Posts tagged ‘Mr Freeze’

Detective Annual 11 – Azrael causes problems, the Riddler goes for an old standard, and Oracle teams with Looker


There are three stories in Detective Annual 11 (2009), the first, which is also the longest, being a continuation of a story from this year’s Batman Annual.


The story, by Fabian Nicieza and Tom Mandrake, deals with another secret society, this one out to raise a demonic spirit through the seven deadly sins, and the sacrifice of children descended from earlier cult members.


Batman and the Question work on it together from their side.  Azrael has his own agenda, and Robin has gone in disguise as one of the children, and already been kidnapped.  Renee does not take long to realize that it is Nightwing now wearing the Batman costume.


Azrael learns that the sacrifice depends on the children being of the blood of the earlier ones, which of course means that, should Robin get sacrificed, the spell will not work.


Damian does break free, and his identity as Robin is exposed.  The evil cultists try to lure him back.  I’m not sure that sending an aggressively naked older woman is the best way to lure a 10 year old boy, even if it’s Damian.


But it’s Azrael to the rescue anyway, and he joins with Robin as they take down the cultists, in a manner as overtly violent as only Damian and an Azrael can be.


Batman and the Question are rushing to the scene.  The cultists are in a penthouse, and the story gets a moment of levity as Batman sends Renee up to the roof quickly.


Frankly, this story failed to grab me, even with Mandrake’s art.   I do like Harvey Bullock’s crude way of explaining how he knew Renee was the Question, and there are some other good moments.


The story ends with both the villains and the heroes angry with Azrael.  I have never liked any version of that character, which probably explains why I don’t care for a long story featuring him.


There is a very cute 2-page “L’il Gotham” story, by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen.  Not much in the way of plot, the Riddler does a variant of the St. Ives riddle song, though calling it Poison Ives.  A staggering amount of cameos in this, for only being two pages.  Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Commissioner Gordon, Batman, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, as well as the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Joker, Scarecrow, Black Mask, Croc, Hush, Ra’s Al Ghul, and even the original Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, with Scarface.

Of the three stories in this issue, it’s sad that I enjoyed this 2 page piece more than the others.


The final story in the issue, by Amanda McMurray and Kelly Jones, features a team-up between Oracle and Looker.


There is a bad guy who thinks he is a vampire, but isn’t, and who is obsessed with Barbara Gordon, though we never find out why.  Looker is unaware that Barbara is Oracle, and is kept in the dark. Looker has become a vampire herself during her time with the Outsiders, so she is the perfect one to take down a faker.


The ending of the story leaves more questions than answers, and was clearly intended to be followed up.  As far as I know, it never was.




Detective 849 – the Joker praises Batman


Dini, Nguyen and Fridolfs move Heart of Hush closer to its conclusion in Detective 849 (Dec. 08), another part of the Batman RIP storyline.


Batman brings Johnathan Crane back to Arkham and tortures him to get Hush’s location.  The Joker is quite entertained by the show, and has high praise for Batman’s skill at tormenting the Scarecrow.


Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific tend to Selina, but both of them are mystified at the tech Hush used to remove Catwoman’s heart without killing her.


In flashback, we see Tommy Elliot and Peyton Riley dating, both unhappy with their parents and their lives.


Batman confronts Hush at the hospital, the same one his mother had died at.  He proudly shows Batman Selina’s heart.  He made a deal with Mr. Freeze, who provided the tech for the operation, and to maintain the heart.


Batman had started the scene fighting Hush, and it was odd when he just sort of stopped, and they began conversing.  In fact, this was not weak writing, but a hint that Hush was gassing Batman, who winds up collapsing, as Hush unveils his new face – Bruce Wayne’s face.

The story concludes next issue.

Detective 835 – the Scarecrow escapes


John Rozum steps in for a 2-part Scarecrow story, beginning in Detective 835 (Oct. 07), with Tom Mandrake art.


Jonathan Crane is feeling under-appreciated in Arkham.  He has become so reliant on his fear gas that people are considering that he is helpless without it.  He sets out in this story to prove his detractors wrong.


He displays a skill with hypnosis never seen before, as he convinces his guards that he has turned into a flock of ravens, which terrifies them.  His mask is closer in appearance to that from Batman Begins than it has been before.


Batman and Robin head to Arkham, and finds not only the guards but also the doctors and inmates in a state of trauma, all caused by listening  to Crane. Poison Ivy cameos, and mention is made of Mr Freeze, and even Zsasz, breaking down.


The Scarecrow begins a random murder spree, and increases the terror of the citizenry by leaving stuffed Scarecrows all over Gotham.

The story concludes next issue.


Detective 805 – Mr. Freeze gets a hug, and a strange Clayface


Mr. Freeze gets the attention in this chapter of City of Crime, appearing in Detective 805 (June 2005), by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil.


Batman defeats the host of masked attackers.  This is made much easier when they all turn to mud after being beaten.


The rest of the issue centres on Mr. Freeze, and his demented attempts to win the love of the girl he kidnapped.


Ironically, she is the one who is able to defeat him.  She hugs him, and her body heat causes him to pass out, although he begs her to keep hugging him.

The story just keeps on going though, continuing in the next issue.


Far more entertaining is the back-up tale, by Kimo Temperance and Zach Howard.  Even though it, too, gets a “before War Games” sticker.


Batman returns to the cave after plowing his car through a Clayface he describes as being unusually child-like, saying it’s much like a Bizarro Clayface.  He does not realize that running into it did not kill it.  Clayface thus finds himself in the cave.


It’s powers are different than the other ones – at one point he splits into a bunch of little Clayfaces, and is far more interested in amusing himself than in fighting Batman.


But the cave is not a playground, and the creature winds up defeating itself.  Cute, fun, and succinct.


Detective 804 – the problem with Mr. Freeze, and The Barker ends


Lapham, Bachs and Massengill continue with City of Crime in Detective 804 (May 2005).

I guess I should admit that this is a storyline I have never read until now. I am a few issues ahead of these posts, but generally I know the whole story before writing it up.


The best scene in the issue, in my eyes, once again deals with the dead girl, Haddie McNeil.  Bruce attends her funeral, and tries to give some consolation to her father, who assumes that Bruce was sleeping with his underage daughter, but also doesn’t care at all.


Mr. Freeze has fallen in love with the girl he kidnapped, and so he kidnaps a minister, so the two of them can get married.


The Penguin sends a message to the Ventriloquist.  Mr. Freeze has gone out of control, and the Penguin needs someone reliable.  Apparently, that means someone who talks through a dummy.  Ah, Gotham.


Batman goes to talk to Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, a wonderful character, getting his first real scene in Detective Comics, despite having been around for over a decade.  Arkham explains that Freeze was undergoing a complete re-building of his psyche when he escaped.  Being midway through the process means he is even more deranged than usual.


Batman tracks down Freeze, and is about to bring him in when a sniper shoots through his helmet, which will cause Freeze to die.  At the same time, Batman finds himself surrounded by masked attackers.

The story continues in the next issue.


Mike Carey and John Lucas bring The Barker to an ending in this issue.


The circus folks realize that the killer is the man who owns the circus, that he has been using them all along, while pretending to be on their side.


The Barker kills him, and winds up in prison for his efforts to seek justice.  Downer.

Not a bad story, but like The Tailor before it, it made me want to see more of the person in their titled position.


Detective 803 – The Penguin gets attacked, and the Barker attacks


Lapham, Bachs and Massengil continue the City of Crime storyline in Detective 803 (April 2005).


Mr. Freeze kills his own men, freezing and then shattering them.  We do not learn the reason behind this for a while, but Freeze kept one girl alive, that he found in the lawyer’s office.  When his gang asked him why, he killed them.


This issue also brings in a mysterious villain, who uses masks to impersonate others.


But there is more than simple disguise involved, as he (or they) turn to dirt after being killed, and dissolve.


And the Penguin’s club goes boom.


Carey and Lucas continue the Barker’s story in this issue.


He and his friends pursue the Senator, who confesses to his fake name and passport, but pleads innocence of the murder.  This gets backed up when someone shoots and kills him.

The story concludes next issue.


Detective 802 – The Penguin schemes, and the Barker learns a secret


Lapham, Bachs and Massengil continue City of Crime in Detective 802 (March 2005).


The Penguin is brought into the story.  He has a new assistant, Miss Jessica.  One of the tenements he owns burns down, and he expects trouble as a result.  Not only from Batman, but also from the lawyers at the free legal clinic.


Mr. Freeze, recently escaped from Arkham, decides to help the Penguin with his problems.


But the only part of this issue that really grabbed me was when Bruce and Alfred watch a security camera from the Manor, and see that Haddie came by, wanting to see Bruce Wayne.  He was not there, and she stole one of his antiques.  Bruce suspects she sold it for the drugs she overdosed on, and continues to feel really crappy.


Mike Carey and John Lucas provide the most entertaining chapter of The Barker in this issue.


Circus skills prove uniquely valuable when breaking in to City Hall.  They raid the files on the autopsy and police investigation into the dog-faced boy’s death.


The evidence they find implicates a Senator, who is holding his seat under a fake name.

The story continues in the next issue.


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