Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone gets a good jumpstart on their road to sugar shock today, just don't catch a cold waiting in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin.

In other news, I've finally gotten around to reading Dan Curtis, JH Williams and Seth Fisher's Batman tale Snow. I just couldn't bring myself to reading it during the summer months.

I always find it incredibly hard not to compare any re-examined Batman villain origin story to the animated series (the 90s Bruce Timm series, not The Batman that's currently on). They did such a great job, especially with Mr. Freeze that it is pretty much impossible not to think of the character as anything other than the animated presentation. He was such a tragic villain with a great motivation and they really managed to play up his cold heart and his inability to love while it was love that made him do what he does. The terrible movie put the Governator into the role and the decline of Mr. Freeze hit full speed. Since then the comic books have tended to simply make him a psychotic cold villain who just smashed people. In many ways the motivation was removed from the character and replaced with psychotic cold dude with armour.

Then comes this story which essentially mixes the two ideas (Governator is, thankfully, forgotten). There is a bit of the warmth at the centre but the psychotic tendencies are also there in large force. Mr. Freeze does have some decent emotional motivation but at times it still feels a bit forced, such as his insistance on non-violent use of his project although he's working for a military contract. The character just seems more deluded than conflicted.

Batman, on the other hand, is creating a sort of strike team that doesn't really end up working out all that great. It works fine against your average criminal gangster but against something like Mr. Freeze the group just wasn't prepared. They manage to get some small victories but for the most part they realize when they are out of their league.

And then there is the reason I bought this thing. The Seth Fisher artwork. Man, it is simply amazing how I can just sit there and look at this book all day long. I love the day-glo colours and how each panel just bursts with fun. Heck, Batman has earmuffs on when he skis through Gotham - when was the last time you saw that and didn't think it was lame? This is kinetic and solid work here that is just stylized enough to feel like Moebius edited the art but with enough retro-funk in the design to make it unlike any other Batman story I've happened to read.

No comments: