Pity poor Alfred Pennyworth, hapless butler to the Dark Knight. Or should I say ex-butler, as his role as the stalwart, stiff-upper-lipped servant of Bruce Wayne has been needlessly changed to something more in keeping with the BvS universe.
A new companion book about Batman v Superman has made it out into the wilds a bit earlier than expected, and naturally the internet has started picking it apart for any tidbit of information about the movie. WhatCulture have posted a quick breakdown of some of the book’s new information, almost seemingly all about Batman’s role in the film — and one of the most interesting is a factoid about Alfred’s relationship with the Wayne family.
Turns out, Alfred was never their butler in the BvS universe, but was instead Thomas and Martha Wayne’s bodyguard and head of security. Following their death, Bruce let all of the Wayne’s servants go, except for Alfred, who still remains as the Wayne family Chief of Security, presumably over a section of staff that basically doesn’t exist any more. Now that there’s no staff, it’s apparently Alfred that makes the decision to let Wayne Manor fall into disrepair, choosing to live in a “comfortable” trailer on the grounds of the ruined manor while Bruce slums it in a fancy lakeside pad.
Now, it’s not 100 per cent out there — this version of Alfred still has the SAS background his comics version has, and it’s certainly not the first incarnation of Alfred to emphasise the character’s military background as much as his reputation as Batman’s servant (in fact, it sounds like the Alfred of Gotham, but on steroids — a hazardous descriptor that probably shouldn’t be attached to anything, frankly). But it’s weird to just cut the most iconic aspect of the character out altogether. It’s what people know Alfred as, and like I said, other interpretations have managed to push the character into a more active, rough-and-ready role while still maintaining that aspect. So why cut it out of Batman v Superman whole hog?
The fact Alfred is now the Wayne’s head of security and personal body guard rather than just their manservant raises a pretty intriguing question though. What the hell was he doing the night Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered? Shouldn’t he have been, you know, bodyguarding them?
YOU HAD ONE JOB, PENNYWORTH. And it wasn’t even butlering, apparently.