Soo I am in the middle of the great graphic novel that I am reading for the first time and i am still wondering this. Am I the only who realizes that everyone in the book is older and it is set in the future but alfred has stayed the same age and is now younger than bruce and gordon?
Question regarding The Dark Knight Returns
As a general rule the more iconic (or cynically, the more profitable) a character is the slower they age. Yeah there's anachronisms aplenty (especially when dealing with 'in the future stuff') so it's artistic license. When it comes to DKR I can't actually recall Alfred but I'm sure Miller would have wanted to play with that character. Basically when it comes to Elseworlds, What if?'s or non-canon stuff, writers have been given the freedom to do anything continuity free and as a result time-lines and consistency gets thrown out. My advice, just go with it, enjoy the ride!
Good taste in comics though (says the Bat fanboy)
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