Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (The Penguin)

penguinfilmIt seems that Ed Boon really wants to make something big with his Injustice: Gods Among Us. In the last pic from the game, the author showed Killer Croc (who we’re not going to speak about, since he didn’t have any live-action appearance so far) fighting with The Flash, with two well known villains in the background. The first one is The Penguin, one of Batman‘s most famous adversaries. He was first portrayed by Burgess Meredith in the 1960s’ Batman tv series and in the spin-off movie: this version presented him as a criminal mastermind with an obsession with brids and fish, whose distinctive laugh sounded like a penguin’s squawk. A much darker version of the character appeared in Tim Burton‘s Batman Returns, in which Danny DeVito gave the Penguin’s a tragic soul, a lonesome freak who turned his pain for being abandoned in the sewers into rage against the normal people of Gotham City. In the comics, the Penguin is not a colourful clown, and he’s never lived in the sewers. Let’s see who he is…

First of all, The Penguin’s real name is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, son of Tucker and Miranda Cobblepot, exponents of one of Gotham City’s most ancient and wealthy families. Oswald developed since his very childhood a sharp intelligence, but his physique never matched his brilliant mind, and his ugliness was a source of hindrance even for his father. Obese, with a bird-like nose and an unsociable character, Oswald was often bullied by his peers, who mocked him with the name “Penguin” because of his clumsy appearance. Even his own brothers, JasonWilliam and Robert shared with Tucker the same disgust and disdain towards Oswald. In compensation, Miranda almost suffocated the boy with her affection, and she overprotected him making him even more defenseless against the bullies. Miranda passed on her son her passion for birds (she had a beautiful aviary) penguincomics1and Oswald started to identify himself with the birds, his only childhood friends. When he built his first aviary, his brothers, mean and jealous, destroyed it, killing the birds and crashing the eggs, while Oswald could do anything but to stare horrified at what they were doing, harboring a cold rage within his soul. While he was still young, his brothers died one after the other in a suspicious series of desease and incidents, leaving him the only heir to Cobblepots’ fortune. Even Tucker eventually lost his life, due to a pneumonia contracted because of a downpour. From that day, Miranda became even more overprotective towards her last son, and forced him to always carry an umbrella along, so that he could avoid his father’s fate. Needless to say, this fat boy clumsily walking with an umbrella always at his side, even in the sunniest days of the year, became even more a target for other children. Plus, his family’s fortune, because of some unlucky business deals from late Tucker, was rapidly fading away; in the same time, Thomas Wayne was becoming richer and richer, and his influence over Gotham grew more and more with the time passing: this coincidence was more than enough for Oswald for blaming Wayne for his own misfortune, and this feeling put a bitter enmity between him and Thomas’ heir, Bruce Wayne.

When even Miranda died, Oswald was left alone, without the only affection he ever received, and with a fortune that wasn’t a patrimony anymore. Since he was used to live in quite a wealthy way, Oswald wasn’t inclined to accept his new condition of merely “richer than average” man. Without any particular moral scruple, Oswald tried to begin a criminal career, but the first group he entered in contact with mocked him (as everyoned did before) because of his penguin-like appearance and of his always present umbrella. Humiliated and penguincomics2enraged, Oswald decided to make Gotham fear the nickname Penguin, and to transform his umbrella in a fearsome item for everybody. Not so much time later, he came back to the same gang, and killed the crime boss who mocked him with the world’s first .45 caliber umbrella. He took control of the gang, and, from that point on, of many others, becoming a feared boss. Thanks to his genius level intellect and his inventiveness he soon became one of the most powerful lords of the underworld, being the one behind many robberies, thanks to which he rebuilt much of his father’s fortune, even surpassing his original wealth. Faithful to his origins, the Penguin mantained a classy attitude even in criminality, and kept wearing formally, with a tuxedo, a top hat and even a monocle. His actions soon attracted the attentions of Batman, the new protector of the city: the two often clashed, and the Dark Knight thwarted many plans from the Penguin, who was quite a rarity compared to the average enemies of Batman, since he was perfectly sane, not being affected by any mental illness or lunacy. With the years, Cobblepot apparently retired from his criminal career and became the owner of the nightlub Iceberg Lounge; he was still  responsible for many illegal activities, but Batman closed an eye on them, since Cobblepot’s contacts with criminality made him quite a precious informer for him, in a balance always on the verge of collapsing.

Oswald Cobblepot is a vengeful, embittered man, who learnt rage and hatred from the oppresions he went through as a child. He has no regard for legality or even human life, and has quite an obsession with the idea of proving his own value (thus defeating his father’s despising ghost), usually by assembling more and more wealth. As The Penguin, he’s an unexpectedly skilled fighter, master of judo and expert boxer; he usually prefers not to fight first handedly, and relies on his trick umbrellas, actually guns, swords, flamethrowers or other weapons with just the shape of an umbrella. The Penguin believes that fear equals respect, and value equals wealth: that’s why he continually seeks both of them, with any means necessary.

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15 Comments

  1. […] her. While Oracle summoned her teammates, White Canary allied with one of the men on her list, Oswald Cobblepot, the crime lord known as The Penguin; Penguin accepted her services in bringing down the Birds of […]

  2. […] emotions anymore, he slowly reverted to his criminal life, and ended up becoming a henchman for The Penguin, and for whoever else wanted to use him and his […]

  3. […] himself, managing to catch also international-level criminals such as Catwoman, Captain Cold, The Penguin or even Count Vertigo, who theoretically enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The Manhunter cult kept […]

  4. […] it’s once again Frankie who arrives to investigate, and he’s the one who finds Oswald Cobblepot hidden in a closet with one of the bags, and the one who puts in a good word for him with the big […]

  5. […] even more. One night, in Gotham Casino, he bet everything he still got in a single game against The Penguin, but he lost it all. Suddenly, he realised no sum of money would have ever filled the emptiness he […]

  6. […] the first official image of Carol Kane as Gertrud Kapelput, the old woman who’ll appear as The Penguin‘s mother. Almost nothing is known about the character, but that she’ll be a proud and […]

  7. […] be prominent in the show, most likely being a rival of Fish Mooney and quite an obstacle for the Penguin‘s rise to power. The character’s first live action appearance occured in Batman […]

  8. […] him into a gladiatoral cage, where the bidders could admire him and name their price. The Penguin was winning the auction, when Batman freed himself of his chains with a demagnetizer and knocked […]

  9. […] the first Battle Arena round it has been revealed that The Riddler and The Penguin, who we spoke of the last days, will have in Injustice Gods Among Us just a cameo appearance in […]

  10. […] unveil his schemes, and Deadshot was arrested. Years later, Lawton stole a device from the Penguin, who had been put in a cell near to his one, that allowed him to escape from prison. Seeking […]

  11. […] Tell reinvented himself as an assassin for hire, and was soon after hired by the crime boss Penguin to create a new criminal ring for his organization in Keystone. Double Down was partnered […]

  12. […] who had stolen money from him, and later in robbing a bank (the stolen money was then invested by The Penguin to recreate Joker’s lost wealth). Among the many criminals in Gotham, there was only one who […]

  13. […] on one of our protagonists: after the traumatic loss of his mother, in Mad Grey Dawn our beloved Penguin will finally meet again his father, Elijah Van Dahl, portrayed by Paul Reubens…along with a […]

  14. […] Lunge, which also served as a front activity for the many illicit business of its owner, The Penguin. During her time in the Lunge, Starling met another undercover Team 7 agent, Dinah Lance, better […]

  15. […] Janice Porter was now invalid, but it was too late for him: the pressure coming from Sal Maroni, The Penguin and other crime bosses who wanted to transform Falcone Imports into a part of their own criminal […]


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