I’m here to tell you why you should read Batman: One Bad Day – Penguin. Not only for its incredibly well-experienced creative team of John Ridley, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Rob Leigh; but because it’s The Penguin! Only our finest, oldest rogue who has been a part of Gotham’s lore since 1941! You can’t have a Batman story without The Penguin showing up sooner or later. His literal penguin-like appearance may cause people to underestimate him. However, in terms of his empire built from scratch – creating an orderly chokehold over the city for eight decades!? Yeah, you have to give the man credit where it’s due.
Batman: One Bad Day – Penguin exposes the ugly in failure. The desperation and not-so-proud moments. Despite being a villain, I found myself pitying Cobblepot’s situation. The guy has three bullets to his name within a violent city, topped off with a fat load of lingering failure. Call me a sadist, but I’ll forever be hooked on a main character’s suffering. I joke, the reality for me is following them through the lowest moments of their life right up to the point in which they overcome their toughest struggle. I would argue staying at the top is more harder than getting there. However, luckily for Penguin, things do pick up along the way! He has respectable moments I enjoyed, and I found myself surprised that the character was not as predictable as I expected. Underneath, the Penguin is a softie.
Penguin’s empire has been taken over by an old associate – The Umbrella Man. Undoing all of his efforts and creating chaos within the city’s crime circles. Despite what we think, crime has a formula; rules must be in place. Montoya and Batman must work together to contain as much of the instability as possible. The story is action-packed and an appropriate starting point to get into the character. No better moment than to hop in at a new arc!
John Ridley has a way of making you sympathetic toward the bad guy. All of them have their sad background story, and I’ll admit Penguin stories pique my interest no matter the scenario, so okay, I may be an easy pleaser. There’s something about an OG mob boss falling from his pedestal I believe should be explored with every great successor. What goes up must come down. Ridley’s Penguin is calculated and clever; he knows how to gather the right people to reconstruct his empire. He is also not as irrational as I thought and surprisingly funny! There’s good chemistry with the supporting characters and I felt it wasn’t too crowded for a first issue. The right amount of information to not overload you as well as get you excited for what’s to come next! The storyline would make for a good movie or TV show; I hope we experience similar plots and traits in the upcoming Penguin show.
I thoroughly enjoyed Giuseppe Camuncoli’s layouts; it’s an uplifting relief when you open the cover to well-thought-out layouts, and with details so fine, Gotham to me looks exactly like Guiseppe draws. Parts of me will lose interest in a book immediately, especially a Gotham-based one, if the setting doesn’t remind me what my Gotham feels like. As soon as I started to read I felt at home with Gotham rogues. I personally have been a fan of Giuseppe Camuncolis and Cam Smith’s work on such titles as The Joker. The pair’s work is pleasant to look at as well as having a distinctive flair.
I think you will find yourself intrigued by Batman: One Bad Day – Penguin, and I found it to be a great start to a new, better criminal empire that’s soon to come!