BATMAN ANNUAL #1
First thing I wanna get out of the way is that I’ve never cared much for Mr.Freeze. His stories have all been the same thing: Freeze tries to save Nora, Batman shows up to stop him, they talk too much while they fight, they beat us over the head with the message that Freeze doesn’t know what love really is and that he’s become cold (get it?! COLD?!?), then Batman wins. And being tired of that, this story didn’t actually change my mind too much about the character, and reminded me why I’m tired of the cookie-cutter formula that’s always been there with such a one-trick-pony of a villain.
AS NEGATIVE AS THAT SOUNDS, Freeze was written well, and he was pretty cool. And the storytelling was well put together, and this WAS still a pretty good issue. Not to mention that I’ve never liked Jason Fabok’s artwork, as I’ve felt it was just a half-assed copy of David Finch’s style, but DAMN. The art was just great! Better than David Finch’s art has been since the relaunch, that’s for sure. I also loved how he drew Freeze’s new look (the same one he sported in Red Hood #9) and he made it look pretty good. I just wish Freeze didn’t have that dumb little tuft of hair… but it was easy to overlook.
There’s a number of changes to Mr.Freeze and his mythos and I’m really thankful for them, since it brings something new to the character, and the “WAAAAAHHHH, NORA’S FROZEN AND I’M A NICE GUY DEEP DOWN I SWEAR!!!!!!!!” approach that bores me has been done away with to an extent, and he’s more disturbing than usual. I also like seeing him as more of a threat than usual, and the moment where Batman shows up is badass and I love the twists at the end.
So, in closing, this issue was really good, and the only real issues I have is that it didn’t change my mind too much about Freeze, and the plot reminded me of past stories that made me cringe. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good Mr.Freeze story, as this is the very best one I’ve read.
ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1
It’s hard for me to think of what to say… this issue was certainly a good read, but I had a few minor issues, so… I guess I’ll start with the nitpicking and then touch on why the good overshadows the “bad”.
This issue takes place in Canada. And having lived in Canada my entire life, the stereotypes here annoyed me. We don’t say “eh” any more than an American would. Just throwing that out there. And another thing is the art… it wasn’t BAD, but it was sloppy. And this issue stars two PREVIOUS holders of the Animal Man and Swamp-Thing mantles, and since these new characters will only ever appear in this one issue, it doesn’t affect the overall ongoing plot of the Animal Man story and it was hard to care as much if it were Buddy Baker or Alec Holland.
BUT the creepiness this series has given us thus far is present here, and I LOVE the additions they’ve made to the Swamp-Thing/Animal Man mythos. They basically redefine what the characters are in this issue and it worked so well. The storytelling was gripping, and it was just very entertaining. Like I said, I don’t know what to say. It was just good.
Oh, and I can’t WAIT to see more Animal Man and Swamp-Thing crossover action. Seriously. We got just a TASTE of it here and it was delicious.