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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Who is Your Favorite Butler?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!


83 Comments

This isn’t even going to be close. Alfred is up there with Jeeves as the archetypal butler.

Yeah, this is one case where even I have to admit the DC version is waaaaay better than the Marvel one.

All about Jarvis for this one. He may be more flappable than Alfred, but he’s a lot more supportive of his charges who have to, you know, save lives, the city, and the world.

Are you kidding me? Alfred is the HBIC.

What Gavin Bell said. Alfred’s a freaking pop culture icon.

No Cadbury?

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 30, 2009 at 6:19 am

Alfred is always going to win over ANY butler.

This isn’t even in doubt. ;-)

I find it interesting that the question here is “who is your favorite butler” and not “who is the better butler”. Alfred is indisputably the better butler – and anyone who wants to argue to the contrary should remember that Jarvis betrayed the Avengers to the Masters of Evil, which pretty much disqualifies him from anything other than a sacking and/or beatdown. But as a reader picking a favorite comic book character, I did vote for Jarvis, for the complexities of his relationships with all the Avengers and what he adds to the history of the team. Jarvis = terrible butler, but great character.

I also think Pneuman from Tom Strong deserved to be an option in this poll. But I still would have voted for Jarvis.

had to go with Alfred for any one who can stay by their bosses side through every thing including showing signs of being totaly nuts and a vigilantie when others would have said bye bye have to go with alfred

Bernard the Poet

October 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

Alfred isn’t a butler, he’s a valet. Jeeves is a valet as well, for that matter.

So it has to be Jarvis by default.

Alfred. The man can butle. He’s the Batman of butlers.

I am a Marvel guy, but this is a rough one, I love me some Jarvis, but Alfred is…. well… Alfred.

In my mind, there were only two possible choices, so I’m glad to see that’s all we got here. I picked Alfred, because he’s the best of the best. Batman’s always had the best supporting characters though, with Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, his never-ending stream of female companions, etc.

Alfred as the quintessential butler. But I do admit to a soft spot for Jarvis, and I’d point to Avengers #298 (Jarvis uses his butler-ish charms to defeat the demon hordes of Inferno. And it’s not hokey at all.)

“anyone who wants to argue to the contrary should remember that Jarvis betrayed the Avengers to the Masters of Evil, which pretty much disqualifies him from anything other than a sacking and/or beatdown”

Alfred has also been a bat villian.

if you watn to knock jarvis, the blame hime for the arrival fo sliver claw.

Jarvis has a much harder job, keeping up with often over a dozen Avenger and who ever else may drop in.

Alfred all the way. Not only can he press a tux, he can fling a batarang when shyzz hits the fan!

Even before Alfred was a surgeon, back when he was “just” a butler, he was STILL the best, the SUPERMAN OF SUPERMEN, the HERO OF HEROES.

Jeeves, of Jeeves and P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series, is the Doc Savage and The Shadow to all the other Gentleman’s Gentlemen that have come since. There probably should have been a Final Crisis episode–NAY, a COIE episdode–featuring the meeting of Alfred and Jeeves. “Very good, sir. As you wish.”

From Wikipedia on Jeeves:
The sagacious servant in the Jeeves model has become a modern archetype which probably inspired most later similar characters, from Dorothy L. Sayers’s 1923 manservant Mervyn Bunter[9], to Batman’s 1943 butler Alfred, to Wodehouse fan Isaac Asimov’s 1971 waiter Henry of the Black Widowers club,[10] to Joseph Marcell’s Geoffrey of the Banks residence on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Wait, no option for Ultimate Jarvis?

The Crazed Spruce

October 30, 2009 at 7:14 am

As much as I love Jarvis, I’ve gotta give the not to Alfred. No question.

Let me put it this way. If someone came up and told you that the dude who played Alfie and the leader of the crew from “The Italian Job” was cast as Jarvis, would you slap your forehead and say, “Holy crap, that’s perfect casting!”? No? But you did when Michael Caine was cast as Alfred, didn’t you? Didn’t you? I rest my case. :)

I abstain, although it looks like you have the winners if you ever do the “10 most iconic Alfred/Jarvis Covers”.

Alfred is Bruce’s butler technically. But he’s really more like his father.

Since there’s like a day left on this maybe we can get a non-superhero question.

C’mon, let’s see some more love for Jarvis here. You silent masses of Jarvis lovers, don’t stand idly by and let this injustice pass unhindered. Rise up and let your voices be heard! EDWIN JARVIS! SAY IT WITH ME!

Since there’s like a day left on this maybe we can get a non-superhero question.

These work much better when I ask questions people will actually answer, Kevin, and that means superhero questions.

After reading Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? part one, I’ve got to go with Alfred.

It’s not a question of whether Alfred will win, but whether he’ll beat Black Manta’s percentage on Ocean Master.

Jarvis.

I like them both, but that Avengers cover alone brings back too many happy memories. I grew up with Edwin and I’m giving him the nod.

(and once again, must say I’m enjoying the cover choices for these polls, Brian)

Love Jarvis, but there’s no contest here. Alfred is the gold standard!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Since there’s like a day left on this maybe we can get a non-superhero question.

Whose power level is higher, Asterios Polyp or Glenn Ganges?

Where’s the poll? I’m not seeing it.

One of these men raised the most dangerous man who ever lived.

The other one had sex with Aunt May. Unless that was a Skrull. I can’t keep up.

I always felt bad for Jarvis ever since he got beaten mercilessly by Mr. Hyde back in the 80s (Avengers #273?). So I gave him the vote.

I can’t possibly choose, so I’ll ask a question: Have Alfred and Jarvis ever met? There have been enough crossover events that it seems possible, but given that Alfred tends to stay among the most secret of all superhero secrets, perhaps not. Anybody know?

Not even close. Alfred is amazing.

LouReedRichards

October 30, 2009 at 8:50 am

I like both, but yeah, Alfred all the way.

Was there ever an Amalgam version?
Jarlfred or Alfarvis, anything like that?

It’s probably a bit unfair but I always feel like Jarvis is just a bit of an Alfred knock-off. I wouldn’t be suprised if his percentage doesn’t make it into double digits.

It pains me to to not pick Jarvis, but Alfred is Alfred.

No contest. Alfred Pennyworth is the MAN. Combat medic, father figure, manservant extraordinaire.

“I’m going out again, Alfred.”
“Wouldn’t you like to have a shower before leaving, master Bruce?”
“Not now.”
“Heaven help all criminals downwind.”

Jarvis all the way.

Let me put it this way. If someone came up and told you that the dude who played Alfie and the leader of the crew from “The Italian Job” was cast as Jarvis, would you slap your forehead and say, “Holy crap, that’s perfect casting!”? No? But you did when Michael Caine was cast as Alfred, didn’t you? Didn’t you? I

No.

Caine is awesome and I like the character he played but at no point did I ever feel I was watching Alfred Pennyworth on screen.

But then again let me add that I’ve never felt Alfred to be accurately cast except in the cartoons.

LouReedRichards invented:
Was there ever an Amalgam version?
Jarlfred or Alfarvis, anything like that?

It could just be Alfred Jarvis, as Alfred is best known by his first name, and Jarvis by his last.

What, no “Trusty John”?

(ducks)

This is a tough one. As much as I love Batman and Alfred, I had to go with Jarvis. He was the butler I read about when growing up, and I still feel like I’ve read more good stories featuring Jarvis than Alfred.

"O" the Humanatee!

October 30, 2009 at 10:11 am

Alfred is the Gentleman’s Gentleman’s Gentleman’s Gentleman. (Been wanting to use that phrase for a long time.)

Actually, Jeeves is, but in this context….

I went with Jarvis because I know him better, but they’re both great. However, if Cadbury had been an option, I would’ve gone with him.

I was gonna go for Jarvis as I’m a Marvel guy but…

One of these men raised the most dangerous man who ever lived.

The other one had sex with Aunt May.

Kinda says it all for me… Alfred!

Plus he’s Michael “freaking” Caine!!!!

Alfred, no contest.

Jeeves could wipe the floor with either of them.

Alfred is a butler… and former British secrect service agent, actor, surrogate father, confidante, medic, chauffeur, cook, and badass motherfucker.

Jarvis cleaned the spiderwebs out of Aunt May’s Batcave.
*retch*

Alfred wins!

Jarvis. And I’ll brook no dissent.

The whole Aunt May thing kinda puts it into perspective, Alfred all the way!

” Wait, no option for Ultimate Jarvis? ”

His unfortunate passing in Ultimates 2 left a huge, sarcastic, camp gay, embezzling, strip-poker-player-shaped hole in our hearts. Rest in peace, old chum.

Alfred duh. That guy is a smoooth badass!

I’m going with Jarvis. Alfred only has one crazy urban vigilante to keep track of. Jarvis has about a hundred different Avengers he’s mingled with and had to serve tea, coffee, whatever to and still manages to remember everyone’s favorites.

Jarvis. Unflappably, even when getting raped by Mr Hyde. I’ve actually read the early Alfred stories (uh, in reprints) when he was FAT and spoke in a bad Cockney dialect that would make Dick Van Dyke cringe and Michael Caine shoot himself. Alfred only really got cool in the last ten, twenty years. Jarvis was always cool.

Alfred is to Jarvis as Batman is to Moon Knight.

Meaning, one copied the other at some point in history, and most people assume that the reverse happened.

Theno

Everyone keeps bringing up the Aunt May thing. But I’m pretty sure that was Skrull-Jarvis, so you can’t hold it against the real Jarvis. (I don’t see what the big deal is about it, though. Sure, she’s wrinkled and bony, but she’s still a really nice lady.)

Jarvis has a tough job taking care of dozens & dozens of heroes from all different cultures, but Alfred has to sew up Bruce and triple weave kevlar.
Alfred for the win, but just only barely,
DFTBA

“One of these men raised the most dangerous man who ever lived.

The other one had sex with Aunt May.”

Excellent point; Jarvis has done more to better society.

Too many Batman fanboys here for poor Jarvis to have a chance. Hell, even I didn’t wanna vote for him after that stupid “Just a Rather Very Intelligent System” shit from the Iron Man movie and Pepper’s new suit.

It occurs to me that Jarvis must have been really happy when Beast went back to the X-Men. All those little blue hairs to clean up….

Poor Jarvis, :( he’s gonna lose, but still, I’m gonna vote for him.

Peace.

Too many pro-Jarvis comments for this to be a walk in the park
Must vote

It would have been interesting to see how Cadbury would have fared in this poll.

It’s one thing to be the loyal manservant to a team of beloved super-heroes that has Captain America as it’s front man; it’s another to keep the secrets of a dark vigilante who often frightens the very people he protects and is trusted by very few in law-enforcement. Alfred was doing this even before he was ret-conned into Bruce’s surrogate father.

Alfred is the Man. Hands down.

Having read more Avengers and Marvel books than Batman I am naturally inclined to pick Jarvis. But there is no way I could. Even a greater familiarity with the Avengers butler is no where near enough for me to select him over Alfred… a guy who pretty much transcends his station, and the whole damn genre.

I vote CADBURY, because there’s more to comics than superheroes (although he DID become one in the Super Richie stories, so, umm….anyway, Cadbury rules!)

I’ve often wondered if there is any other staff at stately Wayne Manor. Does Alfred have to clean the whole place by himself? And cook? And stitch wounds?

Alfred has the advantage of being around longer and has a more interesting life history, but I’ve read twice more Avengers stories than Batman ones, so I’m voting for good ol’ Edwin Jarvis.

Alfred is a more interesting character (I really love it when he deadpans Batman ;) ) so I voted for him, but I must admit that if they were real people, I would probably prefer to meet Jarvis, as he’s nicer.

I voted for Alfred because I have no real idea who Jarvis is (I know the name but have not read those Avenger comics).

Of course, when I saw the question, I figured Cadbury would have been a choice.

Curse you for making me choose!

One is Michael Caine, the other a talking computer. I’m voting for Austin Powers’ dad.

Easy.

Alfred.

Mind you…
If you had included Alfred Beagle, I may have had to flip a coin to choose.

Yes, that was a Harvey Dent reference. ;-)

Alfred will win.

Best portrayal of Alfred in other media is a toss-up between the original 40s movie serial or the 60s tv show. (The “real” reason Alfred lost all that weight in the 40s comics was to make him look more like the movie serial ALfred) The sarcastic Alfred everyone loves so much today seems to have originated in DKR

Btw, in the Golden Age, Alfred’s father’s first name was…. Jarvis!

I’m going for the underdog, Jarvis. His job is a lot harder and didn’t he also used to sit in on the poker games at Avengers Mansion?

I love Jarvis, but Alfred really is the alpha butler.

And no butler escapes the alpha butler.

I love them both but Pennyworth is just a better character so I went with him. Jarvis has the harder job though (can you imagine cleaning up after Hercules?)

Jarvis. Not a moment’s dithering on this one. As mentioned previous, the guy took a beating from Mister Hyde…

What about Wong? Does he not count as a butler, or is he technically a manservant?

At his best, Alfred is a pillar of strength for Batman. For me, that makes him admirable. I don’t know much about Jarvis, but I have a feeling that he was never for the Avengers what Alfred was for Batman.

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