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Encyclopedia > Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred Pennyworth


Cover to Batman: Gotham Knights #42 (June 2003).
Pencils by Brian Bolland. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (514x780, 130 KB)Cover to Batman: Gotham Knights #42, by Brian Bolland. ... Batman: Gotham Knights was one of several alternate titles for Batman: The Animated Series. ... Bollands cover to Hellstorm: Prince Of Lies #16. ...

Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #16 (April-May 1943)
Created by Bob Kane
Jerry Robinson
Characteristics
Full name Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth
Affiliations Batman Family
British Secret Service
Supporting
character of
Batman, Robin
Notable aliases Thaddeus Crane, Thaddeus Middleton

Alfred Pennyworth is a fictional supporting character in the DC Comics' Batman series. Created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Batman #16 (April-May 1943). Alfred serves as Batman’s tireless butler, assistant, and confidant, and has been called "Batman's batman."[1][2] In the current DC Comics continuity, Alfred looked after Bruce Wayne after the death of his parents. Alfred also provides comic relief, as his sometimes sarcastic cynical character often adds humour to dialog occurring between himself and the obsessed Batman. DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ... In comic books, first appearance refers to first comic book to feature a character. ... Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn, October 24, 1915 – November 3, 1998) was an American comic book artist and writer credited as the creator of Batman. ... Detective Comics #38 (May 1940), the first appearance of Robin. ... Cover to Batman Allies: Secret Files & Origins 2005. ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the United Kingdoms external intelligence agency. ... Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a DC Comics fictional superhero who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A character of a book, play, movie, TV show or other form of storytelling usually used only to give dimension to a main character, by adding a relationship with this character, although sometimes supporting characters may develop a complexity of their own. ... DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ... Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a DC Comics fictional superhero who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. ... Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn, October 24, 1915 – November 3, 1998) was an American comic book artist and writer credited as the creator of Batman. ... Detective Comics #38 (May 1940), the first appearance of Robin. ... // For other uses see Butler (disambiguation) The butler is a senior servant in a large household . ... A batman is a soldier assigned to a commissioned officer as a personal servant. ... In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer. ... Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character or scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. ...


An important part of the Batman mythos, Alfred has appeared in most other media adaptations of the character.

Contents

Fictonal character history

When Alfred first appeared, he was overweight and clean-shaven. However, when the 1943 Batman serial was released, William Austin, the actor who played Alfred, was trim and sported a thin mustache. DC editors wanted the comic 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 his death[3] and resurrection.[4] William Austin (1884-1975) was a British character actor (born in British Guiana) who appeared in many films and serials between the 1920s and the 1940s, though the vast majority of his roles were small and uncredited. ... A moustache (sometimes spelled mustache in the United States) is an outgrowth of hair above the upper lip. ...


Alfred was originally conceived as a comedic foil for Batman and Robin. In most early tales, he made bumbling attempts to be a detective on a par with the young masters. He was given a four-page feature of his own,[5] and the feature lasted ten issues.[6] 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. A straight man is a role in a comedy double act where a performer works with a comedian by setting up the situations or feeding the lines that allow their partner to make a joke. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Pre-Crisis

The Pre-Crisis comics (i.e., comics published by DC Comics between 1938 and 1986) established Alfred 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 butler. 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. Crisis on Infinite Earths was a 12 issue comic book mini-series produced by DC Comics in 1985 in order to clean up their 50-year-old, convoluted and confusing continuity. ... Spy and secret agent redirect here; for alternate use, see Spy (disambiguation) and Secret agent (disambiguation). ... Dick Grayson is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe. ... A secret identity is the practice of hiding a persons identity so the actual identity of the person is not known or suspected. ...


Initially, Alfred discovered their identities by accident. While fighting a burglar in Batman #16 (Alfred's first appearance), he accidentally hit a switch and opened a sliding panel leading to the Batcave. This was revised in Batman #110 (September 1957). His first night at Wayne Manor, Alfred awoke to moaning and followed the sound to the secret door to the staircase to the Batcave and met his would be employers in their superhero identities (Batman had been injured while out in the field). As it turned out, the wounds were actually insignificant, but Alfred's care convinced the residents that their butler could be trusted. Since then, Alfred included the support staff duties of the Dynamic Duo on top of his regular tasks. Secret passages are sometimes concealed using large items of furniture, such as this reconstruction of the bookcase that covered the entrance to Anne Franks secret room. ... For the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, see Super Hero (Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode). ...


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 mad scientist, whose 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 – the Grasshopper Gang in Detective #334, Zatanna in Detective #336, and even the Batmobile itself in Detective #340 – and generally only appeared as a mocking voice over the radio. 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. Psychokinesis (literally mind-movement) or PK is the more commonly used term today for what in the past was known as telekinesis (literally distant-movement). It refers to the psi ability to influence the behavior of matter by mental intention (or possibly some other aspect of mental activity) alone. ... Zatanna Zatara is a fictional wizard and a superheroine in the DC universe. ... The Batmobile is the fictional personal automobile of comic book superhero Batman. ...


Alfred was later reunited with his long-lost daughter, Julia Remarque, though this element was not included in Post-Crisis comics. Her mother was the DC war heroine Mademoiselle Marie, whom Alfred had met while working as an intelligence agent in occupied France during the Second World War. Crisis on Infinite Earths was a 12 issue comic book mini-series produced by DC Comics in 1985 in order to clean up their 50-year-old, convoluted and confusing continuity. ...


Post-Crisis

In the Post-Crisis comics' 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. Unfortunately, like so many others Alfred's history has been retconned 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 virtually raised him after they were murdered. In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer. ... Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony The British Royal Family is a shared royal family. ...


Meanwhile another version of Alfred's Post-Crisis life was slightly more linked closely to his pre-Crisis counterpart. In this version Alfred was an Actor on the English Stage, who agreed to become the Wayne's 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 and following Alfred's advise, Bruce manages to take care his bully problem. Upon returning home, Bruce then requests that Alfred stays, which Alfred agrees to without a second thought. He would again, raise Bruce following the death of his family.


Alfred would later aid Bruce in raising Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake, all of whom would be adopted by Bruce Wayne and become his partner Robin. He also had close friendships with other members of the Bat-Clan including Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain.


Although Alfred is often seen as a servant, that is in no way the case. Instead he acts more as a father-figure to Bruce, and a grandfather to Dick, Jason and Tim. He is also highly respected by those heroes who are aware of his existance, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the original Teen Titans. Alfred has also been romantically linked to Dr. Leslie Thompkins, though unfortunately his relationship with her never came to anything, particularly after she let Stephanie Brown (Spoiler) die from neglect. He also developed feelings for Tim Drake's stepmother, but again, nothing came of it. Dr. Leslie Thompkins (often spelled Tompkins) is a fictional character from the Batman comic books. ...


His resourcefulness came to the fore in the "No Man's Land" storyline, especially in Legends of the Dark Knight #118. 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. Cover to Batman: No Mans Land Vol. ... Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, commonly referred to as simply Legends of the Dark Knight is a DC comic book featuring Batman. ... Melée generally means hand-to-hand combat or mano-a-mano. ...


Name

Alfred introduced himself as the son of a butler named Jarvis in one of his early appearances, and the convention being that British butlers are known by their surnames, it was unclear whether Jarvis was his father's first or last name, the latter case which would have made Alfred's name Alfred Jarvis. His name was later given officially as Alfred Beagle.[7] This name was subsequently given to the an alternate version of the character from the world of Earth-Two, and Pennyworth became Alfred's accepted surname in the mainstream continuity.[8] Alfred has also used the alias “Thaddeus Crane”, which is derived from his middle names.[9] His full name of Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth was depicted on his tombstone in "Superman/Batman: Generations." A family name, or surname, is that part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ... Superman/Batman is a monthly comic book series published by DC Comics that features the publishers two most popular characters: Superman and Batman. ...


Skills, resources and abilities

Alfred primarily keeps-up day-to-day operations of Batman’s home of Wayne Manor and maintains much of the equipment of the Batcave beneath it. A former actor, he can use his acting skills to help Batman in the field when necessary, and is even capable of impersonating Bruce Wayne on the telephone convincingly. He has also provided first aid up to and including suturing wounds and removing bullets, as well as occasional tactical support. Wayne Manor in 1989s Batman. ... The Batcave. ... First aid is a series of simple, life-saving medical techniques that a non-doctor or layman can be trained to perform. ...


While not as skilled at hand-to-hand combat as Bruce Wayne, Alfred is still nearly as resourceful. During a time at which he was kidnapped, he readily escapes and overcomes his captors without disturbing the cut of his suit. It was later mentioned that he had been kidnapped unsuccessfully 27 times (It should be noted, however, that these events take place in the Gotham Adventures comics, based on the animated adventures of Batman, and not within the standard DCU continuity).[10] Presumably due to his lack of superpowers and the advanced combat training Bruce's other associates have, Alfred is also the only member of the "Batman Family" that Bruce does not mind using a firearm, in his case a shotgun. Cover to Batman Allies: Secret Files & Origins 2005. ... An assortment of modern hand-held firearms using fixed ammunition, including military assault rifles, a sporting shotgun (fourth from bottom), a tactical shotgun (third from bottom), and a sporting rifle (top). ... A pump-action and two semi-automatic action Remington 1100 shotguns, 20 boxes of shotgun shells, a clay trap, and three boxes of clay pigeons. ...


In other media

Film

Michael Gough as Alfred.
Michael Gough as Alfred.

Image File history File links Alfredmgough. ... Image File history File links Alfredmgough. ... Michael Gough as Lord Ambrose DArcy in Hammers The Phantom of the Opera (1962) Michael Gough (born November 23, 1917 in Malaya) is an English character actor. ... William Austin (1884-1975) was a British character actor (born in British Guiana) who appeared in many films and serials between the 1920s and the 1940s, though the vast majority of his roles were small and uncredited. ... Batman was a 15-chapter serial released in 1943 by Columbia Pictures. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Batman and Robin was a 15-chapter serial released in 1949 by Columbia Pictures. ... Alan Napier (January 7, 1903 - August 8, 1988) was a British-born American character actor. ... For the 1989 version starring Michael Keaton, see: Batman (1989 film). ... Adam West (born September 19, 1928) is an American actor, best known for playing the role of Batman on the original television program that ran from 1966 to 1968. ... Michael Gough as Lord Ambrose DArcy in Hammers The Phantom of the Opera (1962) Michael Gough (born November 23, 1917 in Malaya) is an English character actor. ... Batman is an American Academy Award-winning superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. ... // Actress Kim Basinger and her brother Mick purchase Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. ... Batman Returns is a 1992 motion picture based on the Batman character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1992. ... Batman Forever is the third of the Batman movies which began with Tim Burtons 1989 version of the character, although it is a major departure from its predecessor in the franchise, Batman Returns. ... // March 28 - Actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett announce their plans for separation November - After a six-year hiatus, the James Bond film series resumes with the successful GoldenEye. ... The correct title of this article is Batman & Robin (1997 film). ... This is a list of film-related events in 1997. ... Art from Wizard Magazine (2006), featuring Barbara and Cassandra as Batgirl. ... Flowcharts are often used to represent algorithms. ... Cover to Batman #497: The breaking of the Bat. ... OnStar is a subscription-based communications, monitoring and tracking service provided by General Motors. ... Diet Coke (sometimes known as Diet Coca-Cola) or Coca-Cola Light (sometimes known as Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. ... Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite CBE (born March 14, 1933), known professionally as Michael Caine, is a two-time Academy Award-winning British film actor. ... Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman. ... The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman. ...

Television

Alan Napier as Alfred from the 1960s Batman TV series.
Alan Napier as Alfred from the 1960s Batman TV series.
Ian Abercrombie as Alfred from the 2002 series Birds of Prey.

Image File history File links Pennyworth. ... Image File history File links Pennyworth. ... Alan Napier (January 7, 1903 - August 8, 1988) was a British-born American character actor. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Ian Abercrombie (born September 11, 1936 in London) is an English actor. ... Birds of Prey is a live action American television series produced in 2002. ... Alan Napier (January 7, 1903 - August 8, 1988) was a British-born American character actor. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Adam West (born September 19, 1928) is an American actor, best known for playing the role of Batman on the original television program that ran from 1966 to 1968. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Clive Selsby Revill (born April 18, 1930 in Wellington, New Zealand) is an experienced character actor who has made more than 50 films and TV movies and whose work has ranged from theatrical blockbusters to stage classics. ... The animated Batman shoots his grappling gun from a rooftop in a scene from the episode, On Leather Wings. ... Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. ... The animated Batman shoots his grappling gun from a rooftop in a scene from the episode, On Leather Wings. ... Justice League is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. ... Static Shock is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. ... Thomas Wayne is a fictional character of the Batman series of comic books. ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), more commonly known as MI6 (originally Military Intelligence [section] 6), or Her Majestys Secret Service or just the Secret Service, is the British external security agency. ... The DCAU or DC Animated Universe is a general term made by fans of the animated television series based off of DC Comics, usually heavily developed by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. ... Ian Abercrombie (born September 11, 1936 in London) is an English actor. ... Birds of Prey is a live action American television series produced in 2002. ... Alastair Duncan (born ?) is a British-Australian actor and voice actor best known for providing the voice-over on the first three series of the television show Australias Most Wanted. ... The Batman is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. ... The Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot), is a DC Comics supervillain and an enemy of Batman. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area...

Print

  • In the online writing community Subreality, Alfred occasionally appears as the janitor of the Writer's Café. [11]

A janitors bucket with mop A janitor is a person who takes care of a building, such as a school, office building, or apartment block. ...

Awards

The character has been consistently popular over the years, 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. [12]


References

  1. ^ Mackie, Rob. "Batman Begins review", The Guardian, 2005-10-21. Retrieved on 2007-02-20. 
  2. ^ Tilley, Steve. "Michael Caine one tough butler", CANOE, Edmonton Sun, 2005-06-13. Retrieved on 2007-02-20. 
  3. ^ Detective Comics #328 in 1964
  4. ^ Detective Comics #356 in 1966
  5. ^ Batman #22 (Apr-May 1944)
  6. ^ Batman #32 (Dec 1945-Jan 1946)
  7. ^ Detective Comics #96 (February 1945)
  8. ^ Batman #216 (1969)
  9. ^ Batman #92 (June 1955)
  10. ^ Batman: Gotham Adventures #16
  11. ^ "The Writer's Café, Subreality"
  12. ^ Comic Book Awards Almanac

 
 

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