After the death of her younger brother, Nicholas, of hypothermia when the two were children, Margot Van Helsing became obsessed with cold. This obsession led her to become a scientist specializing in the effect of cold on living beings. Margot became an expert in the fields of hibernation and cryogenics as she sought new ways to help people survive exposure to extreme cold temperatures. During her research, Dr. Van Helsing came across the notes of Dr. Crystal Frost and Dr. Louise Lincoln. Dr. Frost was a research scientist who had been transformed into the villainous Killer Frost in an accident at an arctic research lab. Dr. Frost eventually died as a result of the accident, but her friend Dr. Lincoln was able to successfully give herself the same abilities Dr. Frost through a controlled process and became the new Killer Frost.
Using Dr. Lincoln's experiment as a basis, Margot developed a prototype for a serum she hoped would allow a human being to withstand exposure to extremely low temperatures for an extended duration. When her supervisors learned that her research had been based on that of a convicted criminal, they cut Dr. Van Helsing's funding and cancelled the project. Though she was ordered to destroy all samples of the experimental serum, Margot instead used it on herself and locked herself in a freezer unit to test its effect. By the time the lab's security personnel had gotten her out, Margot had slipped into a coma. When she awoke several days later, Margot learned that her supervisors had destroyed her notes and she was fired.
It was a short time later that Margot discovered that her experiment had not left her unchanged. While out for a walk one day Margot was accidentally struck by a car, and was surprised to realize she was completely unharmed. When the driver tried to help Margot up his hands were almost instantly frostbitten. While the driver stumbled backwards, Margot fled the scene. After conducting some research she discovered that the coma she'd been in had not been a result of the cold at all, but the result of the serum. While she was in the coma the serum had been making changes to her physiology to help her survive the cold. As a result of the changes, Margot's tissue density had increased to the point that she could shrug off gunfire and she could willingly lower ambient body temperature. By affecting the temperature around her body, Margot discovered she could coat herself in a thin, but durable and extremely flexible layer of ice. The ice coating could protect her body from even colder temperatures and offered an additional layer of physical protection. After some additional experimentation and practice, Margot learned she could affect the temperature of water in her vicinity, including the moisture in air, to generate ice. Her power gave her a great degree of control over the size and shape of the ice constructs and she also learned that be rapidly changing the temperature of the air around her she could generate thermals that let her fly.
After spending several months experimenting with her new powers, Margot's money began to run out and she went looking for a new job. She came to Empire City hoping to get a job with the university there, and was downtown when the city's resident hero team, the Guardians, were in a pitched battle against an unknown enemy. Margot used her powers to help protect several bystanders. The heroes tried to convince Margot to join them and she reluctantly began helping the Guardians on missions using the code-name Frostbite. The Revelations crisis began shortly after Frostbite joined and she stayed with the team through the duration of it. Afterward Dr. Van Helsing accepted a job as a scientist with adventurer Buck Wargo's research firm. As a result Frostbite left the Guardians to work at a research center in the Arctic.
Since leaving the Guardians Dr. Van Helsing has occasionally donned her Frostbite costume to assist her former team, once while attending the wedding of her teammate Paladin when the ceremony was disrupted by the Enforcers of Injustice, and another time when she and some other members of the Guardians were transported to the mystical realm of Skartaris. Today Dr. Van Helsing is still performing her research but it is fairly certain that, should the need arise, Frostbite will live again.
Powers and Abilities:
As a result of the changes to her physiology made by her experimental serum, Frostbite can control the temperature of her own body and objects in her vicinity. By lower the temperature around her Frostbite can coat herself in a thin but highly resistant film of ice that provides protection against cold temperatures and provides some physical protection. As a consequence of doing this, though, Frostbite leaves herself vulnerable to heat-based attacks which have a greater affect on her because of her lower body temperature. By freezing the moisture around her Frostbite can create and shape large amounts of ice. Her control over her power allows make several effects, including making ice projectiles which she can propel through the air; making rudimentary constructs such as walls, ramps, and cages out of ice; or just generating large volumes of ice to freeze an object solid. Frostbite has also learned to manipulate the temperature of the air around her to create thermals that allow her to fly at high speeds.
The original intent of the serum that gave Frostbite her powers was to protect a human being from extreme temperatures. Though Frostbite's body has been altered to help it resist more extreme conditions, be it low or high temperatures or even physical damage, should the temperature around her ever drop to below approximately -100 degrees Fahrenheit the serum will cause Frostbite to go into hibernation, automatically entering a state of suspended animation. When this happens the only way to revive her is to raise her body temperature, but slowly or the shock could harm or kill her.