Penguin: Pain and Prejudice (Issue #1 of 5) (DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Penguin: Pain and Prejudice (#1 of 5)


Written by Gregg Hurwitz; Art and cover by Szymon Kudranski

Oct 13, 2011 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (aka The Penguin) is one of Batman’s more interesting rogues. He deserves a five-issue miniseries to delve into his origin story and the inner machinations of his shadowy criminal underworld. Since around the ‘80s, DC Comics has molded Cobblepot into a crimelord extraordinaire. The vision of crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz (Vengeance of the Moon Knight, You’re Next) and rising star artist Szymon Kudranksi (Spawn) continues that theme in Penguin: Pain and Prejudice. There are no trick umbrellas or carnival antics, à la Danny DeVito or Burgess Meredith. The character retains his animal savagery, though. Penguins are animals after all.

The dirty, slate grays and twilight tones used by Kudranski work well for a cruel origin story, set off by the violence of the present. None of Cobblepot’s actions are seen as sympathetic, but he sure has a rough childhood. Kudranski is a promising young artist that reminds me of Lee Bermejo or Tony Harris. It’s good company for the fledgling artist. Colorist John Kalisz (Hawkman, JSA) employs a judicious amount of yellows, reds, and blues for dramatic effect. Gotham’s underworld is not a colorful place.

Once its story starts chugging along, Pain and Prejudice is a brutal palette cleanser after reading so many New 52 comics. The best part? We only see The Caped Crusader show up in the last panel. This is The Penguin’s show and that’s a great thing, indeed. Check it out for a reminder of the depth of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. I would love to see miniseries for The Scarecrow, Black Mask, The Riddler, Clayface, Two-Face, Killer Crow, Firefly, and The Mad Hatter. It’s a long list. ( /

Author rating: 7/10

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