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[personal profile] starwolf_oakley
The end of BATMAN: ZERO YEAR had Batman comparing himself to a lightning rod for Gotham City. I had read that before, in PENGUIN TRIUMPHANT. It was a 1992 graphic novel about the Penguin out the same time BATMAN RETURNS was released.

Read more... )
[personal profile] lego_joker
For my tenth anniversary post, I waffled back and forth on what I was going to post. The greatest Joker story ever told (not written by Chuck Dixon)? The two most depressing pages to ever be shown in a My Little Pony comic? The pilot chapter of the gory-yet-intriguing manga known as Detective Conan (AKA Case Closed), one of my favorites to this day?

Eventually, I decided that old Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot ought to get a little more of the limelight lately. But even here, there were choices aplenty. Would I post his debut story? His first team-up with the Joker? The time he disguised himself a nun? The magnificent three issues that chronicled his transformation from outright supervillain to shady racketeer?

I was going to go for that last one, but then I remembered that part of that story happened to be written by That Guy Whose Name Rhymes With Schmeter Schmavid. And without that part, the rest of the story doesn't have quite as much punch to it. So instead, we'll turn to a much shorter Penguin story that came out in 1987, smack-dab in the middle of the post-Miller era.

(This story was printed in Batman Annual #11, alongside Alan Moore's much more famous Clayface III story. It was written by Max Allan Collins, drawn by Norm Breyfogle, and ran for fifteen pages.)

Expecting tons of grim-n-grittiness behind the cut? Neither am I! )
[personal profile] lego_joker
A few folks have taken issue with my last Penguin post, finding it difficult to believe that the Penguin would ever lower himself to pure fisticuffs. But then again, that story was published in 1989, DC was still reeling from the double-whammy of Miller and Moore, and it's something of a given that they would trip and stumble with darkening up their villain origins.

So let's move on to the far more progressive future: the wondrous, enlightened year of 1992. With Batman Returns on the horizon, DC naturally wanted to give ol' Oswald Cobblepot a bigger share of the limelight. Said limelight was offered through a prestige-format graphic novel known as Penguin Triumphant, written by the great John "Suicide Squad" Ostrander and penciled by Joe Staton.

It's not one of my personal favorites, but several of my pals have toted it as the end-all be-all of Penguin stories. In my opinion, the plot was built on territory that had literally been tread dozens of times before - the Penguin declares that he's going straight; Batman is a suspicious ass, and is ultimately proven right in the end.

Still, it had a few moments going for it. Like this one, the only part in this particular comic to discuss Penguin's childhood bullying problems.

The wrath of Oswald Cobblepot, behind the cut! )
[personal profile] lego_joker
So... the Penguin. What a wimp, right? Some writers make him one of the smartest Batman villains to make up for it; others portray him utterly pathetic on all fronts and ride it for every laugh it's worth.

And some writers just say nuts to all of that. Like Alan Grant, circa 1989's Secret Origins Special. A cut above most of Grant's work, if I do say so myself - but that might just be a result of the wonderfully moody art, which I find to be only enhanced by the poor paper/ink quality.

One page from the Bumbershoot Bandit's past, behind the cut! )

 

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