dec824cover.jpgSouvenir T-Shirts only $28

Waddling back to Gotham, the Penguin is ready for business. He claims he’s going straight, but come on, he’s the Penguin. What’s a Batman to do?

What makes Oswald Cobblepot one of the more interesting “villains” in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, is he’s moved beyond bird based crimes to that of a mobster fencing stolen goods from his night club front. Thankfully, he has evolved from the “Waugh Waugh” squawking to that of someone who is smart enough to manage his affairs just under the nose of the Batman.

And knowing Penguin is the Penguin, Batman is sure he is up to something. As this issue opens, Batman has been captured and is hanging above a pool of angry sea lions. But just as quickly as he is captured, Batman frees himself, taking care of Penguin’s goons, and confronting Cobblepot directly.


Even though he did try and kill Batman, Batman did break and enter, justifying Penguin’s actions. Oswald claims he made it easy for Batman to escape, and explains that he’s no longer a criminal, but rather a legitimate businessman, eager to reopen his Iceberg Lounge. He even goes so far as to invite the Dark Knight to the grand reopening.

Little does Penguin know, but the Batman does attend the opening as Bruce Wayne. Along for the ride is an obvious Hilton-ish date. While I can appreciate what Dini is doing here, the less free publicity given the better. At the party, Wayne is welcomed with open arms, but trying to keep a sharp eye out is very hard to do when distracted by his comely companion’s antics.

Fortunately the only sanity at the gathering is long time friend Lois Lane, assigned to cover the event. While the two chit-chat, another reformed villain appears.


In the office, the Penguin and Riddler congratulate each other on how great their lives have become now that they have gone legit. Penguin is making a fortune selling t-shirts and other Iceberg Lounge merchandise to the yokels, and cautions Edward not to slip and return to a life of crime. With the cops and Batman off their cases, life is good.

Through the Penguin, Dini makes a great commentary on how robbing from the rich doesn’t pay off, but how fortunes are being made by “legit” businesses who are lining their pockets with profits from cheap products made for pennies, and sold to wanna bes. That’s so hot…

Unfortunately for Oswald, his profits are walking out the door thanks to Mr. Zzz winning hand after hand at the poker table. A quick scan using one of his Bat-gizmos reveals to Wayne that Mr. Zzz has some type of implant aiding in his winnings. Seeking a card counter, Bruce calls Zatanna for help.

From here, things move pretty quickly; Batman follows Mr. Zzz back to base, finds the captive card counter, beats up the bad guys, and reluctantly returns the money to Cobblepot. Not all of the money is returned however. Seems the money used to finance the reopening of the club was extorted and Mr. Zzz and his partner were only getting their share back.

This issue was kind of hit and miss for me. Watching Riddler and Penguin change their ways is an interesting character study, but like Harvey Dent and Poison Ivy before them, one wonders when they’ll slip, reverting to their old ways. Guest appearances by Lois Lane and Zatanna were nice as well, but I have issue with the overall story. It seems rushed and forced at points, with a close that ended up being less about being a detective and more about getting what you want by having connections.

I was really spoiled by the fill in artwork done in the last issue, so everything seems off to me this time around. I don’t know if it was the colors, the odd angles, the inconsistencies from panel to panel, or all of the above.

No one is perfect (I should know, I look in the mirror every morning), and this time Dini just didn’t hit a homerun, earning this issue 3 stars. Slightly better than average, but not fantastic.


What’s Good

  • “I even left your belt on”
  • Lois Lane gets three stories for the price of one
  • T-shirts $28

What’s Bad

  • The issue felt like it was rushed for approval
  • Not much detective work is actually done
  • Could have done with out the Paris Hilton reference

Parting Shot


Discuss Detective Comics 824 in the Major Spoilers forum.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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