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Adaptations of Penguin in other media
Created byBill Finger
Bob Kane
Original sourceComics published by DC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #58 (December 1941)
Films and television
Film(s)See below
See below

The fictional supervillain Penguin made his first appearance in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941) and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger,[1] but has since been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including feature films, television series, and video games.



Batman (1966–1968 TV series)

Burgess Meredith as The Penguin in Batman.
Burgess Meredith as The Penguin in Batman.

The Penguin appears in the 1960s Batman television series, portrayed by Burgess Meredith. Spencer Tracy was originally offered the role but he said he would only accept the role if he was allowed to kill Batman.[citation needed] Meredith's performance is perhaps best remembered for his signature laugh, meant to mimic the squawk of a penguin. (One cause of the laugh was the cigarettes the character always smoked, which irritated Meredith's throat as he was an ex-smoker.) His thugs wear black bowler hats and dark clothing adorned with names of various animals of prey, such as birds ("Hawk") or fish ("Shark"), or sometimes simply "Henchman". His prison cell is in the "Supervillains" section next to that of Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, Egghead, King Tut, and adjoining the cell of forger Ballpoint Baxter.[2] In one episode, he claims to have been an actor. In the theatrical film spin-off, he commands a submarine painted to resemble a penguin. His given name, Oswald Cobblepot, was never used and mentioned in this series or the film; by Joker's subordinates, and even in criminal court, he is identified instead as "Mr. Penguin".[3] He occasionally uses "Mr. P. N. Guinn" as an alias.[4] Burgess Meredith also made a brief cameo appearance as the Penguin in the 1968 episode of The Monkees entitled "Monkees Blow Their Minds".


Main article: Oswald Cobblepot (Gotham)

Robin Lord Taylor portrays a younger Oswald Cobblepot on the 2014 TV series Gotham.
Robin Lord Taylor portrays a younger Oswald Cobblepot on the 2014 TV series Gotham.

Robin Lord Taylor plays a young Oswald Cobblepot in the TV series Gotham, as one of the major characters in the show, and he also has been called the show's breakout character.[5] This version of the character is a ruthless small-time criminal who, at the beginning of the series, works for mobster Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). The series traces his rise to power and his journey towards becoming the Penguin.[6] This version of the character has a complicated, love-hate relationship with fellow criminal Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). The two teamed up but also attempted to kill one another throughout the series. In the final episode, set ten years in the future, Penguin has his usual girth while wearing his typical outfit of tuxedo, top hat and monocle while teaming with the Riddler. The pair are actually captured by Batman and hung up together on a light pole.


Penguin is mentioned by Dick Grayson in the Titans episode "Donna Troy". In the episode "Barbara Gordon", his umbrella is shown in the Batcave.


Penguin is mentioned in the episode "I'll Be The Judge, I'll Be The Jury" as a former mayor of Gotham City. In "Kane, Kate", a brainwashed Kate stolen all of Batman's trophies belongs to his enemies from the Batcave which includes Penguin's umbrella. In the season 2 finale episode "Power", his umbrella was thrown into the Gotham River along with Poison Ivy's vine and the Mad Hatter's hat and seen reach onto the shore. It was revealed in the episode "Meet Your Maker" that the team reclaimed the Umbrella. In the season 3 finale episode "We Having Fun Yet?", the team used the Penguin's hypnotic umbrella to get everyone away from the target area.

The Penguin

In September 2021, a standalone series centered around the Penguin was reportedly in development for the streaming service HBO Max, intended to branch off from the character's appearance in the Matt Reeves film The Batman (2022). Colin Farrell, who portrayed Oswald Cobblepot in the film, signed on to reprise his role in the series that December.[7] HBO Max subsequently ordered it as a limited series in March 2022 following the film's theatrical release. The series will be executive produced by Matt Reeves, with Lauren LeFranc serving as showrunner.[8]


Penguin, as he appears in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and The New Batman Adventures (right).
Penguin, as he appears in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and The New Batman Adventures (right).



Main article: Oswald Cobblepot (Batman Returns)

Danny DeVito as the Penguin in Batman Returns (1992).
Danny DeVito as the Penguin in Batman Returns (1992).
Colin Farrell as The Penguin in The Batman (2022).
Colin Farrell as The Penguin in The Batman (2022).


Video games

Lego Batman

Main article: Lego Batman

Batman: Arkham

Main article: Batman: Arkham

Batman: The Telltale Series

Penguin appears in Telltale Games' Batman series, voiced by Jason Spisak. This iteration of the character was the childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, and is far more physically fit and less deformed than most versions of the character (the normal, obese character design is reserved for his father). He speaks with a British accent, similar to the Arkham games. Additionally, the Cobblepot family was not involved in crime or corrupt, but lost power due to the influence of Thomas Wayne and his allies. Unlike most versions of the character, Penguin gets his name from a beak-shaped gasmask he wears during his crimes, and uses gadgets and technology as opposed to birds and trick umbrellas.

Other games



  1. ^ Detective Comics #58
  2. ^ "The Penguin's Nest"/"The Bird's Last Jest"
  3. ^ "The Penguin's Nest"/"The Bird 's Last Jest".
  4. ^ "The Penguin's Nest"/"The Bird's Last Jest", the film
  5. ^ Murphy, Shaunna (September 4, 2014). "'Gotham': Meet The Show's Breakout Villain In This Exclusive Video". MTV. New York City: Viacom. Retrieved Jun 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 14, 2014). "Fox's Batman Prequel 'Gotham' Casts Penguin, Alfred". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries.
  7. ^ White, Peter (September 13, 2021). "'The Batman' Spinoff Series Centered On The Penguin In The Works At HBO Max". Deadline. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (2022-03-09). "HBO Max Orders 'The Penguin' Limited Series As 'The Batman' Clocks $301 Million+ At Global Box Office". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  9. ^ Nobleman, Marc Tyler (29 July 2011). "Super '70s and '80s: "Super Friends" – Darrell McNeil, animator". Noblemania. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  10. ^ Couch, Aaron (November 22, 2019). "'The Batman' Casts John Turturro as Crime Boss Carmine Falcone". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "Street Tree Aesthetics", Seeing Trees, Yale University Press, pp. 43–66, 2019, doi:10.2307/j.ctv8jp086.6, ISBN 978-0-300-24070-2
  12. ^ Chris McKay [@buddboetticher] (29 May 2017). "@ArthurDenorfia It was one of our editors John Venzon" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "サイト名". (in Japanese). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "'Batman Ninja' Anime: First Details & Poster Revealed". Anime.
  15. ^ "ニンジャバットマン BATMAN NINJA公式サイト【2018年6月15日(金) 劇場公開】". (in Japanese). Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Ressler, Karen (February 13, 2018). "Batman Ninja Anime's English Trailer Reveals Dub Cast, Home Video Release". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery", Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
  18. ^ GameSpot Trailers (July 19, 2018). "LEGO DC Super-Villains - Official Character Creator Trailer - SDCC 2018" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ Logan Westbrook. "Arkham City's Penguin Shares a Voice With Nathan Drake". The Escapist. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  20. ^ "Voice Of Penguin - Batman | Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved September 25, 2017. Checkmark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  21. ^ "Batman: Arkham City • Portrait of a Penguin". 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  22. ^ Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, Armature Studio (2013)
    Penguin: "I thought it'd have been easier to run my empire from in [Blackgate] than outside, where the Bat could interfere. Ah, well, I have many bases of operation in the city. How many men do we have?"
  23. ^ "Batman: Arkham Knight Game Guide & Walkthrough: Penguin Side Mission". Game Pressure. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  24. ^ "'Injustice 2' Concept Art Reveals Scrapped Characters Including Constantine, Penguin, and More".