In the early ’90s writer Paul Dini’s should have had the perfect life. As a longtime cartoon and comic book fan, he had his dream job, writing for Batman the Animated Series, and he had just won an Emmy for the work he did on Tiny Toon Adventures.
But his personal life was a mess. He was surrounding himself with memorabilia from his childhood, pining after women who wanted to use his industry connections to advance their acting careers, and spending most nights drowning his sorrows in alcohol.
Then, while walking home after a disappointing “date” with his current crush, Dini was viciously beaten by a pair of muggers. Already at a personal low, he was left with a fractured face and no one to take him to the hospital.
In Dark Night: A True Batman Story, Paul Dini tells the story of the brutal attack and his recovery from its physical and psychological damage. As he had done all his life, Dini uses his imagination to get through the ordeal. Throughout the book, each of Batman’s major villains appear as manifestations of Dini’s inner turmoil, but it is the encouraging appearances of Batman himself in Dini’s imagination that inspires hope in the most hopeless moments.
Dark Night is an extremely revealing and personal story that shows us how heroes, even fictional ones, can inspire us to simple stand up and get on with living.