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COMIC REVIEW: ‘Batman’ #23.3 Penguin

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‘Batman’ #23.3 Penguin
‘Batman’ #23.3 Penguin

‘Batman’ #23.3 Penguin

  • Cover by Jason Fabok
  • Written by Frank Tieri
  • Art by Christian Duce

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BEWARE OF SPOILERS

I’m impressed by both the creep factor and also the level of violence that ‘Villains Month’ has brought to the table. This issue in particular has a level of darkness to it that I completely did not expect to see even with DC Comics focussing solely on it’s villainous characters.

I’m not sure what my preconceptions were about The Penguin, in recent issues he’s been downgraded from A-list villain at the hands of Emperor Penguin and has been stuck on his Iceberg rather than out exploring the town. Whatever I might have been expecting this was not it.

This issue is a brilliant example of The Penguin at his most manipulative, the literal smoking gun on the front cover is much more figurative on the inside pages.

Capitalising on the mockery that Penguin has become the characters in Gotham often mock him early in the story and push him to the position where we find him at the end, causing the death of Governor Winston.

Whereas other villains stories have been simple tales-in-the-life-of or psychological portraits that are very in the moment with the Justice League MIA this story actually moves the character in to a much better position within the community. Not to negate any of the value from the rest of the issues published this month but this is a great opportunity to do some work to fix problems the character has been facing over recent months.

My view of Penguin is always slightly skewed because apart from his appearances in the Adam West TV series my strongest memories of the character are of the Danny DeVito version in ‘Batman Returns’ which is obviously hugely different to The Penguin of the comics.

The closing words of the issue are ‘Never underestimate The Penguin. Because I will always have the last word.’ are those words could not be truer.

The artwork in this issue is a little derivative but it has a great shadowy darkness to it that reflects the often dark nature of the story. The quality is consistent throughout which is always important to me.

Another good villain portrait that’s well worth a read.

8/10

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