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Comics Eye: My Final Comic Book
Hello comic book lovers and welcome to another ComicsEye.
The above hub title may sound a bit cryptic but have no fear the title is a bit misleading.
The comic book in question is the first Batman Annual under DC Comic's "New 52!" redux, and indeed it is going to be the last actual physical comic book that I ever purchase due to my going to the dark side...that's right I've traded in my weekly drive to my local comic book shop for a trip to my easily accessible online comic shop...namely Comixology.com.
Okay, so now that many of you are calling me a trader and a comic book pariah, I'll be addressing my decision to go the digital route in my first official ComicsEye pod cast which I'll have uploaded (somewhere) by the end of this month...so let's talk about this Batman annual.
This happens to be a "Night of the Owls" storyline tie-in and features one of the Bat's classic villains "Mr. Freeze." In this storyline, we find Victor Fries in a jail cell in Arkham Asylum in a counseling session with a Dr. Kearney. Kearney is discussing Victor's latest "episode' concerning an encounter with Gotham's notorious company of Owls, where Dr Kearney suggests that Victor actually set a trap for himself which led to his being caught and incarcerated once more in the asylum.
In the meantime, Victor is just biding his time till after midnight, then very matter of factly murders the good doctor, and then commences to escape from Arkham, of course with many casualties in his wake. Eventually Freeze confronts the Batman, as he tries to take revenge against Bruce Wayne for taking his Nora from him.
This story written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV and pencils by Jason Fabok show us glimpses into Victor Fries past including a flashback to a time more than thirty years in his past, as a youth in Lowell, Nebraska we witness what may have been the first traces of what a young Victor Fries would later become.
An accident involving his mother, which leads to young Victor's predilection with the "cold." What really was a head turner though was the tale of Freeze's wife "Nora."
The connection between Wayne, Victor and his wife Nora reveal something that either I'd never known before (not unheard of...hey I can't know everything) and threw a monkey wrench into the supposed reason for Victor's obsession for a cure to revive his cryogenic preserved wife.
While I won't give away too much plot, I will let you know that Nightwing and Robin have cameo appearances in this annual, and the look back into Victor's past involving a young Bruce Wayne becomes the focal point of this storyline.
Is it worth the $4.99 price tag though?
Well...maybe, but personally I'd have enjoyed this book a little more had it come in a dollar less.
After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?