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15 Times Alfred Pennyworth Was The Coolest Character In Batman

Updated March 23, 2020 10.5k votes 1.8k voters 175.9k views15 items

You can’t throw a stick on the internet without hitting some sort of celebratory list of Batman’s feats - but where are the breakdowns of Alfred Pennyworth’s best moments? After all, he’s been there every step of the way on Bruce Wayne’s Bat-journey, but even decades of published heroism haven't been enough to raise the good butler up from the ranks of the underrated. 

Those in-the-know recognize Alfred as one of the greatest supporting characters in comic book history, but those who really know their stuff will tout Mr. Pennyworth as a genuine superhero in his own right. He may not share the martial prowess or brooding brutality of the Dark Knight, but without him, the Batman’s career would have likely ended shortly after it began. Batman never would have been able to save the world a hundred times over without Alfred - and when the situation has called for it, Alfred has never shied away from performing a little heroism of his own. 

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    When He Handed Superman A Super-Beatdown

    When He Handed Superman A Super-Beatdown
    Photo: DC Comics

    The alternate universe of the Injustice series is a very different one than the mainstream DC world fans are used to. One difference is that Superman is the head of a fascist superhuman dictatorship with Batman leading the rebellion against him. Another is that experimental pills that grant one strength on par with a Kryptonian are readily available. Those two plot points come to a head in Injustice: Gods Among Us #36.

    Fed up with Bruce Wayne’s attempt to topple his regime, Kal-El shows up in the Batcave and gives Batman the classic Bane maneuver, snapping his back. That’s when Alfred Pennyworth decides to swallow one of those super-pills and let loose a boatload of resentment on Superman - and the results are glorious. Alfred’s punches and headbutts are devastating, but his cutting words of shame and disappointment no doubt hurt the Man of Steel even more. 

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    When He Knocked Out Bane In A Prison Riot

    When He Knocked Out Bane In A Prison Riot
    Photo: DC Comics

    Prior to the events of Batman Eternal #31, Alfred Pennyworth finds himself incarcerated inside Arkham Asylum, and then the whole building collapses in an explosion, forcing the butler to fight his way out through hordes of Gotham’s worst citizens. In order to make it to safety, Alfred forges an uneasy alliance with an unlikely partner - Bane.

    The two fight their way through the crumbling asylum until they reach what appears to be a dead end. That’s when Alfred speaks a codeword, releasing a gas that knocks Bane right out, and then steps inside the actual secret exit. In other words, Alfred uses Bane for as long as he needs to in order to escape, and then he ensures that the behemoth stays behind bars. There’s a lot to be said about outsmarting the supervillain who has made a habit of outsmarting the Batman in the past.

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    When He Disarmed Hush

    When He Disarmed Hush
    Photo: DC Comics

    There are some moments where it becomes painfully obvious that Batman learned most of his best moves from his father figure, and Detective Comics #850 is one of those times. When Tommy Elliot, the villain known as Hush, shows up at Wayne Manor disguised as Bruce Wayne, he thinks it will be easy to get one over on Alfred Pennyworth - but he couldn’t be more wrong.

    Not only does Alfred immediately deduce that he’s dealing with an imposter, he then expertly disarms Hush when the intruder tries to pull a piece on him. Despite his opponent having trained himself to be the Dark Knight’s equal, Alfred dispatches Elliot with relative ease - a firm reminder that he did raise the Batman, after all. 

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    When He Blasted Away At The Batman Who Laughs

    When He Blasted Away At The Batman Who Laughs
    Photo: DC Comics

    Alfred Pennyworth has stood up to both the Batman and the Joker on multiple occasions, but facing off with an evil being from another reality that embodies the both of them is truly something special. That’s precisely what happens in The Batman Who Laughs #7 when Alfred finds himself holding the line against the titular villain - and going down shooting.

    Wielding his trusty shotgun, Pennyworth pumps at least four rounds into The Batman Who Laughs chest, all the while shouting at him. Unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough to stop the supernaturally powered dark reflection of Bruce Wayne - but it’s the sort of vengeful act of aggression that would impress the Punisher. 

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