Blu-Ray Review: Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero



Remembering Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

When fans look back at the Batman movies that took place in the same universe as the wonderful Batman: The Animated Series, they most likely remember the fantastic Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker or the classic Batman: Mask of The Phantasm. As of last summer, we can add 2017’s Batman and Harley Quinn to the list, but unfortunately that movie sucks.

However, there’s a hidden gem that a lot of people forget about; Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero. This was a direct to video animated film taking in the BTAS Universe that came out in 1998. No doubt hoping to capitalize on the Mr. Freeze buzz in that was in the air after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s heartbreaking, Oscar winning performance in the critical darling and mega hit, Batman & Robin. Oh wait, I forgot the movie was explosive diarrhea and killed the Batman live action film franchise for nearly a decade. I’m sure there’s an alternate reality out there where it was The Dark Knight of it’s day.

But I think that was definitely the intention. Animation takes longer than live action to produce especially in the 90’s. Even though this came out in 1998, it must have started production a few years earlier. So Warner Bros. probably thought Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero would tie in to what they believed would be another hit Batman movie. It really feels like somewhere around 95’or 96’, Warner Bros. told Bruce Timm and his crew that if we let you do another Batman Animated movie, it better be about Mr. Freeze. Of course, Batman & Robin was such a piece of shit, people eventually put it out of their minds after the film bombed. Unfortunately I think Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero was forgotten a little as well.

Which is a shame because it’s a hell of a little flick. Nowhere near as good as Mask of The Phantasm or Return of The Joker, but still solid as fuck. It’s certainly about one thousand times better than Batman & Robin, it feels wrong to even compare the two. The movie plays like a darker, longer episode of the show. But at only 66 minuets, it still feels like a movie with a 3 act structure as opposed to a multi part episode of the series.

Basically at some point during Batman: The Animated Series, Freeze found out his wife Nora was actually still alive and being kept in cryogenic stasis. They’re living a peaceful life in the arctic with Freeze’s 2 pet Polar Bears and an Inuit boy that Freeze rescued and adopted after his parents died. There’s an accident involving some poor bastards who stumble onto this little family (it doesn’t end well for them), Nora’s medical equipment is damaged and her condition deteriorates rapidly. Freeze and the whole Fam (including the fucking polar bears) head to Gotham where Freeze meets up with his old colleague, Dr. Benson another expert in cryogenics who’s a massive piece of shit with serious financial debt. Benson tells Freeze that the only way to save his wife is an organ transplant. Nora has a rare blood type so they need to kidnap some who’s alive, kill them, and harvest their organs. Benson the medical professional that he is, gets on board right away when Freeze drops a lump of gold the size of football on his desk and tells him it’s from a mine he discovered in the arctic, which is Benson’s if he successfully helps Freeze. And wouldn’t you know it? The perfect match: Barbara Gordon. Batgirl. Commission Gordons’s daughter and the love of Dick Grayson’s (Robin) life.


There are some great action sequences including the scene kidnapping Barbara while she’s out to dinner with Dick at upscale nightclub, which starts with Freeze coming for Barbara in the club, polar bears and all, and ends with Dick in badass motorcycle chase. The film’s finale on an oil rig that going up in flames is exciting and genuinely edge of your seat tense.


This is some FUCKED. UP. SHIT.  They’re trying to hold her down so they can straight up murder her to give Freeze’s wife an organ transplant. That’s fucking dark.

This is also arguably the darkest we see Freeze, who’s always been one of the most sympathetic members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Killing a man out of revenge for murdering your wife and destroying your life is one thing, but butchering an innocent young woman to harvest an organ is pretty fucking dark. Especially considering she was basically already dead and the procedure did not seem to have a high likelihood of success when it’s being performed on an abandoned oil rig by a criminally negligent doctor who hasn’t changed his clothes in days and is solely motivated by paying off his shady debts. We do see glimmers of the honorable man that still exists somewhere deep beneath the ice of Freeze, but his main mission here is kind of unforgivable. And those polar bears aren’t fucking around either!

I rewatched this because it just came out on Blu-ray, which includes all the other Mr. Freeze episodes in the Batman: The Animated series Universe (including Batman Beyond), and I found myself thinking it was kind of underrated. This movie is also notable because it came out in the time betweeen the original Batman: The Animated series ended and The New Batman/Superman Adventures began. It was the same show, same continuity, but there was a big character redesign. Also, there are some big character developments that happen between the change over on the show and this movie hints at some of those upcoming character developments.


This is a good example of the character design changed between seasons.

I definitely recommend picking up Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero, I know I did. Especially if you have the other animated movies on Blu-Ray. It’s very good Batman movie and the Blu-Ray transfer looks good on the traditional animation. They experimented with some computer animation for certain shots and vehicles, that don’t work and look super dated. Other than that, this gets a big thumbs up from me. Give it a watch!

In the end they managed to save his wife without kidnapping and murdering a 20  year old girl and that’s all that really matters.


Oh FUCK! I forget about Batman: Mystery of The Batwoman! That’s one of the movies too..


You can pick up the Blu-Ray through our Amazon Affilliate link here:




Podcast: Paul’s Pulls (The Comic Book Show)

Hey everybody,

On today’s episode of Paul’s Pulls I talk about the end of DC’s  Big Batman event comic Dark Nights: Metal and the new issue of Doomsday Clock. I also spent some time talking about Thanos not only as a character, but his excellent book that Donny Cates works on, as well.  Thanos is basically Marvel’s rip off of Darkseid and Jack Kirby‘s classic creations The New Gods, so we get into that a little bit as well. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:



*Correction: Several times throughout the episode I refer to a creator named “Donny Coates” , the creators name is actually DONNY CATES.

PODCAST: What Should WB Do With The Batman Film Franchise?


Hey everyone,

Paul here,

With Tim off at a star studded gala, Ryan came in for the clutch rescue on co-hosting duties and CRUSHED IT! In this episode where we discuss where The Batman films should go from here after the Justice League debacle. We talk about directors, castings, storylines, all the different places we think an awesome Batman series of films could go. To help things along, Ryan and I do mock interviews with The President of Warner Bros. Kevin Tsujihara! (I really hit it off with Kevin, but Ryan kind of blew it) It’s a fun Episode so give it a listen! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:



COMICS: More DC News! Superman & Brian Michael Bendis!

Art from the upcoming Action Comics #1000. Fuck the red underwear though!

This has been a big week for comic book news. Ever since comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis jumped ship from Marvel to DC, fans have been wondering what projects he’d be working on and what characters he’d be writing. Bendis has been one of the defining creators at Marvel for almost 20 years, with legendary runs on books like Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Avengers. During that time he created classic original characters like Jessica Jone and Miles Morales.

Now, DC has announced that starting in July, Bendis will take over writing the Superman books, Action Comics and Superman. Check out more of the art here:


According to IGN, Bendis will also be debuting a massive new villain with ties to Krypton’s past. I know some people won’t be on board for Bendis writing Superman, but I’ve always loved his work. My only complaint is that they brought back that fucking red underwear on his uniform. DC! I thought we were past this!!!


TRAILER: Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay


Hey, everybody! I’ve got a few cool trailers for a few upcoming DC Animated Movies for you to check out. The first is the new DC Animated Movie Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay. Check it out here and continue reading below after:


Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay takes place in the DC Animated Universe they began creating a few years ago, starting with Justice League: War. Usually each year they’ll do a Justice League, Batman, or Teen Titans movie that’s part of this Animated Universe and then a stand alone movie like Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. Apparently this year they’re adding the Suicide Squad into the mix. I liked seeing some of the big and more obscure DC villains they included. Besides the Squad itself, villains like Zoom, Two-Face, Professor Pym, and more are a part of the movie. The voice cast looks pretty solid as well. I’m cautiously optimistic that this could be pretty cool. God knows the bar isn’t very high for it to be better than the live action Suicide Squad movie. There’s no release date on it yet, but I would expect this to be released around March or April.

The DC Animated Movie I’m really looking forward to is the next movie, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, which comes out digitally on 1/23/18 and Blu-Ray 2/6/18. I enjoy thes movies whenever they come out, but there hasn’t been a truly great one in awhile. I’m hoping this film is the one that knocks it out of the park because it looks great. A Victorian era Batman going up against Jack The Ripper? I’m in. Here’s the trailer:

Looks cool, right? But back to Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, this isn’t the first DC Animated Movie to star the Suicide Squad. A few years ago they released Batman: Assault on Arkham and though the title says Batman, it was a Suicide Squad movie through and through. It actually technically took place in the same universe as the Batman: Arkham video games. It’s a solid, fun movie that’s definitley worthy checking out. When I rewatched it recently, I couldn’t help but think “This is exactly how the live action Suicide Squad movie should have been made.” Anyway, we’re going to put up reviews for both of the flicks, so keep an eye out on the site for those.

You can buy Batman: Assault on Arkham on Amazon:



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PODCAST: The Best & Worst Of 2017 (Part 2)

Hey, everybody!

It’s Paul

This week on “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”,  we present Part Two of our monumental episode looking back at the Best and Worst, Films , TV shows, Comics, and more of 2017!  In Part One we mostly talked about the best and worst TV shows we’d seen over the past year (with a little bit of talk about movies). In Part Two, we shift focus to our favorite and our most disappointing movies of 2017. Plus, towards the end of the episode  I cover some of the big comic book news of the year and list a few of my favorite graphic novels! So, definitely check it out. It’s a great episode. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:






MUST READ: Doomsday Clock #1 Review (SPOILERS)



Back in 2011 DC Comics made a bold decision. They would reboot the ENTIRE DC Universe, the entire line of comics would start from scratch. All new #1s, new creative teams. Much like Marvel’s successful “Ultimate” re-launch of their characters in 2000. This relaunch of DC’S Comics was called The New 52.

The story telling mechanism they used to reboot their universe was a mini-series event comic called Flashpoint. If Flashpoint sounds familiar it’s because it’s been often used when talking about the cinematic DCU. The idea is if things get bad enough and their movies continue to be failures, they’ll make a Flashpoint film and completely start over the DC movies from scratch. The Flash TV series did a VERY different version of Flashpoint on their show.

So the basic set up for Flashpoint Barry wakes up one morning to find himself in a world vastly different from his own. He’s not The Flash, so no powers, there’s no Superman, no Justice League, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are about to start WWIII, etc. But he’s still a CSI and most importantly for him his mother, who’d been murdered when he was a child is now alive and well. I wont go into details because Flashpoint is a good read, but it’s an even better animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. It’s one of the best animated films DC has put out. So Barry gets his powers back and with Batman’s help fixes the timeline. But when changes that massive have been made to the timeline, things aren’t EXACTLY the same. There were a lot of little and HUGE differences from the classic DC Comics people had been following. So, Flashpoint was basically the “IN STORY” explanation for the NEW 52. Almost none of the characters remember the world as it was before Flashpoint.


For the life of me I absolutely cannot understand why some people hated the NEW 52. I don’t interact with a lot of other comic book fans on forums or Reddit, which is where I think much of the NEW 52 hate came from. Sure, not everything worked and some beloved characters didn’t immediately make the transition, but lets run through some of the books the DC published at during The New 52:

• Batman
• Swamp Thing
• The Flash
• Animal Man
• Aquaman
• Green Lantern
• Batman and Robin
• Action Comics
• Wonder Woman
• Batman Inc.
• Justice League
• Forever Evil
• Green Arrow


That’s just to name a few. With excellent creative teams and excellent storylines.For some reason DC felt that they’d fundamentally lost something along the way. They felt like they lost legacy, a sense of family, a sense of optimism that DC had always been known for. I personally don’t agree, I think the stories where great. But one things that did bug me a little, was that several DC characters didn’t make the transition in the NEW 52 and nothing scares hardcore comic books fans more than change. As a response to what they felt was the negative reception the NEW 52 received. They decided to address the problem with a new intuitive called DC REBIRTH. They didn’t reboot the universe, they just began to take their series in a different direction. They just decided that DC line wide would focus on hope, family, optimism.

DC Comics wanted infuse their books with more of that hope and optimism I mentioned. So, DC released a special called DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. This special planted the seeds of stories that would affect all of the books DC Comics had published. One of the massive revelations of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH, was the fact that Barry Allen WAS NOT at fault for the timeline being slightly “off” when he fixed the changes from Flashpoint. Certain classic characters no longer existed, people with powerful relationships in the past weren’t together anymore, key figures like Red Robin had their deaths unwillingly faked only to be held captive in a prison outside of time and space. Basically, for whatever reason, certain people were being take off the board. Barry found out that their was a much more powerful Being out there. Someone or something was altering space and time in the DCU. Someone they’ve never encountered before. At the end of DC REBIRTH, they scene cuts to Mars. It’s revealed that the person that has been manipulating the DCU was the God-like DR. Manhattan Of Watchmen.


So it seems that characters from Watchmen, at the very least Dr. Manhattan, will be interacting with DC characters. At this point I think it’s important to say that it’s real easy to be cynical about a project like this. But every little piece we’ve been given from REBIRTH leading up to Doomsday Clock has been handled very well. Most of the talk about this project coming from DC wasn’t about a fight of any kind between the DC and Watchmen characters, but an ideological conflict between the cold, clinical view of the world held be Dr Manhattan and the hope and optimism of Clark Kent… Superman.








The thing that surprised me most about this book was how much of it was a Watchmen book. I figured this story would mostly be set in the DCU with Dr. Manhattan visiting that reality and maybe an appearance from one or two other characters. Instead the majority of the story takes place in the world of Watchmen, years after we last saw these characters. It’s a world on the brink of annihilation once again. The first line of dialogue is from our narrator, who tells us it’s “ December 22 1992… or is it the 23rd?” Geoff John has been quick to point out that from the first line of dialogue we’re dealing an unreliable narrative. It’s also been pointed out multiple times in other places that December 22, 1992 is the day that The Death of Superman came out (obviously this date wasn’t chosen by accident). You see “The Great Lie” has bee exposed. Rorschach’s Journal at the end of Watchmen eventually showed the world that Veidt’s attempt to save humanity from nuclear holocaust, was built on an atrocity. Adrian Veidt AKA Ozymandias is now the most wanted man in the world. Then we’re shown a prison full of men begging to be released. The Soviets and the U.S. are minutes away from launching their nukes and beginning nuclear Armageddon.


The story cut to chaos at a prison, with the inmates screaming to be let free. The news is telling everyone to get to “Safe Zones” , but this seems like bullshit that the government is pushing on people through media and the guards are cutting and running. One of the inmates manages to grab a guard as he runs past his cell and the inmate demands for the guard to unlock the door. Before he can do anything, the guard is knocked out by someone else in the hallway with him. This is the books first huge reveal: the man who knocked out the guard and who’s now stealing the keys to the prison is Rorschach. Suddenly the inmate isn’ t quite so eager to get out of this cell.

From here on out, I’m going to give you the very broad strokes of the issue. The first six pages of this book were released by DC at NYCC and the Rorschach reveal was one of the last scenes in the promotional material. As I expected as soon Rorschach was revealed, later in the story were shown (without revealing his identity) that this is NOT Walter Kovacs, the original Rorschach. Someone else has taken up his “mantle”. Even if it wasn’t explicitly revealed, if you’re an avid Watchmen fan, you would have been able to tell that this isn’t the Rorschach from Watchmen. There are subtle, but noticeable differences.

Basically Veidt sent Rorschach to break one very specific criminals out of prison: Erika Manson AKA The Marionette. Manson won’t leave with her husband Marco Maez AKA The Mime. From what we briefly see of The Mime in prison he seems like a very dangerous psychopath. Rorschach reluctantly takes them both and they head to Nite Owl’s old hideout. Once everyone’s gathered Veidt reveals a key piece of personal information and explains his plan. Adrian has a brain tumor that is killing him and as bad as things are on their world, there’s still one man who can fix everything: Dr. Manhattan. No matter where he is Veidt intends to find Dr. Manhattan in an attempt to save his world (if that is indeed his true motive). It’s unclear how he intends to accomplish this and why he needs these SPECIFIC individuals. The last scene is Clark Kent asleep in bed next to Lois. He has a horrific nightmare of his adopted parents dying in a car crash (I’m honestly not sure if this is the current continuity, so this could be a memory or something else entirely). He wakes up startled and Lois asks him if he’s ok. Clark’s not really sure. It was just a nightmare, but as he says to Lois, he’s never had a nightmare before.


Bottom line, I really liked this story.  I get that to some people Doomsday Clock will always be sacrilege, but if you go in with an open mind you’ll realize this is a great book. If the first chapter is an indicator of what’s to come,. this could potentially be something special. The art by Gary Frank is incredible. I already considered Geoff Johns to be an excellent comic book writer, but it seems like he stepped up his game here. If you didn’t know any better, you’d be forgiven to think that this is Alan Moore is Watchmen.It was a great set up to the miniseries and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Several interesting details stood out to me. We’ve been shown that Batman was told that somehow it’ s an irrefutable fact that there are “three Jokers“. Both The Marionette and The Mime are clown themed villains. At one point, you see The Mime smiling with blood smeared across his face and mouth, which is very evocative of The Joker. Is this a version of Joker and Harley Quinn?


Another interesting point was when Rorschach was asked to prove that he is not in fact Walter Kovacs the original Rorschach, he takes off his glove and his skin is brown. We all know the original Rorschach was white. This is a complete wild guess here, but could this be the psychiatrist that Rorschach seemingly warped so deeply in the original miniseries? (However, I’m pretty sure that character died in the original Watchmen, so I don’t now)


I also found that it spoke volumes that Ozymandias seemed to be genuinely frightened of this new Rorschach. He explains to The Mime and The Marionette that Rorschach is not a man to be pushed. Veidt explains he doesn’t have limits like the original Rorschach did. Which is scary because it didn’t seem like the original Rorschach had many limits beyond his black-and-white code of justice. Especially considering that Adrian so easily physically overpowered Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and the original Rorschach in Watchmen, this guy must be a pretty big bad ass for Ozymandias to be genuinely afraid of him.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts and impressions. My biggest questions are: How many of the Watchmen characters are we going to ultimately see in this story? How does Adrian intend to actually breach through the multi-verse to find Dr Manhattan ? Why is all this causing nightmares for Superman? and how does the rest of the DCU fit in? I definitely recommend reading it twice. Even though it seems slow at times, there’s a lot more going on than you may think after initially reading it. Personally I can’t wait for #2.

P.S. Below are the covers for some of the upcoming issues!

As always thanks for reading!