Alfred Proved His Love For Batman By Becoming the Joker

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Alfred Proved His Love For Batman By Becoming the Joker

Butler once proved how much he cared for by giving him an archenemy, and creating the persona. Although it seems like the ultimate betrayal against the Dark Knight, Alfred might have been doing Bruce Wayne a favor.

There have been many stories diverging from the mainstream canon of the DC Universe, as depicted in Elseworlds. However, a lesser known alternate story contained a twist that forces readers to reconsider what they know about Batman. During a funeral for the fallen Caped Crusader, his friends remember the heroic life he led. Similarly, his rogues gallery reminisces about their encounters with Batman. The multipart storyline “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” began with Batman #686, written by Neil Gaiman with art by Andy Kubert, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair.

It was revealed that Alfred created the identity of the Joker to antagonize Batman, presenting himself as the Dark Knight’s greatest villain. The bizarre twist might appear as a betrayal, but Alfred’s motivation was sincere. After realizing that Batman’s other villains like Riddler and the Penguin couldn’t stand a chance against him, Alfred saw the need for a new criminal mastermind to rise up and challenge Bruce. Putting on clown makeup and the signature purple suit, he became the Joker. With his maniacal smile, Alfred transformed from the unassuming butler, ironically falling into a murder mystery cliche.

Eventually, Batman learned what had been going on, likely suspicious as he finally faced a villain who stood a chance against him. The story re-contextualized Batman’s comic book history up until this point, as the revelation invalidated the Joker’s menace. The villain known for his chaotic motivations had been replaced with Bruce’s most trusted friend and caretaker acting out of compassion. Whereas the Joker’s plans to wreak havoc on Gotham City were never personal, Alfred’s plan was predicated on helping Batman become a greater hero— at least, in his own eyes.

The meta twist plays on the iconic dynamic between the Joker and Batman, as they have frequently cancelled each other out as a force of chaos and a force of order. Some writers have treated their status as enemies as a dysfunctional relationship, as they’re obsessed with one another. While the has fun terrorizing Gotham as a way to encounter Batman, the Dark Knight has been hinted to enjoy the fight just as much. With the reveal that it was Alfred the whole time, their dynamic actually makes a lot of sense.

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