Batman Fights Mr. Freeze to Prevent Another Ice Age

"What killed the dinosaurs? The ice age!"

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Mr. Freeze has usually committed smaller crimes in trying to save his beloved Nora. Suffering from a fatal disease, she's been cryogenically frozen and is Freeze's obsession. After countless attempts to find a cure that will allow her to be unfrozen, he's cranking up his methods with a plan that threatens the entire world. It's up to Batman to try to stop him from bringing about an ice age on Earth.

We spoke to All Star Batman writer Scott Snyder about the latest arc and working with artists Jock and Francesco Francavilla once again.

All Star Batman #6 by Jock
All Star Batman #6 by Jock

GameSpot: What is Mr. Freeze up to now?

Scott Snyder: The idea with the series is that with each villain, I wanted to try and make them scary in a new way. It's kind of personal to me but also speaks to fears that are really contemporary and particularly of the moment. What he's up to here is a bigger mission than he ever has been on before. To me, he's always been a guy who is after diamonds because he wants to eventually create a machine or a mechanism by which to bring back Nora, once he can figure out a way to bring her back the way she was.

With this story, he has a much bigger plan, where he starts to decide instead of bringing Nora back to this world, maybe the ice, this thing he's loved his whole life, holds the key to a whole new landscape. He's thinking about a whole new evolutionary chain of life that would remake the world in a way that Nora would love even more than the world she'd wake up to now.

In his mind, is this the best plan? Does he realize how extreme he is being?

Oh, yeah. I think his feeling is essentially that the world is heating up. [A deadly bacteria] in the ice is going to be released anyway. There's an end-of-times feeling to this whole arc, the whole ends of the earth, all four issues #6-9 have this kind of doomsday feel where the villains are engaged in one big story that almost ends the world.

He understands very well. I think all of them feel like we're at the crossroads where there are these big, global catastrophes and problems happening all around the world. I think the villains are the kind that say, "I'm going to do what I want for myself. Take advantage of this and reshape the world in the vision I think makes the most sense for me and the people that I care about selfishly," versus what the greater good.

All Star Batman #6 variant by Jock
All Star Batman #6 variant by Jock

Does Batman get a new suit and gadgets? How he's going to take on the cold and Mr. Freeze?

Yeah. He's got plenty of gadgets. He's got a big suit. I wanted to continue the fun of All Star in that way, but I also wanted to do a story where ultimately he doesn't use a gadget to defeat Freeze. He uses something almost biological or organic in his own will, his own determination.

The suit is fun. Jock has a blast drawing it. It actually had fur on it in its original conception. Fake fur, but fur. I think this one's a little bit more streamlined, but ultimately, All Star, again, is about reimagining the villains in continuity and slightly new ways and putting Batman in situations where he's pitted against them outside of his comfort zone literally and figuratively. I really hope the story hits that target. I'm very excited about it. It's one of my favorite issues, honestly.

With all of that man's gadgets and equipments, is he a hoarder or does he just have tons of storage space in the Batcave?

He is definitely a kind of hoarder, I guess, if you think about it. That could be the headline: "Batman Is a Hoarder in All Star." He's just always prepared. I think he's prepared for any conceivable situation you could think of. Batman already has a gadget stowed away somewhere in his crazy cave or suit or brain to take you on.

Where does Nora's body go when Mr. Freeze gets arrested? Does he keep grabbing her whenever he breaks out?

Originally, the way it's set up is she is in a cryo center run by Wayne Industries. That was set up at the beginning of the New 52. To me, he kind of breaks her out or takes her from these storage facilities, and then she goes back there. She's definitely very mobile for somebody that's been frozen for years.

What made you take a different writing style with this issue? It's a little more prose than actual dialogue within panels.

I wanted All Star to really be, again, a series where every issue surprises you, both in art and in writing style. As we use different villains, I really wanted to bend the way I write to fit that villain and the idea of doing prose in this cold and remote area of the world, this real frozen permafrost place, felt right. It felt removed and distanced and glassy and strange and sort of unemotional at first. I wanted that sense of layering, of distance, of it feeling remote and cold. That seemed to feel right for it.

When you get to the next issue with Ivy, it takes place in Death Valley and there's no narration in that one. It's almost like in that one, it's all emotion, all on the surface, all experiential. This one has almost a cold, through the radio transmission feeling I hope.

All Star Batman #6 variant by Francesco Francavilla
All Star Batman #6 variant by Francesco Francavilla
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What can you tell us about Duke Thomas and this part of his journey in the backup?

Our hope is to really land him in issue #9 in a new role. That's the plan right now, and barring anything... The end of this arc will also be the end of his training for a while and he'll begin in a preliminary status in a new role in the Bat Family. Really excited about the role, too, so I really hope people like it.

So he doesn't die in this issue?

He does not. He does not. Spoiler. He survives through issue 9. He does, although, maybe his new status will be dead. He will die in 9, and he will have a book where he just never appears and just is dead. That could happen.

How does it feel working on an issue with both Jock and Francavilla again?

It feels like home, man. We've all become really good friends over the years. Those guys were stars and took a risk on me when I was nobody to do The Black Mirror arc and committed to that story when it could've gone completely wrong. I've always owed them a great debt of gratitude. Jock and I have a consistent working relationship. We're working on the second arc of Wytches now. Francesco and I have always gone back and forth and talked and tried to get together at Cons. To get them both on one issue really means a lot to me, and I have projects obviously with both of them lined up. I was just talking to Francesco about doing more stuff together after this, too.

Anything else you want to add?

No, just again that I can't thank fans enough for being so supportive of the series. I never expected it to be as welcomed as it has been, and it means a lot to me. I promise to try and keep it up there with the best stuff that I've done. The hope, again, is to just do every villain differently, surprise with every issue, and this arc really gets nutty by the end. The culmination of it, I think, will surprise people with the villains that come in in issue #9.

All Star Batman #6 is now on sale at comic shops or through DC Comics.

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