By: Frank Tieri (writer), Christian Duce (art), Andrew Dalhouse (colors) and Taylor Esposito (letters)

The Review: This can be a pretty short review because there really isn’t much to say.  Batman #23.3 isn’t a bad comic, but there also isn’t any reason for it to exist beyond selling another issue to fans.  It doesn’t reveal anything new and interesting about The Penguin and it doesn’t seem to feed into any upcoming storylines for the other Bat-books.

If you are a passionate fan of The Penguin or if you simply MUST have something comic book-related to read for the next 10 minutes (and think that 10 minutes of mediocre entertainment is worth $2.99), be my guest.  The issue tells a done-in-one story of The Penguin.  He’s basically the same character here that he always was in the Old 52: Musty old crime boss.  He still has a top-hat, monocle and trick umbrella.  At the end of the day, he’s really a kinda dumb character; he was designed for children’s comics back in the 1940s and have never really been updated successfully like some other Bat-villains.

The story is nicely written and concise.  The art is very competent.  There’s nothing here to cause offense other than the fact that DC just shoveled a comic at you that is irrelevant and you just paid $2.99 for it.  I honestly cannot imagine anyone will make this a Pick of the Week or remember the story after the close the comic.  Personally, I don’t like to read comics that are this unambitious.

Conclusion: Save your money.  Completely unnecessary.

Grade: D

Note: Part of the reason this review has a negative slant is that I was reading The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice, but had to put that OGN aside to read this Batman issue for review purposes.  Although I am only about 1/3 finished with that OGN, it is thought-provoking and ambitious.  It is a true labor of love where creators are dedicating themselves to telling a complex story even though it probably won’t sell well (i.e. the total opposite of a Batman one-shot, which is unambitious and will sell well regardless).  It’s hard not to draw a comparison between the two works.

-Dean Stell