In full disclosure, outside of Sunday morning newspapers, I've never read a comic book. I love comic book characters and used to love watching the cartoons growing up, but never got into reading comic books. That changed when the latest pick for my book club, GamersRead was Dark Night: A True Batman Story. When I first heard I thought I might be reading a full-blown Batman comic but instead quickly realized that we were in for something completely different.
Dark Night: A True Batman Story is actually a re-telling of Paul Dini's horrific mugging in Los Angeles while he was working for Warner Bros. The comic picks up right before the mugging where Paul was beaten nearly to death by two guys on his way home from a date. Paul was already struggling with his own demons in which he depicts with some of the famous Batman villains like The Joker. There is a certain cleverness to this comic book that weaves in these Batman tropes with a man who's lived and breathed these characters for decades.
What I struggled with though was that although the tale harrowing, there was nothing particularly interesting in the way the Paul weaved in his inner demons with that of Batman. I understood the novelty early on and afterward, it began to feel just like that, a novelty. In some ways, I felt like I knew the entire story only a quarter of the way through. I did love the art style and the way that it changed quite drastically depending on what was happening within the story.
Granted its hard for me to be a big comic book critic since this is literally the first full comic book I can remember reading. But I will say I was completely middle of the road with this. It's an interesting concept, a sad story, and one that I think was well told. I just didn't necessarily find the connection between these characters that he loved to his own internal struggle to be that compelling.