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The New Batman Adventures – Cold Comfort (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

As wonderful as Heart of Ice was, offering a classic origin to a bad guy who would have otherwise been a footnote, there is a sense that the reimagining of Victor Fries hemmed the character in a bit. By giving him a moving origin story based around his wife, it meant that the character’s arc would be dictated by Nora. As such, it limits the story-telling opportunities, because there are really only so many stories you can tell. Fries can be seeking revenge (Heart of Ice) or striking a deal to preserve here (Deep Freeze) or responding to her loss (as here), but that’s pretty much it.

Cold Comfort is the first episode featuring the character without the direct involvement of writer Paul Dini. It certainly shows, as it feels like a fairly wasted chapter in the character’s arc.

Has Freeze flipped his lid?

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Batman: The Animated Series – Heart of Ice (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. While most of the episodes and comics I look at will tie into the feature-length animated movies, I thought I’d start with perhaps the most beloved piece of animation that the studio produced using DC characters.

I believe that Batman: The Animated Series sorely deserves a place on list compiled of the “best animated series of all time”. It’s certainly perhaps the single best distillation of the Batman mythos into one pure form (although Christopher Nolan’s film series – and especially The Dark Knight – also deserve some acknowledgement). What made the series unique was that, instead of simply borrowing from the comic books, it also actively contributed to them – and not just in a “we need to tie into a popular adaptation” sort of way. Lasting changes to the Batman mythos can be traced back to this particular animated series – the fan-favourite character of Harley Quinn, for example, or several sympathetic origins to well-established characters. Heart of Ice is perhaps the most successful and well-executed of these revisionist takes on Batman’s iconic selection of bad guys – offering as it does an origin for Mr. Freeze.

Dude needs to chill out…

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