Detective Comics #1012 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Doug Mahnke, Penciller; Jaime Mendoza, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: After several issues where this was teased, Mr. Freeze takes center stage in Detective Comics #1012 as the villain of the next arc of this title, upgraded by Lex Luthor but no less insane. Freeze has not only gained the ability to escape his protective suit thanks to nanotechnology, but he’s closer than ever to resurrect his wife Nora – if she is in fact his wife.
A New 52 retcon turned her into a woman she was obsessed with, part of a cryogenics experiment and long dead. He only refers to her as his wife, but his obsession and casual disregard for everyone else’s life this issue makes him seem less like a loving husband and more like a stalker. He goes so far as to kidnap random women who look vaguely like Nora to experiment on them and test if his serum works before using it on the actual Nora. It’s creepy, certainly, and the snow and ice effects in Doug Mahnke’s art are excellent, but this Freeze is so far gone it’s hard to empathize with him like you can in the best Freeze stories.
What works much better is Tomasi’s Batman and the characters surrounding him. Tomasi’s always written Batman as a holistic superhero, able to combine all his talents effectively. A scene where he listens to the police blotter while working out is a great look into how he hunts down cases. Tomasi’s Alfred is excellent as always (although the footnotes make clear we shouldn’t expect him to stick around, given other events).
An underrated presence is Harvey Bullock, who’s stepped into the role of Batman’s liaison now that Gordon is on leave due to his battle with the Batman who Laughs. Bullock’s more snarky, skeptical approach is a fun change of pace. I was also amused by Freeze’s two bumbling henchmen, but what keeps this good issue from being a great one is the characterization of Freeze. I’m not looking forward to the fight so much as I am to seeing him lose.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.