Batman: The Dark Prince Charming by Enrico Marini

details
Title: Batman.
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.
Pages: 144.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283322.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

thoughts

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.

quote1

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.


EXHIBITA

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

lashaansignature

INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK – GOODREADS – TWITTER

20 comments

    • It was refreshing to go back to something simpler. It’s not flawless though, and the writing might irk you at times for how “cliché” they might sound, but if you consider how he’s never been swimming in the American comic book world, it’s quite fine! 😀 The artwork compensates for everything. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hooker shorts and fishnet stockings. Yep, must be a european 😉

    While I am not a fan of the Adam West tv version of Batman, the campy comedy, I also don’t like this complete descent into darkness that seems to be more and more consuming creators and readers of the Batman comics. Between the darkening of the heroes and the villains being turned into main characters, there is almost no more line differentiating them anymore…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahah that’s a quick and easy way to notice it. 😛 I believe he really wanted to draw them like that for once too. He mentions in the introduction/preface that he wanted to integrate Catwoman for selfish reasons too hahah She sort of was integrated into the narrative without really being a crucial and necessary element.

      And you’re right. That love for villains and how blurry they make the line between good and evil for some of our favourite heroes is more and more popular. Writers want to make us question human nature in itself, but at least with Batman, it’s easier to flirt with darkness since he is a relatively dark character ever since the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight era. I’ll however continue to love darker stories, and occasionally try and swim back to shore and enjoy the light a bit too. 😛 After all, I am studying in criminology. 😀 😀 I’m used to the darkness. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • Well I have so much to say here as I am following your reviews of comics since some months now Lashaan. First let me tell you that I surprised myself inside a comic books retailer two days ago. Because you reminded me that yes I do love comics even if they became really expensive now because some are real piece of art. I always loved drawing for as long as I can remember and used to draw comics in my teen. I dreamt of working for Disney as I loved drawing animals with human expression. Then life happened and I chose “serious” studies as I am what you could call a brainiac. Now after seeing all these books on your feed I just want to go back and buy some of them that I spotted recently.
    I am first attracted by the drawings. And I am sorry to say that if the drawing does not pelase me, even a brilliant scenario won’t make me buy it.
    Now back to your post because I digress!
    Yes Stan was a genius and yes he opened doors. We need men and women like him. Showing the way. Inspiring others.
    And back to The Dark Prince Charming I agree with everything you mentioned above about the drawing, the atmosphere oozing from these pages.
    Wow I think this is the longest comment I’ve ever left on a blog!
    So just go on LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwn, thank you so much for sharing this with me, Sophie. I totally understand why you ended up letting go of anything related to comics. I too wouldn’t have considered it “serious”, but over the past couple of years I have realized that there are stories that far more “serious” than some of the “serious” novels we read. So many today still consider comics as a childish thing or one that only geeks with nothing better to do would enjoy, but that’s not true. There are some phenomenal stories out there well-worth everyone’s time. People just need to look closer, or at least give themselves the time to discover them.

      I am really glad that you have now found a desire to revisit this medium, and to rekindle that love for art. I do hope you’ll fall upon some beautiful stories and that you won’t lose this love for it again. I assure, there will always be a great book out there for you. 😉

      Absolutely. Stan Lee really did leave us something so precious. The power of creativity! He showed us how important entertainment is, and how much it can chance a person’s life. People who have never picked up a comic/graphic novel should give themselves the chance to enjoy one. There is so much to appreciate from this medium.

      Ahh yes, I love when the artwork speaks for itself. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? 😛

      Thank you again for taking the time to share this with me, Sophie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ace viewpoint as always sir! I bought this when it was originally released as two separate hardcover comics and very much enjoyed it. I agree about the writing, it doesn’t measure up to the Killing Joker or Year One but it’s good enough. As you say, the real selling point is the art. It really is a visual splendour and the use of colour is phenomenal – those rusty, sun-drenched and fiery or oranges are just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh sweeet!! I didn’t know you actually followed this mini-series. You’re definitely right, I couldn’t put it alongside the Killing Joke or Year One, although it could’ve made that list if it just changed some things in the story and the dialogues. But yes! The artwork is amazing. I loved every moment of it, especially when it took the whole page. Amazing paintings! 😛

      Like

  • WANT. This sounds WONDERFUL. Batman has always been my favorite DC character and it’s been a long time since I’ve read a solid standalone tale from him. I mean, yes, this is a collection. But I’ll take an oversize trade paperback any day. Bring. It. On. I look forward to judging the writing for myself. While I trust your opinions, I am not as well-read in comics. Perhaps I’ll be a bit more lenient. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I’m glad of your interest in it! And you could basically consider it a graphic novel that was just released in two parts. And the oversized hardcover is explained by how beautiful the artwork is. Definitely worth checking out just for that alone! As for the writing, yes, I think there’s enough to appreciate here for sure! 😉

      Like

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s