Alfred Deutschmann is a character and anti villain from the Cold War II series. He is a former German torturer and member of the Black Sun Neo-Nazi organization and in retaliation, a serial killer. In the series, Deutschmann is the only singly anti villain (many antagonists are also singly, but they work for an organization such as the Arab Syndicate).
For an anti-villain, Deutschmann is not given a very flattering description; in fact, along with Syndicate leader first met by Poppy Wright in the form of Bartholomew Fairchild, he is the first character to be made unflattering (many heroes, heroines and to an extent villains and villainesses are not necessarily given purple prose descriptions, but are at least written in an attractive light).
In this instance, he is a thirty year old man that is described as looking like someone who's just received chemotherapy. His skin is pale and sickly looking with bits of it that look like crudely stuck on sellotape that are indicated by zig-zag lines and are prominent around his right cheek and eye as well as parts of his body; unlike other human characters, his eyes are red and monochromatic.
His clothing consists of black trousers, a white shirt and a white medical tunic in his first appearance; along with his appearance, Alfred's voice remains flat and monotonous, like the voice of Mr. Freeze whenever voiced by Michael Ansara for the whole of Pattern of Vengeance, most of The Brink of Descent and makes a comeback in The Gunrunners.As Alfred meets Helga again, he tears off much of his skin to show Helga what Oswald Steinbrinck and his associates did to him to repair him: Much of his body is now replaced with metal and cybernetics including a huge chunk of his lower torso and some of his upper torso, and the whole of his right arm is cybernetic along with a section of his right cheek.
In his return in The Brink of Descent, much more of Alfred is now more cybernetic making him more of a darker and scarier character especially in the eyes of his prisoner Gertrude Blankenburg; his voice, while remaining flat and emotionless, is now more natural sounding like this making Gertrude even more frightened of him. After Alfred takes Gertrude hostage personally and blackmails her mother into working for him (which Helga never does), his voice becomes even more human like and on his punctuated threat to Helga ("You will work for me. Or she...will...DIE!") it begins to gain more of a reverb like the voice of Mr. Freeze in Batman: Arkham City.
Like most characters owned by the wiki founder, when the Cold War II series was (and still is) in production he had no discernible personality traits (justified for most characters, lest they be written into a series and turn out to be wastes of what could have been good characters). But when the wiki founder brought him into the equation, Alfred's personality appears to have been inspired by that of Mr. Freeze in the Batman animated series episode Heart of Ice.
Elements of this being Alfred conducting a campaign of vengeance against those he was once close to (in this case, the Black Sun for killing his lover, Victoria Friesinger and causing the accident that made him become partially cybernetic and also resorting to extreme methods to do it. Also involved is the price they pay for their survival with Freeze being sealed in a cryogenic suit to survive and Alfred being deprived of all his senses as well as accusing those who are investigating their respective incidents of allying themselves with their enemies.
However, while Mr. Freeze is a villain, Alfred is more of an anti-villain but like his inspiration, can't seem to break away from his background because he was originally a member of the Black Sun Neo-Nazi organization, then becomes dragged into a gun smuggling scheme involving two figures that eventually lead to the rise of the series' greater scope villain, the Syndicate in the form of Myra Wright whose daughter Poppy eventually joins the syndicate with twelve of her gang, and Bartholomew Fairchild, the Syndicate's leader.
In his first appearance, Alfred works alone but in The Brink of Descent he is assisted by former Black Sun member Dr. Siegmund Kretschmar and proves to be a terrible boss, first by blackmailing Siegmund into kidnapping Helga's middle daughter lest his past become exposed to the German health service and he be struck from the medical professional register and then killing the doctor once he outlives his usefulness in front of Gertrude (though the syringe that Siegmund had planned to use remains intact.
The Cold War II series
In his first appearance Pattern of Vengeance, Alfred is first seen at the Schloss Benrath in the south of Dusseldorf in the same way that Mr. Freeze is shown at the beginning of Heart of Ice. In the story, he initially appears as a shadowy figure holding a snow-globe and giving it the same monologue that Mr. Freeze gives in Heart of Ice:
"This is how I'll always remember you: Surrounded by winter, forever young. Forever beautiful. Rest well my love, the people who took you from me will soon learn that revenge is a dish...best served, cold."The next time he appear as a shadowy figure is at a rally held by the Black Sun Neo-Nazi organization where he grabs a soldier from the rally, locks him in an armored and soundproof van and takes him the Schloss Benrath. At the Schloss, Alfred takes the soldier from the truck, takes him round the back of the Schloss, locks him in a gas chamber like area and kills him with White Phosphorus.
Alfred killing the Black Sun soldier, however, is left out of the story and instead Helga is alerted to the soldier's presence by a great scream and evidence of severe burns on the soldier's body. Eventually, she comes across Alfred when he appears behind her; as he does, Helga orders him to freeze but Alfred tries to fend her off by telling her that this is a personal vendetta and is none of her concern.
Helga refutes this by telling Alfred that it's not her concern now, but it will be if her family get involved to which Alfred replies:
"Since you ally yourself with my enemies, you leave me no choice."Once this line is said, Alfred begins firing on Helga causing her to dodge all of his attacks before she can ask how having a family is allying herself with his enemies. The agent proceeds to tell Alfred "Neither do you" and opens fire on Alfred. But the man is unharmed by Helga's bullets to his chest so Helga tries to shoot him in the head, albeit very reluctantly:
"Helga may have been a secret agent who was also a practical assassin, but in this instance her hand shook as if she was an eighty four year old with Parkinson's. Her hand simply trembled because the situation was as if she was dealing with the Terminator instead of a human being; plus, she was very reluctant to take this head shot in case the man could potentially point Helga in the right direction."She takes the head shot and is just as horrified as she was when she shot Alfred in the chest, when he survives the head shot. Helga asks Alfred who or what he is, to which Deutschmann replies:
"A man who's life was ruined by the organization he once served. I am Alfred Deutschmann; my name, will be the only thing you shall get from me. And the last."With that, Deutschmann throws a grenade at Helga which explodes with a cloud of White Phosphorus and the agent barely escapes with her life, not to mention unscathed. As Helga returns to his Schloss, Alfred is seemingly absent which allows her to go through two photo albums in his home; the first showing photos of him before his transformation and during his time in the Black Sun along with his lover, Victoria Friesinger.
The second album details the methods he used to kill the Black Sun soldiers including the victim he murdered in the story with white phosphorus and other methods shown are poisoning with mustard gas, phosgene gas and sarin gas along with gruesome experimentation style murder like those carried out by the Nazis in World War II and in Unit 731 during the same conflict.
As Helga is browsing through the albums, Alfred returns and shoots Helga, giving the belief that she has seen too much.
Alfred actually shoots Helga with a stun gun and once he has, he relieves her of her utility belt (and with it, her taser and throwing knife) and has her tied to a chair as if to torture her. But in fact, Alfred shows her a showing of snow commenting on its beauty, telling the agent:
"The snow is beautiful, is it not? Clean, uncompromising..."Helga adds that the snow is also cold, to which Alfred replies with "Like the swift hand of vengeance."; the agent tries to tell that she is sorry for his loss but Deutschmann replies that he is beyond emotions and feels nothing owing to his modifications that were carried out on him by Oswald and his associates after the Black Sun accident. He now intends to pay back the Black Sun for causing him to become a cyborg.
The agent asks him if he will do it even if at the cost of the entire organization, and perhaps their friends and family. Alfred then gives Helga another monologue which both highlights his tragic side and highlights that he intends to do just that:
"Think of it, Helga: To never again walk in any form of weather and feel a hot wind in your face, the sun beam on your skin and a warm hand to hold. Oh yes, I'd kill for that."With that, Alfred leaves Helga locked in the Schloss lounge as he heads to just one place: The Black Sun headquarters, and now shed of the flesh that hides his cybernetic side.
At the Black Sun headquarters, Alfred scares both members of the Black Sun and Das Schwert alike but in particular comes for the former's leader who does not seem to recognize him because of his cybernetic side becoming exposed. While it is possible that the Black Sun leader has a But for Me, It was Tuesday moment, Deutschmann prevents it by shooting him with the same gun he used to stun Helga but much more powerful.
This in turn forces the leader to cower before him, to which in a strangely out of character moment for Alfred, he declares:
"At last: The mighty Black Sun leader, kneels before me."He also asks the Sun leader how it feels to experience the wrath of a victim of his, but the Black Sun leader asserts he has no idea what Alfred is talking about and begs him to stop the torture leading Alfred to go into a combination of another monologue and a swear of vengeance:
"In my nightmares, I see my Victoria behind the glass. Begging to me with frozen eyes; You won't believe how I've longed to see that look etched on your face."And just as Alfred is about to shoot the leader and seemingly take over, a throwing knife throws the gun out of his face. The source? Helga who runs at Alfred and kicks him backwards, but as a cyborg, Alfred has the upper hand because of his increased strength; he then proceeds to lift Helga off her feet and tell her:
"Sooner or later, those who stand in my way, must feel the icy touch of death."Helga however boasts that she will not join them and as she does, pulls the taser out of her utility belt, turns on the current and sticks it in Alfred's neck causing the cyborg to drop her, short circuit and eventually go offline while declaring "Vengeance ...will...beeeee...miiiiiiinnnnnnnneee......" as he goes offline.
As Alfred lies offline, face down, his body is eventually recovered by Oswald and his associates, the former of whom tells the latter to take Alfred to a proper dermatologist so he can look more convincingly like a human. At the very end of the story, Alfred is institutionalized by Oswald's associates and it appears that the paramedics took Steinbrinck's advice to get him to a proper dermatologist.
While he sits in his cell, Alfred brings out the snow globe seen at the beginning in the story and laments about his supposed failure to avenge Victoria and hope's for her forgiveness...all the while watched by Helga who silently walks back into the night.
In The Brink of Descent, it is a month since Helga Blankenburg has been turned back to normal and while she is living the civilian life and spending more time with her family than she usually does, her would have been assignments are given to her friend Selma Achenbach, who also helped Helga turn back to normal at the end of Corrupted by Hell. But what Helga doesn't know is that Alfred is also out.
It is not shown explicitly, but it is implied that the car crash of now reformed Black Sun member Siegmund Kretschmer is caused by Alfred when he causes the tires to burst and the car to crash. Alfred comes to confront Kretschmer and orders him to make a plague for him for reasons yet to be explained.
He further moves his base of operations from Dusseldorf to Bavaria, specifically to the Neuschwanstein Castle. Siegmund finishes the plague and when he does, Alfred has another job for him: He is to kidnap the middle daughter of an old enemy Helga Blankenburg: Her middle daughter, Gertrude (though he never refers to her by name in the story since he has never met her until now).
At first, Siegmund relents but Deutschmann is unfazed by his colleague's concerns and sends Kretschmar back to Dusseldorf anyway. On his way back to North Rhine Westphalia, it is said that not only did Alfred bribe Siegmund but he also blackmailed him: Either Siegmund works for Alfred and kidnaps Gertrude, or he exposes Siegmund to the country as a former member of the Black Sun and get him out of a job.
Eventually, Siegmund kidnaps Gertrude Blankenburg and delivers her to Bavaria still unconscious. At the castle, Alfred has the unconscious Gertrude locked in the dungeon and orders Siegmund to put him through to the E.I.N offices, which he does; Then he orders the E.I.N leader Graham Johnson to put him through to Helga's family which Johnson does.
On the phone, Alfred reveals the location of her missing daughter: She is at the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, five hours away from Dusseldorf and blackmails Helga with an ultimatum: Helga is to come to the castle alone and unarmed or she will never see her daughter again. Once Alfred makes this threat, Helga gives her own threat and tells Alfred that if she comes up and he agrees to let her daughter go, then that will be the end of it.
However, if Alfred hurts Gertrude in any way shape or form, then he will be unable to escape from Helga because she will come for him and kill him, to which Alfred responds by hanging up leaving Helga with the belief that he did indeed get the message. At Neuschwanstein Castle, Alfred witnesses Gertrude up close along with Siegmund who stands behind him with a syringe preparing to inject Gertrude with the plague Alfred ordered him to develop.
But Siegmund has outlived his usefulness and the doctor is killed by his boss after Alfred strangles him with his robotic arm causing him to drop the syringe. Gertrude asks him why he killed Siegmund and why he has the amount of contempt for humanity that he does to which Alfred replies that he has contempt for humanity because it's the way he's always been treated.
Alfred goes on to say that Victoria who was mentioned in Pattern of Vengeance was the only good thing in his life and the Black Sun took her from him; since then, he swore that mankind would pay and he doesn't care as to who he kills now. Once he says this, he leaves Gertrude alone locked in the dungeon...until he meets her again with her mother as they try to escape from the castle.
As he confronts mother and daughter, Alfred makes a callback to his first appearance where he says that Helga's reunion with her daughter is a touching scene and if he was still capable of it, would be moved by it. Helga shields her daughter from him and tells him:
"If you want to hurt my daughter, you'll have to go through me!"But despite having her kidnapped, Alfred tells Helga that he has no intention of hurting Gertrude because he wanted the girl kidnapped to bring Helga to the castle so she could watch what he has planned for Germany. And what he has planned for Germany is to unleash a plague on the country, which will kill anyone and everyone who ever wronged him with next to no regard for who gets killed in the process.
Alfred further proceeds to hurt Helga even more when he takes her daughter hostage and threatens Helga even more: There are two cures for the plague that would be released on the country and if Helga helps Alfred then he will let her daughter go and she will be free to spread the cure, but if she refuses, he poisons the country. Helga refuses to back down and instead tells Alfred to let Gertrude go.
The cyborg refuses and destroys one of the cures and further blackmails Helga by threatening to infect Gertrude with the plague and tells Helga that she will help him infect Germany, or Gertrude will die. Helga tries one last time to get Alfred to refuse owing to her belief that he has no idea what to do if he succeeds; but fails as Alfred replies that while the rest of Germany suffers, he will give Helga a mercy kill then kill himself.
Owing to Helga refusing to sacrifice her daughter and/or her people, Alfred makes one for her: He injects Gertrude with the plague and throws her away like a ragdoll to die which makes Helga re-iterate her point about coming after Alfred and killing him if he ever hurt her daughter; in retaliation, she destroys the plague and challenges Alfred to a sword fight.
While he fights with Helga, Gertrude wakes up and tries to get Alfred to get away from her mother allowing Helga to disarm him...but Helga's Mama Bear instinct kicks in when she tries to get Gertrude herself to get away from Alfred because the cyborg hits her across the face, keeps on hitting her and throws her onto her stomach and it is here where Gertrude really keeps away from the cyborg.
The cyborg lifts Helga above his head as if he is about to break her back which ultimately never comes to fruition. What he does do though, is to throw Helga across the room and go after Gertrude so as to give her a quicker death; but this fails when Helga recovers and fights Alfred again which carries to the roof.
At the roof, Alfred meets his demise when he comes close to falling off the roof. Helga offers him to take her hand, but Alfred refuses and falls to his death from the Neuschwanstein Castle.