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Pre-Face Crisis on Infinite Earths
Following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths the original multiverse was merged into one single universe. As such the Penguins of Earth-One and Earth-Two were merged into a single being. As a result, the New Earth incarnation may have had many similar past encounters with Batman and a shared history that mirrors events on those two realities. The extent of this event mirroring remains unrevealed.
Origins and Criminal Career
Born Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, the Penguin was bullied as a child for his short stature, obesity, and beak-like nose. These traits made him an outcast in his rich, high society family; their rejection drove him to become a criminal. When Penguin was a young child, his father died of pneumonia after being drenched in a downpour. Because of this, his mother became over-protective and forced him to carry an umbrella whenever he went outside — even on sunny days. In keeping with his family's tradition of wealth, the Penguin lives a life of crime, yet executes it with his own self-proclaimed class and style.
Unlike most of the Batman villains, the Penguin is a gentleman villain, in control of his own actions and perfectly sane, features that serve to maintain a unique relationship with his archenemy, Batman. This has extended into the current situation with the Penguin ceasing his direct involvement in crime, instead running a nightclub that is popular with the underworld. As such, he is an excellent source of information on crime, so Batman grudgingly tolerates his operations. However, the entrepreneurial Penguin is often fencing stolen property or arranging early furloughs for incarcerated former criminal associates - for a hefty fee, of course - on the side. When Gotham City is nearly leveled by an earthquake, he stays behind when the US government shuts down and blockades the city. He becomes one of the major players in the mostly-abandoned and lawless city, using his connections to profit. One of these connections is discovered to be Lex Luthor and his company. Cobblepot once joined Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face, and several other Gotham criminals to bring down the crime family led by Sofia Falcone. Cobblepot was only with the group very briefly and was arrested after a firefight at the docks with Tony Zucco and Eddie Skeevers.
The Penguin is arrested during Legends for attempting to steal rare falcons. When he is released on parole, he claims to have fallen in love and gone straight. His new girlfriend will not tolerate criminal behavior. Cobblepot runs a legitimate umbrella factory staffed by ex-cons, but he is sent back to prison because this counts as "consorting with known felons." He is later seen in Belle Reve prison when it is attacked by the Female Furies. Amanda Waller recruits him to the Suicide Squad for one mission, in exchange for prison release. Penguin helps them plan a top secret mission where they rescue imprisoned author Zoya Trigorin from the Soviet Union. He is forced to accompany them behind enemy lines, because Rick Flag wants him to have a stake in his own plans. They are forced to fight the Russian army, and Penguin is nearly killed. Penguin states that he cannot stand Russia, because they do not respect the individual rights that allow him to cheat the system. There is no room in their culture for an entrepreneur such as himself. Trigorin is killed by enemy fire, and they barely escape Russia with their lives.
Penguin established himself as a legitimate businessman in charge of his nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge. However, it was just a facade in order to control criminal activities from a privileged position.
After a while, Penguin organized a large criminal ring that consisted on kidnapping pregnant girls and sell their kids to adoption. However, Penguin was attacked by a strange villain and the penthouse of the Iceberg Lounge was bombed when his crime was revealed.
Penguin survived the explosion and learned that the people behind the attack were a new group called The Body. Penguin then gathered three helicopters and attacked a large group of members of The Body, saving Batman in the process. Before leaving, Penguin warned Batman about the new enemy.
When the great gang war broke out in Gotham, Penguin auctioned weapons he stole from the US Navy, as well as meta-humans and assassins among the many gang parties in Gotham. During this time, Penguin was confronted by Hush, who was looking for Riddler. Shorly after, Gotham was drowned in chaos and the police ordered a civil curfew for the entire city. Penguin took control of the Gotham Power Company and caused a massive blackout in the city.
The Penguin becomes swept up in the events of Infinite Crisis. He is part of the Battle of Metropolis, a multi-character brawl started by the Secret Society of Super Villains. The Penguin, along with several other villains, are bowled over by the surprise appearance of Bart Allen.
One Year Later
While the Penguin was away from Gotham City, the Great White Shark and the Tally Man killed many of the villains who worked for the Penguin (including the KGBeast, Magpie, Orca and the Ventriloquist), and framed Harvey Dent. The Shark had planned to take over Gotham's criminal syndicate and weaken all his competition - Penguin included. Upon his return to Gotham, the Penguin continues to claim that he has gone "straight" and reopened the Iceberg Lounge nightclub, selling overpriced penguin merchandise. He urges the Riddler to avoid crime, as it's more lucrative in their current, non-criminal lifestyle.
When Batman disappeared from Gotham, Penguin was the first target of the vigilantes of the city.
Robin talked to Penguin and offered a large amount of money in exchange of information about Batman's whereabouts. Shorly after, Penguin showed Robin a picture proving that Batman was alive but somehow insane. Some days later, Batgirl attacked Penguin in order to learn Batman's location, but Penguin knew nothing about it. Furthermore and due to her agressive attack on him, Penguin ended his partnership with Batman.
A few days later, Penguin was pleased to let the meta-human criminals of Gotham get rid of Intergang for him. Penguin even applauded Man-Bat after he massacred some men of Intergang, who had been using the Iceberg Lounge as a meeting point.
Battle for the Cowl
After the death of Batman, Penguin became one of the main crime lords in Gotham. Around this time, Penguin was informed that someone had damaged Two-Face's crime ring and he was taking the blame for the hit. When Penguin learned that the responsible was a new Black Mask, he hired Riddler's service as a detective to find the criminal. However, Black Mask struck first by sending Firefly to kill Penguin, but the pyromaniac was stopped by Catwoman. Penguin's forces were weakened but the crime lord emerged unscathed.
Some time later, word about Vicki Vale's discovery of Batman's secret identity was spread in the underground of Gotham and Penguin started looking for the reporter to capture her. When a couple of amateur criminals wanted to join Penguin's crew, he sent them to kidnap Vale and bring her back to him, but they failed miserably.
- Genius Level Intellect: From an early age Penguin was never very physically strong 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 from within it.
- Leadership: Penguin always travels with henchmen on any criminal mission or even to the zoo. He controls bodyguards, chefs, servants, gang members, villains and so on with masterful talent. Oswald has led both legal and illegal operations within Gotham City; under any conditions.
- Avian Trainer: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the continuity of the Super Friends comic book series, the Penguin was the leader of a team of villains known as the Super Foes. The Super Foes were analogous to the Legion of Doom from the Super Friends cartoon series. The Penguin recruited his own personal sidekick, Chick, and instructed him to infiltrate the Hall of Justice.
- The Penguin's corpulence and short height causes him to waddle when he walks, giving credence to the distasteful "Penguin" sobriquet that has plagued him all of his life. Adding to the unflattering pseudonym, Cobblepot also has a distended, pointy nose which closely resembles a bird’s beak.
- The Penguin
- 278 Appearances of Oswald Cobblepot (New Earth)
- 110 Images featuring Oswald Cobblepot (New Earth)
- 19 Quotations by or about Oswald Cobblepot (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Oswald Cobblepot (New Earth)
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Gotham Underground #9
- ↑ Detective Comics #568
- ↑ Batman Annual #11
- ↑ Suicide Squad #3
- ↑ Suicide Squad #5
- ↑ Suicide Squad #6
- ↑ Suicide Squad #7
- ↑ Detective Comics #683
- ↑ Detective Comics #803
- ↑ Detective Comics #806
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #182
- ↑ Batman: Gotham Knights #56
- ↑ Nightwing (Volume 2) #97
- ↑ Detective Comics #850
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #175
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #176
- ↑ Batman and the Outsiders Vol 2 11
- ↑ Batman and the Outsiders Vol 2 13
- ↑ Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2
- ↑ Battle for the Cowl: The Underground #1
- ↑ Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Commissioner Gordon #1
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