Review: Detective Comics #1013

"Thawed"
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Keith Champagne and Christian Alamy
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray

Detective Comics #1013 is a return to form, after a chapter that felt a little rushed. This time Batman is hot on Mr. Freeze’s trail and the villain has a lot to answer for. Over the preceding months Freeze has been altering the body chemistry of several women who resembled his wife Nora, in an attempt to resuscitate her. The Dark Knight caught the rogue’s goons upon their return to the scene of an attempted kidnapping, and in this issue Batman turns up the heat… quite literally!
I love the way that Peter J. Tomasi has used the “Year Of The Villain” crossover to give us a new and more dangerous take on Mr. Freeze. It’s always great when a writer can update a character without erasing his past, and in a way that still fits and feels true. This new iteration of Freeze is every bit the villain we remember, but dialled up to maximum. His love for his wife, his obsession and cruel, cold heart are all there… only elevated and enhanced.

Cool Customers

After the rushed and sub-par inks last issue, Keith Champagne and Christian Alamy have placed the bar right back on the appropriate hooks, and they make Doug Mahnke’s pencils positively glow. Now that’s more like it! The art in this issue is super polished, and Dave Baron’s colors make it shine all the brighter. This team is one of the best out there.
Rob Leigh’s letters always look and read beautifully, making any comic he works on an easy and fun read.
This Mr. Freeze story has all the hallmarks of a vintage action blockbuster, but with this creative team we also get the personality and characterization that make DC books stand head and shoulders above most of the competition. Moments like Alfred’s choice of disguise in the Batcave, and the awesome armor that Batman debuts in this issue, all give us nostalgic feelings and evoke warm memories, but the pure evil emanating from Freeze in Detective Comics #1013 is 100% 21st century criminal psychology.

Conclusion

I am one of the luckiest reviewers on this site, as every book I’ve been assigned tends to deliver excellence on a regular basis. It astounds me how titles of this quality can come out twice a month… the sheer logistics are mind boggling. The amount of talent and passion that this creative team pours into every single page is a joy to read.
I haven’t missed an issue of Detective Comics in over 33 years, and when the quality’s this high, I don’t see myself missing any for a long, long time to come.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment

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