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Alfred Pennyworth
Occupation Butler for Bruce Wayne
Last Seen Alien

Alfred Pennyworth is the butler of Bruce Wayne.

Physical Appearances

Alfred is a slim man, with grayish-black hair, and a mustache. He typically wears a three-piece suit; a black jacket, a maroon vest, and a white long-sleeved shirt with a black bow-tie.

Early History

Alfred has been in the Wayne family's employ since Bruce was a child, and continued to do so even after his parents were murdered. After Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered by Joe Chill, Alfred did not act as a father toward Bruce, feeling it was not his place and maintained the distance of a proper English butler. He raised him up, and he encouraged him. He watched Bruce develop into the young man that would eventually be Batman. He was also intrigued by how much of a fierce warrior Bruce had became.

Season Eleven

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Bruce mentions Alfred.

After, Batman and Nightwing went to Metropolis to face the man who killed his parents, which led to Batman to team up with Superman and Green Arrow. However, the man was killed by Intergang hired killers, The Prankster and Mr. Freeze, ultimately denying Bruce his chance for revenge. Bruce came back to pay his respect to his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, when Superman came to talk about the events that happened. When Bruce asked how Clark found out he was in Crime Alley. Clark lied, saying it was his butler, but Bruce knew it was Barbara, saying that Alfred would never reveal Bruce's position to anyone.

Later on, in Gotham City, members from a street gang races through a sewer on a motorcycle, fleeing from a robbery which causes the Batman and Nightwing to intervene. A voice calls for help from another sewer tunnel and Nightwing alerts Batman. Pulling her charged escrima sticks to investigate, Nightwing finds two dead homeless men and a third being attacked by a gruesome figure in a dark long coat and hat. As she intervenes, the figure turns to reveal itself as a large white creature. Before she can react, the creature brutally slashes her. Batman arrives and quickly throws a flash bomb that stuns and frightens off the creature. He collects and comforts his injured apprentice.

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Batman and Alfred meets John Jones for the first time.

Later, in the Batman's underground headquarters, Bruce's cohort and confidante, Alfred Pennyworth, attends to Barbara, sedated in a recovery tank, as Bruce tries to determine what it was that attacked her and what the message it left behind means.Alfred asks about a message the creature left at the scene in the sewer tunnel. Bruce says he run it through the computer but can't find any match for the language, including Kryptonian symbols he's cataloged, leading him to the conclusion that it's an alien language.A voice from behind them informs them that the language is Martian. Bruce and Alfred turn to see Metropolis Lieutenant Homicide Detective John Jones.
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Alfred assisting Batman in taking down Martian Manhunter.

Alarmed at Jones' presence in the Batcave, Bruce throws Batarangs at the detective. John phase shifts and the Batarangs fly through him and past Alfred. He attempts to reason with Bruce, explaining that this fight with the White Martian is not his. With Barbara hurt and people dying in Gotham, Bruce begs to differ. John puts a hand to Bruce's head and begins to tap his mind, trying to alter his reasoning. Always prepared, Bruce tells Alfred to enact a safety protocol called "Babel Five," based on information he learned of Jones from Checkmate's files.

Alfred retrieves a flamethrower from a weapons locker and fires it in Jones' direction. With his fear of fire, Jones recoils and severs his connection with Bruce. Things returned to relative calm, John apologizes for the mind intrusion and offers a hand to help Bruce off of the floor. Wayne slaps the hand away and gets to his feet on his own. Putting on his Batman cowl, he steps to the Batmobile and tells Jones he has a crime scene to show him. After they examine the scene, Batman radios Chloe Sullivan at Watchtower in Metropolis. He alerts her that something might be going down in the city and asks about Superman's location. Chloe says he's away on a mission in Utah. Yet, before she can suggest someone else to help, the Dark Knight breaks contact. He buzzes Alfred and, like a well-oiled machine, Alfred notifies him that he's sent the Batwing to his location.


In the Comics

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Alfred as he appears in the comics.

Alfred Pennyworth made his debut in Batman #16, as a retired actor and intelligence agent who followed the deathbed wish of his dying father, Jarvis, to carry on the tradition of serving the Wayne family. To that end, Alfred introduced himself to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson at Wayne Manor and insisted on becoming their valet. Although the pair did not want one, especially since they did not want to jeopardize their secret identities with a servant in the house, they did not have the heart to reject Alfred. Initially, Alfred discovered their identities by accident; while fighting a burglar, he accidentally hit a switch and opened a sliding-panel leading to the Batcave. Since then, Alfred included the support staff duties of the Dynamic Duo on top of his regular tasks. Ironically, Alfred's loyalty would lead him to become a member of Batman's rogue's gallery. While pushing Batman and Robin out of the way of a falling boulder, Alfred was seemingly killed in Detective #328 (June 1964). It was revealed in Detective #356 (October 1966) that he had been revived by a scientist named Brandon Crawford. His attempt at regeneration resulted in a dramatic change: Alfred awoke from his apparent death with pasty white skin with circular markings, superhuman powers, including telekinesis, and a desire to destroy Batman and Robin. Calling himself The Outsider, he indirectly battled the Dynamic Duo on a number of occasions, using others as his puppets. He did not physically appear in the comics until Detective #356, when he is bathed again in the rays of the regeneration machine during a struggle with Batman, and returns to normal, with no memory of his time as a supervillain.

Alfred was later reunited with his long-lost daughter, Julia Remarque. Her mother was the war heroine Mademoiselle Marie, whom Alfred had met while working as an intelligence agent in occupied France during World War II.

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Alfred in his first appearance.

When Alfred first appeared, he was overweight and clean-shaven; however, his appearance changed to resemble the actor William Austin, who played Alfred in a film. In Detective Comics #83 (January 1944), Alfred vacationed at a health resort, where he slimmed down and grew a mustache. This look has remained with the character ever since. Alfred was originally conceived as a comedic foil for Batman and Robin. In most early tales, he made bungling attempts to be a detective on a par with the young masters. He was given a four-page feature of his own, and the feature lasted thirteen issues, skipping Batman #35, with the last story in Batman #36. The stories followed a simple formula with Alfred somehow managing to solve a crime and catch the culprits entirely by accident. After that, the comedic aspects of the character were downplayed.

In the Post-Crisis continuity, Alfred has been the Wayne Family butler all of Bruce's life, and had helped his master establish his superhero career from the beginning. In addition he was Bruce's legal guardian following the deaths of his parents. Alfred's history has been modified several times over the years, creating assorted versions. In one such version Alfred was hired away from the British Royal Family by Bruce's parents, and he virtually raised Bruce after they were murdered. Another version of Alfred's origin was slightly more closely linked to his pre-Crisis counterpart. In this version Alfred was an actor on the English Stage, who agreed to become the Waynes' butler, only so as to honor the dying wish of his father. At the time he begins working for the Waynes, Bruce is but a young child. After several months, Alfred voices the desire to quit and return home to continue his life as an actor. However, these plans are momentarily forgotten when young Bruce returns home, after getting into a fight with a school bully. Alfred teaches Bruce to handle the bully strategically, rather than using brute force. Following Alfred's advice, Bruce manages to take care of his bully problem. Upon returning home, Bruce requests that Alfred stays, and Alfred agrees without a second thought. Following the Infinite Crisis however it appears that Alfred's history has been merged to combine both his pre and post-Crisis histories. He spent years as a member of soldier in the British Guard and later became a member of MI-5 before retiring and taking up his love of acting. Following his father's death, he then became the Wayne Family Butler. Following the murders of the Wayne Family, Alfred was named Bruce's legal guardian in the will left by Thomas and Martha, however, social services combated the will feeling that Bruce should not be raised by a servant. However, Bruce managed to remain in Alfred's care by, despite his young age, bribing the social service agent into allowing Alfred to raise him.

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Alfred is the only member of the Batman Family that Bruce approves of owning a firearm.

Alfred would later aid Bruce in raising Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and his first biological child, Damian Wayne, all of whom would be adopted by Bruce Wayne, with the exception of Damian, and become his partner Robin. He also had close friendships with other members of the Bat-Family including Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain, the latter of who would also be adopted by Bruce prior to his "death". Alfred often acts as a father-figure to Bruce and his proteges. However, due to his rather cold personality, Bruce makes sure that at least some degree of the business relationship between the two always exists. He is also highly respected by those heroes who are aware of his existence, including several members of the Justice League and the Teen Titans.

Alfred has also been romantically linked to Dr. Leslie Thompkins, though his relationship with her never came to anything beyond occasional dates, particularly after Stephanie Brown's death. He also developed feelings for Tim Drake's stepmother, but again, nothing came out of it. During the events of Knightquest, Alfred accompanies Wayne to England, and becomes enraged when Wayne insists on endangering his own health while paraplegic. This was the culmination of several weeks of Wayne's self-destructive behavior, and when Wayne returns to Gotham, Alfred remains in England, tendering his resignation. He spends some time vacationing in Antarctica and The Bahamas before returning to England. Dick Grayson tracks him down several months later and convinces him to return to Wayne Manor. In that story, it was revealed he had walked out of his own wedding years earlier.

His resourcefulness came to the fore in the No Man's Land storyline. Batman is missing for weeks, leaving Alfred alone to watch his city for him. He uses his skills as an actor, storyteller, medic, and spy to survive and collect information on the recently destroyed society. Alfred even uses hand-to-hand combat in a rare one-panel fight sequence between him and a pair of slavers that ends with his rescue by Batman.

In Batman #677, agents of Batman's mysterious enemy the Black Glove attack and beat Alfred in front of Bruce and Jezebel Jet, severely injuring him. Later, a reporter from The Gotham Gazette suggests to Commissioner Gordon that Alfred may be Bruce's biological father, and that this may be a reason for the murder of Martha Wayne. Alfred later denies the entire story, agreeing with Bruce that it was a fabrication. Alfred is the last member of the Bat-Family to see Bruce alive, prior to his reported death at the hands of Darkseid.

In Batman And The Outsiders Special, Alfred is seen apologizing at the grave's of Thomas and Martha Wayne at the loss of Bruce, commenting that he grieves as a parent, regarding Bruce as his son. Later, a secret panel in Alfred's room opens, the result of a failsafe planted by Bruce in the event of his death. Bruce leaves his one final task, and also gives him an emotional goodbye, telling Alfred he considered him as a father. Alfred then assembled a new team of Outsiders, now under his control, while continuing to serve as the Wayne family butler to Bruce's adopted children: Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and eventually, Damian Wayne.

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Alfred as he appears in the New 52.

In the new continuity, it is revealed that Alfred's father, Jarvis Pennyworth was the butler of the Wayne family prior him when Bruce was still a child. Jarvis was blackmailed by the Court of Owls to set a trap for the pregnant Martha Wayne. Despite declining, the Court managed to cause a car accident that caused the child to be born prematurely and eventually to have died. Jarvis attempted to resign from his services and write a letter to his son, in which he describes the manor as a cursed place, and despite his initial wishes, he wants nothing more for Alfred than to not begin his service under the Wayne family. However, he was unable to send it as he was murdered that night.

In Death of the Family, Alfred is attacked by Joker. Batman's son Damian defies his father's orders to remain in the Batcave and investigates Alfred's kidnapping. The investigation leads to Gotham Zoo where Damian is captured by Joker. Later, Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Batman and his allies have been bound and doused in gasoline, with Joker warning against escaping at the risk of agitating the flint in the cave; everyone in the Bat-family save for Batman have also been bandaged. A brainwashed Alfred serves them with a cloche seemingly containing their own severed faces. After Batman defeats him it is revealed that they still have their faces — the whole scene was a sick ploy by Joker. In Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Aslyum as Bruce Wayne.


Other faces of Alfred Pennyworth


See also


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