Warning! Contains spoilers for Batman: Urban Legends #16.
Alfred Pennyworth is more than just Bruce Wayne’s butler, demonstrating his worth as a hero and an important member of the bat family time and time again. The most recent installment of Batman: Urban Legends gives Alfred another opportunity to do just that, proving his bravery once again when he answers the call to action as the Dark Knight himself.
Batman: Urban Legends is a monthly anthology series containing various stories about members of the bat family and other characters close to Batman. In the story “Some Things Left” from “Urban Legends #16”, which takes place in the past, Alfred Pennyworth steps into action to investigate his own case. Gotham Gardens nursing home has seen a spike in deaths due to “natural causes” that began around the same time that Batman villain Ventriloquist (also known as Arnold Wesker) settled in. Alfred, whose good friend died two weeks ago when he was living in Gotham Gardens, offers to work undercover as a new resident to find the true cause of the recent deaths. After meeting a ventriloquist and his fictitious Scarface partner, Alfred discovers that the true culprits behind the Gotham Gardens murders may be higher than he originally thought.
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“Some Things Remain”, written by Josh Trujillo with an illustration by Rosie Kempe, presents the inverted relationship between Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne, as Batman provides support while Alfred enters the battlefield. Going back to the past, the dynamic duo of Batman and Butler can reunite for a solo adventure before Pennyworth’s death in Batman #77 during the City of Bane storyline. This mission gives Alfred some well-deserved time in the spotlight as he develops his skills less present in the traditional Batman story.
Exploring Gotham Gardens, Alfred draws on his diverse history that predates his service as the butler of the Wayne family. The undercover mission gives Pennyworth a brief opportunity to demonstrate his acting abilities, revealing the true intentions of his enrollment in the institution. “Some Things Remain” also hints at Alfred’s past with a British intelligence agent, as he secretly roams the building, picking locks, evading guards and eventually throwing a batarang with impressive accuracy. Pennyworth’s final disclosure of the true conspiracy—killing residents before adding them to the “donor wall” of Gotham Gardens-requires quick thinking and gathering information that the greatest detective in the world could be proud of.
“Some Things Remain” is a touching story for fans of Alfred Pennyworth. Given the character’s current status in the DC universe, the way Alfred takes on a mission to prove to himself that he’s “not dead yet” gives the single episode a bittersweet tone-as does the fact that Bruce skips a patrol to take care of him at the end of the story. . Alfred’s infiltration makes good use of the character’s history as an actor and a member of British intelligence, proving once again that he is a worthy — and dangerous — member of the bat family.