The Batman & Robin Adventures: Sub-Zero
DC Comics (1997)
WRITER: Kelley Puckett
PENCILER: Joe Staton
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Rick Taylor
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
EDITORS: Darren Vincenzo & Scott Peterson
An adaptation of the direct-to-video movie Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero. Freeze is hidden away in the Arctic with only an orphaned Eskimo boy, Koonak, and a pair of polar bears. When explorers accidentally raise their submarine in the cave and break open Nora Fries’ cryogenic chamber her disease kicks into overdrive and Freeze has to cure her fast. He forces an old colleagues with stock debts to help him find a match…who turns out to be Barbara. Freeze interrupts Barbra’s date with Dick and kidnaps her to force her to be part of an organ transplant. Soon Koonak and the doctor begin to see how his obsession is driving him over the top as Barbara keeps trying to escape and Batman and Robin try to find her. The abandoned oil rig Freeze is using as his base soon catches fire and the doctor is killed. Freeze tries to contain the fire long enough for Batman to rescue Koonak and Nora and appears to be killed. Instead he’s back in the Arctic, hearing word on a radio station TV that Waynetech helped Nora find new organs the proper way and is now alive.
What they got right: I haven’t watched the movie in some time but I’ve seen it more than once. As an adaptation it manages to capture the important details of the movie and still have a decent narrative flow on its own. Any flaws come from the movie itself, which means it’s a good adaptation.
What they got wrong: Why are people at a weather monitoring station in the Arctic watching a local Gotham City show, or is Summer’s show actually national/international? (And how would they get the signal all the way out there?)
Other notes: One of the problems DCAU fans have shown with the Kids WB season of Batman is that Victor Fries returns with a new goal, believing his character arc was done here and didn’t need a “I’ll squash all hope because now I’m just a living head because my body died and now I can never be with my wife again” recreation. I’m kind of neutral on it myself. While I agree that his character arc ends with this movie and they didn’t need to bring him back in this new iteration, there were some interesting stories that came out of it so it doesn’t bother me as much. I wouldn’t have missed him if he were gone but it isn’t bad that he stayed, even if I do see where other are coming from.
Recommendation: If you only get one version get the original movie. This isn’t bad to have as well, but you should watch the movie it’s adapting.