Saturday, April 27, 2019

Batman #308 (1979) Review


Writer: Len Wein
Pencil: John Calnan
Ink: Dick Giordano
Color: Glynis Wein
Letters: Ben Oda
Cover Price: 40¢
Release Date: February 7, 1979

Review by Joey Casco of

The air is crisp this autumn night, trembling with the promise of winter and the first falling snow. To most, it is a night to bundle up the collar and hurry home to a crackling hearth -- but to the dark-clad figure swinging high among the moonlit towers, it is just another working night -- another night of the tireless hunt!

Jacob Riker is looking out his window and sees Batman swing by. He thinks about calling out to him because his life is in danger, but he holds back. He's made "a deal with the devil" that he tried to get out of, and now that devil is coming after him. Then the door is kicked open and in comes Mr. Freeze!

When Riker's body is discovered, Batman's called in. As Gordon puts it: there's some things better suited for the GCPD and there's some things better suited for the Batman.

Then we meet a man named Mr. McVee. He walks into a building, gets into an elevator, and goes up to the 13th floor. There he's met by a secretary who hands him an insulated parka so he can be warm in the room he's about to walk into. He puts it on, walks in, and he's met by Mr. Freeze.

McVee has made the same deal that Riker did, only he's not backing out. But he does have concerns. He had to transfer assets to over to Mr. Freeze and has to leave his multi-million dollar company behind, giving up the work of his entire lifetime.

Mr. Freeze has made a cryogenic capsule to recreate the incident that made him the way he is, with a regenerating cell structure and infinite slowing of aging for the closest thing possible to immortality, and McVee is more than willing to go through with it. So Freeze's girl Hildy shows McVee into the capsule.

Whelp! It doesn't work and it never has! Those Game of Thrones White Walkers from the beginning of the issue are the past failures of this process. They become mindless zombies that do what Freeze says! But nobody is going to be looking for them for awhile, since they've all claimed a leave of absence to their companies and informed their families that they're going away.

Yet with every victim Freeze gets closer and closer to success, collecting data on what went wrong. And why is he doing this? To give his love Hildy the eternal life that he has! But she's using him and plans on turning on him as soon as she gets what she wants.

Meanwhile, Batman has been doing some detective work!

You see that? He disconnected some high voltage lines, which were all leading to the 13th floor. Obviously something is up with the 13th floor, so he uses the elevator shaft to get up there. He opens the elevator doors while thinking "Now if I can make it to Freeze's inner office without being seen--!" aaaaaand....

POW! Right on the kisser! Batman's source ratted him out!

But the punch almost shatters Batman's knuckles, and these dudes are like big blocks of ice. He tries to fight back and find a weak spot on four (at the least) of these ice zombies, but Freeze uses his gun to freeze Batman's feet so he can't fight back.

They get Batman into a capsule, but Hildy seems like she's doubting that it's the right thing to do.

Oh no!


Freeze gloats about his victory while Hildy keeps thinking to herself how she can't wait to turn on him. And then, when Freeze leaves the room, she makes the mistake of saying it out loud while getting a bit frisky with White Walker Batman.

Hildy tries to make the excuse that she was trying to trick Batman because he's not really frozen, but Freeze isn't buying it.

Batman, no longer a frozen zombie, jumps at Freeze! Hildy was right! So Freeze turns and aims at Batman and fires, but he misses and freezes Batman's cape.

He explains that those high voltage lines he cut earlier went to the capsules, and he pretended to look like one of those White Walkers using makeup he just so happened to have. 

Then he uses his iceblocked cape as a weapon. It does nothing against the frozen zombies, but he notices that they are doing exactly as Freeze commands and assumes that communication is from Freeze's helmet. So, naturally, he destroys the helmet by bitch slapping a chunk of ice into it.

Batman punches Freeze in the face and then the gut, Freeze drops his gun, and Hildy picks it up.

Bits and Pieces

Fun fun fun! I found this on DC Universe while looking for retro one-shot issues to review, and I thought that it was a delightful surprise!  And now we know that Batman keeps makeup in his utility belt!


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