By Christian Holub
July 17, 2019 at 02:30 PM EDT
Liam Daniel/Epix
  • TV Show

What kind of life prepares you to be Batman’s butler? Pennyworth aims to show viewers how young Alfred (Jack Bannon) built a life for himself with the help of Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge).

The man we meet in Pennyworth is not the eternally dependable butler that fans have come to know through decades of Batman-related comics, movies, and TV shows. This version of Alfred is in his mid-20s, fresh out of the military and eager to make his mark on the world — or at least ’60s London. It is there that he meets Thomas, a young forensic investigator who could use some protection from dark and mysterious forces.

“Thomas is very much a guy behind a desk who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty, and Alfred can do that,” Bannon tells EW ahead of the show’s screenings at San Diego Comic-Con this week. “Alfred needs money to get his business off the ground, and Thomas has that. But as it goes on, Alfred realizes Thomas has his own agenda.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Alfred’s loyalty to the Wayne family. Though viewers know Alfred will one day take on a central role in Bruce Wayne’s life, he and Thomas are not necessarily fast friends.

“It’s funny because I think everyone is expecting the blossoming friendship between Alfred and Thomas, and an explanation as to how Alfred ended up in Gotham,” Bannon says. “But actually there’s a lot of intrigue at the start. I always saw it a little bit like two tigers circling each other.”

Pennyworth premieres July 28 on Epix.

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