No matter how much of a loner DC tries to portray
Batman as, he's never really alone. Even if he kicks out his sidekicks, blows up his assistants' homes and gets his connections in the police department fired, there's one man who will still be by his side.
Loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth has served Bruce Wayne faithfully as a mentor and father figure!
Alfred was created in advance of Batman's first movie appearance - comedic sidekicks were all the rage at the time. He first appeared as a portly fellow, but when the film debuted in the summer of 1943, a tall, skinny actor was in the role. A few months later, the comic adopted the new look and gave us the streamlined Alfred we still know today.
The figure sees Alfred in his snappy butler uniform: black jacket, white gloves, grey bowtie and grey pants with vertical black stripes. And spats! he's even got spats! This is one smart-looking outfit. Again, Jim Lee didn't really do much to Bruce Wayne's faithful manservant, so this is a great classic character in plastic form.
The Pennyworth family has served the Waynes for years. Alfred gave up a promising career as a stage actor when his father died and the family legacy fell on him. It's a skill he's used many times over the years, often filling in when Bruce Wayne and Batman need to be in the same place at the same time. Of course, in the animated series continuity and pre-Crisis, he was also once one of Britain's top spies, so the guy definitely has the chops.
Alfred is long and lean, and moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees. Joker was wearing a similar coat and he got a really great balljoint waist, so I hoped that this figure would be the one in this series to buck DC Direct's confounding trend of not giving their figures waists, but no such luck.
His face is great. He's got a bit of a smirk on his lips, and his right eyebrow is raised incredulously. you get the feeling he's just delivered some wry comment to a brooding Batman, breaking the dour mood and undercutting his employer. Tim Bruckner did a great job with this sculpt, giving Alfred tiny wrinkles around his eyes and generally making him look as old as he should. His hair is painted on well: thin eyebrows, straight moustache and male pattern baldness. There's particularly a lot of detail on his fading combover.
Like Commissioner Gordon, Alfred has a bad paint wash on his face. At least this time he just looks like he's been standing outside in the cold, not tossing back shots of rye at an alarming rate. DC Direct is usually very good about their paint apps, but two figures in one line have serious problems. Let's hope they figure out what's causing the errors soon.
Sadly, Alfred has no accessories. Would it have killed them to give him a tray of food to carry, or a surgeon's table with all the medical tools laid out? Something, anything to make him a figure that does more than just stand there.
Looking at the lineup for Hush Series 3, you can tell that DC Direct had run out of interesting characters and was just trying to pad the line - one costumed villain, one shirtless guy, two plainclothes civilains and a variant figure? They wanted to make Scarecrow and realized they didn't have anything to go with him, simple as that. But you know, who cares? It means we got a completely awesome Alfred in the 6-to-7" scale, one that will look great with the rest of your Batfigures.
Who'd win in a fight between Alfred and Jarvis, the Avengers' butler? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.