Aww, that was nice and it was also the best Mr. Freeze story I’ve read this year, not that there was a lot to choose from (Red Hood #9 and Batman Annual) but it was still a very satisfying Batman Christmas special and it’s evident that the creators have a lot of affection for the Batman mythology. We’re still not quite reaching the level of hilarity and adorableness of the Halloween issue, but Li’l Gotham #3 came very close. This is a story that has some pretty cute shots of Damian and Mr. Freeze playing dress-up and it has an ending that definitely made me smile so I say it’s definitely worth a buck.
The thing that was kind of odd about Li’l Gotham #3 is that it’s tone never quite stayed the same. At first it seemed pretty quirky and like the fun, lighthearted kid-friendly tale I wanted to read but it suddenly turned almost serious in the second act as Batman and Nightwing team up to rescue hostages. It wasn’t exactly a turn-off, but it was a moment in which I straightened up in my chair and was like “Are we going serious with this thing now or what?” Thankfully that feeling didn’t last long and the final act of the story brought back the cute as well as a heaping portion of sentimentality. Fridolfs and Nguyen made a worthy Christmas special that I think fans will want to come back and read again next year and the year after that. Speaking of credits, the first page of the book was quite unique! Dustin Nguyen drew caricatures of himself, Fridolfs, letterer Saida Temofonte, and editor Sarah Gaydos, which I thought was very clever and a nice change of pace.
As always, the water colors by Nguyen are perfect and the comic relies on their cutesy nature pretty heavily. I imagine it’s only a matter of time now before we start seeing a lot of Li’l Gotham merchandising pop up everywhere. An ongoing print series is what I would most like to see, but this is great for now. I especially liked how Mr. Freeze was drawn here, it was highly reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series and you really can’t complain about that. It’s a great design that lends itself well to the style used here. There’s even a reference to the snow globe from the now famous Heart of Ice episode.
So basically if you like Mr. Freeze or you’re just a fan of Christmas specials in general, you owe it to yourself to pick up Li’l Gotham #3. It’s short, sweet, and only costs you a dollar over at Comixology.com.