microwave25's Batman Annual #1 - First Snow review

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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.

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Other reviews for Batman Annual #1 - First Snow

    Fantastic Storytelling, But It's Just Not Mr. Freeze 0

    I'm extremely torn on how I feel about this issue.Hold on, let me rewind for a bit. There's a lot of nice things on the surface. The artwork isn't Grag Capullo, but its perfectly fine. It has a nice 'cold' atmosphere that suits Mr. Freeze, and it captures a lot of the better parts of David Finch's art before Finch started to overdo everyone's muscles to the point of ridiculousness. Aside from the aforementioned cold, almost stoic attitude the art conveys, it doesn't do a whole lot to stand out, ...

    14 out of 15 found this review helpful.

    The Thaw 0

    The first Batman annual of the new 52 came out today, written by the unequaled Scott Snyder, and you better believe this met my expectations, which were pretty high going in. Mr. Freeze has always been an interesting villain, but never quite got the defining story he so deserved, and this issue sets out to correct this travesty. While I enjoyed the hell out of it, there's a few gripes I have with it that keep it from truly being one of the finest done-in-ones I've read in a while.Let's start wit...

    9 out of 10 found this review helpful.

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