|Real name:||Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot|
|First Appearance:||Batman: Arkham City (Detective Comics #58 December 1941)|
|Created by:|| Bob Kane |
|Affiliations:|| Hugo Strange|
|Abilities:|| Expert Manufacturer |
|Portrayed by:||Nolan North|
- "Listen, I'm what you might call... a collector. If someone wants it, I like to think I've got it. And if I don't have it... I'll get it."
- ―The Penguin to Batman.[src]
A brutal and sadistic crime lord, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot is known in the Gotham City Underworld as The Penguin and funds much of its criminal operations as one of its biggest black market manufactures. Directing his affairs from the Iceberg Lounge, Oswald was seen as a reputable business man to the people of Gotham, but was a sadistic, mass murdering gang leader in reality.
After refusing to leave his base of operations when Arkham City was being constructed around it, Oswald stayed within the prison compound and built up his forces to become one of the ruling elites on the streets, determined to keep anyone from taking over his turf and claim the rest of Arkham City for his own purposes.
Childhood and Arrival in Gotham
Throughout the history of the Cobblepot's family, many of his family members were in a constant rivalry with the Wayne family for control of Gotham City. However, in the case of the Waynes, they were simply conducting their businesses to make a living and were not aware of the direct competition the Cobblepots saw in them.
Regardless, the unhealthy fixation to outdo the Wayne family and their business cost many of the Cobblepots their health and their business empires, including Oswald's father, Stanley Cobblepot, who began to neglect his son as a result and sent him overseas to England to spend his educational years. While overseas however, Cobblepot was often bullied for his small stature and spent many days outside of school and on the violent streets instead, associating with the various criminals and thugs.
Feeling appreciated and seen as somebody worth while by the criminal element, Cobblepot began to learn and educate himself about the criminal lifestyle that so appealed to him and how to accumulate massive amounts of wealth and numbers. In the meantime, Cobblepot's father died after nearly bankrupting his own businesses while trying to outdo the Wayne family, the final straw for Oswald, who saw the Wayne family as nothing more than spoiled individuals who ruined his family.
Arriving back in Gotham, Oswald soon became known to the criminal underworld as the Penguin.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Before Arkham Asylum
Copplepot used his inheritance money to purchase the Cyrus Pinkney's Institute for Natural History, which was in the process of being shutdown due to its position in a dilapidating part of Gotham City. Cobblepot saw the museum as the perfect base operations and converted both the museum and the attached restaurant, the Iceberg Lounge, into his main criminal quarters. Reestablishing the Iceberg Lounge into one of the finest restaurants in Gotham, Cobblepot gained the attention of the wealthy and criminal citizens of Gotham with a den of booze, drugs, gambling, and beautiful women.
On the opening night for the Iceberg Lounge, Oswald felt proud to have finally gained respect. He invited the Joker and Harley Quinn and offered them a free drink. When a waitress arrived, she tripped and accidentally spilled the drink on the Joker. Joker then sprayed acid on her face with his flower. Joker and Harley then trashed the club and fled. Enraged at Joker for ruining his party, killing his waitress, and tarnishing his reputation, Penguin developed a deep hatred of the clown.
On the outside, Oswald was a legitimate business tycoon, but truly made a living off of the black market in Gotham, having shipments of drugs and firearms arrive in Gotham each week, which he then sold to Gotham's criminals, while also performing his own scores and heists with his gang.
Penguin gained a reputation for sadistic torture and mass murder, particularly on those he caught cheating in his casino. Within the museum, Penguin created a gladiator pit where he would select various criminals from Gotham's streets to partake in illegal fights to the death. The winners would become part of Penguin's growing gang while those that died would be put on display in various cases or fed to his shark, Tiny, originally part of the museum's underwater attractions.
Penguin also added a torture chamber to punish those who stood against him or were caught cheating in his gambling activities and additionally added a war room to plan his criminal operations, and a weapons cache to store his own personal shipments of weapons for his gang's use or to be sold to the black market. Gambling ran rampant through the Lounge and those who couldn't pay were either put into a private torture room or were killed.
With one such client that couldn't pay a bar room brawl broke out resulting in a broken beer bottle being lodged in Penguin's face, a favor which Cobblepot repaid by taking both the client's eyes, as well as leaving the client wandering blindly through the freeway at rush hour. After seeing the finest doctors it was determined that the removal of the bottle would result in death.
Penguin became content with it, believing that it made him look "unique." In addition, due to his hatred of the Waynes, he never stops laughing about their deaths at the hands of a mugger as well as Bruce Wayne's status as an orphan as a result upon learning about their deaths, even going as far to state that it "couldn't have happened to nicer people."
While the Penguin does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, his top hat and a collection of his trademark umbrellas can be seen behind glass at the South Corridor of the Arkham Mansion. An advertisement for his club, the Iceberg Lounge, can also be seen in the Intensive Treatment Center in William North's office. His name also appears on the party list.
Arkham City's Construction and Hugo Strange's Plans
When Arkham City was developed, Penguin ended up trapped within the city because of his refusal to abandon the Iceberg Lounge (as he didn't wish to let it be caught at the hands of some of the thugs), to which he also hated Dr. Hugo Strange for forcing his place in Arkham City. After Joker escaped Arkham Asylum and arrived at Arkham City, Cobblepot briefly met with the clown prince attempting to make peace with Oswald, to which he reminded Joker that he hadn't forgiven him for ruining the Iceberg's Lounge's opening, thus beginning the war between the two anew during the events of the game.
In order to survive Arkham City's violent environment, Mr. Penguin starts his own gang, hoping to seize complete control over the rest of the facility for his own ends. He ends up meeting Lester Kurtz, who wished to join the gang after fleeing the Joker's. Unlike Joker, Penguin didn't want to put Kurtz through any initiation and just told him to follow orders and he'll be paid. He then turns to another thug named Grisby, revealing a picture showing him double-crossing Penguin by giving information to Harley Quinn. He then sends a panicked Grisby to "tell the man downstairs" and sends him down a trapdoor.
Kurtz asks him what's down there and Penguin simply replies "Pray you never have to find out." Since Grisby told the Joker about the raid on the Security Armory planned by the Penguin, he tells his thugs they will have to get the weapons before they get to the armory. Due to the unexpected appearance of the Joker's goons, Kurtz had to destroy the guns infuriating Penguin, but Kurtz was able to talk his way out of being sent "downstairs" and instead cuts his pay in half and makes him lead a strike on the weakened Joker's hideout the next day.
To be sure he doesn't escape, Penguin tells his men to lock Kurtz up for the night, but he escapes anyway by knocking out the goons, a little later. Penguin never realized that Kurtz was a new alias of his mortal enemy, Batman. Presumably because of Kurtz' earlier actions, the Penguin instigated an initiation process where he would handpick any "horrible psychopaths" who wished to join who proved themselves to be the best, the exact initiation process being different each day.
Eventually, Penguin was taken to Hugo Strange by TYGER operatives to begin taped interview sessions, as much of the rest of the super-criminals had to do as well. There, Strange began to diagnose Penguin, much to the villain's annoyance, and even struck an alliance with the gang lord as part of his own plans for power. At the Penguin's request, Strange purchased and delivered a wide variety of military grade weaponry, ammunition, and technology to his base of operations, telling Penguin that Arkham City is merely an experiment to observe the actions of the criminal populace it houses when Penguin questioned his motives for the alliance.
With Penguin's new and incredible artillery in conjunction with all the resources he had at his disposal to begin with at his museum, Penguin took the compound by storm, killing all who opposed him and recruited hundreds of individuals to build up a massive gang. Throughout the months, Penguin's men would go on recruitment missions, assembling large groups of potential gang members and other inmates to be locked up in the gladiator arena within the Iceberg Lounge to eventually undergo duels to the death to determine who is worthy of joining Penguin's gang.
Penguin would remain in contact with Strange, who would continue to supply him with weapons and even hand over victims of his inhumane experiments to be used as target practice. Strange eventually informed Penguin that his rival, the Joker, was indeed sick and dying, but has blackmailed Mr. Freeze into developing a potential cure for his Titan illness. Strange reveals that Freeze has already been captured and locked up in one of his holding cells and offers to hand him and his various freeze equipment over to Penguin in order impede Joker's progress on a cure and cement his fate.
Penguin agreed and has several of his men take Freeze away to be locked up in one his display cases in his museum, cruelly choosing the one that it ventilated with extreme heat. As one last string to pull, Strange revealed to Cobblepot that ten inmates that work within his gang are actually inside agents for the Gotham City Police Department for Commissioner Gordon, trusting Penguin to dispose of them. Penguin wasted no time when he returned to his museum and has all ten of the undercover cops abducted, beaten, and locked away in his torture chamber for eventual death.
Robin posed as a street thug to investigate a fight club Penguin was running beneath the museum. Penguin claims that they are in a fight to the death and whoever wins will join his gang. As the fight goes on, Penguin decides to speed things up by adding a Titan henchman. Robin escaped once Bane arrived for Penguin's supply of Titan. Bane demanded the Titan be handed over to him, but he was met with Solomon Grundy, who's brute strength and near immortal power forced him to retreat
Penguin appeared as a juror in Two-Face's trial against the Joker and voted guilty for all the trouble Joker caused him over the years. Later, Penguin's crew forced Black Mask to blow the steel mill sky-high to kill the Joker, due to their mutual hatred of the clown. Black Mask instead decided to use the explosives given to him by Penguin to escape Arkham City.
When Bruce Wayne is imprisoned within Arkham City for leading a protest against the city, the Penguin and his gang are among the first of the criminals to greet him. Desiring revenge against Wayne for his family, the Cobblepots, being ruined, he takes out some brass knuckles to beat him up. Although he managed to land a blow on Wayne, Wayne managed to grab his hand while he was preparing a second blow and bend it around, breaking it. Penguin then has his gang kill Wayne, but he defeats them with ease, also breaking his handcuffs in the process.
Later the during the night, Penguin had his men rig the bridges and streets that lead to Joker's base of operations, the Sionis Steel Mill, with explosives to cut off the Clown Prince of Crime's forces. When all the explosives were put in place, Penguin detonated them, killing many of Joker's followers and his own men in the process and stranding any who were left on the other side. Eventually, Batman, trying to locate Mr. Freeze so he could gain a cure for the Titan poison that he and thousands of Gotham citizens were infected with by the Joker, managed to encounter Penguin, who mercilessly executed one of the cops, Officer Best. After a failed attempt at getting Batman to surrender and become a part of his collection, he then has some inmates attempt to kill Batman as their initiation.
Batman defeated all of them with ease, enticing the Penguin to unveil his big guns: more specifically, a henchman he injected with some the Titan formula he acquired from shipments Joker previously sent off from Arkham Island. After Batman managed to defeat the minion, Penguin escaped from the chaos and back to the Iceberg Lounge. One of the cops he held hostage, Forrester, also managed to escape Penguin, but wasn't able to get to the exit before Penguin froze him with Mr. Freeze's Ice Gun. Penguin then revealed that he had a shark in the frozen pool of water known as Tiny, which he regularly used to dispose of bodies and even devour living victims.
Penguin ordered the rest of his gang to guard the other cops in the armory, with the threat of killing them should they fail to do so. Eventually, Batman, after saving most of the cops, debating legions of Penguin's gang, and even Tiny, proceeded to the Iceberg Lounge. Once there, Penguin taunted Batman with the intention of torturing another undercover cop by the name of Dennis by freezing one of his hands as well as declaring his intention of shattering the frozen hand with a hammer.
Batman managed to arrive in time, but Penguin forced him to retreat due to his use of the Ice Gun. Batman eventually returned and, thanks to the override code for the Ice Gun from Freeze, the gun failed to fire on Batman, resulting in the Dark Knight decking Penguin off the iceberg monument. Penguin tried to talk his way out of his predicament, but when Batman implied that he wasn't simply going to let him go after all the destruction and death he caused, Penguin destroyed the iceberg monument with a remote-controlled detonator, dropping Batman to a room below the lounge, with Penguin declaring that Batman brought it upon himself.
He activated an entity that he discovered under the lounge presumably before Arkham City was even established, Solomon Grundy, and forces Batman to fight him. After Batman manages to completely destroy the mechanism that continuously revived Grundy and putting the beast down for good, Penguin is eventually forced to fight Batman himself with a grenade launcher, but is easily defeated. Batman then delivers Penguin to Mr. Freeze, who steps on Penguin's already broken hand as revenge for the latter's earlier treatment of him. Batman ordered Freeze to stop hurting Penguin and focus on the cure, enticing him to place Penguin within one of his own display cases, the one he had reserved for Bruce Wayne, although not before making a subtle threat to Penguin.
Catwoman can speak to Penguin inside the display case. She asks him what he's supposed to be in the exhibit. Penguin rudely tells her to "piss off". Offended, Catwoman warns him against talking like that to her again before leaving and Penguin immediately apologized out of cowardice.
When Protocol 10 began, Penguin's museum was targeted for destruction, but it withstood the missile attack with Penguin still safe inside. When Two-Face and his gang took control of the museum, Penguin hid behind the display in the display case to avoid being spotted by Dent. If Batman returns to speak with him, Penguin denies his cowardice.
Penguin eventually got free from the display case and forced Batman to fight many of his men. After Batman defeated them, Cobblepot fled.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Psychological Profile (by Dr. Young)
Real Name: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
SHOULD NEVER BE GIVEN AN UMBRELLA.
Psychological Profile: Pushed into schizotypal behavior by an inferiority complex. Cobblepot's specific eccentricities revolve around an obsession with ornithology and intense ideation based around umbrellas. Even within the confines of the asylum, he has managed to create working umbrellas with "trick" features. Maltreatment by other inmates and probings into possible sources for his insecurities always trigger intense overcompensation on his part, in the form of rantings about his business acumen and misunderstood intelligence.
His off-putting, antisocial behavior is frequently at odds with his need to be valued and admired.
He is compulsive about his sartorial appearance, which argues with his avoidance and denial of his physical shortcomings.
- Penguin: I'm only doing this as a courtesy, Strange. Don't think you've beaten me.
- Strange: I just thought we could both benefit from a little talk, Mr. Cobblepot.
- Penguin: Don't try that psycho mumbo jumbo with me, Strange. I'm not like the other crazies.
- Strange: Of course not, after all, considering the... challenges you've faced.
- Penguin: Challenges? What freakin' Challenges? You're not better than me. No one is. I own this place.
- Strange: Well, to be clear, I allow you certain freedoms, but let's continue. Why do you feel the need to own anything. I believe it is a mechanism to compensate for some childhood inadequacy. You were friends with the Waynes, correct?
- Penguin: I was, 'till someone did the world a favor and blew the brains out of little Wayne's self-righteous parents. I was laughing for weeks. It still brings a smile to my face.
- Strange: And you think that's ok?
- Penguin: Ok? No I don't think it's ok. I think it's bloody hysterical. That family destroyed mine. What happened to them, well, it couldn't have happened to nicer people.
- Strange: Take a seat Mr. Cobblepot.
- Penguin: What is it now, Strange?
- Strange: I wanted to talk about your apparent hatred of the Waynes. Your outburst last time was most interesting.
- Penguin: It's simple really, I don't like the snivelling little bastard. Look at him. All high and mighty because someone killed mummy and daddy.
- Strange: Most people look upon him with sympathy.
- Penguin: No they don't. They're jealous. Jealous of his money, his cars, his women. He lost his sympathy when he vanished for all those years. I can't tell you how much I hoped he was visiting his dear mum and dad.
- Strange: Where do you suppose he went?
- Penguin: How am I supposed to know?
- Strange: Let us move on, then.
- Penguin: No. It's time that you do something for me.
- Strange: And what is that?
- Penguin: Here's a list.
- Penguin: I thought I told you, Strange, no more little questions until you give me what I want.
- Strange: Take a look, Mr. Cobblepot. Here is a purchase order for the various firearms you require. I must say, you chose an exotic selection.
- Penguin: I only take the best.
- Strange: A wise strategy.
- Penguin: So, what's yours?
- Strange: Excuse me?
- Penguin: What are you up to? Why would you give me, me of all people guns, explosives... all this stuff?
- Strange: Arkham City is an experiment, Mr. Cobblepot, a new way of thinking. We've separated you from society, so I'm more than willing to study the results if you all just decide to kill each other. Besides, your feud with the Joker is intriguing.
- Penguin: I was here first. I bought my museum and the Iceberg Lounge fair and square. It was you and that mayor that stuck us all together.
- Strange: Again, you refer to owning things, quite fascinating. I believe we gave you the opportunity to leave.
- Penguin: And take over my turf? Never.
- Strange: Good evening Mr. Cobblepot. I trust you received the second delivery.
- Penguin: Yeah, I did. I don't know what you did to those dribbling monkeys, Strange, but they were perfect.
- Strange: I'm glad. It appears we can both help each other.
- Penguin: If you say so. I suppose it doesn't hurt that by the time I'm done with 'em, they're usually in too many pieces for anyone to know what you are really getting up to in those rooms of yours.
- Strange: I have no idea what you are talking about.
- Penguin: Of course not. So, Hugo, the clown. Is he really dying?
- Strange: It appears so. Self-inflicted, of course, but yes he is. He has Mister Freeze working on a potential cure, but I'm sure neither of us want him to get his hands on it, do we?
- Penguin: We're ready.
- Strange: Good. Now one last thing. Your face.
- Penguin: It's beautiful, isn't it?
- Strange: The eye? I believe it was the result of a bar brawl, correct?
- Penguin: The toe rag got lucky. He got his though.He took my eye. I took both of his, left him trying to walk across the Gotham Freeway at rush hour. Hilarious.
- Strange: You're a rich man, Mr. Cobblepot. You could have had that glass removed.
- Penguin: They said it was impossible and what the hell, I think it gives me a... more unique look. Know what I mean? Now, where is Freeze?
- Strange: He's right here, in the room next door. You can take him with you. Are you familiar with the term Napoleon complex?
- Penguin: No. What is it?
- Strange: It's nothing. Oh, and one last thing. Here is a list of ten prisoners I believe work for you.
- Penguin: Yeah, so what? You want to saw their heads open and scoop out their brains too?
- Strange: No, I just thought you'd like to know that they are all in the employ of the GCPD.
- Penguin: WHAT?
- Strange: I believe you know what to do with them. I don't like being spied on, Mr. Cobblepot. Goodnight.
Game Over Lines
- "Anyone want a slightly used Batsuit? I'm sure the blood'll wash off."
- "And there was me thinking it was going to be difficult. Get him out of here!"
- "Having a little lie-down, are you? Enjoy it. It's your last."
- "Someone cut the mask off his face. No need to be gentle."
- In his own words "[Penguin] only takes the best." This ranges from weaponary, equipment, and assassins. In Arkham City, Penguin has Hugo Strange deliver "an exotic selection" of weaponry and military equipment in exchange for favors (killing lunatics that Strange experimented on and kidnapping Mr. Freeze, to keep Joker from curing his TITAN poisoning). In the tie-in movie Assualt on Arkham, Penguin implies that he has hired Deadshot for assasssinations in the past, even calling him the best in the business.
- In the game, The Penguin and Joker start off as the two biggest gangs in the city. Both gangs each have a heavy (Sickle/Mr. Hammer), a juggernaut (Solomon Grundy/Clayface), Titan Henchmen, questionable control over a doctor (Mr. Freeze), and both sides are being provided weapons by Hugo Strange.
- Unlike most other versions of The Penguin, who choose to wear a monocle, this incarnation instead had the bottom of a broken beer bottle lodged in place around his eye, and has been told that removing it would be fatal. In his interview tapes with Strange, he says he doesn't mind the bottle because it gives him "a rather unique look".
- He does not wear his signature hat once in the game. However, he is shown to have a wide collection of them as part of a Riddler riddle, and is seen wearing one in posters.
- In-game rumors relating to the Arkham lunatics stated that Dr. Hugo Strange sent them to Penguin for use as target practice for him and his men. An interview tape between Strange and Penguin confirmed the rumors, of which the latter referred to them as "dribbling monkeys."
- This version of The Penguin has a voice box in his throat, Implying that he has suffered damage to his vocal chords, either by his constant smoking of cigars, or possibly at the hands of Batman. Regardless of how he got the voice box, it is clear he got it some time after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins, due to his neck being whole in that game.
- Of his collections in the museum, he has one waiting for Batman and Bruce Wayne. He may have at one point held Victor Zsasz captive as well. The exhibit he was kept in was full of tally marks, and the glass is shattered.
- The Penguin may be in possession of the Black Mask's first wooden mask. It can be seen on a skeleton in one of the torture exhibits alongside one in a top hat. This may show that the Black Mask was Penguin's main rival at one point, and not Joker. This was confirmed in Batman: Arkham Origins
- If the player chose to not knock Penguin out in the beginning of the game, when Bruce Wayne is climbing the ladder, Penguin will be heard declaring that he always knew Bruce Wayne was a coward.
- Penguin cameos in Injustice: Gods Among Us in one of the stage transitions in Arkham Asylum. When the player attacks their opponent near the edge of the Mess Hall arena, they will be knocked into a room where Killer Croc, the Penguin, Two-Face, and the Riddler all attack the fighter before they move on to the Cell Block arena.