When Alfred was Batman
In the fifth issue of Batman: Rebirth (2016), it’s abundantly clear that Bruce Wayne needs a successor. If that sounds pretty familiar, well, that’s just the world of comics. This is also part of the DC Rebirth relaunch, DC’s second attempt (after the New 52 venture) to start over with its major characters.
In the relaunch of the Batman series, Gotham must now deal with two vigilante superheroes: Gotham and Gotham Girl. The pair of newbie crime fighters are noticeably less stable than Batman, which really says something about their abilities and emotional states. The fact that they’re metahumans with significant superpowers doesn’t help, either.
Eventually, Gotham the superhero loses it and starts wreak havoc in Gotham the city. Seriously, some brave psychiatrist needs to step in as a mental health professional to all of the superpowered people.
Batman is too far off to stop him in time, but that doesn’t mean someone closer can’t step in. Bruce calls Alfred Pennyworth, his loyal butler, and asks one serious favor of him.
So, Alfred puts on the Batsuit, gets behind the wheel of the Batmobile, and goes full speed towards the rampaging Gotham. It’s a major step for the butler, who has seen practically everything in his time caring for the young Bruce Wayne. Alfred’s been there through a lot of weird things, from the genesis of the Batman persona, to the construction of the Batcave, to (probably) all of the Justice League people getting their muddy boots all over the priceless Wayne Manor carpets.
But becoming Batman? Alfred’s ready, sort of. Thankfully, after crashing the speeding Batmobile into Gotham, Alfred survives. He even prepares to face a super angry super-being, though finally Batman appears and takes on the crime-fighting duties. It’s a weird moment, to be sure, but one that turned out to be oddly satisfying.