Penguin (comics)


Penguin (comics)
Penguin
PenguinBatman.png
The Penguin / Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Detective Comics #58 (December 1941)
Created by Bill Finger
Bob Kane
In-story information
Full name Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
Team affiliations Injustice League
Suicide Squad
The Society
Super Foes
Abilities – Criminal genius
– Assorted bird-related paraphernalia
– Deadly 'trick' umbrellas
– Vast underworld connections
– Organizational leadership

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot III (alias "The Penguin") is a DC Comics supervillain and one of Batman's oldest, most persistent enemies. The Penguin was introduced by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, making his debut in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941).

The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas. A mobster and thief, he fancies himself a "gentleman of crime;" his nightclub business provides a cover for more low-key criminal activity, which Batman tolerates as a source of criminal underworld information. According to co-creator Bob Kane, the character was inspired from the then advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes — a penguin with a top hat and cane. Bill Finger also thought the image of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos was reminiscent of emperor penguins.[1]

Burgess Meredith portrayed the Penguin in the 1960s Batman television series, perhaps the most well-known incarnation of the character. Danny DeVito played a more grotesque version of the Penguin in the 1992 film Batman Returns which depicted him not as an unattractive gentleman of crimes, but a physically deformed infanticidal monster. Subsequent Batman animated series have featured the Penguin in depictions that alternate between deformed outcast and high-profile aristocrat. The deformed version of the character has also appeared in comics, most notably in the miniseries Batman: The Long Halloween and its sequel Dark Victory. He only appears for a minor cameo at the end of the Long Halloween, and has no lines. He plays a slightly more notable role in Dark Victory, -- this incarnation also included elements of the 1966 TV series character.

Paradoxically, the Penguin has repeatedly been named among the worst[2][3] and best[4][5] Batman villains over the years.

Unlike most of the Batman villains, the Penguin is in control of his own actions and perfectly sane, features that serve to maintain a unique relationship with his enemy, Batman. This has extended into the current situation with the Penguin ceasing his direct involvement in crime, instead running a nightclub that is popular with the underworld; on one occasion he temporarily returned to active crime for the thrill of it, aware that Batman would learn about his actions but also secure in the knowledge that the Dark Knight couldn't testify in court without revealing his identity. As such, he is an excellent source of information on crime, so Batman grudgingly tolerates his operations so long as the Penguin agrees to be one of his informants. However, the entrepreneurial Penguin is often fencing stolen property or arranging early furloughs for incarcerated former criminal associates — for a hefty fee, of course — on the side.

Contents

Fictional character biography

Born Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, the Penguin was bullied as a child for his short stature, obesity, and beak-like nose. In some media, his fingers are fused together, resulting in flipper-like hands. Several stories relate that he was forced as a child to always carry an umbrella by his over-protective mother, due to his father dying of pneumonia after being drenched in a downpour; his mother owns several pet birds, and Cobblepot lavishes them with attention, considering them his only friends. In some versions, Cobblepot turns to crime after his mother dies and the birds are repossessed to pay his mother's debts; in others, he is an outcast in his rich, high society family, and their rejection drives him to become a criminal. In keeping with his family's tradition of wealth, the Penguin lives a life of crime, yet executes it with his class and style. In keeping with his pretensions of being a refined gentleman, he also prefers to wear formal wear such as a top hat, monocle, and tuxedo during his jobs.

The Penguin first received his alias from a childhood taunt, levelled by bullies who teased him because of his grotesque appearance and love of birds.[6] In an early origin account, when Cobblepot first attempted to join a crime boss' gang, he was again belittled as a "penguin" and mocked for his umbrella before being literally kicked from the crime den. Outraged at being rejected even by criminals, he resolved to make "the Penguin" a name to fear and the umbrella a fearsome weapon. Clad in what became his customary formal garb, he returned to the den and killed the crime boss with "the world's first .45 caliber umbrella," then claimed leadership of the now terrified criminals. Some later stories suggest that he tried to abandon the nickname, which he hates, but it has been permanently brought into popularity by his high-profile criminal career.

Pre-Crisis

Originally known by no other name than his alias, the Penguin first appeared in Gotham as a skilled thief, sneaking a priceless painting out of the museum by hiding the rolled-up canvas in the handle of his umbrella. The Penguin would later use the canvas as proof of his intellect to a local mob, which he was quickly allowed to join. With the Penguin's help, the mob pulls off a string of ingenious heists, but the mob's leader and the Penguin himself eventually have a falling-out, leading the latter to kill the former with a rifle built into his umbrella. The Penguin then became leader of the mob, and attempted to remove Batman from the picture by framing the Caped Crusader for theft. The Penguin's plans were eventually thwarted, but the bandit himself was able to escape Batman's clutches - one of the first criminals during the Golden Age of Comic Books to do so.[7]

The Penguin would prove a persistent nemesis for the Dynamic Duo throughout of the Golden and Silver Ages, pulling off ploy after ploy such as teaming up with The Joker,[8] attempting to extort money from a shipping company by pretending to flash-freeze a member of its board of directors,[9] and even participating in Hugo Strange's auction of Batman's secret identity.[10]

The Penguin's last appearance, fittingly, was the last appearance of the Earth-One Batman. After he and a multitude of Batman's enemies were broken out of Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison by Ra's al Ghul, the bumbershoot bandit would be amongst those that accepted the offer of the immortal terrorist and carried out his plans to kidnap Batman's friends and allies. The Penguin, along with the Joker, Mad Hatter, Cavalier, Deadshot, and Killer Moth, laid siege to the Gotham City Police Headquarters, but were infuriated when the Joker sabotaged their attempt at holding Commissioner Gordon for ransom. As a result, a standoff ensued, with the Clown Prince of Crime on one side, and the Penguin and Mad Hatter on the other. The Joker quickly subdued both with a burst of laughing gas from one of his many gadgets.[11]

Post-Crisis

Following the Crisis rebooting the history of the DC Universe, the Penguin was relegated to little more than cameo appearances, until writer Alan Grant and (who had earlier penned the Penguin origin story "The Killing Peck") and artist Norm Breyfogle brought the classic villain back, deadlier than ever. Within the era of the Tim Drake Robin, the Penguin formed a brief partnership with the macabre criminal and hypnotist Mortimer Kadaver, who helped him fake his own death as a ploy to strike at an unsuspecting Gotham. Penguin would later gun down Kadaver, after plugging his own ears with toilet paper so that the hypnotist no longer had any power over him.[12]

After Batman foiled this particular endeavor, the Penguin embarked on one of his grandest schemes, in the three-part story "The Penguin Affair". After finding Harold Allnut on a lonely street, being physically and verbally abused by two gang members, the bumbershoot bandit takes the technologically-gifted hunchback in, showing him kindness in exchange for the hunchback's services. Eventually, Harold builds a gadget with which the Penguin can control enormous flocks of birds from miles away, which Penguin utilizes to destroy radio communications in Gotham and crash a passenger plane. This endeavor, too, was foiled by Batman, and Harold would later be taken under Batman's wing as his mechanic.

The Penguin would later resurface during Jean Paul Valley's tenure as Batman, being one of the few to have deduced that Valley is not the original Batman. To confirm this theory, he kidnaps Sarah Essen Gordon, places her in a death-trap set to go off at midnight, and turns himself in, utilizing the opportunity to mock Commissioner Gordon as midnight approaches. An increasingly infuriated Gordon is nearly driven to throw Cobblepot off of the police headquarters roof, before Valley shows up in the nick of time with a rescued Sarah. As Valley leaves, he comments that "There's nothing the Penguin can throw at me that I haven't encountered before." - a sentiment with which the Penguin reluctantly agrees, having finally accepted his fear that he has become passé as a villain.[13]

Subsequently, Cobblepot turns his attentions to a new modus operandi, operating as a white-collar criminal running a restaurant and casino known the Iceberg Lounge under the front of a legitimate businessman.[14] Though he has been arrested for criminal activities several times during the course of his "reformation", he has always managed to secure a release from prison, thanks to high-priced lawyers.

During the storyline "No Man's Land," when Gotham City is nearly leveled by an earthquake, Cobblepot stays behind when the US government shuts down and blockades the city. He becomes one of the major players in the mostly-abandoned and lawless city, using his connections to profit by trading the money that nobody else in Gotham can use for goods via his outer-Gotham contacts. One of these connections is discovered to be Lex Luthor and his company, LexCorp.

The Penguin, as seen in Batman #287 (May 1977). Art by Mike Grell.

Infinite Crisis

The Penguin is swept up in the events of Infinite Crisis. In the limited series' seventh issue, he is briefly seen as part of the Battle of Metropolis, a multi-character brawl started by the Secret Society of Super Villains. The Penguin, along with several other villains, are bowled over by the surprise appearance of Bart Allen.

One Year Later

While the Penguin is away from Gotham City, the Great White Shark and Tally Man kill many of the villains who worked for him, and frame the reformed Harvey Dent. Great White had planned to take over Gotham's criminal syndicate and weaken all his competition, the Penguin included. Upon his return to Gotham, the Penguin continues to claim that he has gone "straight" and reopens the Iceberg Lounge nightclub, selling overpriced Penguin merchandise. He urges the Riddler to avoid crime, as it is more lucrative in their current, non-criminal lifestyle.

Gotham Underground

The Penguin is also featured as a prominent figure in the new Gotham Underground tie-in to the series Countdown. He is "hired" by Batman as an informant, using his criminal contacts to give Batman an edge over Gotham's criminals. He is also in a gang war with Tobias Whale and Intergang — a war that he ultimiately loses along with his privileged position, due to having lost Batman's support after his mysterious disappearance, and Intergang taking advantage by the return of the Apokoliptan Gods. He will appear in Battle for the Cowl: The Underground, which will show the effects of Batman's disappearance on his enemies.

The Penguin's mob has been absorbed by Black Mask II and his actions controlled. The Penguin, with the aid of Mad Hatter abducted Batman, brainwashing him to assassinate the Black Mask.

Brightest Day

During the events of Brightest Day, the Birds of Prey discover the Penguin beaten and stabbed at the feet of a new villainess calling herself the White Canary.[15] The Birds rescue the Penguin, and flee to the Iceberg Lounge. While recovering, the Penguin expresses an attraction to Dove.[16] Eventually, the Penguin reveals that his injury was a ruse, and that he is working with White Canary in exchange for valuable computer files on the superhero community. He betrays the Birds, and seriously injures both Lady Blackhawk and Hawk before being defeated by the Huntress.[17] Huntress then tapes up the Penguin with the intention of taking him with her, only to be informed by Oracle that she has to let him go due to a police manhunt for the Birds being underway. Enraged at the Penguin's traitorous actions, Huntress considers killing him with her crossbow, but ultimately leaves him bound and gagged in an alleyway, with the promise that she'll be back to exact her vengeance on him at a later date.[18]

The Penguin is eventually attacked by the Secret Six, who kill many of his guards when they ambush him at his mansion. Bane informs Penguin that he needs information on Batman's partners, as he plans on killing Red Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman and Azrael.[19] The Penguin soon betrays the team's location, which results in the Justice League, Teen Titans, Birds of Prey, Justice Society and various other heroes hunting down and capturing the criminals.[20]

Around this same time, a new supervillain named the Architect sets a bomb in the Iceberg Lounge as revenge for crimes committed by Cobblepot's ancestor. Though Blackbat and Robin are able to evacuate the Penguin and everyone else in the building, the Lounge is destroyed in the ensuing explosion.[21]

Powers and abilities

The Penguin is a master criminal strategist; he uses his considerable intellect to gain wealth and power through less than legal means. Driven entirely by self-interest, the Penguin often relies on cunning, wit, and intimidation to exploit his surroundings for profit and advance his own schemes. He usually plans crimes, but does not often commit them himself. Although fighting and hard work is mostly pushed over to his henchmen, he himself is not above taking aggressive lethal actions on his own, especially when provoked. The Penguin, in spite of his appearance, is a dangerous hand to hand combatant with enough self-taught talents in judo and fisticuffs to overwhelm attackers many times his size and physical bearing.

The Penguin always carries an umbrella due to an obsessive attitude his mother had toward doing so. The umbrellas usually contain weapons such as machine guns, sword tips, missiles, lasers, flame-throwers, and acid spraying devices. He usually carries an umbrella with the function to transform its top into a series of spinning blades. This can be used as a mini helicopter or as an offensive weapon; he often uses its function as a helicopter to escape a threatening situation. He also owns an umbrella that has a spiral pattern on the top with which he can hypnotize enemies.

Other versions

Joker

A more realistic Penguin (referred to mockingly as "Abner"[22] by Joker) appears in Joker, a graphic novel by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. This incarnation of the Penguin handles most of Joker's personal investments in the story, as well as dealing with incoming revenue from boxing matches. He is portrayed as almost bald, wearing a white suit and operating the "Iceberg Lounge."

Elseworld

In the Elseworld story Batman: Crimson Mist, the third part in a trilogy where Batman becomes a vampire, Penguin is the first of many criminals to be killed by the vampiric Batman after he surrenders to his vampiric instincts, Batman brutally tearing Penguin's throat out as he drinks his blood and subsequently decapitating his enemy to ensure that he cannot return as a vampire.

Flashpoint

In the alternate timeline of Flashpoint, Oswald Cobblepot did not become the Penguin. Instead, he works as the security chief of Wayne Casinos, providing information about his clients and the criminal underworld to this world's Batman, Thomas Wayne.[23]

In other media

Television

Burgess Meredith as the Penguin as seen in Batman. The purple top hat and tie are departures from the black top hat and white tie of the comics.
  • The Penguin was played by Burgess Meredith in 19 episodes of the Batman television series of the 1960s. A largely campy interpretation, Meredith's performance is perhaps best remembered through his signature laugh, meant to mimic the squawk of a penguin. One cause of the laugh was the smoke from the cigarettes the character always smoked, which irritated Meredith's throat and made him cough, as he had already quit smoking in real life. The Penguin's thugs wear black bowler hats, with dark clothing adorned with names of various animals of prey; these are either birds ("Hawk") or fish ("Shark"). His prison cell {PG1} is in the "Supervillains" section, next to that of the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, Egghead and King Tut. Penguin can be clever when he chooses to be—he once brainwashed Alfred into being a spy for him and also tricked Batman into planning crimes for Penguin as well. However he seems to suffer from a short term memory loss—in two episodes he had trouble recognizing an undercover Alfred and Bruce Wayne. Once when he tried to get back into Prison—as part of a larger plot-he is enraged when Batman puts Penguin into a common jail cell. In one episode he claims to have been an actor. In the film he commands a nuclear submarine that the criminals are using as part of their plot and which resembles a Penguin.
  • Burgess Meredith made a brief cameo appearance as the Penguin in the 1968 episode of The Monkees titled "The Monkees Blow Their Minds." Years after his death, his memorable Penguin portrayal would become a staple of late-night comedians as well as Internet users, who lampooned various politicians with his likeness.
  • The Penguin is a major enemy in Filmation's The Adventures of Batman animated series, which ran from 1968 to 1969, and then ran as Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder, without Superman or Superboy segments. He is voiced by Ted Knight, along with other male Batman enemies.
  • Along with the Joker, the Penguin was one of the villains from the episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair" and "The Caped Crusader Caper" that were later combined on the "Scooby-Doo Meets Batman and Robin" DVD. He was voiced by Larry Storch.
  • In Filmation's series The New Adventures of Batman, the Penguin is voiced by Lennie Weinrib. He frequently rolls his 'r's and laughs in a similar manner to Meredith's portrayal. He appears in four episodes: "Reading, Writing and Wronging," "Birds of a Feather Fool Around Together" and "Have an Evil Day, Parts 1 and 2."
  • The Penguin appeared in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Case of the Stolen Powers" voiced by Robert Morse. He is shown in prison as a cellmate of Felix Faust. He gains Superman's superpowers by accident when Felix Faust tries to get them for himself. Ironically, Batman is not featured in the episode.
Penguin, as he appeared during the first 3 seasons of Batman: The Animated Series
  • When Batman: The Animated Series debuted in 1992, Penguin was voiced by Academy Award-winner Paul Williams. Due to the close relation in time between Batman Returns and the animated series, the film version's physically freakish depiction of the character was adapted for the animated series, but he retained the traditional refined mannerisms and personality of his comic counterpart. His most prominent appearances include the episodes "Almost Got 'Im" and "Birds of a Feather".
  • Paul Williams reprised his role as the Penguin in the 1997 follow-up to the original animated series, The New Batman Adventures, the Penguin returned to an appearance more like his traditional comic book look. He also assumed a role similar to the one in the comic books: a "legitimate" businessman and mob boss who runs a night club called the "Iceberg Lounge."
  • While the Penguin doesn't appear in Justice League Unlimited, his club the Iceberg Lounge made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the episode "This Little Piggy".
The Penguin as seen in The Batman.
  • The character has also appeared on The Batman, voiced by Tom Kenny. In this continuity, the Penguin is primarily concerned with reestablishing the Cobblepot family name in society by stealing from the citizens of Gotham to rebuild his wealth. While he shares the comic incarnation's love for birds and aristocratic look, this Penguin retained a deformed appearance more similar to the Batman Returns incarnation, with red hair instead of black and more crooked teeth. Unlike in the previous the animated series, the Penguin in this incarnation is not a "gentleman" but a rude, selfish villain. His speech is often peppered with confused squawks. When captured, he is placed in Gotham State Penitentiary. He is sometimes aided by two henchwomen, a masked pair called the Kabuki Twins. (Although their names have never been mentioned in the show, the first The Batman comic book, which starred the Penguin, he reveals their names to be Gale and Peri.) In addition, it is clear that he also knows some form of martial arts, and is athletic enough to engage in hand-to-hand combat with Batman, dodging and parrying with his various trick bumbershoots. He also seems to be in a rivalry with the Joker (and, to a lesser extent, the Riddler) for the title of Gotham's most dangerous criminal. This Penguin also regards Bruce Wayne as a personal enemy and has held him hostage on multiple occasions (though he is unaware of Wayne's alter ego). In one episode, he even infiltrates Wayne Manor, though does not discover the Batcave. He also has a grudge against Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, due to the Pennyworths having left the service of the Cobblepots generations ago (Alfred claimed it was because of the Cobblepots' obnoxiousness). Unused concept art from the show indicates that a more classic version of the Penguin was considered for the show.[24]
  • In the animated cartoon series Krypto the Superdog, Penguin's pet birds are recurring foes of Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound. Although Penguin is referenced in this series, he never makes an appearance in any episode.
  • The Penguin is featured in The Brave and the Bold voiced by Stephen Root. In "Legends of the Dark Mite!", he appears in Bat-Mite's fantasy. In "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!", Batman ends up dealing with Penguin's crime spree. When Batman is captured and placed in a deadly drinking bird trap, Aquaman comes to his rescue and gets shocked by Penguin. Penguin reveals that his umbrella drones will spread a paralytic gas all over Gotham City. Aquaman manages to make contact with some crabs to free the family as Penguin sics his minions on Batman and the Aquaman family. Batman redirects the umbrella drones into the ocean and then pursues Penguin. Upon catching up to Penguin at his submarine, Batman manages to jam Penguin's umbrella with his cape and defeat him. He then cameos in "Chill of the Night!" as one of the villains at a weapons auction held by Joe Chill. The Penguin has a quick cameo in the teaser for "The Last Patrol!" and also appears in "Night of the Batmen!" fighting Aquaman in a Batman costume, only to be defeated later on.

Film

  • Burgess Meredith reprised his role as the Penguin in the 1966 film Batman alongside several other villains from the television show.
Movie poster for Batman Returns (1992) featuring Danny DeVito as the Penguin
  • In Batman Returns, the Penguin was portrayed by Danny DeVito, and the main antagonist of the film along with Catwoman. Director Tim Burton, inspired by the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, re-imagined the character not as an eloquent gentleman of crime, but a physically deformed murdering psychopath with a homicidal grudge against the aristocrats of Gotham City. While this Penguin retained a number of trademarks, such as a variety of trick umbrellas and the use of a monocle, he was given a huge visual makeover. Where the comic version had varied between a balding head of short cropped hair and varying degrees of thinning, this Penguin was still bald at the top but with his remaining length of hair long and stringy. His hands were now flippers, with a thumb and index finger, and the remaining three fingers fused together. An unidentified thick, dark green bile-like liquid sometimes trickled from his nose and mouth. Instead of a tuxedo, he wore a more gothic, Victorian-style outfit, with a jabot as opposed to a bow tie. Other instances show him in black boots, a dickey, and something akin to a child's blanket sleeper, or the old long john-style underwear of the 1800s (also known as a union suit). However, Burton's design maintained the top hat seen in the comics, along with a monocle and a cigarette in some scenes. In the film, the Penguin is born disfigured, and his wealthy parents throw him into Gotham's sewers. The child survives, floating down Gotham's sewers and under the city zoo, where he is taken in by a group of penguins and later joins a circus freak show. While researching the Penguin, Batman speculates that the Penguin was responsible for the disappearance (and implied murder) of several children during his time in the circus freak show. Penguin later attempts to frame Batman for murder — aided by Catwoman — while he runs for mayor. During one of the Penguin's speeches, Batman reveals a recording he made of the villain ranting about his true plans for Gotham after Penguin took remote control of the Batmobile to make it appear as though Batman was going on a rampage. Enraged, the Penguin sends his clowns to kidnap all of Gotham's first born children, planning to drown them in the sewers. When Batman foils his plot and returns the children to their parents, the Penguin orders his legions of penguins (armed with missiles) to completely obliterate Gotham. After a battle above ground, the fight ensues into the sewers and the Penguin's lair. Batman and the Penguin fight their own battle until the Penguin falls through a skylight and into the contaminated waters below. He later emerges from the pool ready to kill Batman, but has been mortally injured by his fall and Max Shreck's toxic waste (which has been released into the sewers). He draws an umbrella from his collection, but accidentally draws a harmless toy, "the cute one." Complaining of the heat (due to the AC system being shorted out by Catwoman), bleeding and spewing toxic waters from his mouth and nose, he collapses to the concrete, and dies. An honor guard of penguins emerges to drag his remains into the water, where he sinks to the bottom in a cloud of his own blood.
  • He also appeared in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman as the primary antagonist, this time voiced by David Ogden Stiers. The plot involves Penguin and Carlton Duquesne in an illegal arms deal with the President of Kasnia. Of the three Batwomen, Penguin shares a personal history with Dr. Roxanne Ballantine as he was the one who framed her fiancée years ago which led him into prison in order to find evidences that would get his sentence commuted.
  • Tom Kenny reprises his role of Penguin in the animated movie The Batman vs. Dracula. In the movie he accidentally resurrects Count Dracula with his blood in the Gotham cemetery. Dracula then hypnotizes the Penguin to work for him. He is later released from the spell upon Dracula's death and accused of the vampire's crimes, thus returned to Arkham.

Video games

  • The Penguin has appeared as a boss in several Batman video games, including Batman: The Caped Crusader, the various video game adaptations of the movie Batman Returns, Batman: The Animated Series and Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Super NES.
  • At one point he was planned to appear as a boss in The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Sega CD, in which he would try to kidnap Summer Gleeson. The Penguin was cut from the game because it was tight on villains, but the storyboards for his animated cutscene are displayed in Paul Dini's book, Batman Animated.
  • He is the main enemy in Batman: The Cobblebot Caper. First he is in the bank attacking with his umbrella which fires an electrical rope. On Level 2 he blows up the lab, but Batman eventually escapes the building. On Level 3 he orders the Kabuki Twins to rob the Gotham Steelworks and at the end of the game he is in a giant robot bird that can spit flame and shoot missiles.
  • The Penguin appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame,[25] as one of the leaders of the Arkham breakout. His plan is to use mind-controlled penguins to wreak havok in Gotham. To this end, he employs Catwoman, Bane, Killer Croc and Man-Bat. He has the ability to call out robotic penguins from under his top hat. He can also use his umbrella both as a gliding apparatus and a rifle. Despite having his comic book appearance he has some ideas and characteristics of Danny DeVito's Penguin (e.g. taking over Gotham with a penguin army, having a liking for raw fish, and working with Catwoman).
  • While the Penguin is not featured as actual character in Batman: Arkham Asylum, as a key character in Batman's universe he is referenced numerous times. An asylum security guard notes that he has witnessed the attempted smuggling of sharpened umbrellas into Arkham on at least one occasion before, a reference to the character. Additionally, an Iceberg Lounge advertisement can be seen in the Intensive Treatment wards, while a collection of trick umbrellas and top hats (apparently confiscated from Penguin upon his admittance to the facility) may be observed on display in the old Arkham Mansion.
  • Penguin appears in DC Universe Online, voiced by David Jennison. Following Bane's defeat, there is a cutscene featuring Penguin stating his anger at the competition from the Falcone Crime Family, Bane, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Hush, Killer Croc, Catwoman, and Joker due to all the chaos but being a cunning crook he plans on tricking them on wiping each other out then take Gotham for himself. The players discover that a hacked kiosk contained a message from Two-Face stating that Penguin's smuggling operation in Gotham's old subway tunnels. Penguin is served by Cryo Pengbots, Louie Sluggers, Machine Gun Tommies, Nickie Blades, Pengbots, Pyro Pengbots, Tammy Two Guns, and a Pengbot Maximus.
  • Penguin appears as one of the villains in Batman: Arkham City,[26] voiced by Nolan North in a Cockney accent.[27] The Penguin is redesigned without the penguin-like mannerisms such as the waddle or the squawk-like laugh, although he maintains his trademark monocle (revealed in the in-game text of his "Arkham Stories" to be a broken bottle shoved into his eye during a fight, later deemed inoperable by doctors) and beak-like nose. He also appears to have some sort of speaker device implanted in his throat. The villain went on to establish himself as a warlord in the new criminal underworld.

Toys

The Lego version of the Penguin orders his penguins to attack the Batboat.
  • Danish building toy maker Lego's Lego Batman line includes one particular set, The Batcave: The Penguin and Mr. Freeze's Invasion, which features the Penguin. He appears as a minifigure in the set, with short, unbending legs, the classic top hat and monocle and a purple pin-stripe suit. The Penguin rides in a submarine reminiscent of the one in the 1960s TV series and is assisted by miniature penguin robots. The set also includes a depiction of the Batcave.
  • He also appears in the Batman Lego promotional video. He is the final villain to be caught (after Two-Face, Mr. Freeze and the Joker).

Parodies

  • The Penguin appears in the Saturday Night Live segment "Superman's Funeral." He is shown as one of the attendees of the funeral. When he makes the sound he does when he laughs and Batman tells him to stop laughing, Penguin quotes "I'm not laughing. This is also how I cry." In that appearance, Penguin was portrayed by Robert Smigel.
  • In Yin Yang Yo!, the villain called the Puffin is a parody of the Penguin. His dressy appearance is based on Penguin although characters in the show stop talking before the connection is made and before lawsuits can be filed.
  • Episode 241 of "This American Life" on National Public Radio, "20 Acts in 60 Minutes," contains a short story that gives an alternate origin of Penguin's powers and rivalry with Batman. In this story, Penguin and Mary Poppins meet at a dinner party by a friend who thinks that their ability to fly or float using umbrellas will bring them together. Unfortunately, the two have nothing in common, and Mary Poppins soon leaves with another dinner guest, one who wears a conspicuous black cape.
  • The Penguin appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Drippy Pony" voiced by Seth Green. In a segment that parodies Penguin in the style of the popular documentary film March of the Penguins, it shows the life of the Penguin. Tom Kane provides a narrative style similar to that of Morgan Freeman in the English-language version of March of the Penguins. He appears in another sketch from a later episode, where his umbrella was accidentally switched with that of an old woman.

Politics

The character of the Penguin, particularly as portrayed by Burgess Meredith, has often been used as a theme to mock public figures that supposedly resemble him. Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, has made numerous references comparing former Vice President Dick Cheney with the Penguin, including a laugh similar to the one heard in the 1960s Batman series.[28] In a similar manner, Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, called Franklin D. Roosevelt a criminal and told his audience to "ask Batman" "if they don’t believe him", showing a picture of Meredith as the Penguin next to one of the former President, in which he looks like him.[29] Cheney was mocked in a similar capacity on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, while The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson chose to imitate John McCain with Meredith's Penguin laugh.

In August 2006, The Wall Street Journal found out that a Republican-led PR firm, DCI Group, was behind a YouTube video making fun of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth. The video portrayed Gore as the Penguin, apparently as depicted in Batman: The Animated Series, using one of his trick umbrellas to hypnotize a flock of penguins into believing in the existence of global warming.[30]

In October 2008, an internet meme surfaced when YouTube users posted videos that compared John McCain with the Penguin. Most of the meme focused on a scene from the 1960s series episode "Dizzoner the Penguin" in which the Penguin and Batman debated as opponents for mayor of Gotham City, suggesting similarities between their debate and the debates between McCain and Barack Obama during the 2008 US Presidential election.[31]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Enemies List". Comics 101. 2004-01-14. http://www.comics101.com/comics101//?mode=project&action=view&project=Comics%20101&chapter=67. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2005-06-03). "IGN Best and Worst Batman villains". Au.comics.ign.com. http://au.comics.ign.com/articles/622/622304p1.html. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  3. ^ "Top Tenz Lamest Batman villains". Toptenz.net. http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-lamest-batman-villains.php. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  4. ^ Premiere Best and Worst Batman villains[dead link]
  5. ^ Penguin is number 51 , IGN.
  6. ^ The Penguin's origin was first revealed in the digest publication Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #10 (March 1981), almost 40 years after the character was introduced.
  7. ^ Detective Comics #58
  8. ^ Batman #25
  9. ^ Detective Comics #99
  10. ^ Detective Comics #472
  11. ^ Batman #400
  12. ^ Detective Comics #610-611
  13. ^ Showcase '94 #7
  14. ^ Detective Comics #683
  15. ^ Birds of Prey vol. 2 #1
  16. ^ Birds of Prey vol. 2 #2-3
  17. ^ Birds of Prey vol. 2 #4
  18. ^ Birds of Prey vol. 2 #5
  19. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #35
  20. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #36
  21. ^ Batman: Gates of Gotham #2
  22. ^ Joker's Wild Ride (an interview with the author), on IGN.com
  23. ^ Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #1 (June 2011)
  24. ^ Matsuda, Jeff. "The Batman Unused Character Designs – Behind the Scenes". BringOnTheBatman.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20070521183602/http://www.legionsofgotham.org/BATMANbtsUnUsed.html. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  25. ^ Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery," Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
  26. ^ "Batman Arkham City • Portrait of a Penguin". Arkhamcity.co.uk. 2011-05-25. http://www.arkhamcity.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2573. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  27. ^ http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/112122-Arkham-Citys-Penguin-Shares-a-Voice-With-Nathan-Drake
  28. ^ "Jon Stewart Gets His Props, Even Without Them". Washingtonpost.com. 2006-09-18. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/17/AR2006091700696.html. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  29. ^ "The Colbert Report Full Episode | Monday Mar 16 2009". Comedy Central. http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=221834. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  30. ^ Who is behind penguin spoof of Al Gore?.
  31. ^ "Prescient "Batman" episode nails the Obama-McCain race". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2008-10-20. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/webscout/2008/10/batman-and-peng.html. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 

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