Review – Batman: Pennyworth RIP #1: Farewell to a Father

Comic Books DC This Week
Batman: Pennyworth RIP #1
Batman: Pennyworth RIP cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Pennyworth RIP – James Tynion IV, Peter J. Tomasi, Writers; Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira, Chris Burnham, Marcio Takara, Diogenes Neves, David Lafuente, Sumit Kumar, Artists; Adriano Lucas, Rex Lokus, Nathan Fairbairn, Colorists

Ratings: Ray – 7/10

Ray: It’s interesting that the two writers handling Batman: Pennyworth RIP , a tribute to the life and influence of Alfred Pennyworth, Pete Tomasi and James Tynion IV, don’t include the man who actually killed him off, Tom King.

An oversized art-jam style issue, Batman: Pennyworth RIP focuses on all the core members of the Bat-family being gathered together according to Alfred’s will to attend the opening of a hospital bearing Alfred’s name and to toast the man’s life with Bruce. But it quickly spirals out of control, as Bruce’s usual standoffish style and the Bat-family’s lingering resentment at the death of his father figure leads to fights and storming out. The main problem with this segment is the makeup of the crowd.

It’s Bruce, Damian, Tim, Barbara, Jason, and “Ric” Grayson (still mostly amnesiac). Kate, Selina, Duke, and Cass get relegated to patrolling Gotham in their absence, despite some being closer to Alfred than Babs. One true Batgirl and all that, I guess. Kate is family!

Paying tribute. Via DC Comics.

The best part of this issue are the flashback segments, each drawn by guest artists and focusing on how Alfred touched their lives. Chris Burnham lends his skills to a story set early in Damian’s training, as Alfred mediates a conflict between father and son. Also really strong is the story Bruce tells to “Ric”, about the burden Alfred always carried over the Wayne’s shooting and why. Tim’s story involved Alfred seeing the boy’s obsessions with his own failures and getting him the tools he needed to find closure, and I enjoyed the Jason story about how Alfred stayed connected with him even during his rebel criminal years.

Barbara’s was probably the weakest, about how Alfred helped her commemorate the anniversary of her leaving spinal rehab, but this is partially because their connection has never felt that strong. These great vignettes are undercut by a bitter main story that makes Bruce feel emotionally useless and the Bat-family feeling rather cruel to each other. It just emphasizes how broken the Bats are without Alfred – which may have been the point.

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2 thoughts on “Review – Batman: Pennyworth RIP #1: Farewell to a Father

  1. Personally I felt this very weak issus not carrying anything like Dc has been doing since Batman’s wedding, it will be because maybe Bruce should marry Dick better, the way they kiss the balls both is incredible. One is totally lazy in Tim’s interaction with Alfred, then it shows that the one who made the issus hates Jason despite the beating he received from Batman, which I never investigate and apart is a jerk, because whoever survives with a shot in the eye and even more conserves it, please, after the multiple threats and point it out as a suspect of anything that happens to the Batfamily they try to make him look like a jerk, apart from the artist he paints him skinny when we know that Jason He is almost as tall as Bruce and of equal muscular constitution. Barbara is a screaming neurotic, keeps kissing Dick’s ass and being irrational when it comes to him. Bruce for his part is unbearable inert with his angry face that gives laziness. The only good thing is when Damian takes his share of guilt and when Barbara confronts him for his vacation on the island. I give this issus a 3

    1. Jason was being a Jerk. Blaming Damian when Damian was not at all to blame. Damian was only following orders from Bruce.

      Jason who didn’t even show up when Bruce called for help.
      Jason who heard about Bane taking over Gotham, holding Alfred and no one is to enter didn’t lift a finger to help rather obeying Banes orders and leaving Alfred to rot has no room to talk.

      Bruce should have gone after Damian. Tim, Babs and Bruce should have let Damian know that it wasn’t his fault. He was following orders. Damian is skilled but he’s still a kid. Bruce sending a 13yr old in to face Bane, Gotham Girl. Thomas and all the villain’s in gotham was dumb but Damian did better exactly as his father instructed yet his father’s plan failed because Alfred lied. The family should not let him go on thinking he has any guilt.

      Jason and Bruce especially came off badly. The former is a bully and a blow hard who when the chips were down was no where to be found.

      The latter is a coward who lets his son blame himself for something that he himself is responsible for.

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