While most versions of the Batman mythos emphasize that The Dark Knight’s flamboyant villains arose due to his own presence in the city, Gotham charges headlong in the opposite direction. Rather than responses to Batman’s own influence, Gotham City’s rogues serve as a reminder of how inherently insane and outlandish the city has always been – explaining the need for a bat-clad vigilante to one day come in and fix the city’s mess. The next major villain to enter the Gotham City limits will be Mr. Freeze, and according to the creative forces behind the show: his inclusion is an important, calculated decision.
Namechecking Theo Galavan and Firefly (among others) as slightly larger-than-life villains that probably couldn't have existed in Season 1, Gotham executive producer John Stephen’s explained to ComicBook that a villain like Freeze represents the “next logical step” for the expansion of this universe's antagonists:
He's also a science villain - he's not like some of the others from Batman's rogues' gallery like Solomon Grundy who has more of a mystical or magical nature. He's still someone who, in theory, could exist in a world where science progresses to that point. His feet are not firmly rooted in reality, but there are some roots there.
Suspension of disbelief is sort of like a bubble in the sense that it must be slowly expanded over time. Introduce a character or an idea too quickly and the whole thing pops. As Batman possesses a balance of realistic and absurd rogues, Gotham must tread carefully and introduce the bizarre ones in a way that makes sense within the universe of the show. If a shape shifting clay monster or a Golden Age Alan Scott as Green Lantern suddenly started roaming the streets, fans would immediately lose faith in the series.
Although the technology he uses to commit his crimes may seem unbelievable, Mr. Freeze still possesses just the right amount of realism to feel like a he’s a villain that Jim Gordon could very well encounter during a bad day on patrol. Essentially, realism can lead to science fiction, which can eventually lead to pure fantasy. But first, emotions!
Of course, this sort of thing has pretty much become standard operating procedure for most TV shows based upon inherently outlandish comic book properties. The CW’s Arrow started off its existence as an incredibly grounded, street-level crime drama, but has since evolved into a genuine Green Arrow TV show where mysticism and metahumans have become run of the mill mainstays. On the other side of the aisle, this is also the approach Marvel took to their own cinematic universe. Starting off with their generally most plausible tech-based superhero – Iron Man – the studio slowly introduced more and more outlandish ideas and characters, with Doctor Strange and the world of magic set to be the next realm they delve into.
As long as they don’t go with the Batman & Robin version of Mr. Freeze then we will be good:
With the imminent introduction of Mr. Freeze, it makes one wonder what other characters Gotham will bring into the fold. Considering the wealth of stories buried in the Batman mythos, it really could be anyone. We will keep you up to date on any and all Gotham news as it becomes available to us; the series will return to FOX on Monday February 29.