WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Detective Comics #1012, by Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, David Baron and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
In the Batman Universe, the Dark Knight has had to deal with some of the most terrible rogues DC has to offer. Joker stands tall atop the list, with the likes of Bane, Ra's al Ghul, Riddler and many others lower down on the redemption rung, but just as maniacal. One of the other villains he's often faced, especially during their tenures with the Secret Society of Super Villains and Injustice League, is Mr. Freeze (aka Victor Fries), the ice cold criminal who wants to bring his wife, Nora, back to life.
Still, as sympathetic as his plight is, Freeze is nothing more than a thug, robbing and killing in the name of "love" in his mind ("obsession" in others), which Batman just can't let slide. In Tom King's current Batman run, Bruce Wayne almost beat him mercilessly to death, remembering how Freeze has tried to use Nora's tragedy as an excuse, making fans feel for the villain a bit more. But as of Detective Comics #1012, the compassion fans may have had has gone out the window thanks to Freeze's twisted Frankensteinian plot involving kidnapping women for a demented science program in his hidden lair.
This is hands-down one of Freeze's most sadistic and unforgivable schemes as it goes beyond stealing tech and money to bring Nora out of her cryogenic stasis. The last issue showed Freeze sending his goons out on a hunt, and it's confirmed here in "Freeze Frame" that they're abducting women who look similar to Nora and actually have traits that could make them her pseudo-twins. The reason he's doing this is to put them into the same stasis as her, mimicking the mysterious disease she has, all so he could use a serum Lex Luthor gave him as part of "The Offer" from Year of the Villain. This serum Lex promised would bring Nora back to life, but Freeze wants to use it on some guinea pigs as he doesn't trust its effects.
He did detect some flaws that could lead to degeneration, so these women will be, not victims, but prototypes in his sick eyes. This is nothing short of irredeemable as these women are innocents who don't deserve this fate, especially as it's likely they'll either die during the experiments or he'll get rid of them to erase evidence of this new spate of crimes. After all, he doesn't want the Bat tracking him down again, because we can easily see a beating coming Freeze's way that could surpass what King scripted in his book; something which almost got the Gotham police force to turn on the Caped Crusader.
Future solicits show Nora Fries revived and losing her mind, turning into a violent killer, and even being aggressive toward Freeze. So as much as Freeze thinks he's helping her and bringing his wife back, the serum may be a poisoned chalice after all.
We don't know it it'll backfire on her of its own accord or if Freeze will be retrofitting it or rushing it to revive her to detrimental effect, but one thing's for sure: Nora won't be the same when she comes back. Again, it's unlikely Batman will still feel sorry for Freeze, no matter what, because whether or not Nora's a monster who's returned to the land of the living, Freeze will have to answer for these heinous acts he committed in her name, and permanently lose any hope f redemption in fans' eyes.
Detective Comics #1013 goes on sale Oct. 9.