Review: The Penguin #4

“The Ex”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Rafael De Latorre
Color Artist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Philip Clark

Oh boy, does The Penguin #4 bring King back at his best! After the minor blip of the last issue, this one hits the standards that the first two chapters set.

The tone is sublime, the tension is palpable. St. Claire is a delightful gem and Cobblepot is at his peak. King is well and truly back on the throne.

Two Birds, One Bullet

From panel one, we’re on edge. Building tension over the entire issue, Tom King makes the readers think it’s going one way before pulling us in a completely different direction. The way the comic’s written makes it feel like a musical score; building the music until an expected crescendo, only to leave us exasperated when it doesn’t come immediately, but with mouths agape when it finally comes… when we least expect it.

As I expected, The Force of July feels like a few throwaway characters. We were introduced to them last issue, but they were very sparingly seen in this one. Oh, and let’s not forget the cliffhanger at the end of issue #3, either. We got no resolution to that other than they passed the task given to them.

A Woman Scorned

I find it incredibly interesting, that the only use of color (albeit still muted) is with the character of Lisa St. Claire. The red dress and almost white blonde hair pop in comparison to the rest of the colors, or lack thereof. The color work by Maiolo, compared to the rest of the comic, leads me to believe that we’re seeing the world as Oswald does.

Muted blacks, browns, and grays are the primarily used colors. Yet for this woman from The Penguin’s past to be portrayed this way is very telling.


Yet another fantastic piece of work from King and the creative team. A real storytelling masterpiece, each issue giving us more than the previous, and leaving us wanting more in the next!

There’s a real direction you can feel the story heading in, without it feeling rushed or out of beat. Just keep giving me what you’re giving me, DC!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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