♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS took a look at Enrico Marini’s Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Part 1, out now in hardcover from DC…
Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Book 1
Writer/ Artist: Enrico Marini
This is a project that was announced a few months back from DC. Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is a two part hardcover original graphic novel series written and drawn by Italian comics creator Enrico Marini. Each chapter is 60 pages long and the first chapter is out now. The format does have its pros and cons. It could be argued that DC should have just released this as a 120 page single hardcover but it is certainly a very handsome looking book. And at $12.99, it isn’t priced unreasonably either.
The story is a fairly simple one: a girl comes to Bruce Wayne, claiming that her child is his while The Joker sees a way of exploiting this situation for his own ends.
Despite the simplicity of the tale, Marini is a dramatic enough artist that there is enough here to keep the reader engaged in the story. And there are moments where his flair for composition really shines through. His portrayal of Gotham feels fresh and yet familiar at the same time and he understands drama and the importance of light and shade in his work. His depictions of Batman and The Joker have a very European flavour to them, with the Clown Prince looking suitably degraded. He also shows that he is a very adept writer, able to move the action along while still building in enough character moments to make sure that this isn’t merely a 60 page punch up. There is an elegance to this comic that many lack and hopefully he can maintain the quality in the second chapter.
The more eagle-eyed among its buyers will notice that this is a DC Dargaud co-production, which is a very canny move.
With monthly comics dropping in sales or just maintaining their core audience, Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is a lush attempt to offer another kind of model for the mainstream comics industry and hopefully it is one that will become more common. DC should be applauded for projects like this.
Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Book 1 is out from this Wednesday, 1 November.