I’ve been out of the loop with the new DCU (haven’t we all?), so I was surprised and pleased today to see my beloved Mr. Freeze defrosted and returned to the comics world in Red Hood and the Outlaws #9. He’s also on the cover of Batman Annual #1. Well Victor Fries, it’s ice to see you again.
Mr. Freeze has earned the reputation of being one of the cheesiest villains out there, thanks in large part to the over-the-top performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman and Robin. In the comics, Mr. Freeze was a mad scientist whose focus was cryogenics, a fact that now makes me wonder why he’s not called “Doctor Freeze.”
Then, from the 90s to the present, in the pages of Batman there was a freeze-out: a majority of the cheesy villains like The Ventriloquist and The Riddler were replaced by more serious ones like The Black Mask and Hush. When the New 52 reboot happened, it made fans like me wonder if the cheeseball characters would be re-integrated at all.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #9 put some of my fears to rest (I’m still waiting for a return of Calendar Man!). Mr. Freeze returns and is in fine form, although there were less ice related puns than I would have hoped for–the only one comes when Arsenal says his arrow will leave Mr. Freeze “out cold.” Mr. Freeze is still arrogant and speaks in long, declamatory word bubbles that add a melodramatic aspect to what’s otherwise a fun and freewheeling comic.
Apart from Mr. Freeze’s icy reception, Red Hood and The Outlaws issue 9 is worth reading for the slick and highly detailed artwork of Kenneth Rocafort and for the fast pace set by writer Scott Lobdell. Oh, and Batgirl makes a cameo!
That’s it for now, folks. Until next time, chill.