Batman Universe Character Profiles Character Profiles


Oswald Cobblepot, also known as the Penguin is regarded as the ‘Gentleman of Crime’. Often looking rather smart and smug with his monocle, top hat and suit. He is also one of the shortest of the Batman supervillains. Being only 5 ft 2 inches tall.

The 1989 Secret Origins Cover By Brian Bolland Featuring Penguin
Penguin (Secret Origins – 1989) Brian Bolland
REAL NAMEOswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
CREATED BYBill Finger (Writer)
Bob Kane (Artist)
FIRST APPEARANCEDetective Comics #58 (1941)
ABILITIESCriminal Mastermind
Judo expert
Utilizes weaponized umbrellas


As a youngster Cobblepot would often get bullied for his short stature and bird-like nose. This caused him to feel like an outcast to his peers and even his rich upper-class family. Eventually this turned him into a villain.

Oswald then started his criminal career as a thief. Where his first stolen artefact was a pair of prized paintings. These paintings were said to be worth over $250,000.

He successfully managed to infiltrate the museum in order to steal these paintings. Before then deciding to show them off to a local mob boss. Who then allowed him to join their ranks.

Penguin With Birds Premium Collectible Sideshow
Penguin Premium Format Figure (Sideshow Collectibles)
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However, this so-called friendship didn’t last and eventually the boss of the crime family and Cobblepot had a dispute that lead to the death of the former. Leaving the ‘umbrella bird’ as the new mob family leader.

From there Penguin had run-ins with the Dark Knight. This usually consisted of trying to steal priceless treasures or framing the vigilante for insurance fraud. Neither really worked as the caped crusader was always one step ahead of the situation. Though the ‘bird’ always remained a slippery individual and often managed to escape. He would also play the innocent party during a lot of his activities.

The Willie KOOL Cigarettes Mascot
Willie – KOOL Cigarettes Mascot


As a criminal arms dealer his goal was to create a criminal empire within Gotham City. This began with purchasing a cruise liner known as the Olivia B. Which was owned by a group of Somali Pirates. Once the transaction was made, the ocean liner was renamed the ‘The Final Offer’.

The next stage of the plan was then set in motion and ‘The Final Offer’ was used as a shop for selling illegal goods and weapons. This same ‘liner’ also featured a casino, where extra revenue would be made. Cobblepot had basically created a ‘sweet’ criminal business for himself.

However, that was still not enough. He wanted more and he knew where to try and get it. He knew that the city was currently being controlled by the Falcone and Maroni mob families. To make things a little trickier, Cobblepot was not alone in trying to claim territory. Black Mask (Roman Sionis) had also turned up, with similar ideas.


A plan needed to be made and executed. So, to do just that, Oswald had Alberto Falcone kidnapped and taken to The Final Offer. This was part of getting the family’s attention and act as a distraction.

From there he could assassinate Roman Sionis. Who was reported to be over at his safe house. However, when he got there he was surprised to see that Sionis’ girlfriend has already been murdered. This was actually the work of the Clown Prince, Joker.

Whilst he continued to explore the apartment he accidentally left a finger print behind. This would become valuable evidence for the GCPD Police unit. He was unaware that he was now a prime suspect for the murder of Tiffany Ambrose. He returned back to the cruise liner.

The Dark Knight finally managed to catch up to the Penguin as he was caught interrogating Alberto. The weapons dealership was brought to an end.


In Batman Arkham City, the current Mayor of the city, Quincey Sharp, demanded Cobblepot to leave the museum. Which had been his hideout since the Arkham Origins incident. Oswald was not impressed with this eviction notice.

Hugo Strange then sent his TYGER guards in to inflict a forced removal of the ‘bird man’. However, once several officers had been murdered out of retaliation, Penguin was then able to keep his museum.

This museum was now the new Iceberg Lounge. Replacing the older version back at the abandoned ‘Final Offer’ cruise liner in Arkham Origins.

One day Oswald found both Harley Quinn and a rather sick and weak looking Joker at his doorstep. They were hoping to gain access to his club. However, Cobblepot still had a bad taste from the previous events where the Joker had managed to ruin quite a lot of his plans, involving Black Mask. After all it was not him who had murdered the girlfriend back at the Safe House. However, it still resulted in the caped crusader eventually being able to track him down. Since then he has been holding a grudge.


He demand that the two clowns left his establishments as he turned and closed the door behind him. To show how unimpressed he was with the pair, he had even managed to capture Harley’s two prized hyena pets and used them for taxidermy. Where they would then be added as part of his display for the museum.

Arkham City was starting to gather a war between the three main criminal factions which comprised of Joker, Two-Face and Penguin. In order to try and claim territory and eliminate the competition it was important to strengthen the gang and to do that new members had to be added.

One such member was Lester Kurtz, a rather intelligent and strong individual. Penguin was quick to add him to the ranks. As long as he was able to follow orders. In reality Kurtz was Bruce Wayne in disguise. So he never remained as a member of the gang for long. He came for information and took off after.

The main criminal mastermind of the city and the one in charge of the TYGER military unit, Hugo Strange, then conducted several meetings with Oswald. To learn more about him and so that they could come to an agreement. The Joker was sick and dying due to the events of Arkham Aylum.


Neither of them wanted him to live or get proper care and so they both agreed to kidnap the one man that could help him. Mister Freeze. Who had the potential to create a cure. As a further bargaining chip, by kidnapping Victor, Oswald was also able to acquire the ice man’s technology. This included the Freeze Gun.

The ‘umbrella bird man’ then encountered Bruce Wayne at the prison. Where he would try to taunt the billionaire playboy. Unfortunately for him though, Bruce was able to break fee of his cuffs and break Cobblepot’s hand before then fleeing the scene.

With the Joker knowing that he was dying he needed a cure but he was not going to get anything without the help of the ‘Bat’. So he caught the caped crusader off-guard and injected him with his blood before then contaminating the Gotham blood banks. Meaning that if Batman wanted to prove himself as the city saviour he too needed to find a cure.


Whilst the Dark Knight continued his search for Freeze over at the museum. Penguin had managed to rig explosives and detonated the bridge as a way to cut off the Clown and his henchmen. Little did he know that the Knight was on his way.

The two eventually confronted each other and despite Oswald’s best efforts to stop the Dark Knight, which also included unleashing Solomon Grundy onto him. There was ultimately no stopping the vigilante.

Cobblepot was stopped and thrown into one of the museum display cases. Where he would remain. He even admitted to hiding from Two-Face who, after Penguin’s capture, had decided to occupy the museum. instead.

After the events of Arkham City Oswald was able to flee the prisons when it was clear that Hugo Strange had captured and falsely imprisoned several inmates.


Penguin along with both Two-Face and Harley Quinn were called to a meeting with Scarecrow, who was planning to hit the city with his latest fear toxin, Cloudburst. As the criminals stood by each other there was a bit of hostility, which was mostly mockery. Until Johnathan Crane arived.

He admitted to why he decided to call this meeting, expressing that they all feared Batman. A pact was then created and formed. One where they all hoped to eliminate the Dark Knight. Arkham Knight then joined them. He was the newest member of the team. Who seemed to have a strong hatred towards the vigilante and demanded that he would get the final kill.

Oswald had always been a weapons dealer and he knew about Two-Face and his bank heist. So the two agreed to keep out of each other’s way for as long as this new pact was in place. However, he did not trust the Arkham Knight. He was a character that seemed very domineering.


As their plans were coming along they were still missing one more vital ingredient, they still needed to recruit Poison Ivy. Who had been captured and locked up inside of the Bludhaven prisons cells. So Oswald sent Harley Quinn on a mission to rescue her.

Batman eventually caught wind on the location of both Cobblepot and his weapons deal. Taking advantage of the opportunity Oswald was caught off-guard and interrogated. It was now confirmed that a businessmen named Simon Stagg was involved. The ‘bird’ was able to escape the ‘Bat’ thanks to his henchmen.

However, the vigilante was not yet done as he continued to take down more of the weapon dealer locations. Ruining even more of Penguin’s plans. In retaliation Oswald managed to kidnap Nightwing. One of the Knight’s sidekicks and companions.

Dick Greyson was eventually saved and Cobblepot was put behind bars. It was at this point where both he and Harvey Dent would argue amongst themselves. Stating that their partnership was never going to work.


As a youngster Oswald would be forced to carry an umbrella around due to his over-protective mother. Who’s husband died to pneumonia, which was caused by a downpour.

It is said that the inspiration for the Penguin character came from Willie the Kool cigarettes mascot. Which appeared to also be wearing a black top hat.

Penguin spent much of his youth in England before being banished for selling key information to Spain. In the Batman Arkham series he is also said to have been sent to a boarding school.

In some of the much earlier comics it is said that he suffered with a hip ailment, which caused him to waddle when walking. Though, this now seems to have been disregarded

Oswald got the nickname ‘Penguin’ because of his love for birds and his appearance. It was a name that his bullies teased him with. Meanwhile his love for birds came when his parents owned a bird shop. He felt more comfortable around them and regarded them as friends.

The ‘Gentleman of Crime’ briefly retired from his life as a criminal when a baby alligator bit him, after hatching from an egg. However, during this time he was mocked by other criminals and felt forced to return to villainy once again.

In the comic issue of The War of Jokes and Riddles. Penguin is seen to siding alongside the Joker.

As an attempt to become the Mayor of Gotham, Penguin alongside Riddler, Catwoman and Joker are approached by the Designer. This kickstarts ‘United Underworld’. However, plans fail to come to fruition after the Clown assassinates their client.

The Female Riddler

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