The Penguin enters centre stage for the latest arc of DC’s ‘Batman’…
Written by: Tom King / art by: Mikel Janin / colours by: Jordie Bellaire
What’s it about?
“The Tyrant Wing” : Batman crosses paths with the Penguin as the Gotham crime boss mourns a personal loss, but are his calls for a truce with the Dark Knight genuine?
One of the many great things about Tom King’s Batman run is that he is clearly telling one huge story that’s made more easily digestible by breaking it down into a series of smaller, interconnected arcs that are all pieces of a larger whole. Batman #58 marks the beginning of the next of those mini-narratives and whilst there are call-backs to previous arcs such as “I Am Suicide” and, to a lesser extent, “The Button” this Penguin-centric tale offers enough to be judged on its own merits.
It’s indisputable that Batman has the richest and most interesting rouges gallery in all of comics (only Marvel’s Spider-Man comes anywhere close) and you can’t really beat the classics – we’ve had a pleasing dose of the Joker and the Riddler and now it’s rightfully the Penguin’s turn in the spotlight. Oswald Cobblepot hasn’t really had significant focus since the New 52 and has been at risk of slipping into the background and “The Tyrant Wing” looks set to rectify that. Who better to handle that task than Tom King? With his gift for deep, effective characterisation, King brings a sympathetic quality to Cobblepot/Penguin, here suffering his own personal loss of a loved one, that hasn’t really been seen since Batman Returns. The added dimension makes the character (and in turn, the narrative) all the more engaging.
Of course, Batman continues to endure his own emotional pain – Selina Kyle’s abandonment of Bruce Wayne at the altar remains a gaping wound that has left his soul darker than it’s ever been. As we’ve recently seen from “Beasts of Burden” (Batman #55-57) there’s no reprieve from the Dark Knight’s intense brutality unleashed during “Cold Days” and tragedy is being piled upon tragedy with Bane, its orchestrator, lurking in the shadows. Ther’es a foreboding sense of more to come and glancing back at King’s run thus far, it’s certainly shaping up as a sort of sequel to the epic “Knightfall” saga and that’s an enticing prospect.
Returning to art duties on Batman is Mikel Janin and it’s always welcome, his beautifully composed layouts enriched by Jordie Bellaire’s colours it’s such an eye-catching issue with visuals that are bold, exciting (the wonderfully constructed splash-page depicting the Caped Crusader’s tussle with Penguin’s goons deserves to be lingered on) and coupled with Tom King’s lyrical script, emotive. There’s no argument that Tony S. Daniel has delivered solid work in previous issues but Janin is the perfect fit for this particular story.
The bottom line: Another fine issue of Batman courtesy of Tom King and Mikel Janin that adds new layers to a classic villain and teases more of Bane’s unfolding plot to break the Bat.
Batman #58 is published by DC Comics and is available in print and digital formats now.