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The Penguin.png
Real name: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot [1]
AKA: The Gentleman of Crime
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-1A
Sex: Male
Hair: black
Eyes: blue
Height: 5’2”
Weight: Morbidly obese
Relatives: Tucker & Esther Cobblepot (parents, deceased); Miranda Cobblepot (aunt)
Apprentice: Chick
Occupation: Ornithologist, Mobster, Owner of the Iceberg Lounge
Base: Gotham City
Affiliations: League of Evil
Super Foes
Suicide Squad
Rogue of: Batman
Abilities: Genius level intellect, combat skills
Weaponry: Umbrellas
Voiced/Played: Ted Knight
Lennie Weinrib
Robert Morse
Hugh Davidson[2]

1972 Penguin Appearance

The Penguin was one of Batman's greatest foes, but he is also one of the least powerful supervillains.[3] Penguin lived a life of crime and evil, yet executed it with his own self proclaimed high society class and style, committing crimes with the theme of the various birds he loves, particularly penguins. The Penguin's trademark were the deadly umbrellas he used to execute his evil plans. He wore a tophat, a suit, gloves, and a monocle, and was often seen smoking with a cigarette holder.

Background Information

On the parallel-universe of Earth-One, Oswald Cobblepot did not have a happy childhood; he was still young (about pre-teenage) when his father Tucker died of bronchial pneumonia. Oswald's mother Esther blamed this on his being caught in the rain without an umbrella, so she always insisted her son carry one. Though Mrs. Cobblepot was an invalid, she kept the family business – a bird shop – going with the help of her son, and her sister-in-law, Miranda.

Oswald's appearance, his name, and his ever-present umbrella made him the object of torment by other boys, who called him "Gobble-Gobble" and said he waddled like a duck – or a penguin. His only real friends were the birds in the family shop.

With the help of his aunt, Oswald attended college, majoring in ornithology, finding that he often knew more about birds than his professors. Unfortunately, not long after graduation, Oswald's mother died. Her long illness had run up enormous debts, so much so that even the kindly Miranda was unable to help out, and everything in the store – including the birds who were Oswald's only companions – was seized by creditors.

Angry at what the law had done to him, Oswald was determined to switch to the other side and become a thief. He went to a known criminal, Angie by name, and offered his services, only to be laughed at and thrown out as Angie called him what the kids had called him years before – a penguin.

Oswald then made a vow: "Before I'm through, the Penguin will be a name to be feared and respected! And the umbrella will be a weapon of crime second to none!"

When next he confronted Angie, it was as the Penguin, complete with the full-dress suit that accentuated his resemblance to that fowl. When Angie threatened him, he was shot dead on the spot, with the first .45 caliber umbrella. Angie's two accomplices quickly agreed that the Penguin would be their new boss.

His career of crime was off to a good start, much to the consternation of the Caped Crusader.

Earth-1A History

Filmation Continuity

The Penguin, 1968

The Penguin, 1977

In 1968, the Joker teams up with the Penguin to switch crime methods so they can sue Batman for false arrest. In the end however they start to fight which leads to their downfall.

The Riddler teams up with the Penguin and together they believe that they have discovered Batman's secret identity but in the end they were proven wrong.

The Joker then runs for mayor in and teams up with Penguin and Riddler to achieve this goal and gets pardoned. In the end however his criminal ways are exposed and he is defeated once more.

A short time later, he teams up with Penguin again. This time they distracted a crowd by releasing wild circus animals and stole a tank. They then use the tank to rob several banks. Unfortunately they don't discover that they were being followed by two circus penguins until they got to there hideout. Batman and Robin then us another penguin to track the tank down and arrest them.

In 1977, the Joker teams up with the Penguin again to use this slime to turn everybody into criminals. In the end however they were both defeated and sent to jail.

He soon teams up with Penguin, Catwoman, and Clayface to takeover Gotham. They battle Batman and Robin but escape and ally themselves with a supervillian named Zarbor who has all of Earth's nuclear power plants. They then go with him to his planet to assist him but are defeated in the end along with Zarbor and are sent to jail.

SuperFriends Continuity

During the late 70's, Penguin and his sidekick, Chick, were both members of the Super Foes.[4]

He once shared a jail-cell with another villain, Felix Faust, who conjured up a spell to steal Superman's powers, but the powers were instead transferred to the Penguin, who used his powers to escape, and cause chaos all over the world. Felix Faust later devised a way to steal back Superman's powers from Penguin, but both were defeated by the Super Powers Team.[5]

Powers and Abilities

Super Powers


  • Genius-Level Intellect: From an early age Penguin was never very physically strong (despite being a skilled martial artist) or appealing and this forced him to learn to live life with a keen intellect. It should be noted that his intellect is almost always sinister in nature even in the most mundane of decisions.
  • Business Management: Oswald's criminal operations would succeed without a hitch if not for the actions of Batman. Oswald has existed both above and below the law with his businesses; running a legitimate night club as well as selling drugs and weapons from within it.
  • Leadership: Penguin always travels with henchmen on any criminal mission or even to outings. He controls bodyguards, chefs, servants, gang members, villains, and so on with masterful talent. He often likes to be with beautiful women to compensate for his grotesque appearance. Oswald has led both legal and illegal operations within Gotham City; under any conditions, such as the Iceberg Lounge.
  • Ornithology: Penguin has used his knowledge of birds for criminal purposes as well as personal purposes. Like Catwoman does with cats, he shares a special kinship with birds, especially the African penguin. He keeps an aviary at home, although some of the birds in it are poached.
  • Cold Tolerance: The Penguin can tolerate sub-freezing temperatures longer than most people. He can spend extended times outdoors in the winter before frostbite, hypothermia, or even discomfort begin. This ability is not superhuman; he is just at the far end of normal human cold tolerance due to his obesity.


  • Trick Umbrellas: The Penguin employs an assortment of "trick" umbrellas, many of which can be used as weapons as well. A few of his umbrellas are equipped with motorized flight capabilities, and he often uses such devices in order to affect an expedient escape. The umbrella gadgets include blades, lock picks, knockout gas, poison, helicopter blades, flamethrowers, boxing gloves, and electric nunchucks.



Season 9 (1985):


  • The Penguin first appeared in Detective Comics, Vol. 1 #58 (December 1941).[6]
  • He was introduced by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger.
  • His waddling is due to a hip ailment (presumably caused by his obesity) and a knee injury.
  • He has a laugh similar to a penguin’s squawk, made famous by actor Burgess Meredith.


  1. As revealed in the Super Fans Section (letter column) of the SF Comic Book: Issue 2.
  2. Hugh Davidson provided the voice of the Penguin in the MAD episode Super Villains for your Safety.
  3. As established in the Superfriends season nine episode The Case of the Stolen Super Powers (1985).
  4. Continuity from the iIssue #1 and #2 of the Super Friends (comic book).
  5. From the Season 9 episode: The Case of the Stolen Super Powers (1985).
  6. Go to DC Database for more on Detective Comics, Vol. 1 #58 published in December 1941.