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Old October 9 2011, 03:30 PM   #111
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Re: "Beware the Batman" in 2013! New Animated Series

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
They're not, and there's nothing horrible about trying something different. Part of the problem with a gun-toting Alfred is that it's not different. It's just another example of taking a perfectly valid character and turning him into a hard-ass, kick-ass, "edgy" caricature.
But we don't know that yet. The only information we actually have is a single sentence and a single concept image. Everything else you're saying is your own assumption, your own guesswork based on virtually no hard data. We have no idea how the character will actually be written or portrayed. There are many characters in fiction who could be described as "gun-toting" -- it literally just means "carrying a firearm" -- but there's a vast range of different personalities that they encompass, from hardcore violent types to cool professionals to soulful sorts who use their weapons only reluctantly. Are we talking the Punisher? James Bond? Jo from Eureka? The Lone Ranger? Sgt. Parker from Flashpoint? Barney Fife? There's no valid way you can deduce how the character will be approached based on that single adjective. It's nowhere near specific enough.

Since we're talking about Alfred here, it's likely they'll be going more for the "cool professional" type of character -- and as I've said, since this is a kids' cartoon, he'll obviously be the technical-pacifist type of gun-toter like the Lone Ranger, the type who never kills but just shoots guns out of people's hands or blows out their tires.

Alfred, Ma and Pa Kent, Aunt May and Willie Lumpkin don't really need to be Charles Bronson. It's nice when they get their moment in the sun-- like Alfred defeating the Joker on TV-- but that only works because it's anomalous, because it's a novelty.
Alfred is no Willie Lumpkin. He's often been portrayed in the comics (and in the Nolan films) as an ex-soldier, a capable fighter and strategist in his own right, and a partner to Batman rather than merely a servant or hanger-on. So I don't agree at all that it's anomalous. It's merely a shift in emphasis. Alfred has long been portrayed as a vital part of Batman's operation, even more so than the various Robins and Batgirls. The sidekicks have come and gone, or not been there at all in various interpretations, but Batman would be lost without Alfred. This is simply expressing that principle a little differently.

A good story (or series premise) should have a variety of characters and those characters should be true to themselves.
There's no reason this version of Alfred can't be very distinct from Batman and Katana. As I've already explained, there is absolutely nothing about the single adjective "gun-toting" that limits the range of characterization to the extent that you're assuming. He can easily be the same Alfred we've always known, just a bit younger and more physically active. Given Alfred's military background, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that if he were younger, he could well choose to be an active participant in Batman's crimefighting. After all, he wants nothing more than to keep Master Bruce safe, and if he could do so personally and directly, why wouldn't he? And since his training is as a soldier rather than a ninja or superhero, his method of crimefighting would logically involve firearms.

So all you have to do is change one thing about Alfred Pennyworth -- his age -- and this becomes a completely believable extrapolation from his established character.

If he's going to be involved in the cases, the previously mentioned Holmesian approach would be more true to the character.
It's a kids' show. Naturally the emphasis is going to be on action. He could well be a brilliant, Holmesian detective, but the deductions will take up a small part of the story time and then there will be a lot of fighting.

And besides, Holmes himself routinely carried a pistol and was skilled at fighting with his bare fists and a variety of weapons. Being a detective and being a fighter are not mutually incompatible -- and it's astonishing that I even need to mention that in a thread about Batman.
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