Mark Russell and Mike Allred Discuss ‘Batman: Dark Age’

The creative team behind Batman: Dark Age, Mark Russell, and Mike Allred, have spoken about their new take on Batman’s origin story.

In an interview with ScreenRant, Russell and Allred revealed their unique take on Batman’s origin with Dark Age. They took a similar approach with Superman: Space Age, but, despite the similar premise, there are some differences between the two series.

Russell emphasizes how Batman’s perspective on life and history is different than Superman’s.

…it is slightly different than Superman: Space Age, because this is a story told in a different universe and most vitally from Batman’s perspective as opposed to Superman’s perspective.


What’s really universal about this is that the characters are the same, have the same needs and desires, and they just find their way through different ways, depending on which universe they’re in and (who’s) doing the talking.

Russell and Allred also addressed the elephant in the room: do we really need another retelling of Batman’s origin story? Allred reveals how the integrated historical context of Batman’s origin will stand out from the other depictions.

(It’s) our world! It’s the most realistic depiction of Batman that I’m aware of. Same with Superman, where we have real life historical events integrated into the story. So hopefully that makes it more relatable and realistic — but at the same time do everything that the comic book art form is good at. You know, the pop art aspect of it: the electric, in-your-face, colorful, can’t-wait-to-see-what’s-on-the-next-page kind of thing.

Russell also gave another reason that will set their version apart from other origins. In Dark Age, Gotham City acts like a microcosm for all of humanity. The limited series will view the city through that lens.

Yeah, that — and I think it really talks about Batman as somebody who was born and whose parents died and is trying to reclaim the life of a city. It really is about — more than anything else — about what it means to live in a city and why cities are important and about how cities are kind of like a test trial for the human race — to prove whether or not we can live together in large numbers. And if a city fails, it means the experiment’s failed, which means we as a species have ultimately failed to demonstrate that we can live together.


So, Batman sees his life as being much bigger than just his life. He sees it as being Gotham, and he sees Gotham as being much more than just being Gotham. He sees Gotham as being the canary in the coal mine for the entire human race.

The creative team also teased how they’ll reinterpret some of Batman’s famous rogues gallery members. Issue two seems to imply Bruce Wayne will join the military during the Vietnam War and will serve under Sergeant Ra’s al Ghul.  Russell also drops hints of a dramatically different reinterpretation of the Mad Hatter.

 Mad Hatter shows up as a Charles Manson-esque leader of a family of hippies. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I’ll throw that out.

Batman: Dark Age hits comic shops and digital platforms on March 29, 2024.


Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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