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Tuesday, February 11, 2020 

Tom King supposedly didn't want to kill off Alfred Pennyworth

According to Screen Rant, the awful King recently did a podcast interview where he claimed it was actually DC who wanted Batman's butler wiped out:
While death has become somewhat meaningless in comic books, when Alfred Pennyworth died in Tom King's Batman run in the "City of Bane" story arc, it was a gutsy, shocking decision. Killing Batman's butler was somewhat controversial as he's been an integral part of the character's history from the very beginning. It turns out, the decision wasn't King's.

Tom King appeared on the Word Balloon podcast with John Siuntres, where he revealed it was initially intended Alfred's death would be a fake-out. When he told DC Comics of his plan with the character, they told him to keep the character dead.
In that case, why didn't he withdraw the story premise and concoct something else, shoddy as it'd surely be to boot? Besides, this was the same writer who willingly put several Titans to death in Heroes in Crisis, turned Wally West into a lunatic, and never apologized for that, so why must we believe he didn't really agree with the override decision to kill off Alfred? Plus, what's so "gutsy" about the decision, anyway? It's an offensive cliche for over 30 years now. SR presented an excerpt from the interview itself:
King said he got pushback on the decision to keep Alfred alive.

I got the opposite of push back. I got push forward. I sort of had this cliffhanger where Alfred, at the end, was gonna, could perish. And I put it in the script, like, of course we'll figure this out later and he's not dead. And DC's like, 'No, why isn't he? Why's he not dead?' And I'm like, 'Well, because he's Alfred and he has to live forever because he's a fantastic character.' And they're like, 'No no no no, he's dead.
This is nearly hilarious. Because he's such a big part of Batman lore, Alfred has to live "forever"? As distasteful as I find this, I don't think that's a good defense. It has to be because death by murder has become so grossly overused, instead of death by natural causes and vehicular accidents. If Alfred had passed away by those much simpler causes, chances are this would've less controversial and more people could accept it. It's because they remain nailed on these miserable cliches that few can.

And if King's still under contract to work for DC, then he surely gave the statement with their approval. It's unlikely he'll be parting ways with them in such a hurry, as his new Adam Strange book makes clear.

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