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The Penguin (History) – Comic Basics

The Penguin

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The Penguin

Real Name: Oswald Cobblepot

First Appearance: Detective Comics #58 (December, 1941)

Powers: Genius, Leadership, Unique Umbrellas

Affiliation: Injustice League, The Society

Love Interests: None

Enemies: Batman

Did You Know: That Meredith Burgess played the Penguin in the 1960’s Batman series because of his ability to do a squawking laugh.

A Little History

Oswald Cobblepot was a child from a wealthy family. Unfortunately, he spent his adolescence being bullied by the children around him. This was primarily due to his short height, chubby body, and bird-like nose. His overprotective mother didn’t do too much to help him either. She would force him to carry around an umbrella. As a consequence of the teasing, Cobblepot didn’t have too many, if any friends at all, so he would often be found in the company of birds. It was because of this tendency that he was given the name, “The Penguin” and pursued a Degree in Ornithology.

With school finished, Cobblepot embraced the moniker Penguin full-time and inherited his family’s fortune. With his wealth, he began to present himself as a rich and sophisticated gentleman who preferred to dress in a tuxedo.

Because he never felt like he fit in, the Penguin took to crime to show his power and exact his revenge against the citizens of Gotham who had mocked him. In his first crime, he robbed the Gotham museum of a piece of priceless art to prove his worth the Mob Boss that he was working for. Shortly after the theft, he killed the boss with a rifle that was inside his trick umbrella and became the group’s new leader.

While different from most villains, over the years, Cobblepot has become the criminal definition of “class”.

Title Image © DC

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