Paul Dini is well aware that Batman isn't real but it was through the Caped Crusader that the writer found salvation as he was overcoming a dark period in his life. Dark Night: A True Batman Story is his story.
Dini knows Batman. He was not only known for writing Batman: The Animated Series but he also went on to pen the character in comic books as well as the video game, Batman: Arkham City. He also co-created Harley Quinn, who was first introduced in the animated series in 1994 before making her presence felt in comic books.
Dini undoubtedly had a lot of things going for him back then (and even now), but there was one night in 1993 that changed his life forever. He was just walking down a street in Los Angeles when he was mugged, attacked so badly that his head was shattered in parts, needing surgery.
Dark Night: A True Batman Story will tell the tale of that night and how the events of just one evening would go on to affect Dini. As a writer, he retreated into the world inside his head but found that he no longer believed in superheroes, as there was no hero for him that night. At the same time, however, Dini was convincing himself that it was possible to stand up and survive, even without a superhero by your side.
Dini parallels what happened to him that night to the night that Bruce Wayne lost his parents, both a mugging and both of which changed their lives. But while he bemoans being on his own while recovering, Dini also realized that you have to be your own hero.
It's empowering to finally come to that realization but the journey has not been easy on him. In telling his own story, Dini had nights where he went to bed weeping. And the first time he saw the assault printed as an art? He was so horrified that he put them away for a week.
Still, making Dark Night: A True Batman Story lifted a burden from him.
"It forges a path between despair and deliverance on a route that travels through reality and fantasy. I invite you to take that walk with us," said Dini of the 121-page graphic novel.
Illustrated by Eduardo Risso and written by Dini, Dark Night: A True Batman Story is now available as a digital download and in print from Vertigo.