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Alfred Pennyworth
NN 08 - Alfred
Name: Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth
Affiliation: Bruce Wayne (current); British Secret Service (former)
Portrayed by: Clive Revill
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
First appearance: The Cat and the Claw Part II
Last appearance: The Lion and the Unicorn
Appears in: 62 Episodes & 2 Films
Alfred Pennyworth Gallery


" Sounds as if the human race would become quite expendable. Except for butlers, of course."
―Alfred[src]

Alfred Pennyworth was the loyal butler to Thomas and Martha Wayne, and later to their son Bruce. Before beginning his employment with the Wayne family, he was a top agent of the British Secret Service.

HistoryEdit

Alfred was a clerk at the British Intelligence. One of his projects was Project Excalibur, a missile defense program of which he had half of the launch codes. After departing his intelligence career, Alfred assumed work as an ordinary domestic servant. He served Thomas and Martha Wayne since before their only son was born, and helped to raise him.

When Mr. and Mrs. Wayne were killed by a street mugger, Alfred helped shelter the orphaned Bruce, and would ultimately assist him in his preparation to become a crime fighter. When Bruce was a young adult, Alfred travelled along with him to Japan, where Bruce trained martial arts.[1] He would continue the role as well for Dick Grayson on his journey to become Robin. During his many trials, Bruce came to rely on Alfred as a source of guidance and moral support, one of the few men with whom he shared confidences.

Butler's ChoresEdit

TF 38 - Alfred piloting the Batwing

Alfred piloting the Batwing

Alfred also proved to be an invaluable source of help in all facets of Batman's life, from keeping his home in impeccable order, to helping him sustain his public frontage as Bruce Wayne, and occasionally carrying out reconnaissance and analysis on his behalf.[2] One time, when Bruce disappeared without a trace, Alfred tracked him down and traveled to his location using the Batwing and rescued Bruce, who had been abducted.[3]

However, sometimes Alfred was forced to do jobs that he didn't care much about. One time, Bruce brought a street urchin to Wayne Manor and Alfred was in charge to clean, feed and watch over the kid. Despite Alfred's many talents, he wasn't able to tame the wild kid.[4]

Dangers of WorkEdit

As the closest ally on Batman's fight against crime, Alfred was constantly in danger and threatened by Batman's enemies.

Alfred was once victim of Joker's scehemes, when the trusted butler inhaled some of the laughing gas that Joker spread across Gotham. On his delirious state, Alfred destroyed almost the entire living room of Wayne Manor until he was stopped by a concerned Batman. After Batman stopped Joker, Alfred returned to sanity and cleaned the mess he created.[5]

EY 61 - Alfred and Maggie Trees

Alfred transformed into a tree

Some time later, Alfred was victim of an attack by the eco-terrorist Poison Ivy. When Bruce allowed Alfred and his girl friend Maggie Page to use an invitation for him to the Eternal Youth Spa, they were poisoned with a special chemical that transformed them into trees. Alfred and Maggie were rescued by Batman and they were returned to normal, although they had to spend a short time in a hospital, recovering.[6]

Alfred was also attacked by Randa Duane while she searched Wayne Manor to find any computer. The taser she used was effective to keep Alfred unconscious long enough for her to infiltrate the Batcave. When Alfred recovered, he didn't remember Randa's attack and he assumed he passed out.[7]

During their return to Japan in order to stop Kyodai Ken, Alfred was kidnapped by Bruce's longtime enemy and used as bait to lure Bruce into a trap. The final battle between Bruce and Kyodai took place on a exploding volcano, with Alfred as their witness. Once Kyodai lost the fight, Bruce and Alfred returned to safety.[8]

Alfred's time in the secret service came back to haunt him briefly, when he was forced to leave Bruce's service without notice to help rescue an old collaborator who had been taken hostage by the villainous Red Claw.

Abilities and equipmentEdit

Alfred has no herculean powers or abilities, nor did he in anyway claim to be extraordinary. However, he was extremely knowledgeable in all the fields required to help maintain Batman's life, from conventional housework and cookery, to mechanical repairs and computer operation. He also proved to be a competent medic, and laboratory assistant. Alfred’s background in intelligence also made him a skilled analyst, spy, and detective.

Personality Edit

As a traditional English butler, Alfred always keps a stiff upper lip, even under the astonishing situations imposed by Bruce's secret identity. No matter the situation, Alfred always responds with resolution, composure, and above all good humour.

While he and Bruce are known to squabble, Alfred's loyalty still remains absolute. In part this could be explained by his continued loyalty to Thomas Wayne, and a traditional sense of duty. At the same time, Alfred always finds ways to show his pride in Bruce, and his belief in the cause he was fighting for. Alfred may well have also felt, not without cause, that Bruce could not get by without his aid.

NotesEdit

  • This version of Alfred has white hair, in contrast to his comic book counterpart, which generally has black hair. The DCAU Alfred is shown with black hair in flashbacks however (such as in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm), implying that the DCAU Alfred is meant to be slightly older than the comic versions.
  • Alfred has revealed that he feels like a father for Bruce.[9]
  • In the first four produced episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, Alfred was voiced by Clive Revill. Thereafter, for the remainder of show, he was voiced by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Revill was unable to continue his role as Alfred because he started working on a different area and voice director Andrea Romano casted Efrem for the role.

ReferencesEdit

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