There are many advantages to having a butler. You always have a hot meal waiting, your house is in pristine condition, and you have someone to defend you from aliens and zombies. Okay, that last example might not always be the case, but Alfred Pennyworth isn’t your typical butler. Batman may be Gotham’s savior, but guess who saves the Dark Knight when things get crazy? Let’s take a look at 5 of Alfred’s butler bailouts!
Where to Read It: 1943’s Batman #16
Butler Bailout: Alfred has been saving the Dark Knight's ass ever since his first appearance. Early Alfred was clumsy, and wasn’t always too observant, but he still pulled off last-minute saves. Using dumb luck and amateur detective skills, Alfred was able to find Batman and Robin after they had been tied up by gangsters. The butler freed the Dynamic Duo, allowing them to round up the gang. And when Batman was held up at gunpoint, Alfred used a nearby rope to drop a stage curtain on the crooks, letting the Caped Crusader live another day.
If Alfred Hadn’t Shown Up: Batman would’ve been shot to death by the crooks, and Robin would’ve immediately gotten tied up (because it was the Golden Age and that’s ALL HE DID back then). The saga of Batman would’ve ended after only 4 years, and we never would’ve had all the awesome stories, television shows, and movies that have become an important part of our lives. Thanks for showing up, Alfred!
NO MORE DEAD ROBINS
Where to Read It: Batman #442
Butler Bailout: During his first outing as Robin, Tim Drake bit off more than he could chew by going up against Two-Face. He should’ve started with someone easier like Kite Man, because Two-Face made quick work of the newest Boy Wonder. But before he could go all "Death in the Family" on poor Timmy, Alfred sprang to the rescue, wrestling Two-Face long enough for Robin to regain his composure.
If Alfred Hadn’t Shown Up: Two-Face would’ve killed Tim Drake, making him the William Henry Harrison of Robins. Jason Todd had been killed the previous year, which would’ve meant two dead Robins in the span of 12 months, which would be pretty embarrassing. Plus, we never would’ve gotten to know Tim Drake, and that’s not a world we want to live in.
STUCK A FEATHER IN HIS CAP AND CALLED IT MACARONI
Butler Bailout: Alfred warned Batman he wasn’t ready to go out and fight crime after injuring his back. According to Batman, it’s always time to fight crime. So went out anyway, using an armored Batsuit from Lucius Fox. As always, Alfred was right and Batman quickly found himself at the mercy of Two-Face’s thugs. Luckily for the Dark Knight, he was rescued by a Victorian-themed superhero known as Macaroni. Macaroni had a giant wig, a big cane, a powdered face, and a distinguished outfit. Are any of you surprised that he turned out to be Alfred?
If Alfred Hadn’t Shown Up: Batman would’ve been killed by Two-Face’s goons, which would’ve prevented him from sending the Batplane to save Harley in “Dye Hard.” Thus, Doctor Psycho and his Parademons would’ve conquered the Earth, ushering in a new era of toxic masculinity.
ALFRED V SUPERMAN: BUTLER OF JUSTICE
Where to Read It: Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
Butler Bailout: In another reality where Superman started going down a fascist path, Batman pushed back against the Man of Steel’s tyrannical ways. In one of their battles, Superman was beating Batman to a pulp, when Alfred stepped in to defend his employer. Thanks to a nanotech pill, Alfred had the strength to headbutt Superman, stomp on his face, and slam his skull through the floor. The only thing scarier than Alfred is an angry Alfred with super-strength.
If Alfred Hadn’t Shown Up: Superman would’ve pulverized Batman, and the Resistance against the Man of Steel would’ve lost their leader. Plus, we never would’ve gotten to see that awesome butler beatdown.
ALFRED THE ZOMBIE SLAYER
Where to Read It: Batman Eternal #31
Butler Bailout: Zombie infestations can be irksome, even if you’re the mighty Bane -- who once found the villainous Blackfire’s undead forces swarming around him as he navigated his way through Gotham’s sewers. Fortunately, Alfred was there to lend Bane a hand, and the two teamed up and took down Blackfire’s zombies. After taking care of the zombies, Alfred tricked Bane into breathing a knockout gas. People have beaten Bane before, but not many have done it mere moments after fighting off an army of zombies.
If Alfred Hadn’t Shown Up: Gotham would’ve had to deal with the undead and Bane, which would’ve been unpleasant for everyone. Alfred’s continued presence is probably the reason the DCU hasn’t experienced a zombie apocalypse yet (barring the alternate reality of DCeased). If Alfred had been a character on The Walking Dead, the show would’ve wrapped up by the end of its first episode.
HONORABLE MENTION: ALFRED VS PREDATOR
One of Alfred’s most legendary butler bailouts occurred in the 1991 Batman Versus Predator crossover limited series, in which Alfred saved the Caped Crusader from one of the deadly alien sportsmen. The fight was over in two hits -- Alfred hitting the Predator with his shotgun, and the Predator hitting the floor. Alfred versus Predator = one very dead Predator.