Batman captures Mr. Freeze, and Bruce Wayne serves on the Jury to convict Him. A Conflict of Interest for the Frozen Felon!
BATMAN # 51
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Lee Weeks
Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Lee Weeks & Elizabeth Breitweiser Cover A. Variant Covers: Kaare Andrews
Editors: James S. Rich Assoc Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know: Batman and Catwoman were supposed to get married in issue 50. Everything had been leading up to this for a long time. Long story short, it didn’t happen and Batman is a bit pissed off!
His aggression comes through as he takes out Mr. Freeze in a more violent than usual manner. The twist here is that Bruce Wayne himself is selected as a Juror for the criminal trial! There is at the same time a lot going on here, and not much happening.
Finally, Bruce Wayne is selected. (Like the lawyers would miss a chance for a High Profile Juror?)
What You’ll Find Out: The trial begins, and each side presents the evidence. It looks like Batman apprehended Mr. Freeze because he had conducted some Cryo-experiments on three Female victims. This had resulted in each of their deaths. Batman followed the clues to Freeze, and viciously into confessing that he had committed the murders.
Commissioner Gordon lights the Bat-signal and is surprised to see that it’s not the regular Batman. (We know it’s Dick Grayson), and he asks if Batman is OK? He comments “No.”
After Commissioner Gordon testifies, and then Harvey Bullock, the trial takes a strange turn toward Batman and his methods, and that of a Vigilante as well. The issue is that it hurts the trial and discredits both Gordon and Batman himself. What just Happened:
Although Bruce has been Batman for many years, I do not think that he has been as up close and personal with the Gotham Justice system. At least not as close to being a party to the criticism of Batman’s credentials. (honestly, in the Super Hero community no one questions Batman). Bruce excuses himself to the Restroom. In a tantrum he rips the Urinal off from its moorings and throws it across the room, to shatter on the other side.
This is the start of cracking in his persona. Apart that Bruce has played so impeccably for years, and now he is losing his cool. A dangerous move for his Secret Identity and his sanity.
Back in the courtroom Freeze recounts the evening he was captured. He tells the court that he has fought Batman many times before, but “he was a different man that night”. He had made the admission of guilt under the impression that Batman would finally cease hitting him.
As the jury retires, the foreman asks for their vote. Not surprisingly, they are almost unanimous in their decision of Guilty. All except for Bruce, who is casting his vote for not Guilty.
This is the aftermath of the Biggest Batman story in years, issue # 50. In this story, we see just how without Catwoman to ground him the Bruce Wayne persona is starting to crack, and Batman is definitely taking his frustrations out on the Villains. This Jury and the selection of Bruce Wayne is very representative of the psychological guilt that Batman/ Bruce feels after beating the hell out of Freeze. It could a dream because it is so perfectly themed. This is not a particularly remarkable issue, but it is at least a fresh take on who Batman and or Bruce Wayne is, and how they deal with things differently, or perhaps the same, as we see with Bruce’s anger in the courthouse.
Interesting enough, this book reads exactly like a Daredevil comic. Not surprising since until recently the artist for this issue had been providing the pencils for Daredevil. This is just an example of why Batman just cannot have nice things. I am aware that a lot of people were truly upset by the last issue, and this one does not go into much of the fallout, but it’s a solid foundation story for a new Arc. I think that the pairing of Mr. Freeze is appropriate seeing as he tragically lost his wife. I wonder if that was intentional? A good follow up to the last issue, and while I miss the art from Mikel Jainn, I know that he is taking over in Catwoman, so well played DC comics. Hang on tight for all of those who want answers, I will bet that Tom King has some more torture and agony ahead for our Dark Knight.
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