One of my favourite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series is the award-winning Heart of Ice, which both introduces the cartoon's audience to Mister Freeze and has his emotional backstory brought to light. In this annual issue, we get much of the same story: Freeze is introduced to the New 52 contuinity, and it tugs at our heartstrings all the same.
Freeze is my favourite Bat-villain because he's not always the worst person in the room. He's simply guided by a quest for a lost love, and sometimes that love will make you do crazy things. That's expressed in spades in this issue, and while the ending doesn't exactly have the same emotion that Heart of Ice did, it manages to tie the story up nicely and open Batman up for some Freeze shenanigans in the future.
I think the ending's weakness comes from the way the story was structured: since there's a heavy reliance on flashbacks and transition screens, the actual events that transpire in the "present" are woefully short, and Freeze seems conquered particularly easily. However, there's some twists that keep the plot from just being a carbon-copy of older stories, which I hope come back into play when we meet him again. I wasn't a big fan of them when they were introduced, but I'm curious to see what writers can do with them.
Batman Annual #1
The Verdict: Four freeze guns out of five for an emotional introduction to Mister Freeze. Would have been perfect if the pacing was tweaked for a longer final Bats/Freeze confrontation, as it just made the ending seem rushed. Definitely pick this up.