Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Batman: One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 Review



Written by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: Matteo Scalera
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Cover art by: Matteo Scalera, Dave Stewart
Cover price: $7.99
Release date: November 15, 2022

Batman: One Bad Day - Mr. Freeze #1 presents the Master of Cold with an unusual Holiday gift, courtesy of the Dynamic Duo. When Mr. Freeze is presented with the chance to set things right, a darker secret comes to light that will reshape everything you thought you knew.

Is It Good?

Batman: One Bad Day - Mr. Freeze #1 is a gothic yet cheery Holiday-themed one-shot centering on the Dynamic Duo's most tragic villain. The setup is intriguing, the "voices" of the characters are spot-on, and Scalera's art is phenomenal. However, this particular Christmas stocking has a few lumps of coal.

Gerry Duggan's premise centers around Robin's idea to give Mr. Freeze a helping hand instead of a punching fist during Christmas time. Rather than send Freeze to Arkham over his latest heist, Batman and Robin decide to give Freeze a lab and the latest research materials to help Freeze complete his life's mission, the one thing that's motivated every waking moment of Victor Fries's life since he became Mr. Freeze, to cure his perpetually frozen wife Nora.

On its face, this is a cool (no pun intended) concept. Duggan attacks the idea with excellent pacing, brilliant dialog (especially for a young Dick Grayson, aka Robin), and engaging plot developments.

Second but equal to Duggan's writing is Scalera's marvelous art style that mixes gritty, moody Bat-shenanigans with an air of whimsy to match the magic of Christmas time.

Now for the bad news. First and consistent with the previous issues in the "One Bad Day" series of one-shots, there's nothing remotely related to the idea of "One Bad Day." None of the characters are pushed beyond their limits, forcing a change in a particular direction. The story spends a fair amount of time focusing on Mr. Freeze's origin story and his relationship with his wife but no, one day appears to be a tipping point in any direction to change the characters to become something completely different from what we already know. 

You could make the case that Fries's accident that changes him into Mr. Freeze is the "One Bad Day," but that's a story we already know, and nothing in this issue changes that event.
However, the second down point is new and somewhat changes Freeze's story to the point of "breaking" his character. Fans of the character may not like it at all.


In Duggan's story, we learn Freeze is a raging misogynist who doesn't mind that his wife is trapped in ice. He can keep her where he wants her and doesn't have to worry about her having a life outside their marriage. This revelation upends Freeze's historical motivation to pursue all means (legal and illegal) for the express purpose of curing his wife and setting her free. Reshaping Nora's ice prison as a form of male oppression somewhat destroys that motivation and makes Mr. Freeze less tragic. Merry Christmas!

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman: One Bad Day - Mr. Freeze #1 is a unique Holiday-themed one-shot that gives one of Batman's greatest villains a shot at redemption. The writing execution is rock solid, and Scalera's art is gorgeous. Unfortunately, the "One Bad Day" concept is missing, and Duggan retcons a piece of Freeze's history in a way that potentially "breaks" the character.


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