Written by: Paul Dini
Illustrated by: Eduardo Russo
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 8.5, 128 pages, Full Color, $22.99
Reviewed by: Diamond BookShelf
DC Comics legend Paul Dini returns to the character he helped to shape and grow in a memoir based on an event that changed the course of his life. Dark Night: A True Batman Story is a look at what happens when you truly hit rock bottom, and what a fictional superhero can do to help you survive.
Dini was one of the main creators behind the Emmy Award winning Batman: The Animated Series and left an indelible mark on Batman as a character and animation as a medium. While working on the series in Burbank, his career and life were almost cut short when he was robbed and left for dead on his way home one evening. With that one event, Dini's entire life changed as he started a deep spiral into depression and drifted away from his work. Facing an arduous recovery, Dini withdraws into his mind which happens to be populated with Batman and his Rogues Gallery. Each character manifests in different ways urging Dini through his recovery in their own unique styles, some more helpful than others.
The story is gorgeously illustrated by Eduardo Risso, best known for his crime noir work on 100 Bullets for the DC imprint Vertigo, and he is truly at the top of his form in Dark Night. Seamlessly shifting the narrative from the past to current and highlighting the raw emotions with a daring palette, Risso has the ability to manipulate reader's emotions with a simple color shift. The layout of the narrative is flawless as Dini floats above the story with anecdotes and hindsight that gives more emotional depth to the action on the page.
Dark Night: A True Batman Story is destined to become a classic, and is a breathtaking display of just what the medium can accomplish. While it may not be a Batman story in the traditional sense, this is a story that mature readers (and not just Batman fans) will appreciate.