"By Fire... or by Ice?": Batman prevents a man from commiting suidice by jumping from the roof of a building. Batman uses his Batrope to tie the man up and leaves him waiting until he comes back to free him. Batman is looking at the complete devastation caused by
- Sometimes, it takes death to make you realize how precious life is.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "By Fire... or by Ice?"
Batman prevents a man from commiting suidice by jumping from the roof of a building. Batman uses his Batrope to tie the man up and leaves him waiting until he comes back to free him. Batman is looking at the complete devastation caused by the earthquake when he discovers a frozen body inside solid ice. Batman knows that it must have been Mister Freeze's doing and starts to follow the cold trail left by the villain.
Not far from there, the villain Clayface is climbing out from the center of the earth, reaching for an open crack on the ground. When he finally reaches the outside, he discovers that he has acquired new powers that allow him to throw burning flames from his extremities. He asks for Batman's location so he can exact his revenge on him for their last encounter.
Batman finds Mr. Freeze in the ruins of a movie theater with some diamonds he had looted and both start fighting, but in the end Batman subdues the villain. Batman drags him outside and leaves the diamonds inside the collapsed building. Batman is heading to free the man he had tied up some time before when out of nowhere he is attacked by Clayface. Karlo is more powerful than the last time they fought and Batman is easily defeated by him as he is trapped in Clayface's burning grip when Mr. Freeze starts to recover consciuousness. Batman tells Freeze that he will be killed by Clayface if he doesn't stop him. Mr. Freeze's ego saves Batman as he uses his Cold Gun to attack Clayface. Clayface resists Freeze's attack and with his new found strength, he attacks Freeze and destroys his cryo-suit. The distraction provided by Freeze is enough for Batman to break the frozen clay over his body and climb over a billboard sign just above Clayface. Batman drops the billboard sign on Clayface, knocking him out and then he uses Freeze's own gun to prevent Freeze from dying and escaping.
The whole scene is witnessed by the suicidal man on the rooftop and when Batman comes back to rescue him, the man has changed his mind about commiting suicide. Batman tells him that sometimes death can make people appreciate life.
Appearing in "By Fire... or by Ice?"
- Walter Smith
Synopsis for "A Long Slow Death"
Three months ago, Walter Smith dropped his little son by accident, leaving him quadriplegic and unable to speak. Recently he started to have troubles with some gangsters over his business, demanding protection money. The thugs punched him in the face, leaving him bruised all over the face. His employee, Julie kissed him without his conscent.
Once in his home, his wife came to him asking about his bruises and she found lipstick on his clothes. They were arguing when their daughter came to them to tell them about some lights over the street. The lights were beautiful and at the sight of them, their son Keith spoke for the first time in three months. They were overwhelmed with joy and decided to celebrate the good news. When the whole family was in the dining room, Walter Smith went to the kitchen looking for some wine when the eartquake struck his home, destroying it. The streets cracked open and his house collapsed to the ground killing all of them except for Walter who couldn't save his son, just like the first time.
Appearing in "A Long Slow Death"
- Walter Smith
- Keith Smith
- Karen Smith
- David Smith
- Sonia Smith
- The story A Long Slow Death serves as the background story of the suicidal man in the main story By Fire... or by Ice?.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1 (Collected).
- Through the first story, there are several references to creators, editors and artists of DC Comics in billboard signs, business signs, street signs and many other signs. Some of the honorees creators are Norm Breyfogle, Dan Jurgens, Bret Blevins, Vincent Giarrano, Barry Kitson, Rick Burchett, Jim Aparo and many others.
- Cover gallery for the Batman: Shadow of the Bat series
- Images from Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol 1 75
Links and References
|Batman: Cataclysm Crossover|
This issue is a part of the Cataclysm crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1998. Gotham City was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake. This story led into the events that would eventually create No Man's Land.