There’s no doubt that Batman is one of the greatest superheroes of all time. But even with all his skills and gadgets, he still has all the vulnerabilities of a human. When he needs patching up, Alfred Pennyworth is there to make sure he doesn’t push himself too far. Alfred is an essential part of the Batman mythos, being a friend and father figure to Bruce Wayne. Alfred is more than a butler and importance can’t be overlooked. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the character, here is some insight into what makes him awesome.
Despite working for the Wayne family for most of his life, Alfred is a former actor and retired British intelligence and ex-SAS operative. His surgical training comes from his time as a medic in the Royal Air Force while his combat training comes from serving with the Royal Marines and British Army’s Special Air Service. This has given him a knowledge of firearms that he’s put to good use when defending Wayne Manor. One of his earliest roles in Bruce’s life was teaching him how to defeat a bully who was picking on him. Rather than use brute force, Alfred taught Bruce how to take the bully down strategically.
As a former intelligence officer, Alfred is highly resourceful. He’s used his acting skills to mimic Bruce’s voice on the phone and taught him how to maintain his cover. Alfred’s medical knowledge is impressive, being able to remove bullets and stitch wounds expertly. His knowledge is so great that he’s able to perform arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t open a joint fully. This has saved Batman’s life many times and allowed him to keep fighting without going to a hospital.
His resourcefulness was shown during the No Man’s Land storyline, Bruce went missing for weeks and Alfred had to rely on his skills as an actor, medic, spy and storyteller to survive in a broken Gotham. He tracked Bruce down and used his hand-to-hand combat skills to rescue him from a pair of slavers.
In addition to his training, Alfred is an accomplished computer programmer and chemical engineer. His favourite hobby is gardening and he has a penchant for growing new types of flowers. He even created his own breed of rose called the Pennyworth Blue.
The truth is Batman would be nothing without his faithful butler. Alfred keeps The Dark Knight grounded and reminds him that he doesn’t have to do everything alone. Alfred is the glue that holds the Bat Family together and if you have someone like that in your life then you should consider yourself proud to know them.