Tucker Cobblepot

tuckercobblepotfilmNo new character from this week’s episode of Gotham, but the next one will introduce another secondary character who will have quite an influence 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 brand new step-family we don’t know if he’ll get along with. Reubens already portrayed the character, this time correctly named Tucker Cobblepot, in Batman Returns, where he, along with his wife Esther, nonchalantly throws his deformed newborn son into the sewers, hoping to kill the freak but ending up creating a monster. Tucker is less than a secondary character in the comics, and appears mostly through flashbacks (apart from family portraits, not even his face is ever shown), but he had quite an influence on his deranged son…let’s see together.

As for many other characters in the DC Universe, Tucker Cobblepot received massive changes from a reality to the other, being completely reinvented after Chrisis on Infinite Earth. In his first version, he never actually appeared, and he was only mentioned (more than once) in his wife’s tales. The unnamed Mr. Cobblepot was a peaceful man, the owner of a bird shop in Gotham City. He married the girl he had fallen in love with, unnamed as well, and she soon started helping him running the shop. The Cobblepots had a son together, Oswald, and at first things were going pretty well in their perfectly normal family: the shop went well, and the three of them were happy together…until, of course, tragedy struck, and in the most normal and trivial way possible. One day, Cobblepot was coming back home by foot, when he was caught by a sudden rainstorm: he ran back home, but he obviously arrived soaking wet. Even Mrs. Cobblepot didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but after a few days Mr. Cobblepot fell ill tuckercobblepotcomics1with pneumonia…and it proved to be quite an aggressive form, since it killed him soon after. The man’s sudden death transformed his wife into an overprotective mother for little Oswald, who grew up always bringing along an umbrella, to avoid his father’s death. Mr. Cobblepot’s death was the cause of Mrs. Cobblepot’s hysterical and hypocondriacal behavior, which in turn had a great part in turning Oswald into the colourful villain known as The Penguin. Definitely, the boy needed a paternal figure in his life.

Following the DC Universe’s reboot, even Mr. Cobblepot was reinvented in a much more interesting (and sometimes creepy) way. This time he received even a first name: Tucker. Nothing is known about his father, but he was mostly raised by his grandfather, Theodore Cobblepot, who taught him the self-importance and the sense of privilege that came from being a descendant of Sir Nigel Cobblepot, one of the very founders of Gotham City. Tucker met a girl from the high society, Miranda, and married her mostly out of social and economic interest. Together they had a son…but the baby wasn’t exactly the one Tucker Cobblepot had been dreaming of as his heir: short, fat, clumsy, slightly deformed in his face traits (especially the huge and pointy nose), baby Oswald was almost a freak, and the first time that Tucker received him in his arms, he left the child fall to the grund, horrified by the “monster” his wife had given birth to. Miranda didn’t feel for her son anything more than her husband did, so both the Cobblepots treated the infant Oswald as unwanted trash, a freak who happened to be born in their same house, but which they didn’t own anything to in terms of love or affection. Unfortunately, Oswald wasn’t the only one who differed from the Cobblepots’ glorious standards: Tucker himself proved to have learnt well the lessons about family prestige and social commitment, but was absolutely uncapable of managing the family’s fortune. Soon, the wealth of the Cobblepots started vanishing rapidly, due to Tucker’s blind investments and unexperienced direction; of course, at home he only blamed the rival family, the Waynes, for all his failures, looking at Thomas Wayne‘s successes as to an evidence that he was the one stealing his money. The remarkable stress resulting from his economic disgrace mined Tucker’s health: once, surprised by a downpour, the man came back home wet and freezing, and fell victim to an aggressive tuckercobblepotcomics2pneumonia his body didn’t even try to fight back. Again, this was the moment Miranda changed drastically her attitude towards her son, and became a tyrannical and overprotective monster, giving birth to one of the most feared and dangerous crime lords Gotham City had ever known.

In his one and only directly-known version, Tucker Cobblepot is an arrogant and self-important man, who believes that his blood is more than enough to make him the financial and political genius his ancestors were. His idea of the Cobblepot family doesn’t allow any imperfection, so his relation with his ugly and ungraceful son is less than idyllic. Despite he doesn’t stay much in Oswald’s life, Tucker’s repressed rage and frustration towards the entire world for not living up to his desires and expectations had quite an imprint on the future crimelord’s psyche.

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