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Yes, Master Bruce?
~ Alfred Pennyworth.
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.
~ Alfred Pennyworth.
You've heard many stories about the boy I raised. Bruce Wayne. The boy who would become Batman. There are almost too many to count. This one takes place in my hometown, London. And it's different from the rest. Of course, it starts the way the others do. The angry young man, far from Wayne Manor. Lost. And like the others, it's a mystery--a detective story about the distance between the boy he was then...and the man he is.
~ Prime Earth Alfred Pennyworth.

Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth is a fictional character from the DC comics and universe. He is Bruce Wayne's butler at Wayne Manor and his oldest and staunchest ally, even when he occasionally expresses discomfort at Bruce's risking his life repeatedly.

Don Cameron and Bob Kane created the character as "Alfred Beagle" as Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson created the character as "Alfred Pennyworth".

Biography

Golden Age

Alfred was first introduced as "Alfred Beagle" a heavy-set butler at the Wayne manor, who while an enthusiastic and loyal servant was a slow-witted and clumsy man. In addition to being a professional butler, Alfred was a staunch armchair detective, but particularly bad at adapting the skills he was trying to hone. Most comics had Alfred playing foil to Batman as the slow-witted everyman to Bruce Wayne's more professional detective skills.

Alfred was further made comic-relief by often having him trying to solve mystery novels or riddles while Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson were fighting crime just in the background, with Alfred so engrossed though that he didn't notice what was going on right behind him. As at the time Alfred is played up as having no idea Wayne was Batman, this incarnation is largely hand-waved as no longer canon to the DC universe, mostly.

This version of Alfred showed up in more modern times when the Zero Hour crisis caused dimensional barriers to weaken. Since Beagle had (mostly by stumbling into it) learned the secret of the Dynamic Duo's identities, Batman and Tim Drake were forced to deal with him while also keeping him safe from modern threats more deadly than the worst of the Golden Age. In the end, the comical Beagle sacrificed himself to save his charges, and while fading away, vowed to never leave him the way the other Alfred had (at least at the time).

Silver Age

When writer, Denny O'Neil took up the job of writing Batman for DC he decided to rework many aspects of the characters, Golden Age writer Julius Schwartz, had originally put in and Alfred was among the more re-worked.

Alfred's last name became Pennyworth and his character design was changed, credited then as having come back from a miracle health spa that made him look and feel like a new man. Further evolution of the character would make Alfred British, intelligent, socially refined and a former MI6 Secret Agent.

Though Alfred Beagle was his birth name, Alfred had changed it shortly after joining the British secret service to Alfred Pennyworth. He served for many years at his post but eventually felt his services could be spared and retired, joining a theater troop as a make-up artist and a fill-in acting position, as both put his former skills in subterfuge to use and allowed him to validate what he picked up the skills for, without compromising his former career.

Waynes' Butler

Alfred's father was a professional butler and had always wanted Alfred to follow in his foot-steps. When Alfred's father's days were numbered Alfred decided to make him proud and swore to him to become the best butler he could. Alfred quit his job and applied for work in the US for the prestigious Wayne family. Thomas Wayne considered Alfred to be the perfect candidate and hired him on the spot.

Less than a minute after being hired young Bruce Wayne did his best to get Alfred comfortable in his new position by trying to carry his bags for him and show him to his room and in so doing, immediately endeared himself to Alfred. Since then Alfred has applied himself entirely to the station of butler and never looked back. Alfred was the first one to teach Bruce Wayne he could out-smart people in a fight and taught him how to think on his feet when he was being picked on at school.

Tragedy struck one night as the Waynes returned from a matinee'. As the Waynes cut through an alley a mugger turned a gun on them. Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed, young Bruce was left alive but severely traumatized. Once Alfred heard of the event he rushed down to attend to Bruce and helped him work through the ordeal as best he could. Alfred pledged himself to Bruce Wayne's continued service til the end of his days and spent years trying to ease the pain of the situation. Alfred was aided in his endeavor to help Bruce Wayne through the situation by the Wayne's private physician, Dr. Leslie Tompkins.

When Bruce Wayne graduated college he decided to travel the world abroad a bit before taking the reigns of his father's company, during this time Alfred attended to matters at home and causally dated Dr. Tompkins in-between his regular duties. Alfred and Leslie ultimately decided to call off the relationship as while the two enjoyed each-other, each viewed it as nothing they would ever get into to seriously. By the time Bruce Wayne returned from his time abroad Alfred could tell he was different.

Wayne had been training with martial artists, magicians and even ninjas to better himself. Wayne had been motivating his training by thinking of his parents, the crime rate in his home city of Gotham and a story Alfred had read him one night called "Waiting in the wings", all had contributed to a rather obsessive mindset that demanded Bruce put his newly honed skills to use.

Bruce would take up the title "Batman" shortly after returning to Gotham and stalked the streets dressed as a black, clad specter in the image of a bat. Alfred helped Bruce in his endeavors, not wishing to impede his work but determined to at the very least make sure he could do so with as little risk as possible. Alfred has since continued his duties to Bruce Wayne, both as a butler and assistant to his alter-ego as Batman.

Gallery

Images

Trivia

  • Nominated for the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Supporting Male Character in 1994.
  • Nominated for the R.A.C. "Squiddy" Award for Favorite Supporting Character in 1994 and Best Character in 2001.
  • Alfred is the only member of the Batman Family that is allowed by Batman to own a firearm.

Navigation

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Bat Family
Batman | Robin | Red Robin (Tim Drake) | Damian Wayne | Nightwing | Batgirl/Oracle | Batwoman | Batwing | Catwoman | Alfred Pennyworth | Red Hood | Azrael | Orphan | The Spoiler | Huntress (Helena Wayne / Helena Bertenelli) | Bluebird | The Signal | Ace the Bat-Hound | Bat-Cow

Supporting Characters
Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe | Gray Ghost | Harley Quinn | James Gordon | Jonah Hex | Julia Pennyworth | Lucius Fox | Lady Shiva | Night Runner | Olive Silverlock | Poison Ivy | Vicki Vale

Groups
Mystery Analysts of Gotham | Wayne Enterprises | Birds of Prey | Teen Titans | Justice League

Theatrical Movies
Batman (1989): Batman | Vicki Vale | Alfred Pennyworth | Harvey Dent
Batman Returns: Batman | Alfred Pennyworth | Catwoman
Batman Forever: Batman | Robin | Dr. Chase Meridian | Alfred Pennyworth
Batman & Robin: Batman | Robin | Batgirl | Alfred Pennyworth
Batman Begins: Batman | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Lucius Fox | Rachel Dawes | Thomas Wayne
The Dark Knight: Batman | James Gordon | Harvey Dent | Alfred Pennyworth | Lucius Fox | Rachel Dawes
The Dark Knight Rises: Batman | James Gordon | John Blake | Catwoman | Lucius Fox | Alfred Pennyworth | Harvey Dent | Rachel Dawes | Thomas Wayne
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Batman | Superman | Wonder Woman | Alfred Pennyworth | Lois Lane | Calvin Swanwick | The Flash | Aquaman | Cyborg
Suicide Squad: Deadshot | Harley Quinn | Rick Flag | Katana | El Diablo | Batman
Joker (2019): Thomas Wayne

Direct-to-video Movies
Son of Batman: Batman | Robin | Nightwing | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Thomas Wayne
Batman vs. Robin: Robin | Batman | Nightwing | Alfred Pennyworth | Thomas Wayne | Martha Wayne
Batman: Bad Blood: Batwoman | Batman | Nightwing | Robin | Batgirl | Alfred Pennyworth | Lucius Fox | Batwing
Batman: Hush: Batman | Alfred Pennyworth | Catwoman | Nightwing | Superman | Lois Lane | Batgirl | Robin

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Main
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Secondary
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Theatrical Movies
Justice League: Justice League (Superman | Batman | Wonder Woman | The Flash | Cyborg | Aquaman) | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Mera | Lois Lane | Hippolyta | Zeus | Artemis | Green Lantern Corps
Zack Snyder's Justice League: Justice League (Superman | Batman | Wonder Woman | The Flash | Cyborg | Aquaman) | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Mera | Lois Lane | Hippolyta | Nuidis Vulko | Martian Manhunter | Zeus | Artemis | Green Lantern Corps

Direct-to-video Movies
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox: The Flash | Batman | Thomas Wayne | Cyborg | Kal-El | Cole Cash | Godiva | Steve Trevor | Lois Lane | Etrigan | S.H.A.Z.A.M. | Samuel Lane
Justice League: War: Justice League (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Shazam, & Cyborg) | Steve Trevor | Freddy Freeman |Sarah Charles | Thomas Morrow | Silas Stone
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: Aquaman: | Atlanna | Mera | Justice League (Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Shazam, Superman, & Wonder Woman) | Steve Trevor | Lois Lane
Justice League vs. Teen Titans: Teen Titans (Raven, Robin, Starfire, Blue Beetle, Beast Boy, & Nightwing) | Justice League (Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Superman, & Wonder Woman)

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