Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Detective Comics #1014 Review

Freeze Frame

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Ink: Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Doug Mahnke
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019

Review by Joey Casco of

Mr. Freeze has finally brought his beloved Nora back and cured her of her terminal cancer, thanks to Lex Luthor's offer. B
ut he's left plenty of test subjects behind that Batman must try and save, who are being kept in temperature-controlled tanks in the Batcave and frantically tended to by Batman and Alfred.

I was thinking about this in the last issue and asked Jim about it... where does Mr. Freeze get all the money for that equipment and tech? Because it's not like we see him robbing banks anymore. Maybe Jim is right and he has a bunch of patents.

This issue starts off with Nora, finally unfrozen, scared and telling Victor that she didn't want this and that she wanted to fight cancer on her own terms. And this is where I think there was a missed opportunity. Victor goes into why he forced her into being frozen anyway (yeah, she had no say in the matter), how he can't live without her, etc. But we don't hear a rebuttal from Nora. Not a "you did this against my will, you bastard" or even a "thank you, my love". She just wants to get out of her suit, which is completely understandable, but I found it odd that she showed neither disdain or approval of his actions after he explained them. It kinda makes her seem... cold.

Bruce isn't able to figure out much with samples of Freeze's victims and survivors in the Batcave with Alfred so he has to go to Waynetech and seek the help of Lucius Fox, but just when they start getting somewhere Freeze and Nora bust right in and freeze Bruce and Lucius to the ground. There's some interesting banter between Nora and Bruce, and Victor and Bruce since Victor used to work there and they all know each other, and Bruce even donated money to the ballet company Nora worked for.

But why are they there? Victor was fired for his attempts at saving Nora because the power drain risked the lives of employees, but he left a compound there and mislabeled it on purpose so it would stay locked up and untouched. That compound would allow Nora to not wear a suit. Victor's own recent ability to not wear said suit anymore was done gradually, and I'm not sure why he couldn't go back and get the compound for himself before or recreate it, but whatever. It's a way to expedite the progression of two suitless Freeze villains.

The Fries' leave Waynetech with the compound, and a few pages before the end we see a blue-skinned Nora dancing in her ballerina outfit... in front of a frozen audience and a clapping Mr. Freeze. A rather eerie scene.

Bits and Pieces

I've been down on this arc because it's not given me a reason to care. We've been through all of this so many times... until just now. I actually liked this issue because Nora is finally back and it looks like she's ready to kick some ass right beside her husband. It finally moves the Fries' out of staleness and into some forward progress. Also, I really enjoyed the confrontation between them and Batmanless Bruce. Could Tomasi pull a reverse move and start a Detective story off disappointing only to end it with excitement?


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