I’m sorting nearly as many heroes as villains, so I figure, I’ll split this into two posts. This week is Alfred, Lucius, Harvey, Gordon, and Barbara. Next will be Dick, Jason, Tim, Damien, and The Goddamn Batman.


Alfred PennyworthAlfred Pennyworth

Climb back on that treatment bench, young man or I’ll kneecap you in your remaining good leg, for sure. (Batman)

Butler to the Wayne family and surrogate father to Bruce, Alfred’s been there with Batman since the beginning. He’s a character with a vast array of histories, but they tend to converge on his loyalty to Bruce and to the Wayne family. When Bruce was still young, Alfred would guide him on the best way to manage bullies, on teaching him strategy rather than brute force. And when Batman would go out and push himself too far and get hurt, Alfred was there to pick up the mess, and to bully Bruce into letting himself rest and heal.

Alfred is certainly cunning and resourceful, and willing to use any means to get his end — and we should count ourselves lucky that the only end he cares about is Bruce Wayne’s safety. He is loyal, but there’s nothing about him that seeks out fair play. He is stoic and stalwart, intelligent, cold, calculating, and will do what he needs to look after his own, even if it goes in direct conflict of what they want.

VERDICT: Slytherin


Harvey DentHarvey Dent

Gordon: You know, there was a time when I suspected you were the Batman.
Harvey: Sorry. I’m quite happy with who I am.
(Batman: The Long Halloween)

The youngest district attorney in the history of Gotham, Harvey Dent was the city’s golden boy. He had the nickname of Apollo for how clean he was (except there were other nicknames…). He is facing down the mob of Gotham, ready to put Sal Marconi in jail, but Marconi buys out his assistant attorney, and the traitor flings acid in Harvey’s face. He becomes severely disfigured, loses everything he has, and becomes the villain we all know as Two-Face, his burning sense of balance and justice funneled into the impartial coin.

While Harvey is certainly daring and brave — have to be, to face down the biggest crime boss in Gotham, knowing the guy has a penchant for making people go quiet when needs be — he also very strongly values loyalty and fair play. In fact, the fairness is so much of his personality, it’s what he fixates on the most with the coin. Balance, fairness, unbiased chance. However, that’s a trait buried deep, something which comes out only when he is in crisis. Harvey’s actions as district attorney are predominantly brave and noble.

VERDICT: Gryffindor


Lucius FoxLucius Fox

Maybe you want to read the instruction manual first. (The Dark Knight)

The man with the Midas Touch, Lucius Fox turns failing companies into success stories, which is what he did with Wayne Enterprises when Bruce was dealing with becoming Batman and also his parents’ death. His official role is CEO, but he also likes to tinker, creating the prototype aircraft that would eventually become the Batwing. Once he handled Wayne Enterprise’s business, he decided to stick around instead of bringing another company back from the brink. He enjoyed the freedom he had, and had no desire to give that up.

Whether Lucius is acting as a voice of reason alongside Alfred or simply the clever guy who makes awesome gadgets, runs a company, and has a sneaking suspicion his boss isn’t all he’s saying he is, it’s apparent that Lucius values reason, logic, and intelligence, and his primary drive isn’t to rule company after company, but to enjoy his space and freedom to do as he wishes and, according to the films, even research nifty gadgets.

VERDICT: Ravenclaw


Commissioner James 'Jim' GordonCommissioner James “Jim” Gordon

Our jobs don’t include murder, Harvey. I want to stop Falcone and the rest, but not like this. Never like this. (Batman: The Long Halloween)

Gordon and Batman are allies, though they don’t operate on the exact same side of the law. There are times when Gordon is hunting Batman, and times when he is helping Batman through a confused shrug and a bit of misplaced paperwork. Sometimes he pursues the dirty cops with a dogged vengeance, and sometimes he’s a frazzled commissioner with too few resources, knowing if he gutted Gotham of all the dirty cops, he’d have a much quieter precinct.

Regardless of the details of his incarnation, there is one thing consistent about Jim Gordon: he will pursue all wrongdoers and bring them to justice. He is resourceful, yes, but neither ambitious nor cunning, using the blunt hammer of law and caring little for his career. He is noble and brave, and certainly quite daring. Though he appreciates fair play and seeks it out, when fairness becomes inconvenient, he’s willing to overlook it in the sake of getting justice done.

VERDICT: Gryffindor


Barbara Gordon / Batgirl / OracleBarbara Gordon / Batgirl / Oracle

I volunteered! (The New Batman Adventures)

Unlike the Caped Crusader and the gallery of Boy Wonders, Barbara Gordon dons the mask out of an honest desire to fight crime. No parents to avenge, no tortured past, no man driving her, nothing but the pure desire to kick ass and chew gum. In her civilian life she’s a PhD and manages Gotham Library, a strong, intelligent, independent woman, and probably the least emotionally scarred of the entire Bat crew.

When she was shot in the spine by Joker in Killing Joke (spoiler alert) she lost the use of her legs, but that didn’t stop her from kicking ass and chewing gum anyway. She took on the persona of Oracle, a hacker wizard who could also still shit-kick people from her wheelchair. Nothing’s slowing Barbara down. Not even a bullet.

Brave? Are you kidding me? This lady has it in spades. Take away her ability to walk? Doesn’t change the fact that she’ll stare danger straight in the eye. She’ll punch danger in the gut to get danger down to her level to stare danger in the eye. Daring? Nerve? Holy cow. You want someone who’ll bleed red and gold, Barbara Gordon is your woman.

VERDICT: Gryffindor


Morgan Dempsey (geardrops.net) is a writer and software engineer, currently living in Silicon Valley, California, USA. She blogs at Inkpunks (inkpunks.com) and reads slush for Scape (scapezine.com). Her fiction is currently available at Redstone SF Issue 14, and will be featured in Broken Time Blues (August 1, 2011). She tweets obsessively as @geardrops.

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