Before I say anything else, I should point out that this is my first comic that has Mr. Freeze in it. My only other experience with Freeze is through either Batman: Arkham City or the Batman and Robin movie. This annual loosely ties into Night of Owls, but it’s more about Mr. Freeze than anyone or anything else.
Mr. Freeze’s origin story is told here, and while it’s similar to his story in Arkham City, there are a few important changes.
Spoilers! I’m spoiling these changes because they might affect your enjoyment – some reviews I’ve read don’t like the changes. This version of Mr. Freeze is less sympathetic and more sadistic than the old universe. Even as a kid, Freeze would freeze animals with no regard of how they were affected. He even threw his own mother into a frozen lake.
While yes, he was researching a cure for cryogenic freezing before he turned into Mr. Freeze, he’s crazy to the point where his beloved wife, Nora, isn’t truly his wife. Instead, it’s an early victim of a heart disease that now has a proper treatment. She voluntarily froze herself to be awoken whenever a cure for her condition was found. The thing is, she was frozen nearly 50 years ago, likely before Freeze was even born. This makes him a less sympathetic villain and more like some of Batman’s other crazies.
Ignoring the changes, this is a good issue. The action is good and the art is brilliant. If you like the sound of these changes to Mr. Freeze’s back story, you’ll like this issue. If you don’t, it’s probably worth skipping. As for myself, I’m not sure what I think of these changes.
The other comics I read this week were the Amazing Spider-Man annual and The Incredible Hulk 8.
Amazing Spider-Man annual was good. Spider-Man is somehow erased from history and is shocked to see that the world might be better off with him. It’s a fun read that might surprise you with how creative it gets.
The Incredible Hulk 8 was … I’m not sure what to think. The art I definitely didn’t like – the hulk looks much smaller than usual and I found it distracting. Also, the Hulk and the Punisher never really fought each other, which is what I was hoping for. Instead, they team up against some weird talking dog gang leader. After the last storyline with Hulked out animals inhabiting an island, a more normal story would have been nice. I don’t recommend it.