For the most powerful superhero in existence, Superman has gotten his @$$ beat by some pretty weak foes. Take Batman and Muhammed Ali—both are regular humans and have managed to KO The Man of Steel. Perhaps Superman’s most embarrassing loss, however, came at the hands of the elderly butler Alfred Pennyworth.
Superman Breaks Bad In The World Of Injustice
The fight in question occurred in issue #36 of the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic series that serves as a prequel to the video game of the same name. The world of Injustice is a dark dystopia where Superman snaps and becomes a violent dictator after the Joker tricks him into murdering a pregnant Lois Lane. Many of the Kryptonian’s fellow superheroes join him, but a small group of heroes led by Batman oppose the new murder-happy Supes.
Green Arrow Vs. Superman
Normally, when someone short of a god lays the smackdown on the big blue boy scout, it’s because the writers have given them some kind of temporary advantage. Superman’s tussle with Alfred is no different. A group of rebel metahumans led by Green Arrow manage to break into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and steal a pill that gives anyone who takes it near-Kryptonian levels of strength.
Superman Breaks The Bat
Superman shows up at the Batcave just as Batman is synthesizing more of the pills to give his side a fighting chance against the new psycho-Superman. Superman proceeds to beat the everloving snot out of Batman, finishing the Dark Knight off Bane-style by breaking his back. As a remorseful Superman looked down at his barely breathing friend, someone came up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
Alfred Takes On Superman
“Clark Kent,” says a voice from behind Superman. He turns around only to come face to face with Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s elderly British butler. Superman barely has time to say Alfred’s name before the butler headbutts him in the nose. Alfred slams his forehead into Clark’s face so hard that the Man of Steel’s nose explodes, sending blood flying everywhere.
Superman Feels The Wrath Of Alfred
Batman’s faithful manservant then pushes the wounded Superman to the floor and remarks, “I am so disappointed in you.” It turns out that Batman—planning for every possible contingency as usual—had already slipped a power-up pill to Alfred just before Superman’s arrival. The newly Hulked-out Alfred continues his assault by kicking Superman in the face so hard his shoe disintegrates off of his foot.
Pennyworth follows that up with a punch to Superman’s already broken nose. Alfred hits Supes so hard his head cracks the Batcave floor. He continues punching Superman while screaming about how Clark doesn’t get to hurt his family anymore.
Eventually, Superman succumbs to Alfred’s blows and passes out. Alfred walks over to a beaten and broken Bruce and picks him up off the floor. As he carries Batman like a groom carrying a new bride over to a Star Trek-like transporter, Bruce meekly starts to ask him about Superman.
Superman Suffers The Deepest Cut
Alfred cuts him off and says, “We have everything we need, sir,” before savagely remarking, “There’s nothing worth saving here,” as Superman sits up in the foreground.
It’s noteworthy that Superman never fights back while Alfred pummels him. Clark sits there and takes the beating like it’s his penance for his sins against his fellow superheroes. If he wanted to fight back, there’s a good chance that both Alfred and Batman would have left the cave in body bags.
The Alfred And Batman Relationship
Still, it’s fun to see Alfred go all mamma bear on Superman the minute his child is in danger. Injustice is one of the rare DC media projects that leans into the father-son relationship between Bruce and Alfred rather than just treating them like employer and employee. However, we do hope that Alfred got one hell of a raise after going toe-to-toe with a guy who could atomize him with a single sneeze.