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Old 03-02-2013, 01:52 AM   #1
RustyCage
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Default The Penguin Appeciation Thread

So, I just finally got 'round to reading Penguin: Pain and Prejudice. I have to say, I'm decently floored by how good it is.

I was wondering two things:

1) Does anyone know if they're planning a Hardcover release of this?


Because it deserves it, and I would buy it.

2) What are some other Penguin stories you'd recommend?

Personally, I'd recommend Joker's Asylum: Penguin, but I think that's included with the Paperback collection of PAP.

My two cents on Pain and Prejudice:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
I have a couple of nitpicks, such as the beheading early on being a bit of a corny and obvious 'shock factor' grab, and there are a few unnecessary 'BAM! KABLOOSH!' bits that take away from action panels that are more effective without them.

It feels like the climax could have done with more growth, but the story is still told, both deeply and engagingly.

The moral of the story is that the Penguin's own doing left him all alone. He did everything to be powerful, but he could never have an honest companionship .. because he didn't trust anyone to love him. Everything that he resented not having he, sadly, wound up pushing away out of his own paranoia and hatred. His existence is a sullen irony.

Tragic end of it is, despite all he lost to this behavior, and even though he's visibly sorrowed for a moment by the result of it, he doesn't fully acknowledge or respect it, and continues on as he was. The lesson is lost on him. All he sees is red.

The art wowed me. Penguin was portrayed more perfectly and poignantly than probably any other portrayal of a Batman villain that I'm witness to, and a lot of the set pieces oozed with their own personality and story. I particularly appreciated the page with Oswald's mother's funeral. There are autumn leaves drifting down the black patches of the page, framing the atmosphere. They use shadows and 'the little things' with a sense of poetry.

Not always the best visual depiction of Batman, though. There are a few awesome panels that evoke a bit of Tim Sale (but do it arguably better, if you ask me - not sure if that's blasphemy), but most of it, while not bad, isn't as impressive. Either way, they capture all the appropriate elements of him they needed to tell the story.

The artist cycled through several different chest emblems through the book, which was a fun distraction. The Nolan-style emblem makes an appearance in one or two panels, which brought me a smile. I love nods like that. Funny enough, even though he was chest-branded as Nolan's Batman, I mostly caught myself reading his lines with Michael Keaton's voice in my head rather than Christian Bale's. The attitude of his lines just felt more like Keaton's Batman than any other version.

If I had to whip up a number to score this book, I'd give it a 9.8. Ounces away from perfection.

It's short (5 issues), but it's so dense with thought-provoking content and emotional perspective that it feels like you've spent considerable time on it, experienced a lot, by the time you're through. The art is rendered with a care that reflects and expands this.

Thumbs way up.


And now, a pair of textless covers for your enjoyment.

I have these two in larger sizes if anybody would like them.

Pain and Prejudice #1:



Joker's Asylum - Penguin:


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Last edited by RustyCage; 03-02-2013 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:15 AM   #2
The Joker
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Default Re: The Penguin Appeciation Thread

Pain and Prejudice is one of the best and most underrated Batman stories that has come out in years. At times I felt a bit bad for Oswald, and other times I found him terrifying and so vile. That's how the Penguin should be. A combination of villainy with a touch of the sympathetic.

If you want recommendations for other great Penguin stories, I'd recommend:

- Detective Comics #610 & 611. Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle greatness.






- Secret Origins Special #1. Penguin gets revenge on a childhood bully who tormented him mercilessly.





- Batman #548 and 549. A great story where Penguin gets tired of life in the Iceberg Lounge and misses the exciting days when he would challenge Batman as a the umbrella wielding, attack bird loving super villain.



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Last edited by The Joker; 03-02-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
RustyCage
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Default Re: The Penguin Appeciation Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Joker View Post
- Secret Origins Special #1. Penguin gets revenge on a childhood bully who tormented him mercilessly.
This one was clearly a huge inspiration for Pain and Prejudice. Even down to his father dying of pneumonia (come to think of it, my mom almost did..) and thus the umbrella.

The Two-Face story in this book is one of the better ones I've read too. My fave of the set.

Quote:
- Detective Comics #610 & 611.

- Batman #548 and 549.
Are these collected within GN volumes? Or should I just seek out the individual issues?

Love the first Grant/Breyfogle cover. I could turn a number of their covers into posters.

Thanks for providing those.

Edit: This is my top Grant/Breyfogle cover that I've come across so far. Had to share it!



If only I could find it in high-resolution...

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Last edited by RustyCage; 03-02-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
The Joker
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Default Re: The Penguin Appeciation Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyCage View Post
This one was clearly a huge inspiration for Pain and Prejudice. Even down to his father dying of pneumonia (come to think of it, my mom almost did..) and thus the umbrella.
Batman #548 covers this as well in a flashback Oswald has. It shows a scene where his mother forces him to carry the umbrella around even in the sunshine because the father died of pneumonia by walking out into a rain storm. Only the mother in this story is very unpleasant. A real biotch in fact. She smacks him viciously over the head with the umbrella when he refuses to take it. She even calls him a little freak.

Quote:
Are these collected within GN volumes? Or should I just seek out the individual issues?
Seek the individual issues. If you have any good comic book store near you that sells back issues you should find them there. Or look for them on-line. They're not expensive. Both are from the 90's.

Also if you're looking for another Penguin story where he's just pure ruthless evil, check out the first Detective Comics Annual written by Denny O'Neil:




Quote:
Love the first Grant/Breyfogle cover. I could turn a number of their covers into posters.
I agree. Their run on Detective is my favorite of any era in the Batman comics. I have all of them except for one issue.

Quote:
Edit: This is my top Grant/Breyfogle cover that I've come across so far. Had to share it!



If only I could find it in high-resolution...
Yeah, that's beautiful. Breyfogle really knew how to draw the best Batman.

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Last edited by The Joker; 03-02-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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