Brooklyn knight rises

Brooklyn knight rises
Courtesy of Tony Laplume

The Nets’ new mascot is a dark knight — and the team’s owner, none other than Bruce Wayne.

Billionaire owner of the newly minted Brooklyn basketball team Mikhail Prokhorov is a larger-than-life character, a tall, handsome bachelor athlete with the ability to reach for rim, and now he’s a comic book hero, too.

“If there ever was a real-life Bruce Wayne, It’s Mikhail Prokhorov,” said author Tony Laplume, who wrote the biographical comic about the Nets owner “Orbit: Mikhail Prokhorov.”

Laplume’s bio-comic traces Prokhorov’s meteoric rise from Moscow schoolboy to one of the richest, most influential men in the world, touching on everything from his love of martial arts to his $200 million investment into Russia‘s first hybrid car.

Brooklynites most likely won’t see the Russian mogul jumping across rooftops in Clinton Hill or Greenpoint in a black cowl and cape under the cloak of night, but Laplume’s book shows off the vibrant life of a playboy.

The 24-page full-color comic is an informative and fun read without airbrushing Prokhorov’s blemishes, like his arrest — and the eventual dropped charges — for flying in several women to a party in France, the 12-month period he lost $5 billion, his doomed run for the presidency in Russia, and even his failed attempt to lure all-star center Dwight Howard to the Nets.

But the man known as the “Bachelor Billionaire” has his share of success stories — especially with the ladies.

“I suppose the most surprising element [of researching the comic] was the playboy, bad boy image he’s inadvertently cultivated, which was one of the reasons I made the comparison with Bruce Wayne,” Laplume said. “That’s the main ingredient of Batman’s alter ego ably demonstrated in Christopher Nolan’s films.”

But like Bruce Wayne, parts of Prokhorov’s origin-story remain shrouded in mystery. Vancouver, Wash.-based Bluewater Productions, which has featured everyone from Steve Jobs to Justin Bieber in its bio-comic series, reached out to Prokhorov for his help, if not his support, with the comic. Since he didn’t respond, there was no way of learning more about his childhood.

“The formative development of any public figure never really gets its due, and Prokhorov is no different,” LaPlume said. “That’s always my favorite aspect of any bio. There was some material available, but I would have loved to have found out more. It’s probably what would have been the biggest benefit of speaking with Prokhorov directly.”

“Orbit: Mikhail Prokhorov” is available at St. Mark’s Comics [148 Montague St. between Henry and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 935–0911].