Isaac McDougal, also known as the Freezing Alchemist (氷結の錬金術師, Hyōketsu no Renkinjutsushi), is an original character exclusive to the 2009 series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Isaac McDougal appears to be in his mid 30's as he looks mature. He was also very muscular, average tall man, being much taller than Alphonse Elric but still dwarfed by Alex Louis Armstrong. He had long black hair which was tied back, only for one strand to hang over his face. While trying to move throughout Central quietly, he donned a simple dull cloak, and underneath he wore his original State Alchemist uniform which was composed of an open jacket with the right sleeve torn and elongated leggings with a length of material hanging down the back.
He is rather gruff and often blunt in his speaking, possibly because he was disturbed that the fact the entire Amestris were still unaware of the danger they lived in and make a disturbing discovery during his hiding as well as probably traumatized during his actions during Ishval Civil War while working in hiding. While he seems completely pragmatic, as he knew in order to save the world, he had to shed some blood as he was seen killing some soldiers in his way. He also seemed righteous, as his intention was to save the world and bring the military down to expose their secrets. Despite his intelligence and a good operator that works alone, he shows no hesitation when he insulted the Elric Brothers when he found out they committed taboo and laughed maniacally when he temporarily succeed to freeze the Central Command, revealing his unhinged disorder as well as his recklessness to slice the Fuhrer without any hesitation.
Isaac was a former State Alchemist who served in the Ishvalan Civil War. After the war's completion he turned in his commission and resigned from the military. He went into hiding and began working with the anti-establishment movement against the militaristic government of Amestris.
Part In The Plot
Specializing in liquid-based alchemy, he tries to destroy Central. After killing a few soldiers with his water alchemy, he activates a transmutation circle to create a large amount of ice. He is then confronted by the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who (after confusing Al for Ed and accidentally making fun of Ed's height) defeat and handcuff him. He quickly escapes after creating steam from a puddle as a diversion, revealing he had a transmutation circle in his palm.
He later goes to prison to try to enlist Solf J. Kimblee in his plan to destroy Central, but is unsuccessful. Returning to the city, he encounters Colonel Roy Mustang, and quickly escapes from him after dousing him with water. He makes his way back to the alley he originally started at and activates all the transmutation circles around the city that he created, creating a giant wall of ice traveling towards Central. The Elric brothers and Major Alex Louis Armstrong all try to stop him, but are unsuccessful. However, once the Elrics get the upper hand in close combat, he is knocked off and is seriously injured. In desperation, Isaac uses his blood as a weapon to distract the Elrics so he can get away, but not before defiantly yelling out that he was trying to save the country and demanding whether any of them knew who they served or what shape the country was in (meaning that he might have discovered the Nationwide Transmutation Circle and the Homunculi). After turning down an alley, he confronts Führer King Bradley who, with a slice from his sword, kills Isaac.
He is also mentioned in Episode 2 during a report by Colonel Mustang, and is seen again in Episode 30 during his time as a state alchemist in Ishval. In Episode 35, after finally discovering the country-wide circle, Ed remembers about him and understands that he was aware of the military's secret sinister plot and his attempt to freeze the corruption, making Edward slightly regret not listening to him. In Episode 50, while mocking the incompetence of Central Headquarters' forces fighting against Mustang's coup d'état, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong mentions that she once heard that in the past, one rebel was enough to immobilize the entire Central Headquarters, presumably referring to Issac McDougal.
Powers and Abilities
As his title indicates, he is a formidable Alchemist specializing in controlling water, able to freeze any source of water, even sources with water essence in them, allowing him to use any available source of water for a variety of feats such as paths to walk on or forming crude weapons to strike at his opponents with. As a last resort attack, he can also freeze his own blood so as to strike his target. Contrary to his title, McDougal is capable of more than freezing, and upon touching a target he can boil the water so as to create a thick cloud of vapor so as to make his escape. By touching his opponent, he can freeze or boil the water in their body to instantly kill them; however, this technique is ineffective when not used on flesh, such as Ed's automail.
His most powerful technique involves drawing several transmutation circles around Central in a formation similar to the design of his transmutation. With this formation, the large amounts of ice that can be created from the transmutation circles are apparently endless as not even Mustang's flames were able to subdue this attack. Destroying the transmutation circles are the only way to disable this technique, which also proves difficult as the ice buries them endlessly and protects them from damage.
As of episode two, it is hinted that his abilities are linked with Alkahestry, which would explain how he was able to perform this attack while standing in the ice he himself created, and after destruction, recreate itself. To quickly access his alchemy, Isaac has embedded his transmutation circle on his gauntlet and tattooed it on the palm of his hand. His circle consists of a point within a circle with two curves around them which make contact with the borders of another circle and two lines coming from the center touching the borders, resembling an eye with a line across and a text on an external circle. Once he activates his Philosopher's Stone, he can be seen transmuting with his untattooed hand as well.
During his brief appearance, Isaac also demonstrated considerable agility and combat prowess, able to fend off both the Elric Brothers and dodge Alex Armstrong's assault. He is also a skilled tactician, able to fend off the military forces of Central and various Alchemists using well-placed alchemic attacks.
- Though having a short appearance in the show, he hints at the supposed evil activity of the Führer and the Military, possibly already knowing that Bradley is a Homunculus or that they were just using Amestris as a Transmutation Circle. The latter is more likely, considering that he attempted to kill the Führer using mundane means.
- Isaac and Lyra (from the 2003 anime) both share a similar Transmutation Circle. Due to their similar style, they might have the same ability of freezing, due to Isaac freezing water and Lyra chilling the air around her.
- In the manga, there is a scene where Riza Hawkeye mentions the name of a man named Isaac, who is never seen. In the same scene during the anime, the man's name is changed to Ian, possibly to avoid confusion over this character and the unseen one.
- If McDougal's abilities are, in fact, Alkahestric in nature, then he provides the first example of Alkahestry seen in the series, as well as the first (and only, unless Hohenheim can also be considered an example) instance of a Philosopher's Stone and Alkahestry being used together.
- In a final scene, Lust is talking to someone on the telephone and states that she had high hopes for Isaac, indicating that she may have provided him with the Philosopher's Stone that he used. However, it clearly wasn't intended for McDougal to try to initiate a citywide Transmutation Circle in Central City, given Father's reaction to Isaac's actions. What exactly Lust may have hoped is unclear, although it may be implied he's one of the candidates for Human Sacrifice as they provided him with the stone during the war, which was why he was hunted down after his resignation as he had something from them.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood; Episode 1