Welcome to the Week of Villainy at Comical-Musings! This week we will highlight stories with villains both sympathetic and vile. It’s all in for the Writer’s Blok and you may see reviews from some writers that you haven’t seen material from in awhile. It should be a good time. I am a Napoleonic leader and am happy to be the first to jump into the fray with my review of “Penguin: Pain and Prejudice.”
This is a story of the life and times of the modern age Oswald Cobblepot, The Penguin. We get a back seat viewpoint to heinous acts that he commits and painful emotions that he experiences. It’s a dark little ride with few redeeming plot points. If I were to pigeon-hole him, he ends up with a sort of cold mafia boss vibe to him. He kills families first and asks questions later whilst ordering up big heists all across the city. He strives for legitimacy from his mother, but it is denied to him with her passing. He strives for love with his blind companion, but it is denied to him through his own evil nature. He is a tragic and depressing figure that it is hard to feel any empathy for at all. This is the “Pain” that the title refers to. If that’s the “Pain,” I guess that it is up to me to offer some prejudice.
I did not like this series. I had originally tasked Aberdeen with reading it, but we came to the same conclusion at the same time: it’s just not that good. I didn’t want her to have to write a negative review, but felt that our compounded view should be expressed. I am famous for liking most things that I read and finding a silver lining in every cloud, but this was just formulaic and un-interesting. There was little climax to the story and though it was centered around The Penguin, it revealed nothing ground-shaking or intriguing about him. I normally eat up super bad guys, but he was just an evil man. An evil man that I wished had died so that I wouldn’t have to consider that he is still around doing evil things. It was just kind of a way to fill 5 issues. A very disappointing series. To me, it was not even the creative team’s fault. Gregg Hurwitz was doing dark stuff before as a best-selling author of twelve thrillers, so he is probably not to blame. Heck, he even got an ongoing writing gig on Dark Knight because of this series. So DC doesn’t agree with me. Szymon Kudranski has a cool name and is absolved from all blame because of it. His art is decent too. This was just an idea that wasn’t properly utilized and therefore went nowhere.
I don’t recommend Penguin: Pain and Prejudice to anyone who is looking for something compelling to read. Nor do I recommend it to someone who wants to sleep at night. If you loved this series, feel free to defend it in the comments section below. If you want my opinion (you are reading my blog) it is this. In it’s horror and debased actions, it gets boring and the worst thing ever is a boring thriller. Even Gregg Hurwitz knows that.
~ Scott Deaux ~