Batman: The Dark Knight 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: Mr. Freeze 1
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jason Masters
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
As one of the few people who actually enjoyed the Batman Annual from last year (in which Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV drastically altered the origin of Mr. Freeze), I’ll be the first to admit that I have been finding him a little boring in recent appearances. So this Batman: The Dark Knight (more of a Batman or even a Birds of Prey) tie-in made me reevaluate my thoughts and brought me right back to what made me fall in love with the character all over again when he was introduced to the New 52 readers. And who better to rekindle that love than superstar writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, joined by artist Jason Masters.
The story starts off right where I lost interest. The Annual. But you don’t have to have read it, because there are more than enough flashbacks to explain all of the relevant information about Mr. Freeze’s tragic yet significantly more villainous origin. This issue introduces a new concept, that young Victor Fries’ father (the one who abandoned him) actually moved on with his life and started a new family. Obviously, after the revelation of Nora “Fries” not actually being his wife and that he suffered from an arguably made-up condition of Obsessive Love Disorder, he decides to put aside his revenge plan on Batman and the Court of Owls, albeit temporarily, to start his new quest. And then we get the gut punch. In the final pages of the issue, we find out that Victor is actually narrating to his new family, a very frozen and very dead table with his dead father’s second family. A shock that is so beyond creepy that, well, it made me shudder. And I realize that’s a terrible pun, but hey, at least it wasn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger saying it.
So in conclusion, it’s totally worth the extra dollar for the awesome cover and everyone should go out and buy this issue. Palmiotti and Gray are comic book veterans who never really seem to get the credit they deserve (as is the case with a lot of the Villains Month’s creators, come to think of it), so let’s all go ahead and do our parts. Buy the issue. Love the issue. And tell them to keep up the good work. The New 52 is here to stay (or so we’re told), so instead of complaining or being stuck in your own little 1986-2011 pocket universe of continuity, embrace change and start enjoying the works of today’s creators. Trust me, issues like this are a great place to start.
My Rating: 4.5/5