Penguin: Pain and Prejudice is a five part miniseries that ran from September 2011 to February 2012. It’s all about; you guessed it, the Penguin. It’s written by Gregg Hurwitz, a crime novelist who’s done some real good work in comics too. The art is great, it’s very dark, and it seems like what the tone of Batman Returns was attempting to do but failed, the art is handled by Szymon Kudranski. The series is kind of an origin story but not really. It shows what he’s all about and some detailed background story.  I’ve always liked the Penguin; he’s probably my second favorite Batman villain, which is kind of off when you think about it because he normally doesn’t do a lot. I think my liking him so much comes from the versions in the animated and Adam West TV shows. However this may be the new definitive version of the Penguin. He’s ruthless and really broken. He cares for his mother, and finds a girl who loves him, but as he assumes, only because he’s blind. The best part of this is it shows just how powerful and heartless the Penguin really is. He’s like the head of the mob, not literally but in stature, power and methods. If you cross him he’s not going to go beat the shit out of you, no he does much worse. He’ll bring you to his house where he’ll sit you down and tell you thirty seconds ago your parents died in a car crash, then how the rest of your friends and family have just been or are about to be killed. Then just leaves you broken. It’s really a sadistic way to go and I love it. The last two issues you start to see more of the TV show versions come out, he doesn’t have a ton of umbrella gags but he does build a bunch of robots for a master plan. Batman shows up very little in this thing until the last issue, and even then it’s not very much. Which is another thing I like about this, it’s a Penguin series so the focus of these is where it should be, on Penguin, not Batman. I’ve enjoyed the hell out of this series, the most I have of any mini series of recent memory. I’d say this is a must read for any Batman fan.

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