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The Batman Borrowed Gotham’s Weirdest Character Trick (& Made It Better)

Penguin has regularly been mischaracterized and mischaracterized, but The Batman improves Gotham’s version to do justice to the DC comics crime boss.

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matt reeves’ the batman received praise for combining elements from various Batman movies, but one of the best ideas in the film was successfully borrowing a characterization trick from Fox. Gotham city. Putting a unique spin on Oswald Cobblepott aka Penguin, the batman he was able to harness a terrifying secondary antagonist to complement Paul Dano’s Riddler. The approval of a Penguin spin-off series on HBO MAX speaks to the positive reception of the character and justifies the creative interpretation that helps him stand out from previous incarnations.


Historically, the Batman movies and series haven’t featured the Penguin as centrally as more popular villains like The Joker or Two-Face, but Gotham city he made adjustments to the character to make him more appropriate and attractive as the main antagonist. The Batman media has traditionally portrayed Penguin as a comedic or dramatic caricature of a high-class crime boss, but by punishing him a bit, Penguin became the best of the many Batman villains featured in Gotham city. the batman takes this ground-based approach and takes it even further, creating a more complex and terrifying villain who can threaten Bruce Wayne as both a criminal and a social threat.

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Related: Batman Has Made It Easy For The Sequel To Introduce Robin

Why Batman Movies And Shows Rarely Focus On The Penguin (But They Should)

Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman and Danny DeVito as Penguin in Batman Returns

Joker is Batman’s most iconic villain, so it makes sense that he would play a central role in several Batman movies and shows. Except for batman returnsPenguin had mostly been relegated to the role of a supporting villain before projects like Gotham city Y the batman introduced it more directly. One challenge that Penguin presents to the writers is that he shares similarities with other notable crime bosses in the Batman canon, such as Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni. This makes him more difficult to write, as Penguin lacks the unique, defining narrative hook or backstory inherently included with many other villains.

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Creating memorable Penguin stories and scenes requires more subtlety and originality to separate his social and political subterfuge from other organized crime bosses. However, this is the kind of grounded story that Batman thrives on, and it’s why Penguin deserves more screen time in Batman media. Bruce Wayne is much more appealing when he can’t just punch his way out of trouble, and a well-written Penguin challenges Batman’s intellectual and political savvy, forcing him to deal with the inherent corruption seeded in Gotham City.

Why Batman’s Penguin Trick Was Better

Colin Farrell as the Penguin sitting at a table in The Batman.

Gotham city deserves credit for establishing an origin story and grounding Oswald Cobblepot in a way that hasn’t been done before, but the batman takes this approach and takes it even further, cementing Penguin as a villain who is terrifying because he could exist in the real world. While the heavy makeup and prosthetics make it hard to tell who’s playing Penguin in the batman, his appearance is not exaggerated as it often is in other media. Although relatively well founded, Gotham city‘s Oswald never feels like a real-world person with its overly dramatic arc, cartoonish countrymen, and intense bouts of violence. In the batmanPenguin is more reserved, and the violence he instigates is on a smaller scale.

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While audiences still don’t know what HBO’s Penguin spinoff is or the eventual orderly 2 has in store for Penguin, he’s been in a unique position to challenge Bruce Wayne and the rest of Gotham City with a multifaceted set of influences ranging from hired muscle to paid political influence to blackmail. Another person born into wealth who manages it through unconventional means, Penguin is, in a way, a dark mirror of Bruce, and the batman he succeeded in part by recognizing it.

More: Batman Proved Tim Burton Right About His Movies

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