Batman: Detective Comics #1015 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Doug Mahnke, Jose Luis, Pencillers; Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, Matt Santorelli, Inkers; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: The main point of this arc, at least in Detective Comics #1015, seems to be to rescue Nora Fries from the literal and metaphorical fridge. For 99.9% of her existence as a character, she’s been on ice as a perfect preserved figure of Mr. Freeze’s affections and a reason for him to turn to villainy to save her. The problem is, I’m not sure being revived has done her character any favors.
As we saw last issue, she’s taking to villainy like a duck to water and may be more sadistic and senseless than her husband. There’s really nothing that explains this or backs it up in her past characterization. As Freeze trains her in the use of her new powers, Bruce desperately works to cure the dozens of women Freeze used as test subjects. His ultimate decision to test the serum on his own arm after freezing himself is foolish, but very Batman-esque – and leaves him down one working arm to face Freeze when the serum turns out to be imperfect.
The two old enemies are forced to become unlikely allies – Bruce to get a cure for his own arm and for the many women on ice, and Freeze to stop the woman who’s quickly growing out of his influence. Nora’s acting more and more irrational as the issue going on, likely due to the damage the serum has done to her mind, and eventually she cuts Freeze out when he urges her to dial it back.
After an arc of Freeze going much further than most versions of the character, into potential mass murder, he seems almost rational here – until that possessiveness creeps back into his voice. And by the end of the issue Nora’s back to committing indiscriminate murder for no real reason. That’s the problem with this run – Tomasi’s take on Batman and his supporting cast is near-excellent, but it consistently surrounds them with adversaries that are lacking in characterization compared to the other books in this line.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.