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The Penguin (born Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot) is a DC Comics supervillain, antagonist, and one of Batman's oldest, most persistent enemy. The Penguin is often portrayed as Batman's secondary archenemy, just behind the Joker. The Penguin was introduced by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, making his debut in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941).
The Penguin is a short, round man known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas. A mobster and thief, he fancies himself a "gentleman of crime;" his nightclub business provides a cover for more low-key criminal activity, which Batman tolerates as a source of criminal underworld information. According to co-creator Bob Kane, the character was inspired from the then advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes — a penguin with a top hat and cane. Bill Finger also thought the image of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos was reminiscent of emperor penguins.
Burgess Meredith popularized the Penguin in the 1960s Batman television series. Danny DeVito played a more grotesque version of the Penguin in the 1992 film Batman Returns which depicted him not as an unattractive gentleman of crimes, but a physically deformed infanticidal monster.
Subsequent Batman animated series have featured the Penguin in depictions that alternate between deformed outcast and high-profile aristocrat. Despite his popularity, he has repeatedly been named among the worst of Batman's enemies, though the DeVito Penguin was named the fourth greatest Batman villain by Premiere. The deformed version of the character has also appeared in comics, most notably in the miniseries Batman: The Long Halloween and its sequel Dark Victory. He only appears for a minor cameo at the end of the Long Halloween, and has no lines. He plays a slightly more notable role in Dark Victory, when Batman goes to him for information. This incarnation also included elements of the 1966 TV series character, as he shouts the well-known "Waugh! Waugh! Waugh!" while talking. In 2009, the Penguin was ranked as IGN's 51st Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
| Shared codenames: Batman • Robin • Batwoman • Batgirl • Huntress • Nightwing|
Villains: 2-Face-2 • Bane • Black Mask • Calender Man • Catwoman • Clayface
Character names: Ace the Bat-Hound • Bat-Mite • Helena Bertinelli • Stephanie Brown • Cassandra Cain • Tim Drake • Barbara Gordon • Dick Grayson • Betty Kane