Review: JLA Rebirth: Killer Frost #1

by Tony Farina
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Steve Orlando and Jody Hauser
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Inker: Arif Prianto

In the aftermath of Justice League vs Suicide Squad, Dr. Caitlin Snow, a.k.a. Killer Frost, is being released into the custody of Batman and the Justice League of America. Caitlin is done being Killer Frost and wants to be a hero. Shockingly, that does not go over well with everyone’s favorite sour puss, head of Task Force X herself, Amanda Waller. Just to prove a point, Waller decides to “lose” Snow’s paperwork and forces her into a no-win situation. She puts her in a room with a pyrotechnic and even lets other heat misers break in and cause a ruckus.

I really like what the writing team has done here. Orlando and Hauser are walking a tightrope here. They want us to like Dr. Snow, but they also understand that she is a killer and not to be trusted. Throwing Waller in there as the “voice of reason” only adds to the confusion. Who thinks Waller is ever a voice of reason? Anyone? No? Exactly. Just to make it harder for Snow, and the reader, the writing team throw some more hurdles at her and us. Moral ambiguity rains down. Cailin sucks life force from people. She feeds on heat. It is not really her fault. She is the scorpion on the back of the frog. It is just in her nature. It makes me like her and it makes me fear her. I think, that is the point.

I have to hand it to the art team here. This is a team effort all the way. I am assuming it was a conscious choice not to have this Killer Frost look anything like Danielle Panabaker. It was a good choice. I like this skater-punk version of Killer Frost. It lends to her name perfectly. Mirka Andolfo gives us a lot of facial anguish. Can you imagine forcing yourself to starve for days and days? Could you do it if you knew that you had plenty of food right in front of you? I am not sure I could do it, and Andolfo lets us know that it is not easy.  Arif Prianto’s colors are a high point here as well. There are no natural lights so there are shadows everywhere. Caitlin is silver. Joanne is literally on fire. There is a lot of color and contrast to pull off and Prianto does just that.

Killer Frost can not really support a stand alone book. Granted, this is just a one shot, but there is not much to her. For folks who read Suicide Squad, we feel like we already got this story. Of course, not everyone has and thus, this book is needed. 21 pages was just enough without feeling totally redundant. While the anguish is real, this went on too long.

Killer Frost is going to be a member of the Justice League of America. I think she will be a welcome supporting cast member. Her moral issues will surely cause a lot of tension and issues. That should be a really fun and interesting book.

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