Batman vs. Robin #1 brings back a beloved member of the Bat-family

DC is resurrecting a beloved member of the Bat family this fall, as father and son go head-to-head in the upcoming five-issue limited series Batman vs. Robin.

In case you haven’t guessed yet: Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s beloved butler and confidant, will apparently return from the dead in Batman vs. Robin #1, written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Steve Wands. In a new preview from DC, the character knocks on the door of Wayne Manor on a stormy night and is surprised to find Bruce on the other side.

Check out the preview below:

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

Image 1 of 7

(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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(Image credit: DC)

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This is the first time Alfred seems truly alive in the main Batman continuity since he was killed in the 2019 ‘City of Bane’ arc written by Tom King. Although he was brought back as a desiccated corpse in 2021’s Death Metal #7, we’re not counting that for (hopefully) obvious reasons.

Alfred’s resurrection in Batman vs. Robin #1 will surely have a major impact on the events in the series, as well as the main Batman line – assuming he sticks around and isn’t some kind of construct or otherwise nefarious tool meant to exploit Batman’s weaknesses.

Batman vs. Robin spins out of the events of Waid’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and the ‘Shadow War’ Batman-Robin-Deathstroke, Inc. crossover by writer Joshua Williamson. The limited series picks up as the Devil Nezha is freed from his prison on Lazarus Island, this time with supercharged magic that can overtake anyone with demonic evil and increase their powers to “dangerous, unpredictable, and in some cases deadly levels!”

Batman vs. Robin #1

Batman vs. Robin #1 (Image credit: DC)

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To make matters worse, Damian is in the Devil Nezha’s clutches – after seemingly freeing the villain in World’s Finest #5 – and the fraught relationship between him and his father has boiled over into a full-blown battle. Given that the Devil Nezha is the legacy of the al Ghul family, and Damian is Talia al Ghul’s son, we predict at least some of the conflict will stem from those ties.

Plus, DC has been teasing a “new chapter” for Damian for some time. The Robin ongoing series in which he stars ends August 23, and DC also released the trade paperback collection Batman vs. Robin: Road to War, a collection of Batman and Damian-centric stories, including stories from Teen Titans #43-44, Teen Titans Annual #2, Detective Comics #1032-1033, and a “two-part backup feature that sets the stage for a new chapter in the life of Damian Wayne” originally published in Batman #106 and Detective Comics #1034, on August 9.

Robin #17

Robin #17 (Image credit: DC)

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Meanwhile, Tim Drake will star in a new Robin ongoing starting in September, which could indicate that Damian is dropping the title and costume – at least for now.

Although the word “war” hasn’t been used to describe the conflict between Bruce and Damian in Batman vs. Robin, something is obviously afoot… and though we can’t be sure how Alfred’s resurrection factors in, we’re likely to see some huge shifts in the Bat-family as everything comes to a head.

Batman vs. Robin #1 will be available September 1.

Damian and Tim rank highly on Newsarama’s list of Batman’s best Robins of all time.

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