Cryopreservation In Famous Comics

Your favorite comic series may have some cryonics in it

DC Comics

As a superhero comic book aficionado, you are probably either Team DC or Team Marvel. Batman or Spider-Man? Superman or Iron Man? We decided to start our analysis of cryonics in comics from DC Comics simply because it’s the older of the two. Founded in 1934, this American comic book publisher has been entertaining the public for several years before cryonics became mainstream. Which of its villains are connected to cryonics?

Mr. Freeze — Batman Universe

Let’s start with Mr. Freeze, alter ego of Dr. Victor Fries, a cryogenics expert in Gotham City. As most villains in superhero stories, he has a history of sadness, loss and pain. Interested in cryonics from a very young age (he used to freeze animals in the hope of reviving them in the future), he has always been an outcast, disliked by his classmates and parents alike. The first and only person who ever loved him was a young girl called Nora, who soon became his wife. Sadly, shortly after their wedding, Nora is diagnosed with an untreatable disease.

Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Mr. Freeze in the movie Batman & Robin (1997 Warner Bros.)

Cryonic Man — Batman and the Outsiders

Have you ever heard of Cryonic Man? Less famous than the villain above, Cryonic man (aka Philip) is nevertheless one of the best references to cryopreservation in American comics.

Marvel Universe

Looking at the other renowned American comics publisher, Marvel Comics, we can find plenty of references to cryonics there as well. We have decided to describe two of them briefly. Let’s see if you already know them.

The Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes

Now, this villain doesn’t use cryonics for treacherous reasons. And to be fair, he wouldn’t even be a villain. Not by his own choice, at least.

Barnes cryopreserved in a scene from the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014 Marvel Studios)

Gregor Shapanka — Jack Frost aka Blizzard

Dr. Gregor Shapanka wants to achieve something that many before him have sought to achieve: physical immortality. But to complete his quest, he needs a lot of money — which he starts stealing. This criminal takes the name Jack Frost because of the cryogenic suit he wears. In order to slow down cellular aging, his suit generates intense cold, keeping his body temperature and metabolic rate low.

Manga

Finally, our brief list of cryopreservation in famous comics wouldn’t be complete without adding some examples of cryonics in Japanese manga series. The idea behind cryonics started in the US with Robert Ettinger, but rapidly reached the whole world. Given that there are several mangas out there (there are currently 172 series of at least 40 volumes), it is likely that there are many more references to cryonics than these two!

Cowboy Bebop

Have you ever heard of Cowboy Bebop, the Japanese science fiction series which tells the story of a group of bounty-hunters, traveling aboard a spaceship in the year 2071? It started as an anime in 1997 (only later was the manga version published), and the series is still a great success.

Cowboy Bebop bounty-hunter crew (Created by Hajime Yatate)

Akira

Akira, a cyberpunk manga series, is a somewhat more niche reading. Published for the first time in 1982, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic and futuristic “Neo-Tokyo” run by anti-government terrorism and gang violence. Old Tokyo was destroyed more than two decades before (on December 6, 1982) by a mysterious explosion.

Conclusion

Cryopreservation is an interesting topic and has stimulated the creativity of many writers, illustrators and filmmakers. Sixty years after the birth of cryonics as a science, there are countless works that refer to cryopreservation.

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