The Duck was the Penguin's primary mode of transportation through the waterways in the sewers of Gotham. Originally a cable cart boat from the Old Zoo, Cobblepot modified it to function as an all-terrain vehicle.
The Duck was part of a cable system featuring many different animals for families to be seated in during a tour like bears and rabbits. After returning to the abandoned zoo years later with the disgraced Red Triangle circus, Penguin settled in the Arctic World exhibit where he was raised. Here he began use the duck boat as a personal transport, not only due an obsession with birds but also due to its resemblance to the small rubber duck toy that dangled just out of his reach in the cage his parents made for him at the Cobblepot mansion. The yellow paint on the Duck is now faded and smudged, with signs of heavy weathering and chip damage, giving its cheerful appearance a disturbing quality.
Saving the Mayor's baby
The Duck played a key role during Shreck and Penguin's scheme to kidnap the mayor's baby, with the outcome of making Cobblepot look like a tragic hero to the public. After a acrobatic clown took the baby, he ran and flipped into an open manhole. Down below out of the public's view the acrobat pretended to be verbally fearful of the Penguin and immediately surrendered the baby to him, as he casually handed the baby to Cobblepot, waiting in the Duck. Penguin then activated a custom circus scissor lift he had installed to the Duck, used to dramatically rise through the manhole with the baby.
The Duck was presumably left behind, in the sewer below the surface of townhall. Later after being disgraced in the attempt to reclaim his birthright, he retreated back to the sewage system, jumping into the same stream his parents thew his baby carriage into. Using his natural aquatic ability, he retuned to his Duck vehicle and used it to get back to his lair in the abandoned zoo.
Crashing the Maxquerade Ball
After hatching a plan to exact revenge Gotham's high society, Penguin used the Duck to travel through the sewers to Shreck's department store in Gotham Plaza. The annual Maxquerade Ball was held at the ground level of the store, where Penguin set off an explosion from below. Cobblepot again used the Duck's scissor lift to dramatically rise out of the smoke before the Gothamites. Penguin proudly announced that his gang was kidnapping their first born sons so he could drown them in Shreck's toxic waste in the sewer. Penguin had personally come for Gotham's favorite son, Chip Shreck. Max purposed that he be taken in Chip's place, to which Penguin agreed.
After arriving back at the lair, the the Organ Grinder's Monkey gave him a note from Batman, saying the children regret they cannot attend. Enraged that Batman stopped the train and apprehended most of his gang, he decided to send his Penguin Commandos downtown to blowup a majority of the population. This was also quickly foiled by Batman while headed toward the lair in his Batskiboat. The remainder of his gang abandoned him in fear of the approaching vehicle and Penguin followed suit in his Duck, taking it out of the water to drive out of the zoo. The Duck was able to drive up a large concrete staircase with ease, like an off-road vehicle. Tracking him on radar, Batman rammed the Batskiboat through the ground level exterior of the exhibit, landing on top of the Duck and smashing it to pieces.
- Batman Returns
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Batman: Arkham Knight (DLC race track)
Behind the Scenes
The Duck was first incorporated in the Daniel Waters scripts for Batman II. Likely created as an ironic visual to a mandatory studio note for a gadget-laden vehicle for the villain, needing more "toyetic" elements for merchandising purposes. Originally the Penguin made an abandoned World's Fair into his lair, and the Duck vehicle would have originated from a ride there. There will also concepts for flying via more transforming capabilities and rockets but the gadgets had to scaled back due to budget concerns.
- See: The Duck/Gallery for additional images