In the Clutches of the Penguin!Never one to stay away from Batman for too long, I thought I’d try a Batman book that doesn’t involve Joker cutting off his face or other terrifying behavior. From Stone Arch books, a Capstone imprint, this new collection of library-bound comics under the series title The Batman Strikes! is one that younger fans of Batman can look forward to. For my introduction to the series, I was happy to read In the Clutches of the Penguin. Based on the Kids’ WB Saturday morning cartoon, The Batman, this is a fun and fast-paced story of a younger and greener Bruce Wayne and Batman that fans young and old will appreciate.

The problem with the Penguin is that he’s just too cocky and predictable, so when Batman discovers a pattern on a map of all the Penguin’s latest robberies, he thinks he’s finally caught a break to bring the him down. However, this newly minted Batman just doesn’t hit the right notes, and he ends up on the receiving end of some Penguin revenge. Will he get a second chance at making a first impression…actually, will he get a second chance at apprehending the Penguin and all his flighty foul companions?

I’m always happy to see superhero comics for younger readers. I take for granted all the great Batman stories out there, but they’re really mature, and just not right for the young’uns. The illustrations and coloring here are vivid and bright, and really stay true to the look of the original show. Perfectly placed and easy-to-follow traditional paneling will make it simple for readers who are new to the comic format to follow the story in the correct order. Movement and action are presented well in the story, with fun onomatopoeic accompaniments. What a perfect addition to any superhero fan’s collection, and with the library binding, these books are perfect for many, many readings.

The Batman Strikes!, vol. 1: In the Clutches of the Penguin!
by Bill Matheny
Art by Christopher Jones, Terry Beatty
ISBN: 9781434264831
DC Comics, Stone Arch Books, 2014

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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