Title: Batman: Detective Comics.
Story-arc: Cold Vengeance.
Writer(s): Peter J. Tomasi & Tom Taylor.
Penciller(s): Doug Mahnke, José Luis, Tyler Kirkham, Fernando Blanco & Scott Godlewski.
Inker(s): Jaime Mendoza, Keith Champagne, Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Doug Mahnke, Matt Santorelli & Tyler Kirkham.
Colourist(s): David Baron & John Kalisz.
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh & Travis Lanham.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Single Issues.
Release Date: December 29th, 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the Batman: Detective Comics (2016―) series:
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Mythology by Peter J. Tomasi.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 2): Arkham Knight by Peter J. Tomasi.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Greetings From Gotham by Peter J. Tomasi.
Continuing the Year of the Villain DC comic book event, this latest volume in the Detective Comics series focuses on Victor Fries and his long-awaited dream revolving around his wife Nora. The day he learned of the rapidly deteriorating health of his beloved one, his heart started to melt but his mind searched for solutions, even if the means to his end meant crime and death of countless innocent lives. As he dreams for the day he finally finds a solution that could thaw her out from her cryogenic chamber and embrace a new life, Mr. Freeze has always tilted back and forth between reason and criminality as he patiently waited for the day to come when he might finally have what he has longed for for far too many years. Collecting issues #1012-1019, writer Peter J. Tomasi explores a story-arc that will thaw through Victor Fries’ conscious until he realizes the inevitable consequences of his actions.
What is Batman: Detective Comics: Cold Vengeance about? The story focuses on Victor Fries’ dream of bringing his wife Nora back to life, currently stuck in a cryogenic chamber at the mercy of his blinded love and passion for her past self. It is only thanks to a mysterious new substance procured by Lex Luthor that Victor Fries might finally see his dream come true. Unfortunately for him, his greatest wish comes with a surprise as Nora’s second chance at life sheds light on her own point of view on Victor Fries’ dreams of resurrection. This volume also collects a one-shot story about Bruce Wayne’s desire to help a runaway orphan while dealing with Gotham’s innumerable crimes as well as a grim two-part story where he goes up against a supernatural pagan spirit during the Holidays.
“But sometimes… An oasis is just an illusion… A figment of your imagination.”— Peter J. Tomasi
While writer Peter J. Tomasi’s story-arcs so far in his Detective Comics run have been subpar to anyone’s expectations, this latest story centered around Victor Fries turned out much more self-contained, semi-polished, and mildly interesting. The premise of seeing Mr. Freeze reunited with his wife Nora is supposedly an obvious terrain to explore over the past years but seems rarely rehashed but his latest take on it offers fans the chance to see Batman in a new suit of armor, Freeze and his wife going full-out Bonnie and Clyde, and Freeze having to look in an unusual direction for help when his plans implode. Unfortunately, the story remains superficially entertaining, to say the least, and plays out like a cartoon episode lacking any true emotional depth that would’ve been expected from this story. Luckily, writer Tom Taylor’s one-shot orphan story, as well as writer Peter J. Tomasi’s two-part pagan holiday story, offer much more bang (really, not that much, to be honest) for your buck by the end of this volume.
On the artistic front, it is safe to say that there is nothing exceptional accomplished throughout this volume but the final two-part story-arc presents Scott Godlewski’s artwork and it significantly stands out from the rest with its vibrant, clearly-defined, and solid artistic style. The rest of the volume remains decent enough to not warrant any complaints, mostly capitalizing on a harsher and rougher style that adds a certain grim tone to the overall story while colourist David Baron cleanly fills the pages with the usual tone and shading. As previously mentioned, the biggest surprise here remains Batman’s latest suit of armor to battle Mr. Freeze, a truly exciting visual spectacle that is sure to excite certain readers (especially younger ones) for its mere concept. Hopefully, this volume, a bit coerced by the recent DC event, is a promise of better stories to come in future volumes.
Batman: Detective Comics: Cold Vengeance is an unimpressive collection of stories especially centered around Victor Fries and his reacquaintance with his soulmate Nora.