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Comic Book / Batman: The Dark Prince Charming

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Batman: The Dark Prince Charming is a comic book written and illustrated by Italian author Enrico Marini (known for Raptors, The Scorpion, The Eagles of Rome and other works). It is set in its own Alternate Continuity.

The Joker is back in action. For Harley Quinn's birthday, he organizes a jewel robbery that goes south for him. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne learns that he might have an illegitimate daughter with a waitress who now requests alimony.

The series is notable for being the first Franco-Belgian Batman comic book in a partnership between DC and French publisher Dargaud. The first issue came out in November 2017. The second issue came out in June 2018.


Batman: The Dark Prince Charming contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: This is a familiar rendition of Batman's world by and large, and the only major difference that stands out is the absence of Bat-sidekicks such as any of the Robins and Batgirl. Bruce adopts Alina at the end, which may mean she takes the place of Dick Grayson as at least Bruce's adopted child/ward, let alone as Robin which is left up in the air.
  • Alternate Continuity: This is set in its own standalone universe, essentially an Elseworlds tale without the branding.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Joker's to-do list: Get the diamond, kill the Batman and order sushi.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Joker orders Bruce Wayne to buy an enormous diamond and hand it over to him... so he can give it to Harley.
  • Bad Boss: Exaggerated with the Joker who murders one of his minions in almost all his appearances. To sum, he kicks one off the car for smoking inside, shot one in the head for shooting on Batman without his permission, remove the teeth of one to make a necklace then guns the rest of the team out of frustration and only spares one because he's out of ammo.
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  • Big Bad: The Joker, Batman's Arch-Enemy is the main antagonist of the story responsible of the abduction of Bruce's daughter.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bruce rescues Alina and adopts her. Unfortunately, the Joker survived and Alina's mother might never recover from her coma.
  • Body Sushi: Harley Quinn offers herself as a sushi plate for her boyfriend. The latter, not interested, storms off.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
    • For some reason, Bruce doesn't remember Mariah Shelley who claims to be the mother of his child.
    • The Joker can't remember whether or not he killed his own mother.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Harley Quinn hates when her boyfriend spends time with Alina… despite the latter being 9 years old.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Averted. Despite many readers noticing that Bruce Wayne looks a bit like Ben Affleck, the author confirmed it was just a coincidence and he actually lifted the character design of Marcus from his other series The Eagles of Rome.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: The Joker dresses as a streetwalker before meeting Bruce.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Alfred makes one in the Batcave. The unseen results shocks Bruce. This is possibly because the Joker might be the father.
  • Death Seeker: Archie is openly suicidal and has tried to take his life before, but always failed. When Joker guns down his old gang, Archie doesn't care, but him saying that he hates life is what gets the Joker to spare him because he finds it hilarious.
  • Dirty Coward: When Joker has the gun to an injured Batman, he's assured of his victory, but then Alina pokes him with one of the poison needles in his pocket and withholds the antidote. Cue Joker losing all of his composure and pathetically begging the child he was about to kill for the cure.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: After Bruce is blackmailed by the Joker into buying the diamond at an auction, but he misses out on the winning bid after he's distracted by Selina wearing a Sexy Backless Outfit, which reveals a cat tramp-stamp tattoo. The Joker tries to steal it anyway.
  • The Eeyore: Archie, one of the Joker's minions, is depressed and emotionless man who doesn't care whether or not his boss kills him. This amuses the latter so much that he spares him.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The Reveal that Alina might be the Joker’s daughter sheds a new light on his motivations for kidnapping Alina and his behavior towards her throughout the story, especially if he remembers Mariah from their possible one night stand.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the climax, Harley Quinn stops the Joker as he points his gun on Alina by protesting they agree not to kill children. This annoys the Prince of Clowns who then proceeds to attempt to kill Harley.
  • Foreshadowing: Several clues announces the twist ending:
    • Alina has a distinctive birth mark on her eye reminiscent of the Joker's make-up.
    • When the Joker falls into water and gets out, his wet hair resembles Alina's.
    • When Alina asks her mother if Bruce really is her father, she seems hesitant.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Joker tells Alina that his father often locked him in the cellar while he was beating his mother. Still the clown ends up claiming to be grateful to his paternal because he made him stronger.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Averted with Archie, who recounts his failed suicide attempts to Alina and seems quite disappointed they failed.
  • How We Got Here: The comic opens with the Joker with a knife in hand approaching a little girl. We later learn who the little girl is and how she got abducted. Doubles as a Villain Opening Scene.
  • Joker Immunity: Joker, as per usual, is revealed to have survived getting poisoned with a toxin that kills in two minutes and jumping out a window into the ocean to get the tiny antidote.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: At the end of the story, it's seen that Alina's father might actually be the Joker.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Joker uses makeup and brandishes a blade much like the Dark Knight version, but his skin, lips and hair remain permanently white, red and green as is traditional - he just accentuates his look with the makeup.
    • The climax involves storming a warehouse with a Bat-vehicle to save a hostage, much like Batman v Superman.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite being distant when he first meets Alina, once Bruce learns that she's really his daughter he takes her abduction as a personal case and gets uncharacteristically enraged.
  • Parasol of Pain: The Joker happily performs his rendition of Singin' in the Rain which involves shooting a random cop with his umbrella-gun.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: A scorned Selina throws one that narrowly misses Alfred.
  • Red Herring: The book does almost everything in its power to suggest that Alina really is Bruce's daughter by showing her to be fairly intelligent and not intimidated by the Joker. But then again, the Joker himself is capable of being just as intelligent and might have a soft spot for her based on their similarities.
  • Sad Clown: Archie is perpetually depressed, and working for the Joker isn't going to help.
  • Save the Villain: Catwoman saves Harley Quinn from the Joker.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In a private conversation with Alina, the Joker reveals he can't remember whether or not he killed his own mother however he's certain he killed his father who was an abusive prick.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • The end of the first issue reveals that Catwoman knows Batman's identity.
    • It's implied that the Joker figures out Bruce is Batman because they both give him the same Neck Lift.
  • Spanner in the Works: Catwoman is after the same diamond Joker wants, which throws his plans into disarray.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: As usual, Batman pulls one on James Gordon near the Bat-Signal.
  • Tattooed Crook: Both Joker and Harley have tattoos and are still the dysfunctional psychopaths they always are.
  • Title Drop: The Joker drops the title when taunting Alina.
    Joker: When I was your age, I would imagine someone like him—a hero – coming to rescue me. How would I have turned out if that had happened? Well, little princess, let's see if your dark prince charming will come for you. Heh, heh.
  • The Tooth Hurts: To replace the stolen necklace he lost, the joker makes another one out of the a minion's teeth he took out with a pair of pliers.
  • Ultimate Universe: This is an alternate universe separate from the regular DCU, but things aren't too different to interfere with what is a traditional Batman status quo.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Joker and Harley Quinn. Despite treating his thugs like crap, the Joker genuinely tries his best to please his girlfriend. However when she protests about his intention to kill Alina, he shoots her with little remorse or hesitation.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: The story ends with a flashbacks showing the Joker meeting and flirting with Alina's mom. This put whether or not Bruce truly is Alina's father in question...