Peter J. Tomasi, writer
Doug Mahnke, pencils
Keith Champagne & Christain Alamy, inks
David Baron, colors
Rob Leigh, letters
This issue begins, Batman beats up a group of street villains and interrogates one of them. He gathers evidence that leads him to Mr. Freeze who is gathering ingredients for a formula that he hopes will raise his late wife Nora from the dead. Batman locates Freeze, attacks, which leads to a action-packed high-speed chase over a frozen lake bed. Mr. Freeze gets away; however, Batman obtains three specimens from Freeze’s hideout. Three women, frozen in large glass tubes, were kidnapped and held as test subjects. The issue ends with Mr. Freeze injecting Nora with an experimental serum.
This issue is another tie in to the Year of Villains DC event. The direct connection to Mr. Freeze makes it feel more relevant than other YOV tie in issues in other books because the villain is directly tied to the issue. The action sequences, which involve Batman’s pursuit and fight with Mr. Freeze, are entertaining and the tension created by the high-speed chase feels earned. I liked that they had DC’s greatest detective locate key evidence to unlock Mr. Freeze’s motivations and intent for kidnapping women in Gotham. I also liked that Mr. Freeze is foolhardy enough to inject his wife with an experimental drug not worried about potential negative side effects. It makes the villain in Mr. Freeze seem more believable.
I’m not sure that the story was as compelling as it could have been. The investigation and pursuit of Mr. Freeze was very straightforward creating a knock-em’ up action book with very little room for mystery or intrigue. It may have benefitted the story to leave some additional cryptic hints of a larger mystery to keep the reader engaged and interested.
The art in the issue is solid. Doug Mahnke is a good artist who does a lot of good pencil work that DC fans have grown to enjoy. He doesn’t disappoint in this issue. My favorite panel is on page 10 of the digital comic. Batman is pictured breaking into Mr. Freeze’s underwater hideout dressed in a “flame-thrower” suit. The bright orange and yellows from the flame-thrower contrast with Batman’s black suit nicely and reflect off the white-blue snow creating a nice visual.
This issue is a classic Batman story that includes solid detective work and action sequences. The art is solid and the overall story fits comfortably in DC’s Year of the Villain event. I recommend this book to fans of Batman and the DC universe. We’ll have to wait to see how this issue fits into the larger YOV event.