American comic book publishers are known to draft well-known artists based in Europe to work on projects featuring their (the ‘Muricans, I mean) properties from time to time. From Moebius doing one of the most beautiful Silver Surfer comics, if not one of the most beautiful Marvel comics out there, to DC Comics hiring the likes of Guillem March to illustrate Catwoman, this is a tradition that’s been going on for decades now, and I have to say that we’re all the better for it.
Of course, a lot of people won’t agree with me on that considering all the flack some of these European artists have gotten mainly because of how they portray women, but I’m not here to talk about feminism. I’ll leave it at this: being sexual doesn’t always equate to being mere objects for sex. I’ll say no more.
What I’m here to talk about, though, is the latest and one of the most anticipated overseas drafts an American publisher made from Europe. The publisher in question is none other than DC Comics throwing money right in the immensely popular Euro comic book artist Enrico Marini’s face to make him do a 2-part Batman graphic novel called Batman: the Dark Prince Charming, whose first volume was released just last month.
At this point in time, it wouldn’t be a surprise that those drooling fanboys have gotten themselves up to snuff with who Enrico Marini is, especially basing it on the immediate boom the artist’s social media page had after the announcement of his project featuring The Dark Knight. Of course, it’s a stupid thing to be proud of being a fan of someone or something before “they became mainstream”, and lord knows I was not a Marini fan right from when he started picking up his pencil, but allow me to introduce you to his other works in case all you know about the guy right now is his work for DC’s resident Dark Detective.
Marini’s been around for quite some time now, and he’s best known for his work on series like Raptors (published by Heavy Metal, if I’m not mistaken), Scorpion (a series that I cannot wait to read in its proper format, because publisher Cinebook censored the shit out of it), and Eagles of Rome (I cannot recommend this series enough. Try it). Given his track record, of course DC was all up in that to boost sales for their own properties.
And, in this case, we get Batman: the Dark Prince Charming. Now, I do not agree with Marini himself when he said in his intro to the book that this is a noir story. But, what do I know? I’m just a reader. In all fairness, it was a decent graphic novel that features some of the Batman franchise’s most well-known properties. And, of course, there’s no denying that Marini’s art is absolutely gorgeous.
If you’re wondering, the story revolves around Batman trying to find a missing girl kidnapped by the Joker. All par for the bat-course, so I recommend it. Go on and grab yourself a copy.