Calender Man: A Date with Death

There’s a dang great cartoonist from Canadiadiadia by the name of Jay Stephens.  AMAZING stuff. You’d really have to track his work down now…he’s one of these talents who realizes there’s more money in doing anything that’s not comics. You guys probably know him best from designing/creating the TV shows “Tutenstein” and “The Secret Saturdays.”

He USED to do a hilarious comic book called Sin, which was reprinted once as The Land Of Nod, which you can still find sometimes. ANYWAY…

In Sin #4 he has his plucky heroes read the latest issue of their favorite comic book only to discover it’s been rebooted all grim and gritty. They properly proceed to throw it across the room with the word balloon “Pew, What a Reek.”

Why bring this up, you ask?

Penguin Pain and Punishment #1 (of 5), Gregg Hurwitz, Szymon Kudranski, DC

Back when it was cool to be a villain with a shtick the Penguin was a top dog. Iconic and simple, he was a squat gentleman thief who used his trick umbrellas and penguin motif to escape from Batman time after time.

But the Golden Age is over. Now? From Tim Burton to Alan Grant, writers have struggled to make this character modern. Is he a mutant? A Fence? A Snitch? Is he crazy or sane, dangerous or campy? In all these variations only three things seem consistent. ONE) He wears a tux, topper, monocle and spats. TWO) He’s got a big schnoz. THREE) He has parent issues.

SO GET READY for the bold new direction for the Penguin in the NEW 52 universe!  It promises Pain and Punishment! It will be crazy modern, to be sure.

MY hope? The comic ends with Batman framed dramatically in a doorway, standing around dramatically. We’re sure he’s here to catch the Penguin after one of his crimes…but what’s this? Batman starts fondling the Penguin’s bumbershoot?! We see the Penguin straddling old Bats, his tuxedo jacket draped around his bare, flabby shoulders and confessing this happens once or twice a month.

NOW THAT’S MODERN! THAT will save DC from claims that the Catwoman reboot was sexist. Just like the Army, Batman’s an equal opportunity employer.

COMICS

Image’s The Last of the Greats #1 seems cool: The usual “Super Hero team viewed as Gods until common people kill, imprisoned or just plain banished them” premise but with one team member surviving and taking revenge on the Earth. Like “The Incredibles” meets James Brown’s “The Big Payback!”

As an Agents of Atlas fan, Avengers 1959 #1 also tickles my interest. This team, which includes Kraven the Hunter, Sabertooth, Bloodstone, the Silver Sable, and many other weirdies, gives this book a reluctant, murderous Rat-Pack feel. Noice!

X-Men: Schism #5, Wildstorm’s Supernatural #1 from Brian Wood and #2s for Detective Comics and Action Comics round out some other fun picks for the week! Enjoy!

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