Back to the Megos after a little break, and we round out the Batman villains with the Penguin!
Penguin started back in the early days of comics, Detective Comics #58 (December, 1941, by Bill Finger and Bob Kane), and has run “a-fowl” of Batman ever since. For a time, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot was Batman’s number two male foe (behind the Joker, and Catwoman was the #1 female!). All of these characters (along with a few others) made it to the 1966 Batman TV show (with Burgess Meredith waddling into the role there). In 1974, Penguin was included in the Superfoes assortment (along with Joker, Riddler and Superman foe Mr. Mxyzptlk…).
Use of the Penguin died down in the comics (he was not a physical match for Batman, or even Robin or Batgirl), and made only the rarest of appearances outside of Batman titles (working with Terra-Man once in World’s Finest Comics, against Superman & Batman, and he fought Green Arrow a few times in the Justice League of America, including a time where the JLA and JSA had to help Billy change to Captain Marvel without saying Shazam!, appearing with other villains as well during the Crisis on Infinite Earths…and in the Super Powers mini-series, based on the Kenner action figures, of which he was one!). Penguin ended up being part of the DC Universe Classics line the first time around in Wave 1 (though, fans of the Super Powers figures also cried “fowl”…as Wave 1′s Penguin was in black, but their prayers will be answered with a blue version of Penguin in the upcoming Batman Unlimited Wave 1). Penguin was never a fan of the cold, and neither a fan of Mr. Freeze (they’ve crossed paths a few times in the comics, and Mr. Freeze has ended up as Batman figure a few times, first in the 2003 Batman Mattel figures, slightly redecoed in the DC Super Heroes Wave 3, and more recently with a Super Powers paint scheme in Batman Legacy Wave 1). Penguin was left in the cold as well during the 1960s, when Clayface morphed into Batman’s number two foe (and appeared as a Mattel action figure in the DC Super Heroes Wave 8). Penguin was also knocked out of the second spot by Killer Croc (an alligator themed Batman foe, whose appearance has changed from slightly scaled to very alligator-like, and Mattel gave his mutated form a figure first in the Batman 2003 figure line, then included the earlier appearance of Croc in the first wave of the DC Super Heroes). Penguin also had to stay in prison a while when Deadshot stole his laser monocle and used it to escape (but, Deadshot was due, Detective Comics #474 with art by Marshall Rogers, who created that incredible look, was only his second appearance!). Deadshot and Penguin even worked together briefly in the Suicide Squad (along with Bronze Tiger, and Deadshot became a DC Universe Classics figure in Wave 9 and Bronze Tiger, unmasked as he was in Suicide Squad, in Wave 18). Deadshot has also become associated with Green Arrow as a foe as well…at least outside of the comics! Penguin has hired him occasionally, as he’s given up his bird and umbrella related thefts in recent years, and spends more time as a crimelord, directing others to do his bidding, and has also begun to fight the Birds of Prey (which is ironic, since he’s been one for decades!).