In the epic battle for best comic book TV show, there’s one fight you might not have expected. Who’s the best TV butler? On one hand, there’s Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) on “Gotham,” the closest thing to family Bruce Wayne has left. Then there’s “Agents Carter’s” Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), who finds himself in the middle of a spy drama.
While it’s impossible to not want to compare the two, they serve entirely different purposes. With Jarvis — as Howard Stark’s butler — often tagging along with Peggy Carter, he finds himself in the middle of the action more often than not. It may not be a place he’s all that comfortable in, but Peggy can count on Jarvis in a time of need.
The same can’t really be said for Alfred, who’s more of a homebody. Whereas Peggy is constantly on the move with Jarvis right behind her, Alfred’s primary duty is to take care of Bruce, which leaves him stationed at Wayne Manor most of the time. At 12 years old, the young Wayne isn’t exactly at the Batman phase in his life just yet. That leaves Alfred to essentially be Bruce’s parent.
That doesn’t mean he’s gone soft — far from it. “Gotham’s” portrayal of Alfred is one of the toughest yet. He’s a former member of the Royal Marines, knows how to fight and has no problem putting anyone in their place. He’s also giving Bruce the confidence to become the man — and vigilante — he’s destined to be.
If would be interesting to see how they acclimate to switching shows. Being more rough around the edges, Alfred may fit well into the “Agent Carter” universe. A Royal Marine at Peggy’s side could be a bit safer than Jarvis, who sometimes looks like he’s in over his head. Then again, in the comics Jarvis fought in World War II and was a champion boxer. He’s quite a bit tougher than you may realize. He’s just adjusting to this new life he’s been dropped into.
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