I’m so behind with my reading. The latest Phoenix Presents book I received was sent to me last year, and I’ve only just managed to pick it up. But I’m so glad I finally did, because it deals with one of my favourite Phoenix stories; the misadventures of the new Napoleon of Crime, Evil Emperor Penguin.
As regular readers will know, I’m rather fond of villains, and Evil Emperor Penguin – affectionately known as Eep – is right up there with the best of them. With diabolical gadgets, cunning disguises, and his own unique quirk (a deep and abiding love of spaghetti hoops), he’s the supervillain’s supervillain, playing all the tropes with aplomb.
Eep has the two greatest sidekicks a penguin could wish for – Number 8, a rather dapper octopus, and Eugene, a tiny, adorable yeti who’s too cute to be properly evil at all. (I say greatest…Number 8 and Eugene are, quite often, the spanners in the works of Eep’s evil schemes. But, being a good bad boss, he forgives them. Usually. Kind of).
Despite the focus on plots (specifically, evil plots), Evil Emperor Penguin is one of the more character-driven comics I’ve read, each inhabitant of the frozen wastes all but jumping out of the page. In addition to Eep, Number 8 and Eugene, we have Eep’ s nemesis Evil Cat, Kevin the magical unicorn, and many more. The humour is silly and surreal, with an edge that will appeal to the more cynical reader (*ahem*).
Evil Emperor Penguin is just plain fun, and I can’t wait to read more.