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The Penguin #6

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 5 critic ratings.

The battles between the Penguin and Batman are the stuff of legend on the streets of Gotham City…but what of their very first encounter, the first strike in this contest of champions? Tom King and guest artist Stevan Subic (The Riddler: Year One) tell the story of the brutal first meeting of these two titans.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
26 pages
Amazon ASIN

5 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 95

    Geek Dad

    Tom King has been weaving a fascinating story of Penguin’s return to power so far, but for this issue he goes backway backto explore the story of Oswald Cobblepot and his first rise to power.

  • 90


    The Penguin #6 offers longtime Batman fans a chance to see Penguin and Batman first interact while building up the conniving and truly disturbed nature of the title villain. An excellent look at the mind of Penguin and all the macabre and twisty things he thinks and does. It’s also a good chance to check out Subic’s work, some of the most intriguing art today.

  • 82

    The Batman Universe

    In The Penguin #6, Tom King bends Penguin’s origins to retell Oswald Cobblepot’s rise to power. Though quite a good tale with great art, your mileage on this retcon may vary.

  • 80

    The Penguin #6 shifts the series backward in time to essentially tell a “Year One” story in the first part of “An Unimportant Man.” The same storytelling familiarized throughout The Penguin so far is applied to set the scene for Batman’s early days taking down the mob as Carmine Falcone, Penguin, Batman, and various new characters narrate their perspectives on the setting. It’s the inclusion of artist Stevan Subic that most distinguishes the issue from its predecessors with exaggerated forms and deep, muddied colors consuming the city. Subic excels at portraying grime and cruelty, and makes entering a young Oswald Cobblepot’s world (essentially living on the sole of organized crime’s collective shoe) instantly understood. It also makes the issue’s final page seem inevitable as there’s no space for sympathy in the world as seen by the man who will become The Penguin. Even if the narration becomes cloying at points, the depiction of this origin and how it constructs a clearer relationship between Penguin and Batman is too promising to deny. The Penguin is in the best form it’s been since debuting and “An Unimportant Man” already feels like an important Penguin story.

  • 70

    Dark Knight News

    The Penguin #6 was a very well-rounded issue, although it seemed a little out of place with the way the main story was progressing up to this point. King has me hooked on this series, so I’m along for the ride either way. I just want to get back to our normal story, and creative team as quickly as possible.

More From The Penguin (2023)

About the Author: Tom King

Tom King has emerged as a beacon of narrative brilliance in the comic book world, weaving tales that resonate deeply with both long-time enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With a unique blend of emotional depth and complex storytelling, King’s work has redefined what it means to engage with the medium of comics. From his groundbreaking run on Batman to the introspective Mister Miracle, King’s portfolio is a testament to his ability to explore the human condition through the lens of the superhero genre.

Before becoming a household name in comics, Tom King embarked on a path far removed from the world of capes and villains. As a former CIA officer, King’s experiences have infused his storytelling with a palpable sense of realism and gravity, setting his work apart in a crowded field. His transition from espionage to comics might seem unexpected, but it’s this very background that enriches his narrative voice, allowing him to craft stories of heroism and sacrifice with authenticity.

King’s ascent in the comic book industry began with The Vision, a series that turned the Marvel android into a tragic figure struggling with the concept of family and humanity. This work, characterized by its melancholic exploration of identity, laid the foundation for King’s reputation as a storyteller capable of blending superhero action with deep, literary themes. His ability to humanize iconic characters, making their struggles and triumphs resonate on a personal level, has earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase.

However, it is perhaps his work on DC Comics’ Batman that has most profoundly impacted the comic book landscape. King’s Batman is a figure shaped by vulnerability and introspection, a departure from the invincible hero trope. Through arcs like “City of Bane” and the poignant Batman Annual #2, King explores themes of love, loss, and redemption, offering a fresh perspective on the Dark Knight’s mythos.

In addition to his superhero narratives, Tom King has ventured into the realm of creator-owned projects, such as Strange Adventures and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. These works further showcase his versatility, delving into science fiction and cosmic drama while maintaining his signature emotional depth and complex character studies.

Beyond the pages of his comics, King’s presence in the industry as a thought leader and advocate for the medium is undeniable. His candid discussions about the challenges of mental health, the creative process, and the importance of storytelling in contemporary culture have made him a respected figure among peers and fans.

Tom King‘s contributions to the comic book world have not gone unnoticed, earning him multiple Eisner Awards and solidifying his status as one of the most influential writers of his generation. As he continues to push the boundaries of comic book storytelling, King’s legacy is that of a visionary who reminds us that at the heart of every superhero story lies a deeply human tale waiting to be told.

For those who seek to explore the depths of narrative artistry within the comic book genre, Tom King‘s body of work offers a rich, introspective journey into the soul of modern heroism, proving that within the fantastical, the most profound truths of our existence can be found.

[Latest Update: April 24, 2024]