Ice to meet you!
Mr. Freeze, one of Batman’s most fascinating and beloved rogues, is a character with a somewhat turbulent past. Originally conceived in the '60s television series looking more like a frosted space man rather than an ice cold killer, he was revitalized and truly defined in the stunning story arc in Batman: The Animated Series. Along the way he has made sporadic and quite underwhelming appearances in comics and was almost made extinct with the simply horrific portrayal by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Joel Schumacher’s putrid pun fest, Batman & Robin.
Now, with the New 52 comes new opportunity. Aquaman, Swamp Thing and Wonder Woman are just a handful of characters breathing new life and reaping the benefits. Can Scott Snyder construct his own mini renaissance for this neglected character and give Mr. Freeze the story he deserves?
Snyder chooses to start from the beginning, where Victor Fries experiences tragedy at a very young age. A boy who is bound by obsession, the main theme of this book, this experience will influence him for the rest of his life.
Fast forward to the present day, we see Victor being interrogated in Arkham about the on-going siege by the Court Of Owls. It’s a chilling scene (pun intended) which showcases Freeze as the sinister, creepy, and disturbed character we remember him by in the animated series. Highly intelligent and methodical, he uses his words sparsely, and when used they pierce your soul with their dispassion. Snyder really seems to have a feel for the character and his inner conflicts.
A lot of what occurs within Freeze’s origin will feel familiar to fans, but there are definitely some new facets to the character. Victor Fries is still a man, emotionally torn and obsessed with bringing his beloved Nora back to life. He is a man not totally consumed by evil but just willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve his goal.
With a character like Mr. Freeze, appearance is everything and Jason Fabok really gives him a worthy look and entrance. An unkempt mohawk coupled with a wifebeater cryo suit may sound like a terrifying, neo Nazi, punk from the '80s but Jason manages to pull it off. The globe that protects his face is particularly stunning as it seems to sparkle like falling snow and can also symbolise Freeze’s buried compassion.
While Freeze’s new design gets a thumbs up, the remainder of the art isn't quite as memorable. There is something quite flat about the supporting characters and locations.With all the unique and diverse art in some of the current Bat books this just seems a little ordinary in comparison.
Scott Snyder has done a fantastic job reintroducing Mr. Freeze to the New 52. He manages to capture the poetry that is associated with his struggles and endless pursuit for love. This is the story he deserves, and with a cool makeover (sorry, had to throw one more in there) and a clear vendetta, we will be seeing much more of the ice man.
Read more great news and reviews on CapelessCrusader.org!