Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman #23.3

Have you met the Penguin? Perhaps you've heard of him, owner of the Iceberg Casino, Gotham crime lord, all around dickhead? Well there are some slight of hand magicians cheating at his casino, who have heard of him, but have also heard he's gone soft (following Emperor Penguin). So when Penguin and his men take the magicians aside to demand the winnings back, they get nothing but laughs in return... So, Penguin escorts the three men outside, and makes quick work of them himself.

The bodies are found on the front step of the police headquarters the next morning, and with the growing violence in Batman's absence, the Governor has come to the city, promising to put an end to it, and he'll start where the three dead men were last seen, the Iceberg Casino. Penguin's head henchwoman Lark asks her boss if they should be worried about it, but Penguin explains that the Governor, Carter Winston is an old friend of his, since school, and is merely putting on an act. He's even invited Winston over for dinner that night.

At Dinner, Penguin finds out that Winston isn't playing around, he believes Penguin has gone too far this time. Winston shows Penguin his plans to follow in Bruce Wayne's footsteps and revitalize the area around the casino, which would in theory push the seedier element out, until the casino would be nothing but a glorified ice rink. Penguin plays the business threat off, and proposes a champagne toast to old friends and new ventures... which is soon followed by Winston being woken up by the Penguin in a dark room some time later.

Penguin has lark turn on the lights, and Winston sees the mutilated body of his young assistant in a hotel bed, him covered in her blood. Penguin gives his own presentation containing footage of Winston strung out on venom, killing his assistant, along with planted sexts in each of their phone. Safe to say, this is Penguin telling Winston to f off with his plans, and that he owns Gotham.

The next day in a press conference previously planned by Winston, he caves into the actions that Penguin is blackmailing him with, and shoots himself on live TV. Penguin, having watched everything play out, is rather unfazed by the turn of events, and tells Lark to send the biggest flower arrangement possible to the funeral, and make sure people see it. As Lark gets to her orders, Penguin opens up a book of personal momentous... all of which a life ruined by him.

The Good:

Penguin is straight up hardcore, let's be honest. Where we get stuff like Lex Luthor threatening Thomas Kord in Forever Evil with similar fates, Penguin doesn't have time for threats, and just does. I thought Frank Tieri did a pretty good job of following the path that has been laid out for the Penguin in the New 52, and artist Christian Duce portrayed Penguin particularly well, and used shadows to an equal effect. I also enjoyed the nod to the the Emperor Penguin story. 

The Bad:

It's nothing really new. Penguin has been featured in the New 52 a lot. His own mini series, Catwoman, Detective Comics, Catwoman again, and so on. I've seen this straight up life ruining Penguin before, and while generally enjoyable, I could have predicted this would be coming and would have liked to see it play out a little more uniquely.

Also, theres some disconnect between the universe and this issue. Batman is described as being gone, so one would think this is set during Forever Evil, yet the sun is out, power is flowing through the city, and they've got TV. I mean, not huge or anything, but I definitely took notice to it.

The Bottom Line:

If you like the direction Penguin has been set in since the start of the New 52, you'll most likely enjoy this issue, but if you're looking for something new to the character, you won't find anything. The issue was told well from both a writing and art perspective, but given the saturation of Penguin recently, it doesn't quite stand out from the crowd. 


1 comment :

  1. If you really think about it, the moon thing was a really stupid plan in Forever Evil. What is stopping the sun from rotating out of the way of the moon, or vice versa?