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Penguin
Penguin.1
Gender: Male
Portrayed By: Burgess Meredith
Danny DeVito
First Appearance: Batman (1966)

The Penguin is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is known as one of Batman's oldest and most persistent enemies. Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger introduced him in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941). The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas. A mobster and thief, he fancies himself as being a "gentleman of crime;" his nightclub business provides a cover for criminal activity, which Batman sometimes uses as a source of criminal underworld information. According to Kane the character was inspired from the then advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes – a penguin with a top hat and cane. Finger thought the image of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos was reminiscent of emperor penguins.

Film

  • Burgess Meredith reprised his role as the Penguin in the 1966 film Batman alongside several other villains from the television show.
  • Danny DeVito portrayed The Penguin as the main villain in Batman Returns. Director Tim Burton, inspired by the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, re-imagined the character not as an eloquent gentleman of crime, but a former freak show performer with a homicidal grudge against the aristocrats of Gotham City. While this Penguin retained many trademarks, such as a variety of trick umbrellas and the use of a monocle, he was given a dramatic visual makeover. Where the comic version had varied between a balding head of short cropped hair and varying degrees of thinning, this Penguin was still bald at the top but with his remaining length of hair long and stringy. His hands were now flippers with a thumb and index finger, and the remaining three fingers fused. An unidentified thick, dark green bile-like liquid or blood sometimes trickles from his nose and mouth. Instead of a tuxedo, he wore a more gothic, Victorian-style outfit with a jabot as opposed to a bow tie. In certain scenes, he also wears black boots, a dickey, and a union suit. However, Burton's design maintained the top hat seen in the comics along with a monocle and a cigarette in some scenes. He also has penguin-like appetites, as shown in a scene where supporting villain Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) lures him out of his room with what appears to be a raw fish (though Shreck's dialogue in the previous scene implies that it was a fried fish).
Batman
Films

Batman (1943)Batman and RobinBatman (1966)Batman (1989)Batman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatman & RobinBatman BeginsThe Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeThe Lego Batman Movie

Characters

Alfred PennyworthBatmanCatwomanJokerMr. FreezePenguinPoison IvyRiddlerRobinTwo-FaceGotham City

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