I was inspired to ask this question by this:

Texts from Superheroes

Victor Fries is a doctor. However, he goes by Mr. Freeze. Have any of the comics explained why he choose to do this?

  • 9
    He decided to start using the title "Doctor", but he got... cold feet.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 1:36
  • 3
    None of his diplomas say "Freeze" so he couldn't prove it if challenged. Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 1:38
  • 4
    Perhaps he is a surgeon and an Anglophile - so follows the British method where surgeons are called Mr.
    – user23614
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 12:00
  • 1
    “Please, ‘Doctor’ Freeze is my father. Call me Jeremy.” Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 17:05
  • 1
    It's his secret identity. If anyone suspects him, he can say, "Hey, I'm Doctor Fries, he's Mister Freeze. Totally different names, see?"
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Probably because Mr. Freeze as we know him was popularized in Batman: The Animated Series, and TAS took most of its villains directly from the Adam West Batman series.

Following Mr. Freeze's origin story back to Adam West, we get the following:

Dr. Schivel was a criminal mastermind residing in Gotham City until he met his match in Batman. During an attempted arrest, Batman accidentally spilled some 'instant freeze' solution on Schivel, freezing his molecular structure making him a being of pure cold. Thus, the criminal 'Mr. Freeze' was born.

Source: Batman Wikia.

In this version of his origin, even though he is addressed as a doctor, him being a doctor has very little to do with his gimmick as opposed to our recent TAS-inspired Mr. Freeze who devoted his entire life to cryogenics research. Thus, there was probably no reason to make "doctor" a part of his criminal title originally and the TAS writers didn't want to alter his name.

  • 4
    Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 10:21

I don't think an in-universe explanation has ever been given.

Out-of-universe, the character's name and origin are a product of writing choices spanning decades and what we're left with is something that doesn't make as much sense as it would if it were all thought up at once.

In his original appearance, Batman #121 in 1959, he was known as Mr. Zero and had no backstory. He was mostly a throwaway character with an ice gun. (Source: Heart of Ice Interview)

In the 1966 Batman TV show, he was renamed Mr. Freeze and was referred to as Dr. Schivel but the origin was never fleshed out as was just as much a throwaway character as ever. (Source: DC Comics Database)

Freeze didn't get the origin we all commonly think of until the 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series titled "Heart of Ice". He was given the identity of Victor Fries, a cryogenics scientist who places his terminally ill wife, Nora, into cryogenic stasis in hopes of eventually finding a cure. (Source: Heart of Ice Interview)

The name "Mr. Freeze" makes more sense when you understand the evolution of the character even though it seems strange when you stand it side-by-side with his modern origin.

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