By Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Jason Masters, and Dave Mcaig
The Batman annual already gave us the origin of Mr. Freeze, so readers may have been a bit curious as to what was going to happen in Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2. DC’s villains month has been giving every villain a New 52 story dedicated to them, which are usually told through flashback, so what were they going to do with this?
Mr. Freeze’s father left his family, and his mother stayed with him until she was frozen in ice. The now incarcerated Mr. Freeze finds out that his father is not only still alive, but has a brand new family. The logical thing for him to do is break out of prison and seek them out, because according to his mother “family is everything.”
Palmiotti and Gray do a very nice job this issue. We see Mr. Freeze in his prison cell being questioned by a psychiatrist and they almost give Freeze a Hannible Lecter type feel, which is very interesting to see. They also inject a bit of humor into Freeze; even though he’s usually a cold character (pun intended), he comes off a bit humorous in some panels. They succeed in telling a good flashback tale of a great Batman villain.
Jason Masters fills in marvelously this issue, his work has a dark and dreary tone to it that fits the book perfectly. There are several risks taken with this issue, including all the cool things seen reflecting in his goggles. The fight scene between Freeze and his own men is also pretty head-explodingly epic, and his revenge on the psychiatrist is just plain fun. Mr. Freeze hasn’t looked this good in a while.
The bat titles have been some of the more popular issues from the villains month rolodex, but Mr. Freeze is the issue to beat so far. A good story combined with excellent art is what the bat books are all about. This is an issue that deserves reading.