Wonder why you should care about the Penguin? Maybe you don’t really see him much of a threat, or perhaps even a joke. Well, Gregg Hurwitz will tell you precisely why you shouldn’t underestimate him, and this is a comic I suggest you pick up.
I don’t know Penguin’s early works in comics, but I never really saw a strong reason to fear him, especially not with people like Joker or even Two Face. I know in the DCAU he was something to reckon with, but it was mainly for he was a smart criminal. Good at covering up his black deals. The few times I’ve caught him in the comics, he seemed the same way. The only time, until recently, that he was a force to reckon with was the Burton movie Batman Returns. Danny Devito made a wonderful Penguin, and save the rather cute army of penguins, Burton write him nicely. But I at least can’t think of a time besides that he was really something to fear. Now though we have his recent appearance in the game Arkham City, and of course this comic.
The first issue showed just how powerful and cruel the Penguin was. This one starts off at least humanizing him. Wee see his hate for Batman and how just his appearance seems to make people lose their respect for Penguin. More so though, we also see Cobblepot’s awe and even admiration (jealousy?) of Batman. This story also keeps jumping between the present and Oswald’s past. Seeing how he grew up only further to humanize him, and gives reasoning behind who he has become. The scenes in the present shows love for his mother. Much of it even seems to show a strong want to just be accepted and aknowledged.
But then, as if to keep us from feeling too much sympathy for Penguin, we get pulled out by the deaths of his brothers. Just talk of how they died, nothing more. Soon after that a cut of Jim and Batman talking on the roof of GCPD Headquarters, before another cut to the death of Cobblepot’s own mother. Probably the only human he really cared for. Enter the talk of tragedy to go back and really show how his siblings died. All killed strategically by – you guessed it – a young Oswald Cobblepot. Then, despite his earlier admiration for Batman, he talks what he thinks true strength is. Not muscles, size, or how well you look. To him “its all about determination” and perseverance.