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Detective Comics #1016

Peter J. Tomasi, writer

Doug Mahnke and Tyler Kirkham, pencils

Keith Champagne, Christain Alamy, Mark Irwin, and Matt Santorelli, inks

David Baron, colors

Rob Leigh, letters



In the previous issue, Batman seeks Mr. Freeze’s help to restore his frozen arm. Freeze seeks Batman’s help to confront his wife, Nora, who’s gone rogue, separated from him to pursue her own interests. This issue begins, Nora reaffirms her intention to start fresh and leave her past with Mr. Freeze behind. Meanwhile, Victor Fries and Batman follow evidence that leads them to Nora. Batman informs Freeze that he will have to turn himself in to the police after they capture Nora. Victor tells Batman that he’ll be fine in prison as long as Nora shares a cell with him. Freeze informs Batman that he used a serum provided from Lex Luthor to bring Nora back, and, the serum might be unstable and having a negative impact on Nora. Batman and Freeze confront Nora, who holds her own. Freeze is put in prison after he turns on Batman in the middle of the fight. He learns that Nora has no interest in maintaining a relationship with him. Batman informs the imprisoned Freeze that Freeze is all alone and, ironically, after suffering a freeze attack from Nora, will have to spend the rest of his days in a tube – much the way Freeze left Nora. 

The author leans into the false motives employed by Mr. Freeze and the consequences he suffers as a result. Specifically, the author flushes out the problem with trying to control others while calling it love. In his confrontation with Nora, Freeze’s selfish motives are exposed. She confronts him with the reality that he committed numerous crimes just to make her love him. He kept her alive, imprisoned her in tube, then inoculated her with an unproven serum provided by Lex Luthor – all to make her love him. 

In addition, the author flushes out the problem with Freeze trying to be the hero while not allowing people the freedom to choose who they love. The dilemma many villains face is the problem of not being accepted, or, wanting the level of attention heroes receive. This is part of Freeze’s problem; he longs to be loved. Nora plays on this weakness, tricking him, and freezing him with the same serum Freeze exposed her to. This reversal of fortune exposes the problem with envy. It infects the person who cannot find the space to allow others to love who they love. This part of the story made this entire story arc, the past 3 issues, all come to life. 

There were several highlights artistically in this book. A panel shows Freeze and Batman, who’s in his anti-Freeze uniform, confront Nora at the Gotham Art Museum. The lines and colors are bold, deliberate, making for a nice visual effect. Later, a panel shows Nora, rage-filled, with clear lines expressing the anger and pain on her face. The clear light blues off of darker tones is a nice contrast. 

Final Impressions

This issue provides the payoff emotionally for the last 3 issues. The author pulls together a story that reveals Mr. Freeze’s vulnerabilities while flushing out the evil path Nora has committed. Batman sticks to his orthodox view of justice holding Mr. Freeze accountable for his choices. Fans of DC and Batman will love this issue. 

Overall = 9.5/10 

I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist. Comic book heroes have been a passion of mine since I was a small child. However, making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list has become a regular occurrence only…

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