Alfred Stryker was a criminal living in Gotham City. He retains the distinction of being the first criminal to face Batman in a published story.


Alfred Stryker was an executive of the Apex chemical company. In an unsuccessful attempt to become the sole owner of the company without having to share profits with his two partners, he ruthlessly arranged for the murder of his partners. The first two are successful, but Batman interferes with Stryker's plans by catching his hired murderers red-handed trying to dispose of evidence which would link Stryker to the murders. Thwarting the murder of the third partner, Batman confirms his deductions that Stryker was behind the killings. Stryker attempted to pull a gun on Batman, only to be punched by Batman and knocked backward over a rail, plummeting headfirst into a vat of acid. Batman nonchalantly murmurs to the surving partner, "A fitting end for one of his kind".

Many years later in Batman's career, when a crook gained control of Johnny Thunder's genie "Thunderbolt", he turned the powerful genie against members of the Justice League of America, and sent Thunderbolt to go back in time and erase Batman. Thunderbolt arrived at the moment in time when Batman was attacking Alfred Stryker's hired thugs in the distant past. Joining in the battle, Thunderbolt helped the henchmen subdue Batman, causing him to fail miserably, and never solve the Case of the Chemical Sydndicate, which presumptuously also allowed Stryker to murder his final partner and destroy the evidence linking him to the killings. Batman's resulting loss of self-confidence caused him to abandon his new crime fighting career, although time was restored and this incident was reverted later.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

Alfred Stryker was a clumsy, lightweight thug, and no match for the likes of fighters like Batman. He was a ruthless mastermind who relied on henchmen to carry out his schemes. Stryker was always armed with a knife and an automatic pistol, concealed within his suit.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Stryker is one of the early Batman's dozens of victims, and one of the first criminals Batman fought, This was his first appearance and only appearance in the entire franchise.
  • Stryker's death (falling into a vat of acid) prefigures the oft-used backstory of the Joker. Indeed, Detective Comics, Vol. 2, #27, showed an updated version of Stryker's story arc adapted for the new continuity, and in this version, he was a leaner man who wore a purple suit, similarities to the Joker that are made even more explicit by his discolored hand rising out of the vat of chemicals at the end of the story, out of Batman's sight.
  • Two of the business partners who Stryker killed off were named Mr. Lambert and Steven Crane. These last-names would be used much later in the franchise for the characters of Dr. Jonathan Crane (The Scarecrow) and Adam Lamberts (The Crime-Master).
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