- "Your aim appears to be a little off today, Batman. I don't think you could hit the broad side of a barn, let alone the broad side of this bird!"
- ―The Penguin[src]
The Penguin is a Gotham City crimelord that is fascinated by birds and projects a public image of being a refined gentleman.
The "Rambunctious Days"
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot was a well educated and ingenious man who wanted to be refined and respected in the elite. He was also one of Batman's top foes in his prime. Unlike most of Batman's Rogues' Gallery, the Penguin was deemed sane and therefore was sent to Stonegate Penitentiary if he was found guilty of a certain crime, instead of Arkham Asylum where his "fellow rogues" went for rehabilitation.
Batman: The Animated Series
The Penguin was introduced in I've Got Batman In My Basement as a criminal who was overweight with a monocle and used an umbrella as a weapon most of the time. He hired two street thugs: Jay and Raven, to steal a beautiful and priceless Egg. His Buzzard also was an asset.
Penguin was soon called after by Dr. Hugo Strange to attend a mysterious auction. Penguin (along with Two-Face and The Joker) arrived by plane to find a limo that awaited them to take them to Gotham Springs. When the auction finally took place, it was revealed that the item was proof of Batman's secret identity. Penguin's initial bid was a million dollars, but after he saw Two-Face and the Joker bickering, he had the idea to not fight but share the bidding. So, the trio pitched money in to see Batman's identity.
As Batman switched tapes, Penguin and the other two watched in anger as they watched a recording of Strange trying to cheat them out of money by making a fake tape (the truth was that Batman had used Strange's machine to imagine Strange admitting to the scam, recorded it on a tape, and intercepted the signal to broadcast that instead of Bruce Wayne's Tape). Penguin's own umbrella pistol destroyed the tape and the trio went after Strange in a high speed chase, but caught up with him at Gotham International Airport and took him off in his own plane to dispose of him. Batman tampered with the engine and the plane crashed. The GCPD Blimp was at the ready overhead and Penguin, Joker, Two-Face, and Strange were taken into custody.
The Penguin later attempted to steal a pair of breeding condors from the Gotham Zoo. As he was about to break in, Batman showed up and knocked Penguin to the ground. The Penguin sprayed pollen on Batman (that he claimed was the "wrong umbrella" but turned out it attracted his hummingbirds in which he doused their beaks with poison). After Batman foiled the hummingbirds, Penguin sent his Cassowary to rend him apart. Unfortunately, Batman took one of Penguin's poison-tipped hummingbirds and poisoned the Cassowary. The Penguin was traumatized, flew away on his umbrella, and escaped the Dark Knight.
He soon retreated to a night club and played cards with Joker, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and Killer Croc (who was really Batman in disguise). After the group told stories of how they almost killed Batman (the Penguin told about his most recent encounter), they were infuriated to know that Croc was Batman all along but before they could do anything, they were ambushed by police.
The Penguin was later out of prison and attempted to steal a priceless Audubon painting in a Gotham museum, but was crushed with a chandelier after he tried to shoot down one of Batman's Batarangs in an escape attempt. Penguin spent some time in jail, and, as he was released, he expected a limo but instead was escorted in a trashy bus. Upon his arrival home, Penguin expected his friends (namely the Joker, Two-Face, and Killer Croc) but instead was encountered by Batman. After he told Batman that he was reformed (Batman was skeptical and warned him of his presence), the Penguin got a call from Veronica Vreeland seconds following Batman's exit. On their first date, they were mugged, but as the Penguin fended them off, Batman came, trashed the muggers, and thought that Penguin was behind it. Veronica defended the Penguin, and they left as Batman stood in optimism.
The Penguin and Veronica went to the Opera and afterwards a party. Penguin overheard her and Pierce talking about how they had used him as a publicity attractor for their party. The Penguin was furious and gassed them both. He kidnapped Veronica and flew away right as Bruce Wayne entered the balcony, and vainly tried to rescue her. Later, the Penguin demanded that Pierce deliver the ransom. Pierce went to the delivery point in a condemned part of the city. Penguin called him by phone booth and instructed him to take one step out and start walking left. Pierce did as commanded and fell into the sewers via trap door. He was caught by the Penguin's duck mobile and the Penguin lead Pierce to his headquarters above his sewer lair (it led to the opera hall that they were at earlier), only to be taken hostage himself. Batman came in as the Penguin was about to dispose of them, and Penguin retreated to a higher stage platform. He came back out in Viking gear and rode a giant metallic dragon. The Penguin and Batman had a prevailing fight as the chandelier that held Veronica (and stopped Pierce) loosened. Batman saved them in the nick of time and used a Batarang to clip the wires that held the dragon up and Penguin fell into the stage curtains. The Penguin was taken by police soon after. Veronica talked to the Penguin seconds before his escort to jail and stated that she was really growing found of him. He left and stated that high society was to blame.
Later, the Penguin had his new henchmen Eagleton, Falcone, and Sheldrake get the reversed Audubon artworks. Unbeknownst to him, they were chased by Batman. After they managed to get back to his sewer lair, the Penguin was furious to discover that the paintings they stole weren't the reversed versions. After the failure, Penguin was about to have his new pet Personal poke out Eagleton's eyes if he couldn't come up with a good reason not to have that done. In that instance, Falcone got his friend that he reunited with after the crash named Arnold Rundle. He gave them the plans for the Batmobile (the Batmobile's engine was destroyed in the chase that Penguin's men had with Batman and Robin). In payment for his services, the Penguin had Arnold flushed down the sewer drain. After they took the plans, they infiltrated Earl Cooper's shop and tampered with the Batmobile that he worked on repairing. After Batman retrieved it from a very suspicious Cooper (who was tried to play along with Penguin's plan in order to save his daughter), the Penguin took control of the Batmobile as soon as it got onto an interstate highway. Penguin controlled it from his newly fixed limo. Right after he flew the Batmobile off the top of a parking garage, Penguin was horrified to find Batman and Robin right behind his limo on gliders.
Eagleton drove into the airport flying dock, and crashed under a moving loading truck. As his limo lay in ruins and Eagleton and Sheldrake unconscious, the Penguin came out with his hostage, Earl's daughter, at gun-point. She stepped on his feet and with that, Peguin was about to shoot her when Robin came down and kicked him to the ground. Helpless, he was taken to Stonegate once more. Later as he was polishing the license plates at the prison, Peguin grabbed one that said "1BAT4U", and broke it in half out of anger.
Later, he took control of a Wayne Tech test helicopter, the Raven X1-11, and blinded Bruce Wayne (Batman) in the process. He kept it for ransom. Peguin destroyed a city bridge to demonstrate his seriousness. Mayor Hamilton Hill broadcasted a message that said he would give into Penguin's money that was demanded. It was a trap, and Batman threw a net around the Penguin and Falcone as they retrieved their payment. They got out via the Penguin's umbrella (he had a knife articulated at the point), got back into the Raven, and went after the Batwing. The Batwing ran the Raven down with spiked round casings. The Raven brought the Batwing down as well using its sonic lasers even while handicapped with flight. Batman ran helplessly into a nearby building (when he escaped the exploding Batwing, his charge wire for his radar mask that helped him see was ripped) as the Penguin and Falcone (for Eagleton and Sheldrake were knocked unconscious) watched in amusement. After Batman beat Falcone, the charge that kept the mask that he used to see died and left him helplessly blind. It did not take long for the Penguin to realize Batman was blind and he started to toy with him. Batman then ran blindly off an edge that was right above a pool of liquid magma but luckily got a hold of the top pipes. As the Penguin laughed, Batman found a way to turn the pipes on with the water and magma mixture fogged up the room. The Penguin started to cough uncontrollably. Batman followed the sound, ultimately swooped down on the Penguin, and he was left for the police.
Sometime later, he ordered a stuffed extinct penguin The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) had available. They tried to get him interested in other stuffed creatures that they had stolen from the Vreeland Exhibit (in which the Penguin had a feud with Veronica Vreeland a while earlier). Peguin never got his penguin for Batman and Catwoman interfered with the Ventriloquist's plans.
The Penguin and Two-Face had an apparent fight and Two-Face stole a rare Avis from Penguin and double-crossed him. With that reasoning, he was interrogated at Stonegate by Batman for Two-Face's kidnapping. The Penguin insisted that he was not to blame and set his birds on Batman in a vain attempt to kill him, but Batman escaped, and left the Penguin in his cell.
The Penguin also stole plutonium from Wayne Tech's lab and threatened to blow up Gotham City.
According to Batman, the Penguin once tried to kidnap a famous singer (Zatanna recalled his first name "Ricky" but not his last) and Batman said that he was on stake out, and apparently watched to see when Penguin made his move.
The New Batman Adventures
The Penguin later opened Gotham's hottest Night Club, The Iceberg Lounge. Peguin presented himself as reformed and a businessman, but after hours, he did smuggling and other ruthless professions.
He soon became overwhelmed about the Joker's new found fortune. So, the Penguin threw him a party at his club, only for it to be overpowered by gunfire by King Barlowe 's right-hand bodyguard (who thought that he had deserved "The King"'s will money, and not the Joker). As Nightwing and Batgirl came in and stopped the gun noise, and the Penguin lain in panic.
The Penguin soon found use for Roxy Rocket and had her steal some valuables. After she put his operations at risk, Peguin attempted to do away with Roxy. She prevailed and escaped as the Penguin lain in horror. He then ordered his henchwomen (Jay, Raven, and Lark ) to "clip her wings" before Roxy told someone about his empire. As the Penguin was set for bed at his skyscraper suite, Batman came in and asked about the location of Roxy. The Penguin didn't come quietly and shot at Batman with a machine gun. Batman overwhelmed the Penguin and hung him off over his balcony before the crime boss gave in.
When Peguin saw three ladies fighting (Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Livewire) at a table in his lounge, he tried to cease the commotion. When Livewire called him "Lard Butt", Penguin ordered them out. They rebelled and left his lounge smothered in vines and thrones). Soon after, Supergirl and Batgirl interrogated Peguin on where the trio of ladies were and he was at first reluctant, but then gave in and told them that he had a hunch that they were at the old Gotham Zoo.
The Penguin was later interrogated by Superman (disguised as Batman) on the whereabouts of The Mad Hatter (Bruce Wayne went missing after mind control probes were found on his office phone). Only after "Batman" kicked a desk at the Penguin, he complied.
After he had a small dealing with Killer Croc and Two-Face, the Penguin was encountered by The Judge. The Penguin was horrified and was chased through his design studio. As his henchladies were tied up, Peguin was alone. He was crushed by a giant penguin prop that the Judge set loose. He survived, but was enlisted in critical condition at the hospital.
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
Penguin soon allied himself with Rupert Thorne to smuggle illegal weapons to Kaznia. As Batwoman interfered with one road shipment and his factory went up in a blaze, the Penguin knew that their muscle Carlton Duquesne was out of his league. As the Penguin and Thorne discussed whom their new muscle would be, Batwoman sneaked into the Penguin's file cabnet. The two caught her. But a fight was unleashed and Thorne agreed with the Penguin that they needed to bring someone better in as Batwoman escaped.
At the Iceberg lounge, the Penguin called up Bane, and he agreed to meet him in the Penguin's frequently used back entrance. As soon as the Penguin got off the phone, Batwoman appeared and wrapped a metallic alloy around him. She squeezed and squeezed until Penguin gave in and said "Bane" very mildly. It didn't take long for the Penguin's henchwomen and Batwoman to fight. Their fight got taken out into the lounge and the Penguin shot motion-seeking missiles. As Penguin aimed his missile launching umbrella at Batwoman, Batman came in and Penguin was pushed to the ground. As Batwoman escaped, Batman was pushed into the lounge's center arctic pool. As the Penguin shot homing missiles into the water, Batman set and detonated a bomb from inside the pool, and it caused the lounge to flood. The Penguin sat whipped in the face by one of his seals.
Penguin, Thorne, and Duquesne met with Bane at an isolated warehouse, for Bane could not come to the Iceberg Lounge due to the previous incident. The Penguin allowed Bane full control of the operation and showed him the ship and plans that he would use. Later that night, as Penguin and Thorne played cards, they got a call to come to the ship. To their surprise, Bane found out who Batwoman was, Kathy Duquesne, Carlton Duquesne's daughter. Batman soon came in and another fight was unleashed. After Batman and Kathy escaped, Penguin and Thorne ran to Penguin's boat to retreat for the bomb that Kathy had was missing. They ran into the other two Batwomen. As the ship exploded, Sonia was injured and Rocky went after the fleeing felons. She latched onto the boat and the sudden stop made Penguin and Thorne fly into the water. They were caught and Penguin, after years of being "reformed," was finally punished for his crimes and sent back to Stonegate with Thorne.
- "Perhaps you've heard of my umbrella weapons."
- ―The Penguin
The Penguin had a large array of Umbrella weapons and flight tools and stand as his most recognizable trademark. His umbrellas were controlled by an unseen button on the handle and could be deadly and / or deceiving. He was also known to carry a hidden machine gun hidden under his umbrella in case of an emergency.
At his warehouse, Peguin has his scientists create his custom umbrellas and tested them on dummies of Batman.
Umbrella Models and Accessories
|* Imploded locks for easy break-ins|
|* A knife built into the heel of his umbrella|
|* He had a sword hidden in special umbrellas for close combat|
|* Helped the Penguin fly or escape trouble. Also doubled as a weapon.|
|* It had a built in machine gun|
|* Used to gas his victims for an easy kidnapping or robbery|
|* The Penguin used it to pick a lock at the Gotham Zoo|
|* The Penguin claimed it was the "wrong umbrella," but it really was nectar that attracted his hummingbirds with poison-tipped beaks|
|* Had a razor sharp point at the tip of it that was activated by a gestural move in a key center point of the umbrella. He used it to threaten Earl Cooper's daughter.|
|* A knife built into the tip of his umbrella|
|* Shot white lasers|
|* An electric charge that would electrocute the victim|
|* Shot like a regular umbrella gun but could be sped up like a machine gun|
|* A umbrella holder that contained a machine gun|
|* A test umbrella that shot bat-seeking missiles. It came into play when Batwoman interfaced his lounge.|
|* Shot pellets lit in a greenish color|
|* Had an acidic smoke compound that blew acid once unleashed|
Rogues' Gallery Encounters
Penguin either collaborated or met with much of Batman's Rogues' Gallery (along with Superman's Rogues' Gallery members):
- The Joker ("The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne"; "Almost Got 'Im"; "Joker's Millions")
- Two-Face ("The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne"; "Almost Got 'Im"; "Judgment Day")
- Poison Ivy ("Almost Got 'Im" ; "Girls Night Out")
- Killer Croc ("Almost Got 'Im"; "Judgment Day")
- The Mad Hatter ("Knight Time")
- The Riddler ("Knight Time")
- The Ventriloquist & Scarface ("Catwalk")
- Roxy Rocket ("The Ultimate Thrill")
- Harley Quinn ("Girls Night Out")
- Rupert Thorne (Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman)
- Bane ("Knight Time", Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman)
- Livewire ("Girls Night Out")
- I've Got Batman In My Basement
- Dreams In Darkness (cameo)
- The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
- Almost Got 'Im
- Birds of a Feather
- The Mechanic
- Blind as a Bat
- Second Chance
- Joker's Millions
- The Ultimate Thrill
- Girl's Night Out
- Judgment Day
- Due to its release time, the Penguin's earliest appearance was closer to his version in Batman Returns. He otherwise spoke and behaved like the more refined version from the comics. When the revamped episodes entered production, the creative team was able to use Penguin's classic appearance, which they wanted to use from the beginning.
- Penguin was the only character who was allowed to smoke, outside of the gangsters in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.