Review: Dark Knight: A True Batman Story

Dark Night A True Batman Story_OGN_Cv1In the 90s, Paul Dini was writing for the popular Batman: The Animated Series and Tiny Toon Adventures. He was also attacked a viciously beaten within an inch of his life. Dark Knight: A True Batman Story is a warts and all take on his experience from his life before that eventful evening through the arduous recovery.

The graphic novel really is brutal in that it peals back and gives an honest look at the life of Paul Dini. From dating issues to work woes, the graphic novel really feels like it covers a lot and doesn’t hold back.

But, what’s more interesting is the peak inside Dini’s head and how he views the world. With cameos from Batman to the Joker, this is Dini’s life through the lens of the characters he helped shaped and grew up with.

Starting with his childhood, the story weaves through his life to that fateful day and peals back the curtain on Dini’s experiences and life. The crazy hours. The lack of a social life. The issues after the attack such as his inability to face to world during and after his recorvery. They’re all there and this feels as much as a confessional journal where Dini examines himself as much as it is a biography of some of his life.

It’s the use of characters such as Batman and the Joker that’s so interesting. Dini gets at the heart of why they have endured for so long and why kids look up to the Caped Crusader. There’s a love there that shows and through these characters Dini partially works through his issues. Like a battle between Batman and the Joker, he struggles between his own dual nature and escapism.

The art by Eduardo Risso is truly amazing. If the cover doesn’t catch your eye, the interiors won’t help, but the style I think nails the tone of the graphic novel with a slight hazed coloring that reflects that this is a person’s memory after so many years. His Batman and Joker (among other characters) has me yearning to see Risso tackle more DC characters.

I had high hopes going into reading this graphic novel and it didn’t disappoint at all, meeting my lofty expectations. I found myself emotionally caught up and invested in this story, and the real experiences Dini had, especially as someone who grew up watching the two shows he’s most known for. It gives us a glimpse behind the curtain, no matter how ugly that may be. Dini and Risso have put together a biography in graphic novel that bends and twists the genre into something more.

Story: Paul Dini Art: Eduardo Risso
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review