first published by DC Comics
. The Penguin
appeared in Detective Comics #58
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot's father was the owner of a shop that sold birds.
He died at an early age from pneumonia, which Oswald's mother was
convinced was caused by his father going out in the rain without an
umbrella. From that point forward, young Oswald was forced to
carry an umbrella with him whenever he left the house. This along
with his lack of height and being overweight caused Oswald to be
the target of a good deal of mocking from the other children. They
nicknamed him Gobble Gobble and penguin because of his appearance.
Through the years, Oswald and his sister Miranda helped their
mother to run the bird shop. Oswald became quite attached to the
birds and sought solace in them when he was teased by the other kids.
Through this, Oswald became an expert in all there was to know of birds,
so when he went to college to study ornithology, he found he was
already better versed in the study than his professors.
Soon after Oswald graduated, the courts seized the bird shop and the
birds because of back taxes that were due. As Oswald watched the only
friends he had ever known being taken away by the law, he vowed to
oppose the law from then on and become a thief. When he attempted to
carry out his plan, he was mocked by other criminals and called
the Penguin. Oswald again decided that he would show them that he
was not to be mocked and that he would make his umbrella a thing to
be feared, not derided. When next he was seen, Oswald was dressed
the part of a penguin, in tuxedo and tails and carrying an umbrella
that concealed a .45 caliber gun. He also called himself the Penguin.
The Penguin's crimes have often times brought him in conflict with
Gotham City's defender, Batman. The Penguin's plans usually
involve bird related themes and he often employs trick umbrellas that
do such things as act as shields, spray gas, can be used like a helicopter,
or give an electrical charge. Despite his appearance, the Penguin is
trained in boxing and can be a tough foe in a fight and has also shown
himself to be very agile.
The Penguin has been portrayed on both television and in the movies.
On the Batman television series, the Penguin was played by Burgess Meredith,
while in the second Batman movie installment, the Penguin was played
by Danny Devito. In the movie, the Penguin's origin was changed to make him the deformed son of a wealthy socialite who was abandoned as a child.