Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Matteo Scalera, Dave Stewart, and Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC comics
Release date: November 15th, 2022
Going back to the Dark Knight’s early days in Gotham City: Batman and Robin, Dick Grayson, faced down the coldest winter Gotham City has ever seen in this week’s Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze #1 by Gerry Duggan. A winter so cold that Mr. Freeze, Victor Fries, no longer needs his containment suit to survive; he is in an element where he can thrive. Let’s dive into this week’s Batman: One Bad Day and see what we can uncover.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze #1 Review.
Once I saw Gerry Duggan was writing this issue of Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1, I had to review it! I haven’t seen Duggan in a DC book since… I don’t know when (if ever to be honest). And seeing his recent work on his X-Men-related comics at Marvel and how outstanding his work has been, this was a no-brainer. So, Duggan gets the opportunity to provide fans with a retro look at one of Batman’s most tragic and heartfelt villains that many can conceivably compare themselves to. And Duggan spearheads the opening up Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 perfectly by placing this moment well and putting it within the confines of the Holiday Season to boot.
Duggan drops loads of subtle humor throughout the story and gives Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 this almost spy-like, espionage look with none other than Matches Malone at the helm. My goodness, it’s quite a unique flavor to a Batman comic by Duggan… and I loved it! From Bruce getting into custom with Alfred to the mannerisms at the bar by Matches, the setup, and execution of this story unraveled nicely.
Next, the showdown between Freeze and Batman along with the commentary from the guards sliding in comments about Batman and how bad he is like “you know he dropped a guy in a vat of acid at Ace…” continued to add some texture to the story placing the current status quo and opinion of Gotham at the time of this showdown. It’s nice to see this “rookie” exchange with Batman and his work in these early years as well. It adds more depth to the character and makes him more real instead of the character nowadays that can do no wrong.
However, the masterful part by Duggan was how he makes the reader feel as we see the final moments with Nora and Victor. Nora irons put their relationship while we see Victor’s love for his wife. Nevertheless, we see the disconnect in their relationship with the collateral damage being the lack of time in those final moments along with Victor’s stubbornness as the obstacle wedged between those final moments. Duggan gives fans a Bat villain they can almost all relate to. How many of us have overlooked a member of our family or friends before it was too late? I think it happens more than we’d care to share. And Duggan pulls at those heartstrings wonderfully.
Additionally, Duggan hits on even more emotional tones from Dick and Bruce’s perspective. We see the overly optimistic Grayson as Robin who combs through the mess of his life alongside his adopted “father” whose just as equally messed up, and provides that voice of light and balance that none of the other Robins could ever give. In part, it’s what makes Dick so unforgettable and frankly the best Robin. It’s why I’ve always felt that if something happened to Dick, that’s what would truly send Bruce over the edge even more so than Alfred or any of the other wards including Damian.
Nevertheless, Duggan provides readers with the emotional switch-a-roo that they’ll never see coming involving Freeze and his relationship with Nora taking fans on this emotional rollercoaster ride that will keep fans guessing. You’ll ask yourself by the end of Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 if people can really change. The selfish, disgusting twist that Duggan places on this story adds a unique wrinkle to this tale I actually quite prefer.
And on a side note, Duggan’s Dick Grayson Robin is freakin’ amazing! If he’d ever be interested in a series surrounding some flashback tales with this version of Batman and Robin (as Dick), I’d buy the heck out of that. The character depth and emotion in this issue speak volumes of what Duggan could do for the relationship of both characters and the bond they formed. If you’re reading this Duggan and DC, give it a thought, I don’t need the credit, just make it happen.
The design of Batman was natural, thick, and simply real instead of this overly muscular, toned, defined, and practically fake version of the human physique. Mix that specific rendering with this almost updated Animated Series look, and diehard fans will be enthralled by what this creative team has to offer. Additionally, I can’t help but refer how Matches Malone was drawn in this issue and hope to see more of this from the creative team in the future, especially in conjunction with Duggan on this new Batman book I’ve been promoting!!!
Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 has an emotional journey through a variety of aspects of Mr. Freeze’s life. We see a different vantage point of the character other than simply the distraught husband. Readers find a much more sinister side that makes him almost worse than so many other of Batman’s Rogues but from a different perspective.
Additionally, Duggan’s take on the relationship between Dick and Bruce was outstanding. This Dick is fun-loving, smart, a wicked fighter who could stand toe-to-toe with a Bat Villain single-handedly, and provides Bruce with a grounding spark that adds so much more depth to who Batman is as a character. I mentioned it above and I’ll say it again, Duggan needs to get on a Batman title that has Dick Grayson as a young Robin witnessing their adventures right in the thick of their ongoings. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!