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Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Book One Review!

Joker Jondee here at Wayne Manor,

Enrico Marini is the writer and artist of The Eagles of Rome and now ventures into superhero territory with the Dark Knight. It is a hardcover book with a somber cover of Batman in dark purple watercolors. The graphic novel is a co-publishing venture with European comics publisher Dargaud so ask for it at your local comic book store since I didn’t find it at the book store. This is a dark, mature readers title. There is a closeup of pipes with a little girl alone asking or her mother. Rats are scattered by the shadowy, lanky figure. It is the Joker, with his usual wild, green hair, and Marini designs including diamond tattoos on his eyes that makes him look even more sinister. He holds up a switchblade where we can see the girl’s face. Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne gets a purple gift box with a green bow by Alfred. In a van, is the clown henchmen with the Joker in shadow, he has his henchman take care of the police following them with a minigun. This leads to a stunning two page spread with Batman standing on a gargoyle overlooking Gotham.

The minigun rips into police cars with Catwoman on a bike following them. The Joker has a bag of pearls that he intends to bring to Harley Quinn for her birthday. Catwoman rides to the side of the van and wants the pearls, but Joker shoots her bike and she goes leaping into the street using her whip to pull herself free. She sees above them the profile of the Bat. Batman lands on the van, the Joker sends in his cars of armed gunmen, but Batman counters with explosives. He strikes the windshield, but it is reinforced. The Joker revels in the chase and even covers his eyes in his glee. Batman breaks through the glass and takes hold of the steering wheel to veer the van away from an approaching truck. The van goes over a bridge. The clowns don’t see the shadow of the Batman. The Joker emerges from the dock, but finds he has lost the pearls. The rooftop of Gotham P.D., the Bat Signal brings Batman to talk to Commissioner Gordon, he is on the hunt for the Joker. The Joker returns to his clowns preparing Harley’s birthday party. One of his henchmen tries to make a joke. Harley in her birthday dress appears and doesn’t like the Joker’s gift. Harley stomps off and Joker takes out his disappointment with his henchmen.

Harley sees on the tv a news report on a diamond necklace called the Blue Cat which she calls her birthday present. Batman is driving in the Batmobile, it is a sleek vehicle with six wheels and pointed rims like his cape. He is going through the gossip channels and finds that a waitress, Mariah Shelley, has filed a paternity suit against Bruce Wayne. The Joker also watching the program knows how to get the diamond. We flash back three months to Wayne Manor and the appearance of Mariah Shelley and her daughter, Alina, the girl that we saw at the beginning. The child has a red diamond birthmark on her left eye and a Batman doll. The waitress wants money, but Bruce sends her away. Selina Kyle, Catwoman, finds it interesting. Mariah is with her daughter and slick lawyer when their car is struck by a massive truck. The Joker walks over to the crash.

Commissoner Gordon says Mariah is being taken away in an ambulance and Alina is missing! We get to the early scene with the Joker taking out the switchblade to slice up some pizza for Alina. The Joker says that she is in a fairy tale, but the Dark Prince Charming will not save her.  He offers her a little drumming Joker toy. At the Batcave, Alfred has analyzed the blood on the Batman doll. He interrogates one of the Joker’s men in custody. Then, sees the remains of the Joker’s hideout. There is a splash page of the Batman swinging into Gotham, a stunningly beautiful Batman in shadow. Batman takes down criminals with a final fight with Killer Croc. A massive thug with scaly tatoos whom Batman thrashes to get to find the Joker. Catwoman sees his rage. The Joker and Harley are ready for the next part of their plan. Beautiful art, some great characters, and a new, adult look at the Batman mythos.

Four Batarangs out of Five!

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