The Caped Crusaders and “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero!”
BATMAN Vol.1, No.121, February 1959; Cover Art: Curt Swan, Stan Kaye, Ira Schnapp; Writer: Bill Finger; Penciler: Sheldon Moldoff; Inker: Charles Paris
In 1959, Batman and Robin got a very cold reception from a new villain, Mr. Zero. Zero was a scientist working to invent a “cold gun”. An accident in his laboratory resulted in the special fluid he had invented spilling all over his body, the result being that he could only breathe in sub-zero environments, or with the aid of an “air conditioned”suit of his creation. After perfecting his cold-gun, Zero commits a series of daring cold-themed crimes, captures our heroes and encases them in blocks of ice.
After Batman escapes by breaking a steam pipe to melt his ice-prison, he captures Zero who was incapacitated by the steam. Later, we learn that the “steam treatment” also cured Zero of his need to breath only in sub-zero temperatures, and his life returns to normal. That was the last we heard of this villain until he returned as “Mr. Freeze”, a popular villain in the classic 1966 Batman TV series, and beyond.
Big Batman THANKS and Kudos to Bill Jourdain for his expert commentary featured in our 2020 Vintage Batman Calendar (Above) and to the talented artists and writers of DC Comics who captivated and inspired millions of readers during this magical Golden Age. Bill Jourdain has been an avid reader and collector of comic books for over 40 years. He has an extensive collection of comics spanning the 1930s to the 1970s. Bill previously produced a podcast devoted to the Golden Age of Comic Books, has penned articles about the Golden Age for Alter-Egomagazine and Comics Now!magazine, and has maintained websites devoted to the Golden Age of Comic Books and the Golden Age of Batman. Bill resides in north Georgia with his wife and children, and somehow finds time away from comic books to practice law.