Mr. Freeze was not another issue I had no particular interest in. I had mixed feelings about Snyder’s redesign, but ultimately like the direction the character appears to be taking in the New 52 given his interactions in Batman, Outlaws, Birds of Prey, and the Night of the Owls. Bringing on the team of Grey and Palmiotti was a brilliant choice as the two rarely do poor work. So with all that in mind, here is what I liked about the issue:
1. The dialogue is cold, calculating, and spot on for Mr. Freeze. Absolutely incredible.
2. His eerily red glasses seem to have text scribbled across them, and on closer inspection “Kill Batman” is scrawled across his eyes. And at another moment they say “Say Grace”. This was not only fascinating, but clever.
Rating before reading: 6
Rating after reading: 6
This book falls just short of great for two primary reasons. Jason Masters’ art is fine, but it isn’t exceptional. The innovative text scrawled across the lenses was incredibly clever, but the art itself seemed to lack a lot to be desired. It was hard to determine what was going on in a few of the panels, and it just couldn’t match up to the writing. Granted that’s pretty hard to do, given the team.
The second thing this book falls short on is content. Not only do we see him awkwardly try to assert himself as the father of his step-mom and step-siblings, but we get too much flashback to his story in Batman Annual #1 from last year. Multiple panels are just rehashed from that, without so much as a reminder that this is a flashback. It prevents the comic from seeming especially fluid, and wastes space playing catch-up. I understand the reasoning was to let us know the new Nora status quo, but it could have been done much simpler and far better without the pages of flashback. That also draws negative comparisons between Batman Annual artist Jason Fabok, and that of Masters’ art.
So while the scripting and dialogue are almost spotless, the plotting and the art take away from what the book could be. Given slight adjustments to the plot, we would have been given a smooth narrative all about how cold and callous Mr. Freeze is. And while we got close, this issue didn’t quite get there.
Stay tuned for my chilling double feature!
Until the next time,