crazyscarecrow's Detective Comics #373 - Mr Freeze's Chilling Deathtrap ; The Riddler on the Roof! review

Mr. Zero Changes his Name and the Riddler Made No Sense!

1968! The Silver Age for Batman is almost to a end where in almost a year Dick Grayson would move to college and Batman/Alfred will leave Wayne Manor. However before the Silver Age of Batman ends Mr. Zero makes one last appearance!

In the first Batman/Robin focused story Bruce, Dick, and Alfred are all riding to the hospital as Aunt Harriet Cooper is being rushed to the hosiptal. At the same moment Mr. Zero (whom announces his name change to Mr. Freeze) and his henchmen are off to rob a rich man of a painting of a winter scene. At the same moment Mr. Freeze use his freeze gun and the surgey of Aunt Harriet begin, their technology backfires and it is up to Batman and Robin to stop it as Aunt Harriet's life depends on them. Finding it was their old foe Mr. Zero they suit up and go off.

Of course like most Silver Age/Golden Age stories Batman and Robin has a fight scene with Mr. Freeze, then a big trap happens (in this case Batman gets stuck in a block of ice), proves his worth as a escape artist, gets Robin and save the day.

The art by Chic Stone (who was Bob Kane's ghost artist in this issue) was great and I especially loved the inking of Irv Novick. The story was written by DC legend Gardner Fox which I guess would be a decent story for the time. Also two interesting notes on this story. 1) This is the first time Aunt Harriet's last name is mentioned in the comics (where it only was in the Adam West Batman show at the time) and 2) Mr. Zero changes his name to Mr. Freeze which is what the villains name was on the West Batman show. This is even acknowledged in the comic when Robin first hears the name, Mr. Freeze, and talks of how the name sounds like it came from some campy live action show. Overall I think the Batman story was good and the edition of them even acknowledging how campy the Batman show was back then defiantly gives this story a extra star just because I laughed.

The second story was a Elongated Man story where Ralph Dibney makes his way to Gotham City and helps Commissioner Gordon figure out a riddle from the Riddler when Batman and Robin can't make it to the Bat signal. Oddly enough, this riddle was a little puzzling however EM and Gordon figured out quickly, but only because they had a limited amount of pages. Anyhoo, EM finds the Riddler at a jewelry shop choosing a engagement ring. Just kidding, but wouldn't that be fun? Anyway E. Nigma was robbing and has a little fight with the Elongated Man. Even telling the Elongated Man how he can't throw the punch due to the itching powder he put on his suit that will go through gloves.

Of course the hero wins the fight against the Riddler and later meets Batman and Robin outside the jewelry shop speaking of how they figured out the riddle. They then asked the Riddler and the Riddler refuses to tell.

This story is good. Not sure if I am saying that because it is the only Elongated Man comic I have ever read or if because I enjoyed the art by Gil Kane and Sid Green or if it was because I thought Fox came up with a clever riddle and title of the story (Riddler on the Roof). Anyway the story was good and does supply the Silver Age laugh in the form of the Riddler talking about how the itching powder of his suit goes through gloves and materials despite him being unaffected by the powder.

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