Alfred Pennyworth

Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred.jpg
Real NameAlfred Pennyworth
AliasThe Outsider
Height6'0
Weight160 lbs
Team AffiliationsBatman Family
Base of OperationsGotham City


Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth is a character found in the DC Universe. He is Bruce Wayne's butler in Wayne Manor. Alfred is one of the few individuals who knows Bruce is Batman and he is a solid ally throughout Bruce's life. Created by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, Alfred first appeared in Batman #16 (April 1943).

Contents

[edit] Character History

Alfred Pennyworth was initially introduced in a totally different light than his current depiction. At first, Alfred was an overweight and bumbling character mainly used for comic relief. He was even shown trying to use detective skills on his own, which ususally resulted in a rather humurous conclusion. It wasn't until the Batman serial in 1943 when Alfred's appearance finally changed. DC comics wished to follow this route, so in Detective Comics #83, Alfred lost a ton of weight and grew out a mustache, while also expressing a more calm and reserved demeanor.

[edit] Pre-Crisis

After retiring from his work as an espionage agent for the Government, Alfred intended to carry out his father's dying wish to have him serve as butler for the Wayne Family. Alfred introduced himself to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson at Wayne Manor and told them of his intentions. The two men weren't particularly fond of the idea of having a butler, since it could jeopardize their lives under secret idenities (Batman and Robin). In the end, Bruce Wayne accepted Alfred's request. In his first night at the mansion, Alfred was awoken by strange noises coming from within the house. He was able to find his way into the batcave where Alfred found an injured Bruce Wayne in his Batman suit. Treating his wounds and showing a dedication to his family, Bruce came to trust Alfred fully and the great friendship between the two men had begun.

Batman battling The Outsider in Detective Comics #356.

One night while Batman was out in Gotham City, Alfred discovered information about a group of criminals that were a threat to Batman. Taking matters into his own hands, Alfred followed this group before eventually being captured by them. While being held prisoner, Alfred sacrificed his own life to save Batman and Robin from a trap that was laid for them after they came to rescue Alfred. To pay respect to his loyal butler, Bruce would rename Wayne Enterprises to the Alfred Foundation. Although, it was later revealed that Alfred was not truly dead after being discovered by a physicist named Brandon Crawford. Attempting to save the life of Alfred, Crawford started a radioactive treatment on him that would turn Alfred into a deformed being, renaming himself The Outsider.

As The Outsider, Alfred would send threats out against Batman and Robin before eventually confronting them. After a brief skirmish between the two sides, Batman finally subdued him and revealed his identity to be that of Alfred's. With the help of Aunt Harriet, Afred was restored to his former self and he once against resumed duties as butler for the Wayne Family.

[edit] Post-Crisis

Alfred has been the butler for the Wayne Family for just about all of Bruce Wayne's life. Following the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Alfred became the legal guardian of young Bruce. Still, there have been many different versions created regarding the history of Alfred, including one where Bruce's parents hired Alfred away from the British Royal Family to serve them in Wayne Manor.

Along with Bruce Wayne, Alfred was a very important figure in the lives of Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake. He helped raise the three young men and guided them on the right path as they grew into partners of Batman. Alfred has also been romantically linked to Dr Leslie Thompkins, though nothing ever came of their brief involvement with each other.

During the No Man's Land storyline, Alfred is left in charge of Wayne Manor and must deal with watching over Gotham City after Bruce Wayne has gone missing. Using all of the traits he has learned over the years, including time as a medic and actor, Alfred is able to collect information and data on the city after its destruction. There even is a time when Alfred must use his fighting ability to take on two men during an attack, but he is eventually aided by Batman as he makes his return.

[edit] Skills & Abilities

While he doesn't have any special abilities or powers, Alfred is still a very skilled individual. His younger days as a medic has led Alfred to help treat many injuries suffered by Bruce Wayne while fighting crime, from minor cuts to removing bullet casings from his body. Over the years, Alfred has increased his knowledge in the medical field where he is now able to perform minor surgeries if needed.

Along with being a highly intelligent man, Alfred is very resourceful. He has eluded cature many times over the years, and Alfred is always willing to aid Batman out in Gotham City was neccessary. Also, Alfred is not shy of using a firearm if it means protecting himself and those close to him.

[edit] Other Media Appearances

[edit] Television

In the 1960's Batman series staring Adam West and Burt Ward, Alfred Pennyworth is portrayed by Alan Napier. Later on, in the series Birds of Prey, Alfred is portrayed by Ian Abercrombie.

Alfred has also been voiced by many voice talents during his appearances in animated series, including:

[edit] Movies

The first actor to ever portray Alfred was William Austin in the 1943 Batman serial. A few years later in 1949, Eric Wilton would assume the identity in the Batman and Robin serial. In the 1966 movie Batman, Alan Napier portrayed Alfred.

Michael Gough is the most well-known of all the Alfred's that have appeared in film. Gough portrayed Alfred in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin. However, the two most recent Batman films (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) have seen Michael Caine in the role of Alfred.

[edit] Video Game

Alfred appears as a playable character in the game Lego Batman. In it, Alfred is capable of hand-to-hand combat and he throws trays at enemies.

Last edited by DragonMaster Dyne on 24 January 2009 at 18:44
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