Batman Writer Tom King Didn't Want to Kill Off Alfred

City of Bane’s biggest moment had to be the villain killing Alfred in cold blood. It was so shocking that it seems likely that Tom King might be answering questions about it for the rest of his career. He talked about it on Word Balloon with John Siuntres and gave his reasoning for the decision. It turns out the Batman scribe was not a fan of the decision to take Alfred off the board. King has a deep love of The Caped Crusader and it seems like that respect for the past was a bit of a stumbling block. But, unfortunately, the butler had to go and Batman’s world changed a lot as a result of that creative decision.

"I got the opposite of push back. I got push forward,” he revealed. “I sort of had this cliffhanger where Alfred, at the end, was gonna, could perish. And I put it in the script, like, of course, we'll figure this out later and he's not dead. And DC's like, 'No, why isn't he? Why's he not dead?' And I'm like, 'Well, because he's Alfred and he has to live forever because he's a fantastic character.' And they're like, 'No no no no, he's dead.'"

The Batman writer had to answer for himself after the shocking issue, and he really had to be convinced that this was the right decision.


“It’s not like I wanted Alfred to die! I love that character,” King said. “To me it’s a moment to show, at the end of a long story, Bruce’s maturity. Bruce is obviously defined by the death of his parents and his reaction to that death and how that drove him to become Batman and to do this utterly insane thing, which is dress up in leather and kick and punch people in the face every day. But it’s an utterly insane thing that saved the world. Then, here he has the death of his true parent, Alfred, and his reaction to that is not the same. That’s what interested me about it. To me, it showed how well Alfred had raised him.”

“When he was this little boy, he was cut off and just stuck being a little boy,” he added. “Then Alfred was the one who brought him from being just this child to being this man who, when a death like Alfred’s comes along, he can handle it, and I’m sad to say, like most of us handle death. I’m old enough now that I’ve lost people close to me. It’s the worst thing that can happen to you and you never get over it, and you grieve it forever. But it also becomes part of you and your grieving is a sort of happiness because it still connects you to that person. There’s a maturity to it.”