The Penguin #5 Review: Wak Wak

The Penguin #5 review

Read our review of The Penguin #5 from DC Comics, written by Tom King with art by Rafael de Latorre, as Oswald’s team comes together.

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 #5 Review:

The Penguin has been putting together a team to take back Gotham City, and this issue he recruits someone brand new: Black Spider.

Host Alex Zalben kicked things off lauding the “clarity of focus” of this series, as each issue brings Penguin closer to retaking Gotham City. “Each character, because we’re spending time with them, has a very different feel… And the tension, the farther and farther we get away from that [first issue] where Batman and Penguin are dying in the Batplane… Makes me more nervous. This is a great crime comic book, great superhero comic book. Rafael de Latorre’s layouts and the art are perfect.”

Justin Tyler fondly compared the book to King’s work on Mister Miracle and Human Target, saying, “It’s so meticulously planned, and able to switch into different characters’ points of view.” On this issue, Tyler was impressed by the willingness of the Black Spider’s narration to be “so wrong all the time… Next-level writing.”

Pete LePage, meanwhile, was struggling with how “awful” the Penguin is in this book, “and then each issue shows you how dark and horrible he is, and it keeps getting worse as we’re getting to Gotham… I don’t know how Batman is going to deal with this… I’m very nervous, but I guess that’ all Tom King’s plan.”

And before you think the book is all darkness, Zalben wrapped up by shouting out a joke where The Penguin’s daughter insists she’s nothing like her father, but when she beats Black Spider with an umbrella it makes a “wak wak” sound effect. “Just a funny joke,” Zalben said, “[But] it ties into the character, and is very smart.”

The Penguin #5 Official Synopsis:

WHO IS THE PENGUIN’S MYSTERIOUS NEW ALLY? With the dust settling in the aftermath of the Gotham War, Penguin’s gather­ing the final member of his team before his return to Gotham…but who is this mysterious villain and what’s his connection to the Dark Knight?

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