Paul Dini is one of the most prolific Batman authors of the modern era. As one of the chief components of the much acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series (he created Harley Quinn), The Dark Knight has cast an incredibly large shadow on Dini’s life. And yet, since the early 1990s, Dini has lived with a dark sadness that has been the result of a traumatic mugging he experienced in Los Angeles. The two men that mugged him caused serious injury to Dini’s skull, shattering it in multiple places. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “It was so bad that parts of his head were shattered – his zygomatic arch, for one — while parts of his skull ‘powdered on impact.'” Working in an environment crawling with heroes, Dini himself could not take comfort, noting:
What makes Batman and what makes other superheroes work is the myth that when life is at its lowest, and when you need a hero, a hero swings down and helps you. And I didn’t have that. Here I am writing these stories for an audience that loves this form, in comics, in animation, but now I was saying to myself, ‘I can’t go on with this. I don’t believe in it anymore. There is no hero for me. Where is my hero?’
In this way, Dini’s new graphic novel represents an almost therapeutic answer to his traumatic past. According to the Reporter, the graphic novel centres on the moment of his mugging and moves through a rather thoughtful and dramatic use of the iconic characters of Batman and his rogues as formations of Dini’s inner-conciousness dealing with the experience. The article details how Batman berates Dini, pointing out the many ways that he could have gotten away. The Joker meanwhile represents a voice of passive antagonism, telling him to not leave his apartment.
Titled “Dark Night: A True Batman Story”, the book is due in June 2016, and will be published under DC Comic’s Vertigo line. Art will be done by Eduardo Risso, and the book will be about 120 pages long.
You can read more details in the original Hollywood Reporter article here.
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