We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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The Penguin #2 Review:
The Help first appeared in Tom King’s series Killing Time, ending up one of the big winners of the story before heading into retirement. Now, The Penguin wants The Help’s help, and will stop at nothing to get it.
Host Pete LePage was put off by the darkness of the issue, saying, “It goes really way too far, and gets way too dark in this one… I kept looking at this like, is this a Black Label?”
Alex Zalben pointed out that the first issue ended with The Penguin and Batman, their arms sliced open, drowning in the Batplane. But even given that, LePage felt there was a difference between the two issues.
“I do think there is that violence,” LePage said. “And then there is The Penguin showing you how much of a villain he is by saying… You are my butler and you will always be a butler, and I’ll murder everyone you’ve ever loved just to prove that to you. And I was like, God damn, bro. Sometimes I like rooting for The Penguin. But this was hard.”
However, Zalben disagreed, saying, “I think there’s an argument to be made here that The Penguin is right, that the truest version of The Help is when he is not being a butler, but when he is helping people, what he is being the most powerful assassin on the planet, the person who can kill and destroy anybody… The way that it was set up in Killing Time. And Penguin comes in and says, you went soft, bro.”
Host Justin Tyler also was Team Penguin here, noting that The Help does rejoin The Penguin, “So there is something that makes him do that. The Penguin’s harsh lesson that he’s teaching him is, Hey, you’re a weapon. You need to be used in a battle. So you need someone to wield you.”
The Penguin #2 Official Synopsis:
Oswald Cobblepot is preparing to take back the Gotham underworld at the behest of the U.S. government, but to wage this war, he’s going to need some ruthless soldiers. For starters…the Help, the merciless assassin Penguin first encountered in the epic Batman: Killing Time. But can the Penguin free the Help from a prison of his own making? Whoever wins, everyone dies. The tough-as-nails series continues!