On the show "Gotham", it seems that Alfred raised Bruce from the time the Waynes were killed, and that he homeschooled Bruce.

I don't remember those aspects of Bruce's childhood from the comics. (Originally, in fact, Alfred joined the household when Bruce was an adult.) I seem to remember something about teenaged Bruce traveling the world and learning martial arts and stuff, but that doesn't really address how he spent most of those years.

In the comics canon, who raised Bruce from age 8 until he became an adult? And did he go to an actual school?

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    I think he was some kind of robin/sidekick in some comics Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 6:48
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    Gotham's following the New 52 continuity, I think, in which Alfred became Bruce's legal guardian after his parents were killed. Couldn't say about the Golden / Silver ages. Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 10:13
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    There is at least one story where a young Bruce Wayne donned the Robin costume, and at least one story where he met a young Clark Kent. They may in fact be the same story. While they have been referred to on rare occasions, I think they are generally considered to be "imaginary stories", as opposed to official canon. Certainly, there's no evidence that Bruce had a significant career as "Robin".
    – RDFozz
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 23:08
  • I'm not sure there were any Golden/Silver age stories that covered Bruce's life as a minor in any significant way. I don't even think there were many stories dealing with his training in any specific way before the late 1980s. I mean, you'd think there'd be something, in his interaction with Dick Grayson at least, both having lost their parents, but I can't think of anything.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 23:15

2 Answers 2


Canon shifts constantly in comics, but you are right that at some point the canon was that Alfred was a butler that joins the household after Robin was already there, and finds out about their secret identities one night when one of the dynamic duo comes home injured.

Also it has been true in comics that Bruce, as a tweener, donned a Robin like costume so he could tag along with the world's best police detective and get training.

In the animated series we see him go off as a teenager and train in the circus as an escape artist.

Who raised Bruce shifts over the years, but a short answer might be that in early Batman he more or less raised himself. In later Batman it was mostly Alfred.

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    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Untold_Legend_of_the_Batman is what I grew up with and covers the early continuity you reference. "Batman recalls those who looked after him following his parents' deaths – Leslie Thompkins and Mrs. Chilton, housekeeper of Bruce's uncle, Philip Wayne (who had been appointed Bruce's guardian, but was seldom at home as his work required him to travel a lot). Unbeknownst to him, but known to his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, Mrs. Chilton was Joe Chill's mother." Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 20:52

Gotham (TV) Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s guardian. In S1E2, after discovering Bruce burning himself with a candle, Alfred meets with Jim about Bruce's self harm and nightmares and he tells Jim about Thomas Wayne's instructions on how to raise Bruce: to let him choose his own path.

This guardianship gets periodically reinforced through the series, At the end of Season 2, Alfred says he has the ability to take Bruce to Switzerland any time he wants, but he chooses not to. It's ultimately his choice to do what Bruce wants, which is Thomas Wayne’s direction to Alfred when Waynes made Alfred Bruce’s guardian.

Comics “DC Confirms Batman Had Two Fathers”

There's no room for doubt that Alfred Pennyworth was more than a butler and legal guardian for Bruce Wayne, but as much father as Thomas Wayne. https://www.google.com/amp/s/screenrant.com/dc-comics-batman-alfred-pennyworth-father/amp/

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