Freeze Frame

Batman Annual #1

While it may have the “Night of the Owls” banner on the cover, this comic has very little to do with that crossover. Most of our focus here is on Mr. Freeze, starting from his childhood and his mother’s accident on an icy lake, through his young adulthood as a cryo-scientist in the employ of Bruce Wayne, and through his most recent escape from Arkham Asylum as he makes his plans for revenge on Wayne for stealing his beloved Nora from him. And we get an unexpected twist on Freeze’s backstory before the end of the tale…

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is getting a little controversy because it futzes about a little with Freeze’s tragic origin created by Paul Dini in the Batman animated series. As good as that is, I still didn’t have a problem with the origin and backstory being altered, mainly because I didn’t feel like it was a bad alteration. As far as Freeze is concerned, his old origin is still true — the rest of us are the ones who now see him as a bit crazier than before. And it’s something that gives us a better reason why no one ever let Freeze revive Nora — something that always seemed needlessly cruel. So I enjoyed it, and it gets a thumbs-up, and that’s all there is to it.

American Vampire #27

Calvin Poole, one of the very small number of American vampires — and the only African-American — has stumbled into a small pack of werewolf-like vampires in a small town in the Deep South. He makes a very narrow escape when some sympathetic locals help him out, and the Vassals of the Morning Star give him some tips on how to wipe out this new crop of vamps. But does Calvin alone have any chance against an entrenched pack of powerful vampires?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice, short storyarc with excellent writing, good art, and some nice conflicts and mysteries. Hope we get to see plenty more of Calvin as the series goes on.

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