The Penguin #8 Review: Despicable Me

The Penguin #8 review

Read our review of The Penguin #8 from DC Comics, written by Tom King with art by Rafael De Latorre as the Penguin comes home.

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 #8 Review:

In the latest issue of this book, The Penguin has returned to Gotham City. And now he’s driving everyone insane by mostly living his life and not doing much. Plus, The Riddler does some riddles.

“This is one of the tensest reads of the week,” host Alex Zalben said. “Not to call out a ridiculous reference but if you guys remember from The Simpsons episode where there’s the one ninja just standing on the lawn and Homer’s like, ‘What’s he going to do?’ Then he looks away and he misses it? That’s this whole comic book… Every issue there’s some sort of [action beat], but the tension building up to that is so palpable that you can feel it dripping off of the writing and the art.”

“Tom King has put the Penguin at the center of Gotham City in this series in a good way, but also built up this great cast of characters around [him],” said Justin Tyler. “The help has been elevated so hard, he could have killed Batman in this issue, and it’s played really well. But I want to highlight the Riddler section. This is some of the best Riddler explanatory panels I’ve seen in a long time, where he’s just constantly riddling in his head… Yes, this is why he’s broken.”

Zalben added that — and positively, not derogatorily — he feels “there’s an element… of Tom King showing off in this book where he’s like, ‘as a writer, I can encompass many different viewpoints’ because every other page switches between viewpoints has other people narrating the action and they all have different voices… That’s something that every writer should do, but it is hard to execute and does not happen all the time. It’s very impressive.”

“I would argue this whole Penguin book is a Tom King flex,” said Tyler. “That energy has been there throughout.”

Finishing up, Pete LePage conversely said, “I am having a hard time with who to root for here because we can’t root for the Penguin. He’s clearly [bad] and has been the whole time. So it’s hard to ride this long with somebody who is so despicable.”

The Penguin #8 Official Synopsis:

THE PENGUIN MAKES HIS MOVE! The Penguin gathered his muscle, his advisor, and his insider…now it’s time to reclaim his throne in Gotham City! Phase One—a family reunion!

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