Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Say It Aint So Batman, Say It Aint So!


Unless you've been in solitary confinement in Arkham Asylum, you know what happened at the end of Batman #77 last week. Even if you haven't read the latest chapter of City of Bane, it’s been all but impossible to surf the internet without bumping head long into a spoiler for the last page. Nevertheless, I’m going to leave ample spoiler space below this paragraph just in case you've wandered in here by mistake and you’re still planning to read the issue. Although, I have no idea WTF you’re waiting for?
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OK, those who haven't read the issue yet should be gone. OMG, BANE KILLED ALFRED!!!!!!!!!!! I freaked when I’d initially read #77’s final panel. I doubled back, looking for the page I’d missed, when Alfred was replaced by a clone. Of course, it wasn’t there. Robin (Damian Wayne) had called Bane’s bluff by continuing to fight crime in Gotham City, and Bane broke the neck of his hostage, Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth.


Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
I was as upset as if a real person had just been killed. I told myself they couldn't do this. It would be like killing off Perry White or Jimmy Olsen, I told myself. I mean, he’d always been there, or so I thought. As it turns out, this isn’t the first time Alfred has died.

Back in Detective Comics #328 (June, 1964) Pennyworth threw himself in front of an on coming boulder to save the lives of the dynamic duo. Being seven years before the debut of Ra’s Al Ghul, there was no such thing as a Lazarus Pit yet. Thus, he remained dead for two years before a mad scientist would resurrect him as a scaly white super villain called The Outsider (Batman’s team of the same name wouldn't appear until 1983).

Being comics, I don't expect this death to last long. Either Damian will take Alfred’s body to Nanda Parbat for resurrection in the Lazarus Pit, or, given the role the multiverse is currently playing in DC’s current titles, we may see an orphaned version of Alfred being adopted by our universe's Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Think about it, even without the precedent from the 60s, it’s a good bet they won’t leave Pennyworth dead for long, just as he’s starring in his own hit series on EPIX.

Note of Interest: Detective Comics #328 not only saw the original death of Alfred, but also introduced the character Aunt Harriet, whom I’d thought was created solely for the 1966 TV series.

Editor’s Note: So far, I’m not really impressed with the City of Bane storyline. It seems like a rehash of No Man’s Land to me.

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