Peter J. Tomasi, writer
Doug Mahnke and Jose Luis, pencils
Keith Champagne, Christain Alamy, Mark Irwin, and Matt Santorelli, inks
David Baron, colors
Rob Leigh, letters
In the previous issue, Batman pursues Mr. Freeze who’s captured numerous women, freezing them, and enclosed them in glass prisons. Batman and Alfred feverishly search for a way to safely bring them back from their frozen state. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze works to help acclimate Nora back from her deep freeze and teaches her to lead a life of crime. This issue begins, Mr. Freeze teaches Nora how to use a freeze-gun and takes her with him as he attacks a museum. Meanwhile, Alfred, Lucius and Batman search for a cure to draw the frozen women out of their deep freeze. While Lucius thinks that he’s found a cure cautions Batman to wait before using the antidote on humans. Batman offers himself as a human test subject, which partially works. Batman’s left arm, which he froze and tried to unfreeze with the serum is limp and useless as he confronts Freeze toward the end of the issue. However, Mr. Freeze needs a healthy Batman to defend against Nora, who’s turned against him.
I usually don’t like to pick on the art in comic book but the art was very inconsistent in this issue. My biggest problem has to do with how Batman was drawn. He looked like a vampire in some panels. In other panels the facial lines were muddy, which made Batman’s face look distorted. There is a noticeable change in quality after page 14 of the book. Specifically, Batman’s face, the framing of panels, and the details ascribed to each panel was considerable better.
The story is strong in parts. I actually began to feel some sympathy for Freeze when his wife turns on him. However, the sympathy fizzles when reminded that he froze her against her will and kept her confined in a glass container until he could resurrect her. The story also suffers when Freeze and Batman team up to stop the damage Freeze caused with his recklessness (also not mentioned). I’m not sure that I want to believe that Batman would so easily mend fences and collaborate with a villain. I would much rather embrace the idea that Batman stubbornly refuses Freezes help, fight Freeze with one arm and wins. However, that is not the story we were given – and the team up of Freeze and Batman seems like a copout from a story perspective.
This book suffered from poor artwork and an up and down story. I appreciated the author embracing Batman’s detective work and his collaboration with Alfred and Lucius to find a cure to Freeze’s frozen formula. However, the ending left me wanting more and wishing that the author would take more chances with Batman as a character. Still, I believe that fans of DC and Batman will enjoy this action-packed issue.