The best works of fiction usually have some basis in reality. Paul Dini is teaming up with Eduardo Risso to tell a Batman story inspired by a mugging in 1993. Dark Night: A True Batman Story is an original graphic novel told by the two storytellers. The book will be published via DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint.
The storyline, announced by The Hollywood Reporter, takes an interesting turn when Dini explains how the comic directly breaks the fourth wall. In a Morrisonian twist, Dini inserts himself into the story. Dini was the co-creator of Harley Quinn and an Emmy Award winner for Tiny Toon Adventures when the violent mugging changed his life. The story takes place in Los Angeles, and the incident on La Peer Drive seems to mirror that of Bruce’s own defining moment inside Crime Alley.
Dini explained that the personal story sees Batman and The Joker playing the angel and devil on both side of his shoulders: “I’m not saying I talk to cartoon characters all the time, but the characters are very real to me,” he explains. “In a very non-insane way.” Dini started to get personal in the interview, explaining how a comic book published by the Big Two was seemingly therapeutic to him on a certain level; “When I first downloaded the pages from the attack, I looked at them very quickly once, horrified, then I put them away for a week,” Dini recalls. “I burst into tears. I couldn’t look at them.”
Look for this personal Batman story in June 2016. It will join a roster of other comics stories made personal by horrific circumstances such as Jim Starlin’s epic The Death of Captain Marvel original graphic novel, Jeph Loeb’s Sam Alexander stories throughout Nova, and Matt Fraction’s Iron Man run.