I’m sorry to do this.
I was rereading Batman #675, and all of a sudden, the identity of the Black Glove slapped me in the face like a, uh, glove. I’m so positive on this one, to be honest, that I’m going to put this after the jump in case anyone wants to miss this – if I’m right, and I’m pretty damn sure I am, this is going to make the Xorn reveal look like finding out Stryfe has the same face as Cable.
You sure? Then click.
The Black Glove is Alfred Pennyworth.
His library is a shrine to blood-spattered prose. He’s constantly frustrated by Bruce and his actions, always knows Bruce’s entire schedule, has a background in both the military and the theatre, and has a vested interest in Bruce Wayne’s emotional health.
He has the resources and the know-how to pull this off. His machinations have all had the touch of literature – the Dickensian aspects of the three ghosts, the Name of the Rose inspiration (admitted by Morrison) for the Club of Heroes arc, and – if this is actually Alfred Pennyworth’s stage masterpiece – the inspiration John Fowles’s The Magus would have on Batman R.I.P..
And, I mean, come on. The butler did it. That’s the answer. He wrote a like 16-issue epic Bat-novel and will get away with “the butler did it.” Reread the issues, look at Alfred’s absences – the Black Glove can’t be Bruce himself, since we see him with binoculars looking at Bruce and Jezebel kissing at the end of Batman #665.
The only question now is, is this much blood actually on Alfred’s hands? Is he willing to go this far to make his point to Bruce? Or has this all been a very, very, very elaborate stage show? What role did Mayhew play?
And – and this is a bit of a stretch, but maybe possible – is Leslie Thompkins’s “killing” of Spoiler at all related to this? It was more-than-heavily implied she was Alfred’s lover for a while. The only problem is that she hasn’t even been mentioned in the run so it seems bizarre to bring her in.
But anyway. Yeah. The butler did it.