Quote1.png We soldier on undaunted, you and I, Master Bruce. And if I may say so, sir... I couldn't beg, borrow or steal a finer way to live my life. Quote2.png
Alfred Pennyworth src


Alfred Pennyworth is the British butler and valet to the Wayne Family. He took up the role of legal guardian of Bruce Wayne after the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Born under the name of Alfred Beagle, he grew up in England and joined the army once he became of age. He served in various conflicts all over the world, gaining skill as a field medic. After retiring from the army he became an actor, and later a teacher for the MI5, instructing its agents in subterfuge through the use of stagecraft.[1] During this time Alfred received a special mission, loaning his services to the MI7. After this mission ended, Alfred was forced to retire from service, adopt a new identity and move to the United States of America. Alfred legally changed his last name to Pennyworth and started working as a butler for the Wayne Family.[2]

After several months, Alfred voices the desire to return home to continue acting. However, these plans are forgotten when young Master Wayne returns home from school early after being bullied. Alfred teaches Bruce how to defeat the bully strategically rather than using brute force. Armed with Alfred's tutelage, young Bruce manages to take care of his bully problem. Alfred stays on as the family butler at Bruce's request.

After the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Alfred was named Bruce's legal guardian, however, social services combated the will thinking 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.[citation needed]

Alfred raises young Bruce Wayne together with Dr. Leslie Thompkins a close friend and colleague of Thomas Wayne. Later, Bruce decided to travel abroad and Alfred stayed at Wayne Manor and begins a short lived romance with Dr. Leslie Tompkins.

Batman Begins


Main article: Batman: Year One

Alfred is pleased that young Master Bruce returned home to Wayne Manor after many years of study and training. It is on his return that he supports Bruce's plan to take back Gotham City from the criminals and helps him as best he can. After his first outing it is Alfred that patches him up, but only after Bruce discovers a bat in the study that inspires him to don a costume to strike fear into criminals. When Lieutenant Gordon and his wife come to visit Bruce Alfred helps Bruce disguise himself as a self-absorb playboy millionaire and thus escaped suspicion of Bruce's "involvement" in Batman's attacks against the city mob.



Main article: Batman: Knightfall

Alfred noticed that Bruce wasn't the same after the moral defeat when Black Mask escaped from the law.[3] He tried to make Bruce slow down and give himself a rest, but Bruce was driven, even when he was clearly losing his physical and mental conditions, but Alfred understood that's the way Bruce is.[4] However, when things started looking bad, Alfred began worrying.[5] Alfred attended Bruce's wounds after his first encounter with The General[6] and he was utterly scared when he found Batman asleep on the batcave staircase.[7] Alfred was fast to take care of Robin when he arrived at the Batcave after escaping from Bane and he called Bruce to the cave so he could talk with Robin.[8]

While Bruce was battling the many Arkham inmates, Alfred stayed at home and often answered Dr. Kinsolving's calls for Bruce. After Bruce came home from an encounter with Firefly, Alfred suggested Bruce to take a good rest and even consider leaving the city for a while, but his comment was ignored.[9] Alfred reminded Bruce of a Charity Function and Bruce agreed to go before passing out on his bed. Alfred woke Bruce as late as possible, allowing him to recover and attend the appointment as well.[10]

Afterwards, Alfred watched along Robin how Riddler took over a TV show and Alfred took Robin to the place in the Bat-van.[11] Alfred and Tim returned to the Batcave, where they watched the news about Batman trying to rescue Mayor Krol from Joker and Scarecrow.[12]

A few hours later, Tim went home and Alfred stayed alone at Wayne Manor, when Bane appeared in the place and knocked him unconscious.[13] When Alfred recovered, he noticed Batman was being destroyed by Bane and with all his strength, he managed to crawl out of Wayne Manor and walked to the Drake Manor, looking for Tim and asked his help.[14]


Alfred accompanies Master Wayne to the UK, and is angered when he insists on endangering his own health while paraplegic. This was the culmination of several weeks of Wayne's self-destructive behaviour, and when Wayne returns to Gotham City, Alfred remains in Britain, tendering his resignation. He spends some time on holiday he travels to various exotic locations such as Antarctica and the Caribbean before returning to Great Britain. Dick Grayson tracks him down several months later and convinces him to return to America.

No Man's Land


Main article: Batman: No Man's Land

His resourcefulness came to the fore during the time when Gotham was declared "No Man's Land", [15]. Batman was missing for weeks, leaving Alfred alone to watch the city. He used his skills as an actor, storyteller, medic, and spy to survive and collect information on the recently destroyed society. Alfred even used hand-to-hand combat in a rare on-panel fight sequence between him and a pair of slavers that ended with his rescue by a just-returned Batman.

War Games


Main article: Batman: War Games

After a whole year, the city was part of the country again and many changes came with it. Tim Drake stopped being Robin and Batman allowed Stephanie Brown to become the next Robin; a decision that Alfred opposed.[16] When Stephanie was fired from the role, the greatest gang war broke out in Gotham and Tim was forced to return to his role as Robin. Alfred was responsible for giving him back his suit and welcomed him back to the Bat Family.[17] Alfred located Nightwing after he was shot on the leg and took him to the mobile batcave.[18] Alfred healed Nightwing and after the procedure was finished, Alfred forced Nightwing to stay in bed and prevented him from going out to battle.[19] When the whole war was over, Alfred shared a glass of wine with Bruce and Dick, remembering past events.[18]

Shortly after, Alfred delivered a videotape of a broadcast by Arturo Rodriguez to Bruce.[20] The mystery behind the videotape caused Bruce to learn that someone was responsible for Stephanie's death and Alfred helped Bruce record a conversation among thugs on a night club in order to learn more about it[21] and filtered the information for Batman.[22] Alfred witnessed along with Bruce how the events of the War Games were solved by Bruce himself and he was glad to put it all behind.[23]

Under the Hood


After a few days, Alfred was contacted by Lucius Fox, who was looking for Bruce. Alfred did his best to diverge Fox's attention as Bruce was exrtemely busy working as Batman. However, Fox went to Wayne Manor and Alfred was forced to call Bruce to talk with Fox. After the bad news about Wayne Enterprises, Alfred kept an optimistic mind, saying that Bruce won't feel the need for more gadgets and equipment than he already had.[24] Shortly after, Bruce learned that Jason Todd was alive and became the criminal Red Hood. Alfred offered to remove Jason's Robin suit from the display case in the batcave, but Bruce wanted to keep it.[25]

Alfred assisted Bruce on his quest to discover what happened to Jason Todd after his death and together they examined the gravesite and the coffin where Jason was buried. Alfred was concerned for Bruce's well-being and after long days of non-stop work, they discovered that there was never a body inside that coffin.[26]

Later, Alfred received a package from Jason, delivered to Wayne Manor. Alfred took the package to the batcave and examined it thoroughly. He discovered a lock of green hair inside and an address as well. Alfred informed Batman about this and Batman asked him to run a DNA test on the green hair.[27]

Batman R.I.P.


When Hush reappeared, he had performed a plastic surgery on his face to look indentical to Bruce Wayne. With his new face, he tried to trick Alfred to let him into the Batcave, but Alfred had been warned by the real Bruce about Hush's plan and when the impostor broke into Wayne Manor, Alfred fought the villain with remarkable fighting skills for one so frail and old versus one so young. However, Hush managed to stab Alfred in the shoulder and was about to kill the faithful butler when Batman arrived. As the fight continued in the Batcave, Alfred activated the robotic T-Rex and distracted Hush long enough for Robin and Nightwing to arrive. After Hush was defeated, Alfred stitched Bruce's wounds.[28]

Some time later, Bruce started dating Jezebel Jet and even revealed his secret to her. Tim Drake asked Alfred about Bruce's well-being and Alfred replied that it would be futile for normal people try to understand Bruce's mind. After this, Tim asked him about the DNA test between Bruce and Damian, but Alfred refused to tell him, just like he was indicated by Bruce.[29]

Alfred injured by The Black Glove

Alfred injured by The Black Glove

A few days later, Alfred was washing the Batmobile and later he tried to heal some of Bruce's battle wounds, despite Bruce's reluctance. Bruce told Alfred about a new mysterious group called Black Glove and in order to learn more, he sent Alfred to watch and old movie by the same name. When Alfred returned home, he found the Batcave in flames and most of it, destroyed. He was soon ambushed by Le Bossu and his gargoyles, who beat Alfred to a pulp.[30] Bruised and beaten, Alfred was held hostage by Doctor Hurt in the batcave and witnessed how the Club of Villains and the Black Glove used Batman's secret lair as their base of operations.[31] As their hostage, Alfred endured Hurt's attacks and Scorpiana's torture methods.[32] Shortly after, Alfred was rescued by Damian Wayne, who took Alfred out of the burning Batcave on the batmobile and they rushed towars Arkham to aid Batman, pushing an ambulance off a bridge, much to Alfred's dismay.[33]

After Batman's final disappearance, Alfred returned to the Batcave, where he found Batgirl making a list of heroes to create a team similar to the Outsiders, but with the intention of replacing Batman. Alfred suggested that the list consisted only of people seeking redemption for past actions much like Batgirl and he also suggested that she should let Nightwing be part of her plan, but ultimately she refused.[34]

Shortly after, Alfred spotted Nightwing gliding towards Wayne Manor and he met the young hero at the Batcave, where he landed, seriously injured. Alfred performed surgery on Nightwing and removed two bullets from his shoulder, having learned the right procedure by watching Discovery Channel. Alfred dosed Nightwing, allowing him to recover and after Nightwing left the cave, Alfred analyzed the bullets and found traces of Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, leaving him no option but to inform Dick.[35]

Alfred was present when Dick jumped from the stratosphere to Earth and witnessed the extraordinary feat along with Tim Drake.[36] Shorly after, Alfred travelled to Japan to take care of some of Bruce's unfinished business. While in Japan, Alfred was contacted by Nightwing asking for leads on the latest case and Alfred gave him the required information.[37]

A few days later, Alfred returned and having no one else to call, he summoned Nightwing to Gotham after Two-Face's reappearance.[38] After the first failed attempt of capturing the villains, Alfred comforted Nightwing and told him to learn from his mistakes, just like Batman did in the beginning.[39]


After Batman's death, Alfred set up a new Outsiders team, in an effort to fill Batman's shoes with their combined efforts.[citation needed]


Publication History

  • Created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Batman #16 (April-May 1943), overweight and clean-shaven. This specific incarnation was later named as Alfred Beagle and used as the family manager of the Earth-Two Wayne and Grayson.
  • This printed page version of Alfred would be changed after "Alfred the Butler" was presented in the 1943 Batman movie serial. William Austin, the actor who played Alfred, was trim and sported a thin moustache. DC editors wanted the printed page version of Alfred to resemble his cinematic counterpart, so in Detective Comics #83 (January 1944), Alfred vacationed at a health resort, where he slimmed down and grew a moustache. This look has remained with the character ever since, even surviving the apparent death of the Earth-One version of Alfred (in Detective Comics #328 in 1964) and his resurrection (in Detective Comics #356 in 1966).
  • When Earth-Two was formally reintroduced into regular DC comic usage, the old heavier Beagle would be brought back.
  • Alfred and Bruce started collecting first edition books after the murder of the Waynes and they kept doing it for the remaining of their time together.[27]
  • He is the only member of the Batman Family that is allowed by Bruce Wayne to own a firearm.[citation needed]
  • The character is very popular, having received a nomination for the R.A.C. "Squiddy" Award for Favorite Supporting Character in 1994 and for Best Character in 2001. He was also nominated for the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Supporting Male Character in 1994.
  • The New Earth Alfred was the first mainstream Alfred to have been shown to have been Bruce Wayne's butler from childhood, and to have raised Bruce after his parents' deaths. Both the Earth-Two and Earth-One Alfreds came to work for Bruce after he had became Batman. The idea that Alfred raised Bruce was introduced on the Super Friends TV show, and was brought into comics in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns before being brought into the main continuity.


External Links


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Batman Family member
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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.

Outsiders 0001.jpg
Outsiders member
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This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. They are a black ops team dedicated to fighting evil and taking the fall in public opinion that bigger groups like the Justice League cannot, started by Batman to avoid being crippled by public relations needs. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.

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