PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE #2 (OF 5)
What did the
Art and cover by SZYMON KUDRANSKI
Size: 32 pages
I’ve always felt that, with the exception of Danny DeVito’s portrayal of the character in Batman Returns and the version found in Batman: The Animated Series, the Penguin has always been an unfortunate hold-over from the Silver Age of comics, when goofy was acceptable and ridiculous was in. He’s a short, ugly weirdo dressed like the Planter’s Peanut with an obsession for water-fowl, whose traps Batman always seemed to find himself in. And he carried an umbrella. All the time. With Gregg Hurwitz and Szymon Kudranski’s new series, I can see they had the same opinion. Unfortunately, the fact that they’re trying to make the Penguin less of a joke and someone to actually be afraid of is the only thing they’re doing right in this book.
Hurwitz’s ideas for the evolution of Oswald Cobblepot from bullied, abused child to killer of men are solid, if cliche’d. We’ve seen other characters lose their beloved pets, get tipped over in outhouses and suffer the agony of their parents sexual activites before, so there isn’t really anything here too shocking, and all of those events together just make for a depressing read.
Kudranski’s art is very good. So good, in fact, that the constant blurring and flairing effects used in flashbacks and daydreaming sequences only make his beautiful artwork hard to look at, let alone process. Also, the color pallette used here is incredibly dark, and that only further helps to muddy what is otherwise great art.
Some of the ideas and moments here were entertaining; The Joker’s cameo was disturbingly funny, the theft of a pair of earrings was something I’d never seen before and Kudranski’s storytelling abilities can’t be denied. But these things together cannot overcome the books dreary outlook or the art’s poor representation, so I have to give it 1 star overall, and with this issue, I’m taking my leave of this title.
Art: 1 - Poor