Penk is definitely not so sure of himself that he doesn’t fear Hammerhead might be right. But there are no half measures here. Either cage Hammerhead and break bread with the enemy, or set him free and sacrifice honor for war. It’s not like he could say, “In honor for your service to us today, we grant you… a ten-minute head start. Magda, get ready to release the berserker.”

But it must have occurred to him that Frigg and Fr’Nj represent hugely powerful assets to the Gastonian side. Gravedust is nothing to sneeze at either. And WAV will probably end up working with Gastonia the way things are going. The prospect of just eliminating all that… I mean, what if this specific group of people is what turns the tide in the war against them later? He has to have considered it. Even if he’s also considered that killing Gravedust in that manner would mean Magda never looked at him the same way again.

Lovely final panel here. I think this is the only time Hammerhead’s face registers quiet amusement. Angry as he is, he takes some solace in the belief that ultimately, the joke will be on Penk.