Alfred Pennyworth is a male comic character who features in DC Comics.
During World War II, he participated in the conflict where in 1944 he served as an officer for British intelligence where he had worked alongside the French Resistance. (Detective Comics v1 #501) During this time, he encountered noted French hero and resistance fighter Mlle. Marie where the pair fell in love. He was willing to marry her but after the end of the war he was forced to return back him thus separating him from Marie. Unknown to Alfred, she gave birth to their daughter that she named Julia but Marie was secretly killed by a traitor in the resistance. Julia was taken in by Marie's friend Jacques Remarque who adopted her and named her Julia Remarque where when she was two years old he contacted Alfred letting him know that she was his daughter as he was unaware of the child's birth. However, Alfred decided to keep the nature of their relationship a secret and instead had money secretly sent to Jacques for his daughter. (Detective Comics v1 #502)
Following the Crisis of Infinite Earths, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
His father was noted for having served in the military where he served in the infantry and fought in the Pacific theatre. After the war, he returned to his station as the personal valet to Lord and Lady Welton. As an adult, Alfred Beagle began to serve as a teacher for agents where he taught them prior to infiltrating extremist cells or going into deep cover. During the Cold War, he was recruited to go on a recon mission that targeted a German named Parsifal who had fought in World War II. (Detective Comics v1 #806)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
As a young man, he often was engaged in delinquent acts that attracted the attention of the police. During this time, Alfred resented his father for looking after a family in America over his own son in London. He often asked his mother this question but she would urge him not to speak badly about his father. As a result, he came to hate his father for looking after the Wayne family whereas Alfred grew up with his father and witnessed the death of his own mother leading to him being angry. At 18, he joined the S.A.S. armed services as he sought for something important in his life where in that time until he was 20 he had fought in fifteen different military operations where he had reached the rank of sergeant. During this time, he and his father did not communicate with one another which only fuelled Alfred's anger and resentment. His life was about the service until one day he was approached by an agent of MI5 named Briar who recruited him for a mission. (All-Star Batman v1 #11) Briar was part of an MI-5 black ledger centuries old initiative called the Nemesis Program where he recruited Pennyworth as an elite agent with him being trained for a year in the role. Alfred found in Briar a mentor who helped channel the anger he felt towards his own father into serving the British government. By this point, the program was considered obsolete but Alfred and Briar sought to rejuvenate it as they had many times for the initiative. (All-Star Batman v1 #12) He came to work alongside an MI-6 agent named Marigold Sinclair where they infiltrated a Soviet training camp in Ukraine. During this time, he came to learn that a dear friend of his from the academy named Kendall Pierce had been working with the Soviets with this news devastating Alfred. He was unable to pursue the matter further as he had a new job in the U.S. (Detective Comics Annual v1 #2020) Alfred was seen as the perfect agent but Briar felt that his emotional attachments to family were a weakness. Thus, to free him and to take the Crown of Thorns as an agent, Briar sought to eliminate this tie and sought to go to United States to kill his father Jarvis Pennyworth. Upon learning of this, Alfred went in pursuit to stop him and damaged his plane causing it to crash where Pennyworth believed Briar had died. In the aftermath, he resigned from the British military service with Alfred deciding to reunite with his father and he went to Wayne Manor only to arrive too late as Jarvis had died. Alfred then took over his fathers responsibilities by becoming the butler of the Wayne family where he discovered letters Jarvis had written to his son but had never sent which told of the love he had towards his child. (All-Star Batman v1 #14)
Personality and attributes
After gaining superpowers, he at one point operated as a costumed hero known as the Eagle. (Batman v1 #127) Following exposure to Radiation O, he was restored to life as a hard skinned unrecognisable being where he called himself the Outsider. (Detective Comics v1 #355)
He felt that his father had desired for him to follow in his families footsteps in being a valet. (Detective Comics v1 #806)
One cousin of his was Sir Basil Smythe who had developed a revolutionary new heart transplant technique. (Detective Comics v1 #481)
During the Nemesis training, he was taught to develop trust in one person namely a mentor. This figure was Briar who he saw as a father figure during his military career. (All-Star Batman v1 #13) During his time at MI-6, he came to work alongside Marigold Sinclair and Kendall Pierce with the three serving as a team together. (Detective Comics Annual v1 #2020)
Powers and abilities
He was trained as an actor who was skilled in vocal mimicry and disguise being his specialties. (Detective Comics v1 #806) Pennyworth spent a year under the Nemesis Program where he trained in weapons, medical and hand-to-hand. (All-Star Batman v1 #13)
In his possession was a pure silver cross that was a family heirloom that had been in the Pennyworth family for generations and had been blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. (JLA v1 #96)
He at one point discovered that Batman had developed the Alfred Protocol that was a version of Alfred's consciousness uploaded onto a central computer to serve as a base of operations for future clones of the Dark Knight. (All-Star Batman v1 #11)
- Alfred Pennyworth was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson where he made his first appearance in Batman v1 #16 (April 1943).
- His surname Pennyworth was first revealed in Batman v1 #216 (November, 1969).
- In Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table v1 (1998), Alfred Pennysworth appeared in the alternate reality Elseworld set in the Arthurian era where he was the man-servant of the wizard Merlin.
- In Batman/Demon: A Tragedy v1 (2000), Alfred Pennyworth appeared in the alternate Elseworld story where he was actually the wizard Merlin who long ago adopted the disguise to keep watch over Bruce Wayne who had the bat-demon Etrigan bound to his mortal body.
- In Trinity (2008), an alternate timeline of events was created when the Trinity were removed from history. On this Earth, Sir Freddie Pennyworth was a spymaster codename 'Beagle' who was the British's’ top agent during the Cold War. He later retired and Alfred became an archaeologist in search for clues about an ancient myth that was in reality the lingering traces of the Trinity who had been removed from time.
- In Justice League v2 during Forever Evil, the New 52 Earth-3's version of Alfred was the albino skinned Outsider who served as a loyal lackey of Owlman. His appearance was the result of being inflicted with chemicals during Owlmans battle with his world's Joker. As the Outsider, he journeyed to Prime Earth and orchestrated the formation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and prepared the way for the Crime Syndicate to come to Earth. He was ultimately killed by Black Manta when he was ambushed by the super villain whilst guarding the captive Dick Grayson.
- In The New 52: Future's End (2014), in an alternate future set 35 years later that was known as Future's End it was shown that Batman had programmed an artificial intelligence that was placed in the Batsuit that was known as A.L.F.R.E.D. He was designed to aid him in stopping Brother Eye by travelling back into the past but Bruce was killed and Terry McGinnis wore the Batsuit where the AI aided him in navigating through the past and assisting in combat operations.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year 5 (2016), an alternate version of Alfred Pennyworth set in the world of Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- In Nightwing: The New Order v1 (2017), an alternate version of Alfred Pennyworth was shown in a world set in the near future where superpowers became common among the population and Batman had died. Dick Grayson then instituted a campaign to remove superpowers around the world leading to him heading the Crusaders program where they registered people with powers and suppressed them except for a few key individuals. Alfred had tense relations with Grayson due to this approach but the two visited one another despite their differences. Around this time, Dick had a son with Starfire named Jake Grayson with Pennyworth being fond of the child. When Jake developed superpowers, Dick sought to shield the boy by masking his presence and later registering him with the League though Alfred opposed these views. During the night, the Crusaders broke into the Grayson residence to forcibly take Jake Grayson with Alfred seeking to stop them but he was killed by the program's agents.
- In Batman: The Murder Machine v1 (2017), an alternate version of Alfred Pennyworth was shown on Earth -44 of the Dark Multiverse. This version was killed by numerous Batman villains with a funeral held for him and Bruce Wayne blaming himself for he death of the man who was like a father to him. On this Earth, the Alfred Protocol had been created that contained his personality but Batman was unable to bring it online leading to him calling upon Cyborg's assistance. This caused the artificial intelligence to manifest where it ruthlessly eliminated any threat to Batman and created copies of himself. Rather than fight the A.I., Bruce relented and merged with it where he gained a cyborg body and became the Murder Machine who was later recruited by the Batman Who Laughs to join Barbatos to attack the mainstream Prime Earth.
In other media
- In Batman, Alfred Pennyworth featured in the live-action series where he was voiced by actor Alan Napier.
- In Beware the Batman, Alfred Pennyworth was a main cast member in the animated television series where he was voiced by actor J. B. Blanc.
- In Gotham, Alfred Pennyworth featured as part of the live-action series where he was portrayed by actor Sean Pertwee.
- In The Dark Knight Trilogy, Alfred Pennyworth made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Batman Begins, Alfred Pennyworth made his first appearance in the live-action film where he was portrayed by actor Michael Caine.
- In The Dark Knight, Alfred Pennyworth appeared in the live-action film sequel where he was once again portrayed by actor Michael Caine.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Alfred Pennyworth appeared in the live-action film sequel where actor Michael Caine once more portrayed the character.
- In the DC Extended Universe, Alfred Pennyworth made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Alfred Pennyworth made his first appearance in the live-action film where he was portrayed by actor Jeremy Irons.
- In Batman: The Telltale Series, the character made multiple appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Batman: The Telltale Series, Alfred Pennyworth first appeared in Season 1 of the video game where he was voiced by actor Enn Reitel.
- In Batman: The Enemy Within, Alfred Pennyworth returned in the Season 2 sequel video game where he was once again voiced by actor Enn Reitel.
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- Detective Comics:
- Batman Eternal v1:
- We_Are_Robin v1:
- All-Star Batman: