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"The Wild Card": Alfred Pennyworth comes from a different place; a place where people live in fear of the Crime Syndicate. A place where, long ago, the police mugged the Wayne family, and it was [[Thomas Wayne, Jr. (Earth 3)|Thoma
Appearing in "The Wild Card"
- The Outsider (Flashback and main story)
- Earth 3 (Flashback only)
- Prime Earth (Flashback and main story)
- Joker Venom (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "The Wild Card"
Alfred Pennyworth comes from a different place; a place where people live in fear of the Crime Syndicate. A place where, long ago, the police mugged the Wayne family, and it was Thomas Wayne, Jr. who grew up to be Owlman - a founding member of the Syndicate - after his faithful servant Alfred murdered his parents. On that day, their partnership was sealed, but it was also the day that they began to keep a dark secret - one that drove Thomas to seek control over any and everything. Though Thomas had never asked why Alfred did it, the butler is sure he knows - and that is why he will remain loyal to his master until death.
The one element of their world that Owlman could not control was the Joker. Though he wanted them to think he was crazy and unpredictable, he was not at all. On the night that Thomas told Talon the truth about the death of his parents, the Joker killed Talon, and presented his corpse as a gift to Owlman. In truth, the Joker had killed Dick's parents, and when he went looking for vengeance, the Joker killed him too. Thomas had been too busy having an affair with Superwoman to protect Dick. Regardless, Thomas blames Dick for his own death. Angrily, the Joker appeared, and reminded that he didn't drop himself into the toxic waters of Gotham Bay. Surely it wasn't his fault, too. Angrily the Joker squirted something in Alfred's face that made him laugh uncontrollably. Gleefully, but coldly, the Joker warned that Owlman could never control Gotham - and, one day, Gotham would die because of him. Angrily, Owlman threw Joker into the spinning blades of a police helicopter, and the man was torn to pieces.
Owlman injected Alfred with the antidote to the Joker's poison, but Alfred warned that it would be a bad idea to trust anyone - least of all him. The police had seen that the Joker and Talon were dead, and they decided it was time to get out from under Owlman's thumb. Even as the police turned against Owlman, a threat to their planet came, and he was not able to save it. Instead, Alfred and Atomica escaped to another world, hoping their masters would be able to follow and find their way to them. While Alfred investigated this new world's defences, Atomica sought a way to bring their friends to this world. Eventually, Alfred had built an army - a Secret Society of Super-Villains, ready and waiting for Owlman's arrival.
Unfortunately, now that everyone's plans have come to fruition, Alfred faces a challenge. Thomas' guilt has got hold of him, and with this earth's Richard Grayson in the Society's custody, Owlman wants him to join them. Alfred regrets that he didn't kill this Dick before the problem arose.
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- Cover gallery for the Justice League series
- Images from Justice League Vol 2 23.4: Secret Society
Links and References
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