Story-Arc: The Dark Prince Charming.
Writer(s): Enrico Marini.
Illustrator(s): Enrico Marini.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Over-Sized Hardcover.
Release Date: November 6th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
If there’s one thing that we rarely take the time to appreciate, it’s the legacy that a creator leaves behind. With the recently departed Stan Lee, we quickly realize how much was taken for granted but also how much was even possible thanks to the man. By introducing the world to fascinating characters like Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, so many other creative writers are given the opportunity to tell their own stories throughout the generations to come. While some manage to conserve these characters’ personalities, others bring in new and refreshing takes that could either impress or vex the reader. Enrico Marini is one of the latest writer who has been offered a clean slate to create any story with any artwork style and with any character design in his debut within Gotham city. As a critically-acclaimed European comics master, this opportunity culminates into a beautiful over-sized graphic novel containing a two-part story that ends with a shocking revelation that will leave fans in awe.
Batman : The Dark Prince Charming features some of Batman’s most classic characters including himself, the Joker, Catwoman and Harley Quinn. The story focuses on the kidnapping of a little girl by the Joker and presents us a race against time as Batman investigates the alleys of Gotham and attempts to persuade the crooks into revealing the whereabouts of the Joker. As dead ends lead to frustration, Batman struggles to contain his rage and is thrown in an abyss filled with dread that will ultimately lead him to do everything in his power to save the innocent life of this little girl. The stakes are high for him as he holds a knowledge that proves to be inconceivable yet so dangerous.
What Enrico Marini accomplishes in this project is to take some of the most iconic tropes related to Batman and compiles them in one story as seamlessly as possible. Completely accessible to any reader, Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is an intimate tale that draws upon Batman and Joker’s most humane side while fueling a tantalizing suspense around this mysterious and feisty little girl, her safety and her origin. The writing isn’t bad per se, but it is stale and off-key sometimes as it struggles to be entirely convincing, but manages to remind you some of the characters’ most iconic traits.
The best part of Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is the artwork, and it is not a big surprise since Enrico Marini is known for his talents with the brush. In fact, he paints Gotham in such a vivid tone that simply seeps with gloom and danger. The overtone is jaw-dropping and immediately draws you into this universe without any second thought. The character designs are also impeccable, especially their mannerism throughout the story. Even the action scenes strike you with authenticity and makes you doubt that this is his rodeo in Gotham. His passion for Batman is palpable and it is easily to feel it in this American comics debut.
Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is a stunning graphic novel that presents fans with a captivating story featuring a mystery that will leave readers with countless questions by the time they reach the last full-page panel.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!