Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #88: Cold Comfort

Cold Comfort was first broadcasted on October 11, 1997 with a script by Hilary J. Bader and directed by Dan Riba.

Mr. Freeze has been forced to be bound to a new robotic body. His wife Nora has been revived, but believing him dead, she has remarried and left Gotham. If Freeze can’t have a life of happiness, nobody can, so he begins lashing out at the city by destroying what people care about so they can feel the same pain he feels.

This all takes place after Subzero even though that came out months after this episode aired, although it was originally slated to come out in Summer 97 around the time Batman & Robin came out.

And of all the reboots the show has done to their characters, Mr. Freeze has the most drastic of all the changes, especially in his personality. To quote A.V. Club, He’s a much more traditional supervillain in “Cold Comfort,” with two wise-cracking snow bunny sidekicks and an unwavering stream of anger pointed at anyone who has a better life than him. He starts by going after Gotham scientist Dr. Madsen, who has just unveiled a complete Ultrasaurus skeleton. When Madsen tells Freeze that the bones are worthless to him, he says with his signature chill, “I did not come here to steal bones, Dr. Madsen. I came to steal hope.”

I mean, Freeze is just downright evil in this, right down to going after Bruce Wayne at his home because he felt “safe and untouchable”, the scene where he comes in and just takes over, it gets pretty intense:

And once again, Michael Ansara does an excellent job creating this ominous menacing voice for Freeze. And with that, you could’ve easily had a really good Mr. Freeze episode here on the level of Heart Of Ice and to make us forget about the mediocrity that was Deep Freeze…..

….that is until they reveal the big twist about what Freeze has become and….it’s stupid, it’s so unbelievable stupid, just look:

Oh, sweet mother of god, this is absolutely the most stupidest thing they could’ve ever done. I mean, I get why they did it and they explain that his body deteriorated due to his condition and thus, the doctors were only able to halt it in time to save his head. Freeze goes on to say that his bodiless existence is the impetus for his not having contacted Nora and why he has sought to wreak havoc on any and all of those around him.

All of that is fine….but why did they have to make him a giant mechanical spider? I mean, my god, did Jon Peters take over the production one day and tell the people “hey, you know what’d be great, if Mr. Freeze became a giant mechanical spider.” Or….maybe that was a joke by the animators themselves, maybe that was an inside joke at Peters for wanting to have Superman fight a giant mechanical spider in Kevin Smith and Tim Burton’s aborted Superman movie with Nicolas Cage. But then again, would that have been too early on to make that joke?

I don’t know, bottom line, it’s a pretty bad image for such a greatly written character.

Overall, Cold Comfort is the best of the revival episodes I’ve watched so far but it’s still pales in comparison to what the original TAS run was able to do with Mr. Freeze, I don’t know, to me, this revival is not starting off as strong as the original run has been, you can start to see why a lot of people say this season is more miss than hit and so far, I believe it.

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