Batman Annual #3
What would Batman be without his butler? In Batman Annual #3, by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt, the answer is suggested to be “dead on the street”.
I enjoyed this focus on a necessary but often overlooked aspect of Batman’s life, butler Alfred Pennyworth — and I say Batman because there’s nearly no Bruce Wayne here. It would make a good start for anyone interested in the upcoming Pennyworth TV show, although this comic is about Alfred now, and the show is going to be set before Alfred’s association with the young master.
This annual does something I enjoy reading these days; it plays with an everyday aspect of life in a superhero universe. I really feel for how much of a sacrifice Alfred has made as part of his devotion to the family. I particularly like his dry sarcasm, especially when he’s trying to send Batman off with some soup to fight the flu.
The one aspect I thought should have been elaborated on was the long period between Bruce being orphaned and him being a full superhero. You can see in these first five pages that there’s a big time jump there in this issue. I’d suggest that perhaps there could be a followup, or a way to flesh this out into a book-length story, but that piece of the story doesn’t have enough action to be published in this title.