Batman Annual #1
Freeze finally returns in the present day with a serum he believes will cure Nora, as it's the serum the Court of Owls used to awaken the Talons, but he finds his wife is no longer there, and he's also met by Robin and Nightwing. Freeze eventually gets the upper-hand on the former Dynamic Duo and is about to freeze and shatter Damian's arms until Bruce Wayne interrupts over an intercom and tells Freeze he's in the penthouse and to come up. As Freeze goes to meet Bruce we see another flashback where Bruce finds out about Fries' experiment with Nora and tells him he's shut the program down and called the authorities because he can't allow Fries to play mad scientist. An irate Freeze hurls a chair which blows up a cryo-container that explodes over Fries. He wakes up in an emergency room hearing Doctor's talk about how his body temperature is 27 degrees Fahrenheit and he shouldn't be alive, and his blood cells are capturing the cold air. Upset at Wayne and clearly his current condition, Freeze kills the doctors and yells that he's coming for Wayne. Back in the present Freeze arrives upstairs looking for Wayne but finds Nora's cryogenic pod, as well as Batman busting through the skylight and beating the hell out of Freeze for his actions tonight. Freeze subdues Batman long enough to get to Nora, but Batman says he's not letting him leave with her because they both know she's not his wife!!!! Bats drops the bomb that Nora Fields (?!) was born in 1943 and frozen when she had an incurable heart condition. Fries wrote his doctoral thesis on her over a decade ago but never knew her and she's old enough to be his grandmother. Bats eventually uses the cure Freeze planned on using on Nora on Freeze, which causes him to overheat and become unable to move, so Batman calls Nightwing to return Freeze to Arkham. As the issue closes we see a young Victor Fries taking his confused, forgetful mother back to the ice she once fell in, and pushing her in as a sympathetic yet insane, peaceful ending to her life.
Thoughts: I really enjoyed the bit of Freeze's past we saw, and it explains a lot about who he is and why. I also liked how well Snyder portrayed him here, he had that same swagger as Freeze pre-reboot but seemed so much more dangerous without his suit and gun, which is a vibe Freeze never really gave off before this issue. What else? I HAVE to give a full point to any book I can see someone kick Damian SQUARE in the face... man that was priceless. Oh, the explanation for how Fries became Mr. Freeze was excellent, as well as why he has to wear the goggles. Before the reveal this comic was a damn good comic, after the reveal it became an EXCELLENT comic book. This is probably one of, if not THE best single issue I've read all year.
Score: Perfect Score, 10/10!
Batman: You love the cold, Victor. Even if you did bring her back, you'd end up destroying her. Because you love an idea, Victor. An Obsession. And that I do understand.
Man, that review was much longer than I expected, but damn that was a great comic. Anyway, as always, thoughts and comments are welcome, I look forward to seeing what you all thought of this issue, I'll be back tomorrow with a review for the Amazing Spider-Man Annual, until then, this is Jason Todd, signing off.