The upcoming Gotham Knights game by WB Games Montréal should treat Alfred Pennyworth as the emotional core of the Bat Family, the way he is in his best interpretations. In many Batman stories, the Bat Family’s loyal butler is made into a background character. However, some of the Dark Knight's best tales have made Alfred an emotional core of the story being told. Alfred isn’t a superhero, but he provides a more important role than any other Bat Family member - Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and Red Hood included - besides Batman himself.
Alfred Pennyworth was originally conceived as a comedic foil for Batman and Robin in 1943, being something of a joker character. However, the Dynamic Duo’s butler was later popularized in the 1943 Batman serial television show. It was in this show that he developed his most enduring aspects. This led to a key change in Alfred's depiction in the comics, where he eventually grew into a surrogate father-figure for Bruce Wayne following the death of his parents. Various comics have added to Alfred's backstory in the years since, revealing an adventurous past with the British intelligence services before he became the Wayne family's loyal butler.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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With Gotham Knights set to explore what Gotham is like following Batman's death, it makes the most sense for Alfred to feature in the story more heavily. Alfred Pennyworth acts as an emotional foil for Batman and the sidekicks that the Caped Crusader has gathered around him. The superhero members of the Bat Family may not have superpowers, but they might as well with their skills and technology. It humanizes the Bat Family whenever Alfred stitches up their wounds or brings them tea, showing that they can’t do everything on their own. Further still, Alfred’s iconic sense of humor serves to offset the darker aspects of the Batman stories and characters. Often, Alfred also serves as a remote pilot for bat vehicles or as a dispatcher for the Bat Family. While Alfred’s job is more behind the scenes, he acts as the spine and emotional core of the group, and has always been there for them when the going gets tough.
Gotham Knights Story - Why Alfred Could Be Its Secret Weapon
Alfred would also be perfect to act as the Bat Family's leader in Gotham Knights because of his parental relationship with each character, having helped to raise both Dick Grayson and Tim Drake. Though Robin was initially created to act as a Dr. Watson figure to Batman’s Sherlock, Alfred fits that role much better. This is because, unlike Robin, Alfred is capable of criticizing Batman and the rest of the Bat Family from a mature perspective. Alfred has the benefit of raising each member of the Bat Family, so his word carries more weight when he gives them advice or when he criticizes them. In recent comic book storylines, such as 2017’s Batman: Dark Knights Metal, it’s even been suggested that without Alfred Batman would have lost his way as a crimefighter.
Without Batman to guide them against the Court of Owls in Gotham Knights, the Bat Family should have to rely even more on Alfred for guidance and support. Even if Alfred doesn’t pilot the Batwing or help with weapons like he’s done in the films, Alfred should still have a significant role. Gotham Knights needs to show how its main cast would be lost without Alfred Pennyworth to stitch up their wounds and serve them tea and advice.