Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1 by Enrico Marini Review

A woman claiming to be Bruce Wayne’s baby mama rocks up with his “daughter” demanding he cough up millions in owed childcare. And then the Joker kidnaps her. Prepare for boredom with Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1! 

I’ve never heard of Enrico Marini but apparently he’s an “acclaimed European comics master”. Bollocks I say, I think he’s just mates with Jim Lee and that’s how he got this gig! Because, while he’s clearly a talented illustrator, Marini’s just another artist who can’t write for shit!

What is up with that pathetic story?! It’s the most unimaginative, lazy and mundane storyline he could’ve possibly conceived! Joker acts like Joker, shooting everyone left and right while Harley throws a temper tantrum, Batman fights goons left and right. A contrived daughter suddenly appears and we’re supposed to care? Bah! So what? This is tediously predictable, run-of-the-mill, boilerplate Batman.

Why doesn’t Bruce just have a paternity test? And why does Joker want to get one over on Bruce Wayne by stealing his daughter anyway – does he know Bruce is Bats? Or does he have something against Bruce as well as Batman and doesn’t know they’re one and the same? Rubbish plotting.

Marini does make Gotham look good though. The cityscape is hypnotically shadowy, Batman looks terrific and the two combined make for some superbly moody and eye-catching splash-pages. I also really liked his design for Killer Croc who’s reimagined as just a tough guy with scaly tattoos and a creepy bifurcated tongue, which I think is an improvement over the humanoid crocodile he’s usually depicted as. The Batmobile design though is basically a copy of the one from the Nolan Batman movies and I don’t think Joker having starry makeup over his eyes is a good look.

I wouldn’t bother with this very dull, oversized/overpriced first issue (of two). Most people could probably imagine a more interesting Batman/Joker story than this or have access to a library where any number of Batman comics could instil the same level of disinterest for free – a far from charming Batman comic!

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