cover image Dark Night: A True Batman Story

Dark Night: A True Batman Story

Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso. DC, $22.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4012-4143-8

Dini made a mark on the DC Universe writing various Batman projects in print (Mad Love) and on screen (Batman: The Animated Series), but he’s distanced himself from a real-life incident in the 1990s that shaped the way he approached stories of good and evil. While working on the Batman animated series, Dini was brutally mugged and left with extreme skull damage and an emotional toll that threatened to take him down. In this account of that event, Dini presents his life as one of disappointment; he reached the heights he always dreamed of in the field he loved, but grasped at the emptiness of the experience. It’s an extremely personal work that still hedges even as it reveals, partly out of self-preservation. The narrative structure—psychological action that unfolds through conversations with Batman and various villains—creates a perhaps unavoidable emotional distance with occasional Band-Aids over the dark void being hinted at. Risso’s (100 Bullets) art often goes where the narrative hesitates, offering a simple firsthand fable of pushing back the darkness. (June)