At the dawn of his career, Batman feels that safeguarding
Gotham City is too big a job for one man, and recruits allies
for his war on crime. With a clandestine team in place, the
Caped Crusader branches out to secure the city he's sworn
to protect. But everything changes when a brilliant scientist's
desperate attempt to save the life of his terminally ill wife
goes tragically wrong - and a new type of threat is born.
As the Masked Manhunter faces his first super-powered villain,
Mr. Freeze, he begins to realise that malfeasance comes in
many deadly forms, and some offenders are more powerful than
one of those origin tales that I thought I was sick of reading.
Thankfully it's not another origin of the Batman story, rather
it shows how Doctor Victor Fries became Mr. Freeze. Of all
Batman's enemies Mr. Freeze is the one character (possibly
along with Two Face) that fans can sympathises with most.
all know that Fries went a little crazy after his wife was
killed and his body was altered after an experiment went wrong.
This graphic novel not only shows Fries's tortured past, but
ties it in with Batman's first attempt at building a team
to aid him in his fight against crime. He seeks out, and employees,
the best men and women in various fields and gives them the
means to work undercover gathering evidence on criminals.
this tale it would seem that Mr. Freeze is the first costumed
criminal the Batman has come across, and he and his crew are
not entirely sure how to handle him. In fact, a lot of this
story is involved with the Batman feeling his way around uncertain
territory as he tries to form a better relationship with the
police, through Jim Gordon, as well as trying to fathom how
he can be everywhere at once.
Dan Curtis Johnson and J.H. Williams III's script is nice
and punchy (even if it's not exactly very demanding), I felt
that Seth Fisher's artwork was a little on the drab side.
There was a slight retro feel to the look of the Batman -
which was probably intentional as this follows his early career
- and while the panels seem busy there's not really a whole
lot going on in the background (other than the comical weird
placing of bats everywhere)
the end of the day this doesn't really stand out as anything
that different from what has come before. It's a nice little
yarn, but nothing more.