by Carl Bryan
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freeze [Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Sean Murphy

Artist:Klaus Janson

Letters: AndWorld Design

Colors: Matt Hollingsworth  

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan



“Promise me you’ll protect Nora!” -Jacob Smithstein, to Victor Von Freeze

“Get Watcha Need?” – Harley Quinn

The world of Batman: White Knight expands with this standalone tale! On the night of Bruce Wayne’s traumatic birth, Victor Fries must intervene to save the lives of Martha Wayne and the future Batman.
As the evening unfolds, Victor distracts Thomas with the incredible tale of his own father figures-one a Nazi, the other a Jew-and their complex connection to Wayne Laboratories. As the Third Reich roars into power, the deep friendship and working relationship between the Baron von Fries and his research partner, Jacob Smithstein, is in crisis.
Ordered by Himmler to speed development of their cryotechnology in service of world domination, Smithstein is forced to go into hiding and compromise his moral code in order to save his wife and infant daughter, Nora, from persecution and certain death. When the S.S. ramps up surveillance over the project, young Victor begins to question his father’s true allegiance. Both families are driven toward an impossible choice and a sinister standoff, and Victor makes a pact with Smithstein that will ripple through generations.

This is a perfect compliment story to add to Batman: Curse of the White Knight!



Sean Murphy takes a bit of a break from Curse of the White Knight and writes another installment to his Batman canon that provides a rich back story to Mr. Freeze and his beloved Nora.

It would not be fair to give away any elements of this masterful story in this review, as Murphy is repainting the tapestry of the Batman universe.  This is his first stand alone story that compliments both of his prior Batman works.  And one cannot say enough positive things about this period piece that incorporates the connection between Thomas and Martha Wayne and Victor Von Freeze.  

Without giving away the strand that connects these families, there is also a connection between Victor’s father, Baron von Fries and his research partner, Jacob Smithstein.

Set in Nazi Germany, this period piece should be handled literally with gloves as it is a frigid piece.  See below!


Positives (Artwork)

Klaus Janson paints one snowy scene after another.  You really should read it in your best flannel PJs as you are literally immersed into a very cold world sans the freeze gun!  Well, the freeze gun is an element that is introduced.  But the pencils and coloring make you shudder in crisp air.

Though his art is not as precise as Murphy, it’s clear he is drawing from inspiration of Murphy’s preceding White Knight works.



The story is poignant and perfect as it fits like a glove within the pages of the White Knight tapestry.  When Scott Snyder went off the rails a bit with a side bar issue in his The Batman Who Laughs and Grim Knight, that was awesome.  Here Murphy is building and building his canon of Batman, and there are NO complaints here!


Sean Murphy is building his case for more and more content in his DC Universe.  I really can’t wait to see how this “watch” plays into the Curse of the White Knight story.  And I really wish he would go all “Stephen King” in producing more additions to his reinvention of the Batman world.  Finally, Harley and Bruce sitting in a tree…. when’s that kiss going to happen?

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