Batman Annual #1 Cold Hard Truth on Mr. Freeze
Publisher: DC Comics
· Scott Snyder
· James Tynion IV
· Jason Fabok
Comic Book Review: Batman Annual #1
by R.J. Carter
Published: May 30, 2012
As the "Night of the Owls" continues in the Batman titles (it's a long, long night, and I look forward to someone annotating this once it's all over), Scott Snyder and James Tynion takes us on a slight detour into Arkham Asylum, where we're introduced to a Mister Freeze who is much more human, while at the same time much more psychotic than any we've ever known. Victor Fries's origins are rewritten, going back to his childhood and a winter tragedy involving his mother. And as the bookends of this piece come together, it's clear that what we saw in the beginning isn't the origin we thought we were getting.
Now, I hear what you're all saying. Victor Fries is a tragic figure who just wants to save his cryogenically frozen wife, Nora. He plans crimes to get equipment needed to keep her safe, or to bring her out and heal her, and Batman continually interferes.
Fear not. Nora is still here, still safe and sound and quite frozen. And Snyder is going to blow your mind around this simple plot device, revealing a Mr. Freeze more vicious and cunning than we've ever seen; a Mr. Freeze who can single-handedly, and without his weaponry, kill (in cold-blood, of course) a number of guards as he makes good his escape from Arkham Asylum. His goal: to kill the one person in his life whom he blames for everything -- Bruce Wayne! Which is just what Batman needs on this of all nights, as the Court of Owls has released an army of Talons to assassinate several dozen highly placed and influential citizens of Gotham City.
Artistically, "First Snow" is some of Jason Fabok's best work, fitting as it's perhaps the best -- if not the definitive -- Mr. Freeze story to grace the pages of any Batman comic. The wintry palette is perfect for this type of story, and it really causes the brighter colors (red is important here) to pop off the page.
Miss this one, and you'll definitely be left out in the cold!