There’s never been a Batman graphic novel under DC’s mature readers imprint, Vertigo Comics. But that’s about to change with a very different kind of Batman story from Paul Dini, the co-creator of the beloved Batman: The Animated Series.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics and Vertigo announced that Dini is writing a new original graphic novel called Dark Night: A True Batman Story. 100 Bullets artist Eduardo Russo will illustrate Dark Night: A True Batman Story, which will be based on a true story from Dini’s past. In 1993, Dini was severely injured during a mugging, and it left him shaken as he attempted to recover in the months that followed.
“What makes Batman and what makes other superheroes work is the myth that when life is at its lowest, and when you need a hero, a hero swings down and helps you. And I didn’t have that,” explained Dini. “Here I am writing these stories for an audience that loves this form, in comics, in animation, but now I was saying to myself, ‘I can’t go on with this. I don’t believe in it anymore. There is no hero for me. Where is my hero?’” Dini added that “the answer is: you have to be your own hero.”
The story will center on Dini’s younger self as he tries to come to terms with his injuries and the direction of his life. Batman and the Joker will also be featured in the story as the angel and devils on his shoulders, so to speak.
“I’m not saying I talk to cartoon characters all the time, but the characters are very real to me,” explained Dini. “In a very non-insane way.”
Dark Night: A True Batman Story will be published in June 2016.