The Penguin: The Ultimate Gentlemen Criminal
Penguin 2The Penguin is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. He was first introduced in Detective Comics #58 in December 1941 as a villain to Gotham’s superhero batman, Since then, he is one of his most renown villains. The Gentleman of Crime is intelligent, a criminal mastermind, and wealthy. He also has a style to match. His signature look includes formal wear such as a top hat, monocle, and tuxedo.

However, he is physically short, over-weight, and has a beak like noes. This is  one of the reasons behind people bullying him as a child. However, nothing else about his childhood is for certain. The first one is that the Penguin was overprotected by his mother and was driven to crime. The repossession of his mother’s birds was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The other tale is that being outcast from his high-society family, he was driven to crime . Either way, he is well educated as he has been to college to study ornithology.

The Penguin’s Abilities
The Penguin’s criminal abilities links to his intelligence and his downfall is linked to his sense of grandeur and his need for revenge. As he says in Detective Comics #611 “Where’s the thrill in committing the perfect crime if nobody knows it was you?”. However, that does not stop him or his crime streak because he always has a backup plan and is protected by his lawyers. As the penguin mentions in Detective Comics #824: “Fortunately the Penguin is a wise old bird — never one to put all his eggs into one basket”.  For Example, when he is operating behind a legitimate restaurant and casino The Iceberg Lounge, he is caught during one of his nefarious acts.  Yet, he still escapes lockup by skilled lawyers because his work is generally legal.penguin 1

The Penguin is still a mobster and a white collar criminal. This means he takes pride in his work and may view it as an art. Destroying Shakespeare’s statement, he describes his work in Detective Comics #611 as “A perfect crime is a work of art, a thing of beauty, and a joy forever”. This is most prevalent by his first activities in Gotham where he stole art from the museum. Oswald impressed a mobster until they had a fight, so he killed the mob boss and took over.

The Penguin is very intricate and interesting character. He may not be the ultimate villain like the Joker is to Batman. However, he embodies the ideas of the ultimate gentlemen criminal. He works in a legal, but shady establishment. Hence, he reaps the benefits of criminality and protects himself legally.

Hafsa Alkhudairi
Hafsa Alkhudairi doing her MA Contemporary Literature and Culture at Birkbeck College, University of London, living in London, UK. She is graduating hopefully in october and has her heart set on going into publishing until she decides whether there is a PHD in her future. Current Project; Figuring out who is the big bad female villain in Marvel and DC.

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