The Penguin is an iconic supervillain appearing in DC Comics as one of Batman’s most enduring enemies.
Born Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, The Penguin is a Gotham City mobster who refers to himself as the Gentleman of Crime.
The Penguin was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and made his first appearance in Detective Comics #58 which was published in December 1941.
Who is The Penguin in DC Comics?
The Penguin is a DC comics villain. He is primarily known as an archenemy of Batman. He is also a Gotham city crime lord. He has a nightclub called the Iceberg Lounge and it is his headquarters.
One of the most interesting things about the Penguin villain is his small size and hideous appearance. The Penguin is around 4’ 10” tall. He has a wide and fat frame.
His hideous appearance is defined by a long and crooked nose and his horrendous facial appearance. The Penguin is sometimes shown with “flipper-like” hands. One of the things that drove the Penguin to crime is his appearance.
When he was a young lad people would make fun of him for being deformed. The Penguin refused to allow this to define him once he became an adult. Once he was grown, he had performed many crimes and gained respect as a crime lord.
Origins of The Penguin
The Penguin’s name is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. He grew up as a rich lad within the city of Gotham. He came from old money. His deformities made him an outcast among the rich. This also helped to fuel his bent toward crime.
The Penguin lost his father at an early age. His dad has killed by pneumonia. This happened after he was caught outside on an unusually heavy rainy night.
Since the time of his father’s death, young Oswald was forced to carry an umbrella by his mother. The lad would have to take the umbrella with him whenever he went outside. Rain or shine, he toted an umbrella with him.
Over the years, the umbrella would become his primary weapon. Also, his only friends were birds as a child. He would grow up to learn how to communicate with them.
Early Life of Crime
In time Oswald grew to become a man. As he was growing up, he figured out how to become accepted within his rich social circles.
The Penguin’s money and connections had eventually allowed him to earn a place among Gotham’s social elite. He became a gentleman and learned how to conduct himself in a respectable manner.
He is known as “the Gentlemen of Crime”. The Penguin then went on to become a powerful crime lord. He did this behind the scenes where he secretly built up his wealth by carrying out various illegal acts.
The Penguin is not insane like most of his villainous allies. He is extremely rational and even knows Bruce Wayne. However, he never could figure out that Wayne is really Batman.
Penguin joined forces with Gotham villains such as Two-Face. He played a role in the demise of the Sofia Falcone crime family. The Penguin is one of Gotham’s most accomplished crime bosses.
He eventually was arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum after being arrested during a dock fight with Tony Zucco and Eddie Skeevers.
The Penguin’s Powers and Abilities
Here are the Penguin’s skills and abilities:
Genius Level Intellect:
The Penguin might be deformed but he is very intelligent. He developed his intellect because he lacked strength, athleticism, and he wasn’t that attractive. His intellect served him well. The only problem with his smart mind is that he always uses it for a bent toward evil.
The Penguin is a successful businessman, and this knowledge has helped him to remain a very competitive and successful crime lord within Gotham.
He is a natural-born leader: Not every person has the ability to lead. The Penguin has the ability. Throughout the years he has figured out how to manage and control people. Having money also helps.
He is considered one of the most effective leaders in the Gotham mob world. Even his legitimate business organizations are managed under his brilliant leadership.
The Penguin has the ability to communicate with birds.
Martial Arts: The Penguin learned how to fight by taking boxing and judo. He might look like an easy mark because of his height, but the Penguin can tussle with the best of them.
Penguin’s trick umbrella is his signature weapon. His umbrella is designed with a wide assortment of weapons and gadgets.
He can use it as a machine gun, to shoot daggers, like a sword, and it can also be a weapon for spinning blades. One of the best features of his umbrella is its ability to allow him to fly for short distances.
Penguin Pre-Crisis Origins
The DC universe is divided into the Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis era. The Pre-Crisis era was before 1986 and the post-crisis era was after that time. The Penguin came to power in his early days of crime. He started off as a thief for a crime lord.
This crime lord liked Penguin’s skill. Eventually, he had Penguin do more jobs for him. Soon, the Penguin fell out with his crime boss and eliminated him. He took over his empire and this is where he gained his power.
He first encountered Batman when he tried to frame him for theft. The Penguin held an expensive piece of art. He pretended that Batman stole it. He wanted to cash in on it from insurance fraud. However, Batman (and Robin) found out about his plot and stopped him. The Penguin then escaped.
He continued his rise in crime. He teamed up with Joker and the Riddler at various times. He even tried to figure out Batman’s real identity. The Penguin’s final appearance happened when Ras Al Ghul broke him and other criminals out of Gotham’s infamous Arkham Asylum.
The Penguin tried to carry out a plot to kidnap Batman’s allies and friends. He teamed up with villains such as the Mad Hatter, Deadshot, and Killer Moth to carry out this mission.
However, the Joker foils their mission. He ends up in a standoff with his former ally. There are no loyalties among Gotham’s crime members. After this incident, he wasn’t heard from in the DC universe.
Penguin Post-Crisis Origins
In the Post Crisis era, Penguin is back and this time he fakes his own death to get over Gotham. A man by the name of Mortimer Kadaver. Mortimer is a hypnotist.
However, Penguin eliminates him because Mortimer tries to keep his control over the Penguin. Eventually, the Penguin goes on to help another deformed child named Harold Allnut.
Allnut learns from Penguin but eventually stops associating with him. He ends up becoming a mechanic for Batman. Once again, the Penguin enjoys success, but Batman consistently thwarts everything he does.
Read more about the DC Comics Universe and characters in our DC comics explained page.
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