he at last dons it in the final part of the story I love the design of his new suit, and how they did the helmet and the face, concealing his features in shadow. I like the way that Terry is sympathetic towards Freeze and the old Bruce Wayne is distrustful of him, which is understandable given their history, but in his younger days he also once shared an attitude towards the anti-villain not unlike Terry's. I find Freeze's whole climactic rampage at the end sad in that you kind of get a sense that he's truly given up hope of ever being anything but a frozen monster and wants nothing more than for it to be over. And the animation of his battle against the far more ruthless and brutal villain Blight is quite awesome, and it's an interesting match-off because they are not only opposites in powers but also in personalities. When the walls are tumbling down and Freeze touchingly informs Terry that he's the only one who cares, I think that could have possibly been intended for the old Batman as well. It's a very sad end for Mr.Freeze, but at least he goes out on his own terms and on a high note that grants him a hero's death and shows once again that underneath it all he still had a good heart after all... It was an excellent ending for a great and tragic character. They went out of their way to make one more story that actually did him justice and I think it shows. So yes, I would most-highly recommend Meltdown to anyone who's a big fan of Freeze and who has never seen it before. Stay cool!
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