Review: Batman Detective Comics ‘Cold Vengeance’ (DC Comics)

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi and Tom Taylor
Artist: Doug Mahnke and Jamie Mendoza, Keith Champagne, Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Jose Luis, Matt Santorelli, Tyler Kirkham, Fernando Blanco, Scott Godlewski
Colorist
: David Baron and John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Leigh and Travis Lanham
On Sale: 01/01/2021

The long-awaited thawing of Nora Fries. Batman Detective Comics ‘Cold Vengeance’ collects issues 1012-1019.

PLOT AND STORY 

For Dr. Victor Fries, happiness is a cold gun. The villain better known as Mr Freeze has terrorized Gotham City and it’s dark Knight defender for years. But one woman remains at the centre of his cold heart; his wife, Nora. When he’s not battling the Batman, he’s dedicated his life to curing her ailments and bringing her back to life out of her state of frozen cryostasis.

And now, with the help of a “gift” from Lex Luthor, he’s about to get his wish. But the joy that could warm Mr. Freeze’s icy heart is about to bite him as hard as frost – because unless Batman stops him from reviving Nora, she could unleash a winter war that will put Freeze’s most diabolical schemes to shame.

Peter J.Tomasi has set the stage perfectly for the ultimate showdown between Mr. Freeze, the woman he loves and the hero he hates. The cold vengeance saga is as entertaining as it is gripping with action and intrigue on every page turn. Especially issues 1012-1016, which specifically focus on Mr and Mrs Freeze, this a story arc people don’t want to miss. I like how the severity of the situation continues to shift the match ups as at first Batman fights Mr Freeze, then they must team up to stop Nora and then we see a few further double crosses before we reach the finish line.

ARTWORK

Doug Mahnke is one of those names you see and instantly know this book is going to look great. I have to say that Doug Mahnke is one of my favourite Batman artists because of the way he depicts Batman as this large, intimidating figure and uses his cape to great effect when moving. I find this style of Batman always stands out to me with similarities to artists Jim Lee and Jock.

David Baron as the predominant colour artist compliments Mahnke’s artwork like cheese and crackers. Batman is seen with my preferred black and dark grey outfit but then switches it up with a bold red bat when he wears his heat suit. It’s the Freeze’s who really stand out with a gorgeous electric blue skin and then Mr Freeze has these red goggles which create such a menacing face.

Special mention to Rob Leigh who provided most of the lettering and has a few stand out pages when the font and colour changes to react to the cold icy atmosphere and works in tandem with the story. 

FINAL THOUGHTS 

Detective Comics was probably the most consistent, long term ongoing series in 2020 making it onto my top 10 comics list and Cold Vengeance was the story arc which kicked off the year. This is a classic detective story with Batman using all his skills and contacts within the GCPD to solve mysteries and save lives. This story is a great example of why Batman has the best rogues gallery. Another great attribute about this book is that anyone can pick it up and enjoy it. Seasoned comic book readers to your casual Batman fan can both read this without requiring much prior knowledge and get great enjoyment. 

I read this via a physical paperback copy issued by Penguin Random House Global and received no other incentive to review this comic. All images and artwork are courtesy of DC Comics.

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