WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 5, “Batman’s Back Man,” now streaming on DC Universe.
Although Alfred Pennyworth has been by the Dark Knight’s side since 1943’s Batman #16, the butler has generally not donned his own costumes to go out and fight crime.Still, Alfred — who served with the British Secret Service — is certainly capable in a fight, even if he normally just uses his talents to support Bruce Wayne. However, in Harley Quinn‘s latest episode, “Batman’s Back Man,” Alfred steps up and gets his own superhero identity: The Macaroni.
At the end of Harley Quinn Season 1, Bruce Wayne was trapped in Joker’s tower when it went down. Bruce survived the building’s collapse, but he ended up in a coma for several month. Upon awakening, Bruce finds out his city has been besieged by the Injustice League, a group made up of some of his fiercest foes. When he inquires just who has been protecting Gotham in his absence, Jim Gordon tells Bruce about “The Macaroni,” a hero dressed up in an androgynous English fashion style and using various gadgets, as well as a cane, to take down his opponents.
Bruce, unwilling to leave the fate of his city to someone he considers an amateur and Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, gets Lucius Fox to design him an AI-enhanced suit of armor, which allows him to take the fight to Gotham’s criminals. At first, Bruce succeeds, but he’s later taken down by Bane, who leaves without finishing the job. Instead, some of Two-Face’s goons show up and prepare to kill him. They’re interrupted, though, by The Macaroni, who along with Batgirl, beats them senseless. It’s then Bruce realizes The Macaroni is actually his faithful butler.
When Gordon first introduces The Macaroni, he makes a reference to the song “Yankee Doodle,” in which the title character ” stuck a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni.” The reference in the song and in this episode of Harley Quinn is to a word essentially used to describe English men who dressed outrageously and androgynously in the 18th-century. So, the reference here is that Alfred has become a Macaroni because of his English heritage.
While it seems unlikely Alfred will continue to operate as The Macaroni since Bruce is now awake and needs to be cared for, Batgirl has stepped up in Batman’s stead to protect Gotham. Still, it was about time Alfred, after so many years, got a superhero identity of his own.
DC Universe’s Harley Quinn stars Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Diedrich Bader, Alan Tudyk, Rahul Kohli, Christopher Meloni, Tony Hale, Ron Funches, Wanda Sykes, Natalie Morales, Jim Rash, Giancarlo Esposito, Jason Alexander and J.B. Smoove. New episodes air on Fridays.
The latest episode of DC Universe's Harley Quinn gives one of the longest-standing Bat-Family members a superhero identity of his own.