Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Otto Schmidt
Published by DC Comics
This was a surprisingly wonderful issue. It did what annuals used to do: It made a for a special story with a new perspective that we normally don’t see. Tom Taylor has written something cool here.
He has given us a story about Alfred here and his viewpoint during Batman’s war on crime. It made for one hell of a compelling storyline and it did indeed feel special.
We start off the issue (after a great and mentionable cover by Bryan Hitch) with a young Alfred asleep in bed.
He is awoken by the police and he runs down the stairs.
It is there that we see them tell him that the Wayne’s have been shot. Young Bruce comes home and he tucks him in. The viewpoint is a strong one and Taylor writes an emotional tale.
We then cut over to years later where we get a call from Bruce to Alfred. He’s been out on patrol as Batman and he needs Alfred’s assistance. It’s great because we never get to see things from this perspective.
We get to see Batman interact with Alfred but this time, Batman is the supporting player. Alfred takes center stage and shows that he is just as interesting as Batman himself.
We get to see the preparation Alfred does. We get to see the worry and the heartbreak. Through it all, Taylor makes us see Alfred in a new light. He also writes one hell of an adventure here, which could very well be a classic.
None of this would work without the incredible art of Otto Schmidt, one of the most underrated comic artists currently working. His art is gorgeous and tells the story fluidly and wonderfully. You can’t ask for better than this.
I’m all for annuals if they give us value with a good story and art. This book gives us just that. It may end up being a classic if enough people read it.