HEAT VISION

Alfred Pennyworth's Absence Haunts Batman in New DC Comic Book

'Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P.' will follow up on the August death of the fan-favorite supporting character.
Lee Weeks/DC
'Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P.' will follow up on the August death of the fan-favorite supporting character.

In the 77th issue of DC’s current Batman comic book series, released in August, fans were shocked to witness the apparent death of Bruce Wayne’s longstanding butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Many suspected it would soon be undone or revealed to be untrue, but the announcement of a new special issue scheduled for February 2020 would seem to suggest otherwise.

The 48-page Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. will be co-written by James Tynion IV and Peter Tomasi — writers of the Batman and Detective Comics series, respectively — with art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and others, and is described by DC as an issue that “celebrates the life of one of the most important people in the history of Gotham City, while also addressing questions about what’s next.”

To that end, the company is teasing that Pennyworth’s murder could result in some bad times ahead for the Dark Knight. Promotional text for the issue reads, “If Alfred was the glue that held the Bat-Family together, how will Batman deal with that all falling apart? And if the Caped Crusader is to be truly alone, he might either hang that cape up once and for all…or double down and carry on with this vengeful quest for­ever.”

While the death of Alfred certainly seems dramatic, especially with the character’s continued appearances outside of comics in the Epic TV series Pennyworth and Matt Reeves’ upcoming big-screen The Batman, where he’ll likely be played by Andy Serkis, it’s worth remembering that his demise in Batman No. 77 earlier this year was actually the second time he’s died in comics. Last time, he rose from the dead within a handful of years. This time…. Well, we may know within a few months.

Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. will be released Feb. 12, 2020.

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