The Pennyworth panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego today yielded an interesting detail about Epix’s upcoming Batman prequel series. Executive producer Bruno Heller revealed that the series may feature an LGBTQ character in the form of Alfred's (Jack Bannon) main rival, Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith).
"[Alfred and Bet] both relate to the sort of idea [of classicism] that they wish or aspire to discard all of that and become the boss,” said Faith. “There are times in the show where they end up fighting for the same cause, and they're both quite surprised by it."
While this is an interesting enough detail about the two rivals, drilling down to the binary relationship between good and evil often explored in comics, Heller went even further to compare the series’ protagonist to its antagonist.
"They're both in love with the same woman at some point," said Heller.
Pennyworth takes place in 1960s London and follows Alfred Pennyworth, best known as the Butler to Bruce Wayne, the billionaire who moonlights as the Gotham City vigilante Batman in DC Comics' long-running superhero series. Before that, though, he was a British SAS soldier who worked with Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father.
The revelation that Bet (and perhaps the woman she and Alfred share affection for) is LGBTQ is a surprise given the time period, but it’s a welcome one, nonetheless.
Developed by former Gotham collaborators Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Pennyworth stars Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth, Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne, Jason Flemyng as Lord Harwood, Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes, Ryan Fletcher as Dave Boy, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett as Bazza and Jessica Ellerby as the Queen.