Warning: Spoilers for The Penguin #2!
One of Batman’s newest adversaries has just surpassed Lady Shiva as the deadliest person in DC Comics. The adversary in question is the Help, an assassin who makes his return in the Penguin’s new series. Lately, Oswald Cobblepot seems to have turned over a new leaf but is now forced to go back to Gotham to reclaim his assets. In times of trouble, he turns to this old ally for help.
The Help is reintroduced in The Penguin #2 by Tom King, Rafael de Latorre, Marcelo Maiolo, and Clayton Cowles. The Penguin spends the entirety of the issue insisting that the Help come out of retirement to accompany him in his return to Gotham. The 92-year-old man refuses — until Oswald finds a way to outsmart him. Before being forced to serve Oswald, the Help spends his final moments hearing the Penguin explain why he’s been so persistent in pursuing this seemingly helpless old me.
Cobblepot reveals all at the climax of the issue. “You, who are, in my studied in opinion, the most proficient killer on earth,” are Cobblepot’s exact words.
It’s easy to see why, as the entire issue paints exactly what makes the Help so expertly dangerous, even now in his old age. At one point, the Help mentions that he personally showed Green Arrow how to use a bow and arrow as a child. After that, he mentions training the Suicide Squad’s Katana, another of the DCU’s deadliest fighters, until she could “almost” match him in a duel. It’s also mentioned that he’s expecting Lady Shiva to arrive for a combat lesson — one where it sounds like she won’t be the teacher. That alone most certainly solidifies the deadliest fighter of them all.
It’s been arguably established in DC lore that Lady Shiva is the deadliest assassin in the world. She’s one of the rare villains whom Batman has never and cannot beat in a fight. Yet, there are some notable things that hurt her track record and reputation — like how easily Batman’s sidekicks have defeated her in the past. Robin Tim Drake has not only beaten Lady Shiva, but killed her, too. The Help may not look much better getting battered by The Penguin in the issue’s final pages, but this is just one exception against him being a deadly foe, whereas Shiva has several.
The Help has also defeated Batman in the past, but that’s not the only reason why he is so deadly. What gives the Help an edge over Lady Shiva is his pedigree in training other heroes and villains, including Green Arrow, Katana, and of course Shiva herself. Prior to this issue, it was even established that he trained Black Canary. As for Shiva, this new information suggests that she wouldn’t be viewed as the deadliest assassin if she hadn’t first been trained by the true deadliest assassin — one who’s so good at his job he’s kept a low profile all this time. Such a pedigree suggests that the Help practically single-handedly molded the entire assassin underworld of DC Comics.
Check out The Penguin #2, available now from DC Comics!
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