Tuesday Showdown: Alfred Pennyworth vs. Edwin Jarvis

Alfred Pennyworth vs. Edwin Jarvis


Batman and Iron Man lay dead. 

The Justice League and Avengers had assembled at Dave & Buster's for their annual mixer. Some time between laser bowling and nachos, their billionaire playboy vigilantes had been murdered. All agreed that it was a major drag. 

"It was the butlers who done it!" said Daredevil in an awkward Cockney inflection that set the corpse of Agatha Christie spinning in her grave in the churchyard of St. Mary's, Cholsey. They all cringed, but said nothing because he was a sullen lawyer and had a terrible life. 

"How do you know this?" asked Red Tornado, whom no one had invited. "Did you use your keen hearing to isolate their heart rates? A human lie detector?" 

"No, said Daredevil, perching on the top of a pinball machine for no apparent reason. "I've just seen movies." 

Alfred Pennyworth and Edwin Jarvis were tending to their fallen employers. They'd found no external injuries on Batman, though they'd yet to pry open Iron Man's suit. They paused in their efforts when the masked heroes began staring at them. 

"It doth tend to be the butlers in these situations," said Thor, who'd just demolished a Wack-a-Mole game with his divine hammer. "Verily." 

"I wouldn't put it past Pennyworth." said Damian Wayne. "He's awful. 

"Jarvis put the moves on my aunt once I think," said Spider-Man. He suddenly clutched his head and crouched on the floor. "But that can't…that doesn't make any…" He finally curled into a fetal position on the garishly patterned carpet, convulsing in a cosmic aneurysm. 

Wonder Woman approached the two manservants. "This is actually a really good opportunity for me to use my truth lasso. When I first got it, I thought there couldn't possibly be that many practical applications for it. Figured it was just a kinky gag gift."

"I'd never harm master Bruce," said Alfred, backing away from the mob. "And we don't even know if Mr Stark is dead. He may simply have…over-indulged." 

"He did smell like witch hazel when he tried to coach me in ski ball an hour ago," said Black Canary. 

"He's beaten those demons!" roared Jarvis. "I promise you, he's legitimately dead!"

"From aspiration, perhaps," Alfred chuckled. 

"It could be interesting if they just fight each other," said Hawkman. 

Everyone seemed to agree. 

"How would they settle it?" asked Cage. "Laser tag? DDR?" 

"I'll box him!" said Jarvis, putting up his dukes. 

"I'll beat him." said Alfred, rolling up his sleeves. 

"I'll continue searching this whole mall and, like, the parking lot for my father," said Tim Wayne, stepping over his adopted father's corpse and sprinting toward the Game Stop exit. 


Alfred Pennyworth vs. Edwin Jarvis

Who wins? 

(Show your work!)


  1. Wait isn’t Alfred a super spy?  Oh but Jarvis was in WW2 and a boxing champion.  You always see Alfred kick more ass.  Didn’t we just see him & injured Damian take out evil clone Batman in Batman and Robin.  In a fight either could be good fighter but Alfred skills are believed to be more honed.  When was the last time Jarvis was in a fight?  Exactly he could be rusty.  Alfred wins with just one Batarang throw.

  2. Could you have found two more contrasting pictures? Haha.

  3. Alfred gets this one easily. You don’t spend your life taking care of a nut job in a mask without picking up a few things along the way. No doubt Alfred has gotten a few tips from Bruce over the years to ad to his already formidable arsenal.

  4. Jarvis wins. 

    Why? Er, well, he…um, because?

    Hey, I put work into this thing last week! I’m not a machine, people!

  5. Even in the movies Alfred rocks. He burned down a forest in Burma to find one bandit. Jarvis was just an annoying computer A.I.

  6. Javis has this hands down.he deals with kang,doom,ultron,hell he stops in house fights between herc and Thor.can clean a bigger mansion.you forget beast lived there once and u know he leave hairballs

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Also, props to Conor for suggesting this match-up. Had a lot of fun with this one. 

  8. I feel like Jarvis’ most recent claim to fame was getting replaced by a Skrull and then just showing up again out of the blue. Didn’t Alfred battle UnBatman last week with a cricket bat?

    Alfred and his cricket bat win this one, hands down.

  9. Jarvis wins because he’s holding that weird looking vacuum cleaner – the most menacing thing they ever show Alfred holding is a duster.

  10. Javis wins. While i can respect Alfred he only had to deal with the bat family, Jarvis on the other hand had to deal with a constant rotating team of Avengers always new idiosyncrasies to deal with, not to mention the foreign dignitaries that came by.

    If you have read any Avengers you know that Cap trained basically anyone that so much as stepped foot onto the Avengers property so he must have trained Jarvis at the same time. On top of that he’s Tony’s Butler, your not the Manservant to one of the smartest guys in the Marvel U and not pick up a few things about building awesome tech.

    Next Jarvis has fended off multiple villains in his time, and when the New Avengers were on the run he formed his own Avengers!! Does Alfred have enough pull to create a new bat family together? I think not.

    Lastly little known fact but back during the first Secret War and all the heroes were gone, Jarvis single handedly defeated every Villain that tried to fill the power vacuum during that time.

  11. Alfred wins hands down. Not only is Alfred an awesome butler, he is also a surgeon, Tailor, mechanic, spy, martial artist, chef, computer specialist, etc.

  12. Jarvis is actually a super advanced robotic armored suit currently. Alfred makes  am ove, Jarvis blast his ass into submission.

    Jarvis FTW.

  13. It’s a stalemate for a long, long time in the boxing ring. Both have sufficient martial training to fight the other (and their masters when they’ve gone on benders) to a standstill, so people soon get bored. This all changes when Alfred pulls out his cricket paddle and beats Jarvis with it until Jarvis, embarrassed, concedes.

    Winner: Alfred 

  14. Alfred…Because he comes back as a Black Lantern….

  15. Cricket does not have a paddle, it has a Bat (Yes, Morrison was trying to be clever).

  16. Alfred all the way…simply because he’s bad ass

  17. Can’t remember where I saw this but I’m pretty sure Alfred defends the batcave with a shotgun. And I don’t think jarvis ever fought anybody. So Alfred wins.

  18. Alfred wins.

    And if we were talking Ultimate Jarvis, Alfred would win twice. And then feel bad about accidentally knocking that douche’s head off with a half-strength test jab.

  19. Alfred. Wasn’t he a secret agent?

  20. I want to give it to Alfred, I really do.  He gets better lines, is more dapper, was a secret agent and has to deal with Damien Wayne.  I’m a DC guy, and a Batman guy.  I just like him better.  If given the chance, I would buy an Alfred mini-series, but Jarvis is barely a tertiary character.  Jarvis was replaced by a Skrull, which weakens him, but Alfred was taken over by the Anti-Life equation, so that’s a draw.

    Sadly, @English is right.  Jarvis is like MacCaulay Culkin in "Home Alone": he seems defenseless, but he’s actually unbeatable.  Does anyone remember the Avengers issue during "Inferno" where he saves a train full of passengers from demons while the rest of the Marvel Universe was getting their asses kicked?  

    If I think of it that way: British Secret Agent vs. Kid From Home Alone, there is no contest.  The kid wins every time.

  21. Alfred would totally win.

    First he would run over Jarvis with the Batmobile and then realize he was a Skrull.

    Then find the real Jarvis and beat the crap out of him for allowing a Skrull to replace him.
    Alfred also brings the house down when he throws a party.

  22. Alfred was former MI6 wasn’t he?


    Jarvis … Well, he seems very adept at balancing plated hors d oeuvres on his shoulder at cocktail parties.

  23. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I haven’t read a lot of stories featuring Jarvis, but apparently he’s a skilled boxer and has held his own in a few scrapes with intruders. Not always, but sometimes. The same can probably be said of Alfred. But yeah, Alfred’s basically Watson. Mild mannered ex-intelligence agent. Then again, sometimes he’s just a former stage actor who ends up learning some hand-to-hand combat during his years of service with Batman. 

  24. All Alfred did against UnBatman was hold him off until a real superhero could show up. And he still could keep him from throwing Damien off a building.

  25. I mean "couldn’t"

  26. And when it comes down to it, I think the real question is: Who would you rather have as a butler/manservant. I would definitely take Jarvis. I think Alfred’s near-constant smarminess and sarcasm would drive me batty!

    pun intended.

  27. Jarvis blows

  28. I’ve seen Alfred put shotgun to good use. My money is always on the man with the shotgun.

  29. Alfred. Any version of him will do but I’m most inspired/intimidated by the Gary Frank sketch for the new Geoff Johns Batman OGN.

  30. Alfred would kick his ass.

  31. Alfred Pennyworth meticulously folded up his jacket and tucked it into an empty niche in the rental shoe wall.    "I suppose Marquesse of Queensbury rules are right out?" he said as he turned to face his foe. 

    Jarvis’ flying drop kick from the ball polisher put paid to any thoughts of that as the two combatants engaged each other in a vicious struggle for Butlerian supremacy.  Eye gouges, roshambos and atomic noogies were all on the menu.  Truly, the depths of barbarism can only be plumbed by those of us we deem most civilized. 

    The riotous melee was stopped short (Alfred jabbing tiny sharpened wooden pencils into Jarvis’ neck, in a manner not unlike Joe Pesci would do) by a braying laugh.  Oliver Queen, hair grown long and clothes unwashed, pointed at the assembled onlookers and laughed.  
    "Fools!  It was ME who did it.  Took down those two paragons of corporate America gone amok!  Power to the people!   Down with Wall Street!"  Green Hippie had spoken. 

    "It was I who did it" said Alfred slowly, under his breath. 

    "People are forever getting that wrong"said Jarvis, slowly pulling himself to his feet.  "Our duty is clear."

    " Let’s kill that mofo!  hollered Alfred. 

    From GWB (Grammar Warrior Butlers) issue 1. 


  32. The two circled each other for a long time, sizing each other up. Alfred, supremely confident, swings first and connects with Jarvis’ gut. He follows up with a right cross to the jaw, knocking the former RAF officer on his ass.

    Jarvis smirks and kicks Alfred’s knee, bringing him down. A second boot tags Alfred in the face, breaking his nose. Alfred snarls, spewing blood. He grabs Jarvis ankle and breaks it with both hands. Jarvis barely allows himself to wince as he reaches for Iron Man’s fallen body. Grabbing one of his employer’s gauntlets, he mutters, "Override code: Edwin Jarvis, Zed-Zed-Alpha-Tango," and raises it toward his opponent and fires.

    Alfred looks down and the giant hole in his chest and collapses.

    Winner: Edwin MOTHERF**KING Jarvis


  33. To me it comes down to Avengers 297, Jarvis vs. the Infernoed Marvel U with not an actual avenger in sight for the whole issue, and Jarvis comes out on top, with a girl.  Once you’ve taken down an absurd late 80s mega-event, which featured demon fire hydrants, what’s a washed up Bat-maid?

  34. I mean Avengers 298.  Once again, I am reminded that though I can shine a mean shoe, I am no Jarvis.  

  35. Alfred wins with one punch a la JLI Guy Gardner dickhead punch.  If it’s Skrull Jarvis, Alfred challenges him to a common knowledge Q & A of Gentleman’s Gentlemen and when he doesn’t know which side the salad fork goes on, Alfred promptly removes his head with a carving knife.

  36. If the challenge was hosting a dinning party.  Jarvis wins by a 33 and half foot pole.  Bruce is so much a shut-in that nobody ever comes to Wayne Manor for dinner.  Jarvis is butler for the entire Avengers!  When did Alfred dust in the Hall of Justice or the Satellite?

  37. alfred > batman > everyone else