Alfred Pennyworth is the butler of Bruce Wayne.
Alfred Pennyworth was an officer of the Brtish Intelligence, who joined the resistance during World War II. During this time, he met Mlle. Marie, with whom he had an affair. After the war, Alfred became an entertainer at the English Music Halls. He followed the dying wish of his father, Jarvis, to carry on the tradition of serving the Wayne family. To that end, Alfred went to Wayne Manor and introduced himself to Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson, insisting on becoming their butler.
Despite not wanting or needing a butler, the pair did not have the heart to reject Alfred, who eventually discovered his employer when one night, when Bruce and Dick were out for the evening, Alfred was roused from his sleep by someone calling his name. Investigating, Alfred discovered the voice was coming from a grandfather clock in the hallway. The clock swung away from the wall, revealing the secret entrance of the Batcave. Alfred discovered that his employers were Batman and Robin, and the former had been injured in the field. Alfred proved his worth by calmly attending to his employer's injuries, which turned out be slight, but Alfred's care demonstrated that he could be trusted. With that newfound trust, Bruce introduced Alfred to his life as Batman, telling Alfred that he was the only other person in the world besides Dick and himself who knew the Batcave's location beneath Wayne Manor; and the butler cheerfully added the support staff duties of the Dynamic Duo to his regular tasks.
During one mission, Batman asked Alfred to impersonate a detective using his middle names "Thaddeus Crane" in order to lure some criminals into a trap. To the public eye, Crane was the only person who knew Batman's secret identity and thus, he was wanted by several criminal factions in Gotham.
Some time later, Alfred was cleaning the Batcave and he accidentally activated a machine, which was one of Batman's trophies. The machine gave Alfred super-strength and super-speed. Alfred used these powers to aid Batman and Robin on their missions as the masked hero called "The Eagle". Under this alias, Alfred was able to confront and stop the Joker, but unfortunately, his powers vanished after that mission.
It was while trying out a new typewriter that Alfred ended up writing a fictional story about Batman and Robin, set in a possible future. He went on to write several of these stories, some of which he shared with Bruce and Dick. Because these stories openly revealed the Dynamic Duo's true identities, these works of fiction could naturally never be published.
Death and The Outsider
A short time later, with Batman out of town, Alfred became aware of the activities of a group of criminals his employer was interested in and took it upon himself to tail them. Unfortunately getting himself captured, Alfred apparently sacrificed his life to save Batman and Robin when they arrived to rescue him and walked into a trap. In tribute to him, Bruce Wayne created The Alfred Foundation.
Shortly after his death, Batman and Robin became the main targets of an unknown criminal called "The Outsider", who commanded various criminals to attack the heroes, among which were the Grasshopper Gang, a mysterious witch and a juggernaut man called Blockbuster. Next, the Outsider used a strange chemical to animate Batman and Robin's arsenal and used the objects against them.
It was later revealed that Alfred was not truly dead but was on the brink of death when he was found by the physicist Brandon Crawford, who attempted to revive him with a special radiation treatment; the same that mutated Alfred into a super powered being who called himself the Outsider, and who was driven by hatred of Batman. Eventually, Batman discovered the Outsider's true identity and restored him to normal. Alfred resumed his duties as Wayne's butler, with the assistance of Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet.
Butler and Hero Aid
As he returned to his usual activities, Alfred also helped Batman and Robin capture criminals on certain occasions. Certain day, in an ironic twist of fate, Alfred captured the Penguin using an umbrella. Later, Alfred was captured by a large criminal organization and he provided clues to the outside world, which allowed Batman and Robin to capture the wanted felons.
The Outsider personality emerged once again and forced Alfred to attempt to murder Batman and Robin. However, Alfred's subconscious alerted the heroes leaving clues to the attack. When the Dynamic Duo were apparently killed by the Outsider's plan, the evil alter-ego disappeared from Alfred's mind permanenly.
Alfred was eventually visited by his niece, Daphne, who was being blackmailed along with her father, Wilfred, by some of the actors on a play they were part of. Daphne's mission was to steal an original Shakespeare manuscript from Bruce Wayne and she succeeded, despite Alfred's intervention. Alfred then followed her back to the theater, where he learned of the foul play and he worked alongside Batman to save his brother and nephew from the crooked actors.
After his family reunion, Alfred and Bruce moved out of Wayne Manor. This decision was agreed after Dick Grayson left for college. Alfred and Bruce moved to the Penthouse of the Wayne Foundation building, which they transformed into their home and base of operations. In order to keep Batman's activities, Bruce istalled a laboratory with special equipment, which Alfred used whenever Batman needed remote assistance. Alfred would also help Bruce by gathering information and staging complex plans to capture criminals.
Eventually, Alfred was seriously injured while he investigated some claims of vandalism in Wayne Manor. What he believed to be just young pranksters destroying the abandoned place, turned out to be a crazed Ubu who wanted revenge against Batman. Alfred tried to escape, but the juggernaut attacked him and tossed him over the staircase, almost killing him. When the police rescued him, Alfred was able to make a statement about the attack, but could only recognize the attacker as a "monster".
Alfred recovered from this vicious attack and he soon resumed his duties as Wayne's butler and aid. Alfred was then tasked to investigate the weapon that Ra's al Ghul used to kill himself and he discovered vital information that allowed Batman to clear his name.
Outsider, No More
Certain day, Alfred organized a surprise birthday party for Bruce at Wayne Manor, but he was forced to distract Commissioner Gordon in order to prevent him from learning Bruce's secret, although Alfred might not have been successful. While creating the distractions, Alfred was hit in the head and the injury triggered the return of the evil persona of the Outsider in his mind.
Continuing his plan of eliminating Batman and his allies, the Outsider travelled to New York City and hired the villain known as Snafu to challenge the Man-Bat. When Man-Bat managed to stop Snafu, the Outsider gathered a new costumed gang which he called the Sunset Gang and tried to defeat Man-Bat once again, without success.
Tired of his henchmen's failures, the Outsider came up with the definitive plan to eliminate Man-Bat as well as Robin and Batgirl. The Outsider used tampered variations of the Batcycle and Robin's Motorcycle to drag the young heroes to New York City. With all the heroes gathered in one place, Outsider set his plan in motion, but his overconfidence caused his ultimate defeat. Unaware that Man-Bat, Robin and Batgirl were all working together, Outsider was eventually attacked with one of his own weapons, which caused the separation of Alfred from the Outsider. Without Alfred, Outsider lost all his powers and he was defeated and vanquised by Alfred, who was unaware of the villain's activities. Once the Outsider was defeated, Alfred could finally rest assured that the evil persona would never again take control of his body.
Brave and Bald
Some time after this, Alfred was affected by the poisoning of Gotham's water supply by the evil Dr. Phosphorus. While at the Gotham General Hospital, Alfred shared room with Commissioner Gordon as he had also been affected. After his recovery, Alfred was kidnapped by Hugo Strange's Monster Men and taken to a cell alongside Bruce, who had also been captured. Alfred witnessed how Bruce was constantly drugged until Robin came to their rescue. In the final battle, Alfred stopped Strange's female accomplice from injecting Bruce with the monster serum and in the stuggle, she injected the drug on herself.
When the Joker started a loan shark crime business, Alfred was asked by Batman to pretend to be one of Joker's clients and get some money from him. All this with the plan of capturing the madman. Unfortunately, during Alfred's encounter with Joker resulted with him poisoned with an explosive chemical that would've killed him if he refused to pay the Joker. Batman was forced to abandon the initial plan and attacked Joker in his hideout, forcing the madman to surrender some of his own blood, which contained the antidote for the chemical. After a successful transfussion, Alfred was saved, although there was some of Joker's blood runnig through his veins. After this, Alfred played a vital role of Batman's capture of the Gargoyle Gang.
Certain night, Alfred was attacked and manipulated by the Gentleman Ghost, who wanted to make Wayne Manor his new hideout. Batman eventually noticed Alfred's disappearance and he confronted the mysterious ghost, breaking the spell on Alfred, but despite their efforts, the Gentleman Ghost escaped. Alfred was next kidnapped by the Joker as the madman tried to lure Batman into a trap. Alfred and the other hostages were rescued by Batman, but the Joker wasn't captured.
Eventually, Alfred was summoned to France in order to stand trial for the murder of Mlle. Marie. The responsible for the trial was Julia Remarque, the daughter of Marie, but Alfred refused to tell her the truth, instead allowing Batman to find the real criminal. Alfred's name was eventually cleared and he returned to Gotham, keeping the secret that he was Julia's father to himself.
Alfred returned home, where he learned that Vicki Vale had photo evidence of Batman's true identity as Bruce Wayne. In order to allay her suspicions, Alfred hired The Human Target to impersonate Bruce and the plan was successful.
After these events, Alfred was shocked when Julia showed up at the doorstep of Wayne Manor. She had learned that he was her father and she travelled from Europe to stay with him. After his reunion with Julia, she informed Alfred that she was investigating the death of her adoptive father and Alfred joined her, travelling all the way to Montreal where he learned that in fact, Jaques Remarque was murdered. During their investigation, Alfred and Julia were attacked by Deadshot, who was hired to kill them. Alfred summoned Batman for help and when Deadshot was captured, they learned that he was supposedly hired by Julia's adoptive father, Jacques Remarque. Following the investigation with the Montreal Police, Julia and Alfred tracked down Deadshot and his associates to their base of operations in the sewers of the city, where Julia learned the hard way that Jacques was truly dead and the crooks only used his name as a decoy. With the criminals arrested and the truth revealed, Julia came to terms with the death of her adoptive father and Alfred comforted her, as his only daughter.
Afterwards, Alfred and Julia returned to Wayne Manor, where Julia stayed for a while as a houseguest. Eventually, Julia moved out when she found a job as a reporter and Alfred was saddened to learn she refused to use the name Pennyworth as her own. Eventually, Alfred opened his feelings to her and she agreed to be called Julia Pennyworth. This brought them closer together and Alfred even started to play match-maker, hoping to get Julia in a serious relationship with Bruce, but his efforts were futile as Julia gave up on Bruce.
Afterwards, Alfred was attacked by a criminal called Wrath and he was taken to a hospital, where he recovered quickly. Later, I.Q. turned Alfred into the Outsider again, but this time he was stopped by the Outsiders him with help from Superman.
The last time Alfred was ever seen was during the massive breakout from Arkham Asylum and the Gotham State Penitentiary, organized by Ra's al Ghul. As part of Ra's plan, Alfred was kidnapped by Killer Croc, but he was eventually rescued by Batman and Catwoman. After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Alfred Pennyworth's existence and history was completely altered, transforming him into a different person, existing on a different reality.
Powers and Abilities
(All the powers as Outsider only)
- Molecular Reconstruction
- Enhanced Intellect
- Superhuman Durability: He could easily withstand Batman's punches.
- Acting: He was an actor prior to becoming a butler.
- Aviation: Alfred has shown certain level of skill to pilot the Bat-Copter.
- Science (As Outsider only)
- Medical Science: Alfred is capable of providing first aid and has basic medical skills.
- Mimicry: His ability for vocal mimicry means he can impersonate Bruce Wayne on the telephone convincingly.
- Military Protocol: Having formerly been an intelligence agent, it is reasonable to assume that Alfred has other skills appropriate to this profession.
- Multilingualism: Alfred speaks French.
- The Outsider identity was given to Alfred as a result of his untimely death and a request by the producers of the Batman TV Show, who wanted the comics to align with the events of the series. At the time, the Outsider was an unknown villain with supernatural powers that was developed by Julius Schwartz and Gardner Fox after a story of the same name by H.P. Lovecraft. Alfred, who had been killed during the early comics published by Schwartz as editor, was brought back to life under the identity of the Outsider. The decision however was not well received as many fans and readers of the comics were expecting a greater storyline with the villain, but the ultimate return of the trusted butler brought good results in the long run.
- After Bruce Wayne, Alfred admitted that Superman would be the master he would most prefer to butler for. However, Alfred holds one of Bruce's other friends, Green Arrow, in low esteem for his lack of manners.
- This version of Alfred Pennyworth, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- Alfred was voiced by Alan Tudyk in Batman: The Audio Adventures.
- Like most of the Earth-One Batman Family members, Pennyworth never met his Earth-Two counterpart (Alfred Beagle), although he did meet the Earth-Two Huntress and Earth-Two Robin, who mentioned Beagle to Pennyworth.
- Alfred has shown his resourcefulness against criminals on various occasions.
- 491 Appearances of Alfred Pennyworth (Earth-One)
- 25 Images featuring Alfred Pennyworth (Earth-One)
- 9 Quotations by or about Alfred Pennyworth (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Alfred Pennyworth (Earth-One)
- Batman #104
- Detective Comics #481
- Detective Comics #501
- Detective Comics #502
- Batman #202
- Untold Legend of the Batman #2
- Batman #127
- Batman #131
- Batman #135
- Batman #145
- Batman #159
- Batman #163
- Detective Comics #328
- Detective Comics #334
- Detective Comics #336
- Detective Comics #349
- Detective Comics #340
- Detective Comics #356
- Detective Comics #379
- Batman #190
- Batman #191
- Detective Comics #364
- Batman #205
- Batman #211
- Batman #216
- Batman #217
- Batman #226
- Batman #247
- Detective Comics #438
- Detective Comics #446
- Detective Comics #447
- Batman Family #11
- Batman Family #12
- Batman Family #13
- Detective Comics #469
- Detective Comics #470
- Detective Comics #472
- The Brave and the Bold #141
- Batman Family #18
- Batman #310
- Batman #321
- Detective Comics #515
- Batman #349
- Detective Comics #518
- Detective Comics #532
- Batman #366
- Batman #367
- Batman #368
- Batman #368
- Detective Comics #536
- Batman #370
- Detective Comics #538
- Batman #379
- Detective Comics #547
- Batman #383
- Batman #390
- Batman Special #1
- DC Comics Presents #83
- Batman #400
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #17
- The Brave and the Bold #82
- Man of Two Worlds; 2000 (Schwartz Autobiography)
- Letter columns of Detective Comics #360
- World's Finest #279
- Detective Comics #486
|Batman Family member |
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.