A stirring story that tells the origin of the deadly Batman foe Mr. Freeze from a new perspective, originally presented in BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #192-196! A family tragedy forges the obsession of a super-villain, and a young Batman must assemble a strike force to help him deal with the fallout!
Synopsis: During a quiet night at Wayne Manor, Alfred Pennyworth leaves his quarters to inspect the Batcave expecting to find Bruce hunched over his computer. Instead, he finds him bloodied and sprawled over jagged rocks.
In the morning Bruce is awake and scribbling notes while bandaged in bed. Alfred pleads with him to actually sleep, but he refuses and explains to Alfred what happened the night previous. He moved in on a target before he should have and the target, Peter Scotta, escaped while Batman attempted to get through his minions. When Batman gave chase, he missed Scotta doubling back, causing him to be shot by Scotta.
Meanwhile, on another side of town, Victor and Nora Fries are a normal married couple. He goes off to work and she goes to the doctor about her tremors. Victor spends his time at work reassuring his coworker that the military application for their cryogenics research won't be used and his conscience can be at rest. Suddenly, Victor gets a call from the doctors about his wife having some kind of an attack.
Time passes. Batman foils a hostage situation and ruffles Gordon's feathers and Nora is in intensive care at the hospital. When Batman brings a file to Harvey Dent in hopes that he'll pick it up, Batman is rejected again and decides to pick his own people instead of relying on the city.
Synopsis: This issue is split between two loosely connected stories.
After feeling betrayed by his usually friends and resources from the previous issue, Batman tracks down several new "partners in crime" to assist him including a dishonorably discharged marine, a FBI forensic analyst, an electronics specialist, a criminal psychologist and an ex-con. In the BatComplex, Batman gives his new recruits their job details in a video conference. He asks them to return each night at the same time as part of the team. Each night, they return with increasing eagerness to be part of an effective secret agency. Time progresses and the team sets their sights on Peter Scotta, eventually uncovering some kind of deal going on that will boost him into the big leagues of crime. They intercept the place and time of the deal and Batman takes the investigation from there.
The rest of the issue deals with Victor and Nora. Victor Fries takes his wife out of the hospital and brings her to the cryogenics laboratory. He decides to put her into the machine so that he can preserve her life, which she apparently agrees to. However, someone has changed to programming of the machine, instead testing for military weaponry. He breaks open the machine in hopes of saving her but she is frozen into a block of ice. Distraught, Victor destroys his work and attempts to commit suicide from the cryogenic fluids. However, hallucinating, Victor sees Nora dressed as some kind of snow queen. She tells him to not let "them" win and he puts on the cryosuit.
Synopsis: Batman makes amends with Commissioner Gordon and learns that the police intend to go against Scotta that night. He leaves to alert his team, who present more equipment and information to him. At home, he remarks to Alfred that it was the right thing to do to trust more people, but he won't slow down yet.
Meanwhile, Fries finds that his body is endothermic and puts on the cryosuit. He lures the members of his team to the office by saying there was an accident. They arrive to find Nora frozen and the freeze gun missing. The Batman and Freeze stories cross when the police find the bodies of all of the team members frozen in a thick sheet of ice. Batman deploys his team at the scene and they pick up the pieces of the puzzle that Gordon left out of his report. They leave the scene and report back to Batman at the complex and go onto the plans for Scotta.
At the spot, the crew sets up surveillance and finds Victor Fries' boss at the scene with Scotta. But, the police stumble upon the BatCrew and they abort the mission due to a rash reaction by the ex-marine. Both Parke and Scotta get away free and the Commissioner is pissed. He threatens to arrest Batman the next time he sees him.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Mr. Freeze plots against Parke.
Synopsis: After 2 days without contact from Batman, he checks in with only the forensic scientist and learns that the team has already started to figure out Scotta's connection to Derek Parke. She also explains to him that the team's faith is waning in Batman's connections, particularly his connection to the police but are still holding together.
At Scotta's residence, the team bugs the car and attempts to glean information off the conversation he and Parke have, but are interrupted when Freeze shows up to kill Parke. He succeeds in freezing Scotta and several mobsters, but Parke escapes and Batman confronts Freeze. He gets away as well, but not before the ex-marine puts a tracker on him.
Back at the complex the team voices their complaints and feel overwhelmed by the adversity of Mr. Freeze. Three members go separate ways from the team and, meanwhile, another attempts to assassinate Freeze but fails when the floor gives out. He's killed by Freeze but not before shattering Nora.
Synopsis: Finally, Bruce realizes that he's been overextending everyone and there are grave consequences to his actions. He decides to retouch with the team, who are slowly starting to scatter, despite their feelings of responsibility for the team itself.
However, Mr. Freeze remains on a rampage. The entire area is afflicted by heavy snow and he has been assaulting people for what he perceives as being part of the problem.
Batman arrives at the office, but the team have left with only a note and a polymer resistant to the cryo process waiting for him. Batman sets out to find Freeze and detain him. He escapes back to his lair where the team are, looking for the ex-marine. He comes upon them, freezing Mira's arm, but is stopped by Batman before he can do more damage. He leaps into the river and escapes.
After the events of the previous day, the team breaks up and Bruce is left to contemplate his next move, but not a new team. Instead he reads an article about "The Flying Graysons" and says that he'll figure it out when he sees the right thing come along.