If you’re a Batman fan, then chances are you know the name Paul Dini. Not only was he a producer on the seminal Batman: The Animated Series in the ’90s, but he’s written several runs of the character in the pages of the comics as well. Perhaps his biggest contribution to the Batman mythology is as the co-creator of Harley Quinn, one of the most popular additions to the DC Universe in the last thirty years.
Now Dini has announced that he’s writing a new Batman-centric comic for DC’s Vertigo imprint, but this one is a wee bit different than any of the ones he’s done in the past. Titled Dark Night: A True Batman Story, the original graphic novel, which is being illustrated by 100 Bullets artist Eduardo Risso, is based on a true-life traumatic event from Dini’s own past.
Back in 1993, Dini was walking in Los Angeles one evening when two men approached him and mugged him. The attack was so bad in fact, that parts of his head were shattered, and parts of his skull “powdered on impact,” according to the doctors. He needed surgery, and the assault and eventual recovery left him severely traumatized to this day. Dark Night is Dini’s way of channeling that pain into art.
In a statement to the The Hollywood Reporter, Dini said, “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?’ The answer is: you have to be your own hero.”
In the new 121-page graphic novel, the character of Batman and other Gotham City heroes and villains act as a kind of Greek Chorus to Dini’s own struggles after the mugging, similar to the Woody Allen film Play It Again, Sam.
“I’m not saying I talk to cartoon characters all the time, but the characters are very real to me. In a very non-insane way” joked Dini.
Dark Night: A True Batman Story will be relased by DC Comics/Vertigo in June, 2016.
IMAGE: DC Comics
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