Oswald Cobblepot
Alias(es) The Penguin
Appeared in Batman Returns
Status Deceased
Actor Danny DeVito
"My dear penguins, we stand on a great threshold! It's okay to be scared; many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish *all* God's children! 1st, 2nd, 3rd *and* 4th-born! Why be biased? Male and female! Hell, the sexes are equal with their erogenous zones blown sky high! Forward march! The liberation of Gotham has begun!"
―The Penguin [src]

Oswald Cobblepot was abandoned as a baby because he was deformed, when he grew up he tried to take his revenge on Gotham City going by the name of The Penguin.


Batman Returns

Around Christmas time in Gotham City, the aristocratic Cobblepots gave birth to a baby boy. Because the child was deformed, they locked him in a black box, where he showed his first sign of homicidal tendencies when he killed the family cat. There was a rubber Duck hanging on the outside of the box. They dropped their vicious baby in the sewers. Eventual the Cobbelpot baby washes up onto the shore of the Arctic World exhibit/ show at the Gotham City Zoo.

Not much is known of his early life from this tell he basically runs off to join the Red Triangle Circus. Then when the circus returns to a town for two weeks which featured newly added to their freak-show: The Poodle Lady, The worlds Fattest Man, and an Aquatic Bird Boy (Some believe that this is the Cobblepot baby). The circus's two week stay was put to an end early because while guests where at the circus their children went missing. One of the freak-show performer vanished before he could be questioned, some say that it was the Aquatic Bird Boy who would have by this time have been nicknamed The Penguin by his fellow freaks.

The Penguin then retreats to the now Abandoned Gotham City Zoo in order to hide from the police. This is where his nickname is put to use rather literally, he goes back to the Arctic World exhibit. Some how he was able to track down fellow members of the circus and they formed the Red Triangle Gang. The Penguin runs around the Gotham City sewers because there is an accesses way from the Arctic World exhibit (the same way he floated in when he was 1 years old). Either Penguin found the Duck vehicle from the Zoo, or it was brought over from the Red Triangle Circus, but this is how he got around the sewers easily. This brings us to Christmas in Gotham City, when The Penguin is 33 years of age.

33 years later, a man named Max Shreck is kidnapped by the Red Triangles and is brought to their leader, a short, deformed man known as "The Penguin." Penguin blackmails Shreck with incriminating evidence of his more dubious activities, such as the toxic waste from his clean textile plant and the his ex partner Fred Friedburg's hand, Max told everyone that he was on paid vacation. Prompting Shreck to agree to help Penguin run for Mayor of Gotham.

Shreck arranges for the Penguin to "rescue" the mayor's infant child from his own gang members. The plan works, and Penguin becomes a hero to all except a suspicious Bruce Wayne (Batman's alter ego). After finding out his original birthname of Oswald Cobblepot, (as well as many other names, which are for unknown purposes) Penguin eventually wins the approval of citizens of Gotham and, after being persuaded by Shreck to do so, intends to run for Mayor.

When the subsequent plan is put into action, Batman is framed for the kidnapping and murder of the Ice Princess and finds himself trapped in the Batmobile under Penguin's control. Catwoman and Penguin's alliance falls apart when she rebuffs a sexual advance from him, and Penguin tries to kill Catwoman himself. However, she successfully escapes with the use of his air bound umbrella before accidentally letting go, falling into a greenhouse but she once again miraculously survives the attempt, counting as her third of nine lives. The Penguin's campaign to oust the current mayor is quickly destroyed when Bruce Wayne plays selected comments he made insulting the people of Gotham while controlling the Batmobile at one of Penguin's speeches, the most prominent phrase being, "You've got to admit, I played this stinking city like a harp from hell!" The people of Gotham get angry, forcing Penguin to defend himself with his gun umbrella. The police chase after him, but Penguin flees into the sewers, and reveals his original plan: to kidnap and kill the firstborn sons of Gotham's most prominent families in revenge (comparable Pharaoh killing the Hebrews in the Book of Exodus in the Bible).

Bruce meets Selina at a ball hosted by Shreck, where she reveals to him her intentions to kill Shreck. While dancing, the two subsequently discover the other's secret identity, but before they can leave to discuss this development, Penguin storms the hall with a shout of "You didn't invite me, so I crashed!" and tries to take Max's beloved son, Chip. Max successfully pleads with Penguin to take him instead. Batman attacks Penguin's Red Triangle Circus goons and puts a stop to the kidnappings. Penguin then dispatches an army of rocket-armed Penguins to bomb all of Gotham. Batman manages to jam the birds' control signals and turn them around so that they attack Penguin's base instead, apparently killing the Penguin and what is left of his gang inside.

Batman then discovers that Catwoman intends to kill Shreck inside Penguin's base. Shreck tries to bribe Batman, but Batman simply rejects the offer, and tries to talk Catwoman out of her planned murder. He promises they could live happily together, but Catwoman refuses to listen, and scratches him on the cheek with her claws. During this argument, Shreck draws a gun he took from a Red Triangle clown and fires it at Batman. Catwoman then starts to approach Shreck, who shoots her four times, knocking off four more lives, leaving Catwoman alive but wounded. Catwoman then exacts her revenge of Shreck by inserting the stolen stun gun into her mouth, activating the spark, and pressing her lips to Shreck's, while also ripping a cable out of Penguin's electrical generator with her free hand, sending the electricity everywhere. A huge explosion follows, and as the smoke clears away, Batman finds the charred corpse of Shreck. However, Selina/Catwoman is nowhere to be found. So preoccupied with finding her, he doesn't notice a gravely injured Penguin emerging from the water, ready to kill him. Ultimately though, he collapses from his wounds and dies, and six large Emperor Penguins emerge from the shadows and pull his body back into the water which becomes his grave.




  • In Batman Begins, the opera attended by Bruce and his parents feature characters similar in appearance to Tim Burton's Penguin tugging at the ropes.


Batman Returns

See Also