Robb Ghag reviews Detective Comics #20…
“The superhuman transformation of Ignatius Ogilvy is just the tip of the iceberg when an extremely unexpected character comes to The Penguin’s aid!“
This one is it. The buildup over the past few issues with the rise of Emperor Penguin (Ignatius Ogilvy) and the fall of Oswald Cobblepot finally gets some closure. Somewhere caught in the middle is Batman. If you recall in the last issue (which would have been the 900th issue of Detective Comics prior to the New 52 reboot), we saw that Ogilvy had unleashed the Man-Bat serum on Gotham. When freeing the city we saw a glimpse of Ogilvy with Poison Ivy, and in this issue we find out why.
I was skeptical while reading this story arc, as quite frankly the Penguin (Emperor or otherwise) has never been the most interesting character in Batman’s rogue’s gallery in my opinion. However, this storyline has combined many of the outside influences (Poison Ivy’s botany skills, Bane’s Venom and the Man-Bat Serum) to create most likely what will be another of Batman’s steadfast villains.
Jason Fabok’s artwork again is awesome. Perfectly suited to the Dark Knight, and for some reason he loves drawing Batman fighting in the rain (it works)! The double splash pages are gorgeous and the fight scenes are so detailed you can almost see exactly when Batman’s ribs are cracked!
For me thought, the rise of Emperor Penguin was escalating great, but his fall was quick (essentially all in this issue) and his response was, kind of lack lustre? I guess I’m just used to the more prolific villains in the Batman universe – even when they lose they find a way to win. Although the backup story follows what happens to Ogilvy next, which is a great segue in the inevitable event he comes back. Also, the final panel of the regular story introduces a returning villainess, which shapes up the next story arc.
All in all I think Layman and Fabok are a great team and I can guarantee as long as this type of quality keeps coming in Detective Comics, I’ll keep reading.
Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.