Wednesday, January 11, 2017
All-Star Batman #6 Review and *SPOILERS*
Art By: Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, Steve Wands, Francesco Francavilla
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 11, 2017
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's time to move on now that we've dealt with Two-Face and his plan to rain down hell on Gotham if Batman didn't destroy the Harvey Dent personality and just let Two-Face run free, without Harvey having to face the burden of fighting it.......... Which was really messed up because it really came off that Harvey was just as bad as Two-Face with him orchestrating the acid rain attack at the beginning of the series so that he could get Batman to start the journey to erasing his personality. It's time to get some Mr. Freeze action now, which I think is pretty bad ass because we haven't really seen this character front and center in a long time. Let's jump into this issue and see what Scott Snyder has in store for us with the second arc of All-Star Batman. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Batman walking through a blizzard in Alaska on his way to Mr. Freeze's secret lair in the ice and when our hero finally reaches his destination........ Well, as you can imagine, he doesn't like what he finds. I say "as you can imagine", because Victor has got to be doing some pretty messed up shit to get Batman to trek his ass to Alaska. It turns out that Mr. Freeze has been spending his time reanimating the dead, who placed their bodies in cryogenic sleep with the hope that one day they could wake up to a better world......... and while the technology isn't quite there yet in reviving people like that, the process that Victor does to wake these people up kind of turns them into what I'm calling "Ice Zombies". Yeah, it seems that Mr. Freeze is using some kind of alteration on the things that created him to make these people resilient to the cold, but from looking at these minions of Freeze, I go back to what I learned in Pet Semetary.......... Sometimes, dead is better.
Within this ice lair is one of the oldest ice cores in the world and within that is a bacteria that would destroy the world and in Victor's mind, finally make it a place worth waking up to for the people who put their faith in cryogenics........ which includes his love Nora as well and even though Batman tries to reason with Victor about how Nora wouldn't want this because of her love for life.......... not to mention that the government is on to Victor's plan and has sent fighter jets enroute to blow his home to bits. Mr. Freeze doesn't want to hear any of this though and simply puts himself to sleep in one of his tubes, awaiting the future world that he has planned for......... Too bad, that Batman has other plans. All at once Mr. Freeze awakens and finds that Batman has actually brought in a virus within him that became air born the second he sent his "Ice Zombies" to tear off Batman's insulation. Before the jets have a chance to bomb them to hell, Batman beats the hell out of Freeze and locks the two of them in Freeze's cryo-tube to wait out the fire....... and all in all, watch as Freeze's dreams of a better world are dashed.
In the end, we move back into our Cursed Wheel backup and see that the Riddler has set up a building to explode if Batman doesn't decipher his riddle and we find out that he does something like this every year on the anniversary of his Zero Year takeover. While Batman doesn't figure it out and we leave this issue looking like the building exploded, while Duke was on the side of it trying to rescue the hostages, we do have a flashback to Batman going to Edward Nygma in Arkham Asylum to see what he's up to and while Duke waits outside of his cell, he sees Daryl Guttierez, who in the Super Heavy story was the man who created the seeds that gave Mr. Bloom his powers. We see here that Daryl is still affected by the seeds and now that he sees that Duke is upping his game as a hero, he figures he better up his game as a villain and as we end this flashback, he starts affecting Duke's insides with his mind.
That's it for this issue of All-Star Batman and even though I'm not the biggest fan of Jock's art, I have to say that this style of storytelling really brought something special to this issue. It's not our typical Batman story........ which you can pretty much say for this whole series so far because it seems to be doing its damnedest to keep Batman out of Gotham and while it doesn't change Mr. Freeze's origins back from what we saw in the New 52, it does walk around the issue by Batman talking to Freeze in a way to play into his psychosis that does give us at least the feeling that Nora actually loved Victor and he's more than just a chilly creep. It's a really well told story with interesting visuals and as for the backup............ Well, it's probably my favorite chapter of the "Cursed Wheel" that we've gotten so far because it looks fantastic and it has great callbacks to Zero Year and the Super Heavy arcs, while promising us that we'll get somewhere with Duke with knowing where he fits into the Bat Family and possibly giving him a name by the time all of this is over.
Bits and Pieces:
I have to say that this installment to All-Star Batman is probably the most interesting it's been with not only the storytelling, but also the visuals that are depicting it......... Not to mention, it also brings us Mr. Freeze and who doesn't want more Mr. Freeze in their life? We've got a really "cool" story with Freeze and probably the best chapter of the Cursed Wheel backup that we've gotten so far that seems to promise that we'll get some definitive answers about where Duke belongs in the Bat Family and what his name will be.