The Meaning of Superman and Alfred’s Encounter in Snyder Cut Goes Much Further Than You Think
The sequence in Zack Snyder’s Justice League when Superman and Alfred Pennyworth first meet pays off Alfred’s trust in Kal-El in a major manner. After being killed off in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel is brought back to life by the Justice League in Zack Snyder’s follow-up film, Justice League, in order to help them battle the Apokoliptian conqueror Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). Finally, in 2021, the world saw the picture as Snyder had envisioned it, with Alfred’s significance to the tale restored. A pivotal scene involves the revived Superman’s first meeting with Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons), at the Wayne family lake estate. Nervously at first calling him “In reference to Master Kent, Alfred says, “He said you’d arrive. Let’s just hope it’s not too late for you now.” To further understand the significance of Alfred’s meeting with Superman following his resurrection, it is helpful to know that “he” is Batman, who communicated his own assurance that Superman would join the League against the horned-alien menace Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. While Bruce’s confidence in the Man of Steel is relatively new, Alfred’s has been there the whole time. Before leaving with the League, Batman exclaims, “Faith Alfred, faith!” Bruce’s notion that Superman must be removed preemptively before he turns on the world is challenged by Alfred, who insists, “He is NOT our enemy!” in Batman v Superman. Their meeting sequence is important since it reveals that Alfred has been one of Superman’s strongest defenders from the beginning, believing in his goodness and ready to fight against Bruce, whom he had helped in his life as Batman for 20 years at that time. Zack Snyder’s Justice League reveals the satisfying conclusion to Alfred’s unwavering belief in Superman. Not only does Superman’s presence to the lake home satisfy Alfred’s practical plot duty as an assistant to the League by providing him with information of the fight with Steppenwolf (although off-screen), but it also provides him with a sense of personal satisfaction. While Alfred tried to calm Bruce down, Bruce’s hysteria of a Kryptonian eradicating humanity only grew. The heroic demise of Superman was ultimately what brought Batman back to life and inspired him to form the Justice League. Though Alfred watched the hero he saw in Superman suffer much as a result of that affirmation, he ultimately saw that loss restored in the most satisfying manner. By having Alfred inform Bruce on Superman’s resurrection, the Snyder Cut gives credit to Alfred for his part in establishing the League in Superman’s name. The moment also offers Alfred a surprisingly dignified status, as seen by his somewhat surprised response and smile of delight upon meeting the black-suited Superman. Though Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) recognise Kal-El upon his return as the familiar Clark Kent, Alfred is the first to see him as the fully clad Superman in Batman v Superman. Many people in Batman v Superman were sceptical of the Last Son of Krypton’s motives, but Alfred was never one of them. In the meeting sequence between Clark Kent and Superman, Alfred is shown to be the actual inauguration witness in the Snyder Cut. Alfred’s unwavering faith is rewarded in Zack Snyder’s Justice League by receiving an honour he well deserved.