Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Batman: One Bad Day: The Penguin #1 Review



Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith
Colors by: Arif Prianto
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover price: $7.99
Release date: October 18, 2022

Batman: One Bad Day - Penguin #1 recounts a near future where Penguin's entire operation is snatched away by the Umbrella Man. Out of friends and resources, Penguin claws his way back to the top - one step at a time.

Is It Good? 

Batman: One Bad Day - Penguin #1 is interesting, hopeful, and at times, entertaining. That said, I don't understand what this story has to do with anything remotely resembling "One Bad Day."

John Ridley's story catches up with a beaten, destitute, and hopeless Penguin as he watches the city he used to call home from a lonely bench on the other side of the river. With his last $20, Penguin buys a gun with a single bullet, beginning a quest to reclaim all he lost and restore the natural order of crime in Gotham City.

He succeeds. In a bizarre twist, Ridley successfully creates the villain version of a Hero's Journey. Working his way through money launderers, drug dealers, weapons dealers, and assassins, Penguin begins assembling an eclectic, ragtag bunch of odd criminals to help him return to his former glory. Each criminal falls short in the intimidation department. Still, what they lack in presence, they make up for in heart and determination to overcome their personal demons on a path to becoming something greater.

Again, the big failing of this issue is Ridley's misunderstanding of the homework assignment, if there is one. Nothing about this issue remotely resembles a "One Bad Day" concept, so you have to wonder what Ridley was told to write when he dreamed up this one-shot. Regardless, this is a surprisingly entertaining capsule story if you ignore the title and the "One Bad Day" concept.

Camuncoli, Smith, and Prianto elevate the surprising script with odd character designs, strong facial acting, and amusing action, especially when focused on the big-fisted but diminutive Lili.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman: One Bad Day - Penguin #1, as with the previous "One Bad Day" issues, appears to have nothing to do with the "One Bad Day" concept. However, Penguin's quest to regain his former glory in a villainous version of a hero's journey has a surprising amount of heart and wit. Ignore the title, but enjoy the story.


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