Frozen with Fear [Jason Todd] Week 5: Dec. 23-Jan. 5

Robin on the Rocks

Brr! It’s a chilly week for Batman and the Boy Wonder! The Renegade Robins Club invites you to join Jay in facing off against some classic Bat-rogues! We have Scarecrow, Penguin, and Mr. Freeze giving trouble to Dynamic Duo Part Deux!

Join the Jason Todd Book Club today!

Click this drop-down menu to go clubbing with Jay:

Across the Community
  • Check out World of Bats: The Batman Book Club! There are some enjoyable Bronze Age Batman adventures to be had as Denny O’Neil introduces the League of Assassins and teases the introduction of their leader.

  • Batman battles Mr. Freeze again in a recent Tom King story over at New to DCU, but he may feel a little guilty about it!

  • The DC History Club is still looking at Crisis on Infinite Earths, which features some Jason Todd cameos.

  • Characters of DC will be looking at Infinite Crisis this week, which was important to Jason Todd’s resurrection.

  • The Joker is fresh out of crowbars this Christmas, but he’ll terrorize Tim Drake with the world’s worst Uber drive in the One-Shot Book Club.

Jason Todd disobeying Batman?! Who woulda thought?

Jay is dropping in all over the place in 1984! I guess the other writers finally decided to play along:

Bird Sightings

Terra the Turncoat has died, and everyone is devastated, but no more so than her brother, Geo-Force. Jason doesn’t have much to say about the matter, but he manages to photobomb his way into Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 and Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1.


On top of that, he slips a brief remark into World’s Finest #308.

Here’s a guide to this week’s reading:

  • Scarecrow first appeared in World’s Finest #3 (1941). He showed up briefly as one of the baddies in Detective Comics #526, which we read in Week 1, but his last major appearance was in Detective Comics #503 by Gerry Conway.

  • Penguin first appeared in Detective Comics #58 (also 1941). He appeared in Detective Comics #526 as well, and his last major appearance was The Brave and the Bold #191, where he framed the Joker for his own (staged) murder.

  • Mr. Freeze started his career as Mr. Zero in Batman #121 (1959), and when the 1966 TV series changed his name, the comics followed suit. He was in Detective Comics #526 along with the other two, and his last major appearance was World’s Finest #275, where he faced off against both Batman and Superman.

In the words of Superman, "It tickles!"

Here’s our schedule: 2019-12-23T06:00:00Z2020-01-05T06:00:00Z

Week 5 Reading (Eight Issues)

I. Scarecrow

  1. Batman #373
  2. Detective Comics #540

II. Penguin

  1. Batman #374
  2. Detective Comics #541

III. Mr. Freeze

  1. Batman #375

IV. Child Welfare Bureau (and Nightshade)

  1. Detective Comics #542
  2. Batman #376
  3. Detective Comics #543

No, no, no! You can’t kill Jason yet!

Giant Batcave penny for your thoughts!

Discussion Questions
  1. What did you think about the schemes of classic villains Scarecrow, Penguin, and Freeze?

  2. What are your thoughts on Bruce’s reaction to losing custody of Jason?

  3. How do you feel about the subplots of the supporting cast (Alfred, Julia, Vicki, and Harvey)?

  4. Did you enjoy the poem motif in Batman #375? Does Moench need to work on his meter?

  5. What did you think of the new antagonists, Nightshade and Printer’s Devil? Did they get your goat?


And most importantly, who should Bruce choose as his significant other?

  • Vicki
  • Julia
  • Nocturna
  • Bullock

0 voters


Wow, that image of Robin frozen in ice really brought back memories. I owned random comics as a kid, but what really lead me to being a comic collector were two issues that my dad got as a “gag gift” that I ended up with… a Superman issue and this one. Told in poetry from the view of a henchman if I remember right. I still have it, too.

Man, that’s cool.

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Yeah, my fourth discussion question is about the poem (and you may be able to detect how I feel about it from the snide way I phrased the question :stuck_out_tongue: ).

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I already have an answer! But I’m gonna wait and answer ’ em all at once after I read everything.

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For me, at least, the best story in this set of issues is the one with Scarecrow. (This won’t be the last time in Jason’s career as Robin that he faces the Scarecrow, either.) I like the callback to the death of Jay’s parents at the Gotham Zoo, and Moench will revisit that location again in an upcoming Calendar Man story.

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In the middle of reading the issues right now, but one thing I liked about the Scarecrow story was foregoing the gas and instead using the skull and the frequencies that mess with the fear receptor in the brain. It’s Comic Book Science at it’s wackiest, but it shows Crane’s twisted genius that he can create fear in more ways than just huffing the gas.

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I loved the Scarecrow story too and because of the way it shows how twisted and yet how smart Crane is. I’m still reading the last group of issues but the Crane story will be my favorite of the lot I think.

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I liked Scarecrow’s scheme the best. It really showed off his intelligence and using something other than the usual gas to produce fear in his victims was fun to see.

There was a touch of '66 Penguin in Oswald’s attitude here and in his scheme as well. I particularly liked the part where he told Batman flat out that he was no traitor to his country. I found that particular point interesting.

Mr. Freeze had a nice scheme going and I loved the ice cannon. This story made me wonder if that scene in RHATO #9 where Chinatown is covered in ice by Freeze was a callback to this story.

Oddly enough it seems very similar to when he actually loses Jason Post-Crisis. In both cases he is very attached to Jason, cannot seem to let him go, is horribly distracted once he loses Jason and is willing to do whatever it takes for Jason. I find the parallels here fascinating.

Harvey’s subplot was my favorite and I loved that it was Jason that ended up coming to his aid there. (something that again was referenced in RHATO later.) I’m getting a bit annoyed now with the whole Vicki and Julia love triangle deal though. Alfred I feel sorry for. He didn’t handle the situation with the CWB with his usual aplomb.

I enjoyed the motif but it could have been written better.

Nightshade’s scheme was great but he was a bit of idiot especially in thinking he was better than the Thief of the Night simply because he “defeated” Batman. He left me shaking my head.

I liked the Printer’s Devil better to be honest and I’m not the biggest GA fan. I have been enjoying the backups in 'Tec quite a lot though. They’ve been fun.

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Classic schemes by classic villains. Batman really does have the bestest villians.

It’s exactly what I would suspect except I kind of think he wouldn’t be above greasing a few palms to get him back. Money makes the world go round and he’s got enough of it.

I think Bullock gets more enjoyable as the story prove and less of a bumbling idiot. Julia and Vicki, honestly I could really care less but that !at be partly because I know neither romance is really going anywhere.

I did enjoy it. I think we have to remember that this is a thug writing this poetry. Despite what the other thugs have to say about it, he still never made it as an artist or a poet. you have to expect a certain lack of talent. And you’ll notice they’re a lot more complementary on his art rather than his poetry!

Printer’s Devil? Was that the Green Arrow guy? I’m not gonna read those anymore, just not cutting it for me. Nightshade was okay, though, as a baddie you know you’ll never see again.

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What did you think about the schemes of classic villains Scarecrow, Penguin, and Freeze?

I think I agree with most of the group by saying the Scarecrow part was probably the strongest. I did find it interesting to see Mr. Freeze before he really became the character we know via Heart of Ice.

What are your thoughts on Bruce’s reaction to losing custody of Jason?

It’s definitely a unique story that I don’t think we had really seen on this level before, exploring the idea that nowadays, a kid in Robin’s position might be looked at strangely and possibly taken away for going out at odd moments at night to fight crime. I’m a little surprised they didn’t go for stuff like bruises from the fighting and implying that CPS might think Bruce was hitting Jason.

It was also interesting, maybe a smidge surprising to see that Bruce specifically said he would do everything within the confines of the law to get Jason back. Considering his second job as a vigilante, one might think he would be break some rules in order to save his family.

How do you feel about the subplots of the supporting cast (Alfred, Julia, Vicki, and Harvey)?

Harvey definitely has the more interesting subplot of the assassination attempts. However, while the whole “who’s dating Bruce” is a little annoying, I do kind of enjoy the dynamic that Julia and Vicki have when they’re actually working together to crack a story. They’re rivals for another man’s affection, but they seem to genuinely respect each other and work very well together. It’s kinda neat.

Did you enjoy the poem motif in Batman #375? Does Moench need to work on his meter?

I can’t critique poetry because I know I can’t write it for the life of me, plus I honestly don’t remember much of it.

What did you think of the new antagonists, Nightshade and Printer’s Devil? Did they get your goat?

Nightshade and Nightmares Inc was an interesting idea – their actual gig actually sounds like something that could be profitable and good for them, if not taken so far. They’re like a mobile haunted house troup, that sounds like a fun party to me.

And honestly, I’ve kind of lost interest in the Green Arrow stories at this point. Maybe it’s because I was a little behind, but I found myself skipping over those fast this week.

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