Unhinged had a good run of five straight comics that were totally worth buying, but issue #8 falls flat. Let’s start with the narration. These Penguin captions don’t need to force Penguin’s cockney accent. Any work of fiction that writes out dialogue phonetically is going to run into trouble sometimes and when done right it can really add something to a work, but here it’s far too distracting.
Next is the way Penguin is drawn. Don’t get me wrong, Simon Coleby is doing a fine job drawing this book and the colors by Gabe Eltaeb fit the pencils nicely, but the most important character to draw spot-on in this book is, of course, Penguin. The problem is that Penguin doesn’t look like Penguin. He’s too thin, his jaw is too square, etc. And are we to expect issue #9 to feature the infamous bottle-to-the-eye scene alluded to in the video game? I hope so. If not then that means that Simon Coleby just didn’t know that Arkhamverse Penguin has a bottle eye and not a monacle. Also, his characterization is a bit off in one caption where Penguin states that “It was my proudest moment. For a Cobblepot to finally be welcomed into ‘igh society.” If it had said “back” into high society, I’d be fine with it, but this sounds like the Cobblepots were never an esteemed family and that wasn’t the case. Even the Arkham City and Arkham Asylum video games explain that.
The next problem is the Joker. This entire story takes place in a flashback before Arkham City was even founded yet Penguin, trying to be a legitimate businessman invited The Joker to a party at his Iceberg Lounge. What? You can write that off by saying Joker is in disguise (painting his skin) so it’s cool, but he left his hair BRIGHT GREEN. People are going to know it’s Joker. And the henchmen who show up to help Joker escape Penguin’s men look exactly like the goons we see in Arkham City…
This is a lazy issue that doesn’t add anything to the Arkhamverse. Even worse, it makes an important moment in the Joker/Penguin rivalry alluded to far less interesting than the game had made it out to be. If you read issue #7, you can easily skip out on this issue and pick up #9 without missing a thing.
Worth a Buck or Not?
When was the last time you ate a bag of Andy Capp’s “Hot Fries”? Go buy a bag of those for a buck instead.