Issue 172 – Penguin

Issue 172 – Penguin post thumbnail image

Things get chilly as we tackle PENGUIN! How has this businessman managed to survive in Gotham so long? Listen to find out!


  • Intro

  • Background (4:30)

    • The Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot, created by Bill Finger & Bob Kane in Detective Comics #58 (Dec. 1941)

    • The Penguin was one of Batman’s earliest nemeses – a short, stout man with a long, beaklike nose who dressed in a top hat and monocle

    • He started off as a thief who worked with a bird motif in his robberies, but almost always managed to outsmart Batman & Robin and escape

    • Name was finally revealed as Oswald Cobblepot in The Best of DC #10 (March 1981) – his backstory was that of a bullied child with an overprotective mother who was obsessed with birds, and after she died he entered a life of crime to seek vengeance upon the world that shunned him

    • After repeatedly being beaten by Batman, and further embarrassed by Jean-Paul Valley, he opens a restaurant casino called the Iceberg Lounge, which he uses as a front for criminal activity, and begins operating as a criminal overlord

    • In No Man’s Land, he remains in Gotham after everyone abandons it following the earthquake – his connections make him one of the most powerful people in the city

    • Occasionally serves as an informant to Batman, who keeps a close eye on him – Batman feels the Penguin is a necessary evil, and any power vacuum created by his absence would be worse than he is

  • Issues – Overcompensation (8:12)

    • Ariel – why someone born to wealth would end up as a crime lord

    • Ariel – his bizarre relationship with women (15:28)

    • Semi-Oedipal complex with his mother (24:18)

  • Break (32:58)

  • Treatment (34:22)

    • In-universe – Use financial planning to help him reconfigure his goals & desires

    • Out of universe – spoiled affluenza-ridden orphan who uses their money to seek revenge on people (39:09)

  • Skit (43:24)

    • Hello Mr. Cobblepot, I’m Dr. Issues – And a good day to you too, sir. Might I interest you in a glass of champagne while we talk? It’s a 1959 Dom Perignon Rose.

    • I don’t drink while I’m working, and I’m not certain you should be drinking during a session either. How did you even get a bottle and glasses past the security? – Oh posh, you needn’t bother yourself with trifling matters such as that. I certainly don’t. Life is so short, so why not enjoy the fine things? Were we not put here to take advantage of all life has to offer?

    • Be that as it may, I’ll pass. I must say, I’m rather surprised at your cavalier attitude, given your… current surroundings. – A temporary snafu, Doctor. Rest assured this will all be taken care of presently. A man of my stature doesn’t stay imprisoned for very long. Now I assume you’re here to provide an overview of my mental health for the DA’s office? Well let me save you the trouble, I’m entirely compos mentis. So you can go ahead and just copy the report from the last time I was here, update the dates, maybe summarize that brief misunderstanding I had with the Bat about how I came to acquire the jewelry, and we’ll both be on our way.

    • Nice try, but I’m afraid it won’t be quite so simple. – Oh but it will be. You see, dear Doctor, there are two sets of rules in this world. There’s one set for people like you – and rest assured that statement has nothing to do with the amount of melanin in your skin – where you remain subject to a dull life filled with repetition and servitude, hoping to rise above your status like Icarus, but inevitably your wings melt and you land with a thud among the common rabble. You spend your entire life trying to escape the box. And then there’s another set of rules for people like me, which is to say there are no rules. I don’t have to envision escaping the box, because for me there never was a box.

    • And yet here you are, quite literally inside a box, while I sit comfortably outside of it. – Again, this is a temporary setback.

    • So since you’re temporarily in the box, let’s talk. You could do anything you wanted with your resources. Why did you choose crime? – I came from a lineage of people accustomed to a particular lifestyle, and my family had plans for me. Unfortunately, those plans were incompatible with my… appearance. My family was not so understanding or appreciative of my unique nature. And after they all befell such horrible tragedies and accidents, it was just me and dear mother. She was so lonely and needed someone to take care of her. So I did what any good son did. I established myself and gave her the lifestyle she deserved.

    • By taking from others who also deserve the same lifestyle? Because you say so? You can see the slippery slope where I’m taking this -Oh but my dear doctor, there is no need for imagination when it comes to that level of speculatory relevance. Look around you! To be frank, neither of us need to worry ourselves with the dregs of society. That’s not what I’m about. That’s why my club still has the highest rating in Travel and Leisure Magazine as I bide my time…legally indisposed.

    • Fascinating. You really do care what people think of you, don’t you. Not your looks; you’re beyond that now. But the glamor of it all. Prestige is your love language. That explains why you don’t care about Gotham. -*pause* I beg your pardon?

    • Well I mean it seems like you’re willing to gut the essence of a major city and pollute it with crime. At least white collar types usually try to coat their disdain with gentrification. -I would do no such thing

    • *Interrupting* Arson, theft, assault, terroristic threats, those are the accusations on your rap sheet. Heck, Al Capone got caught for tax evasion. How is it that unsophisticated thugs can cover their tracks better than you, and you keep up with the facade of a distinguished gentleman? – Careful, Doctor, your tongue is starting to betray the rest of your body. It’d be a shame to have to excise it from your skull.

    • So you don’t like what I have to say. That’s the type of stress any gentleman would encounter in normal interaction. That shouldn’t lead to threats of violence. -The only correction I must make is that it is not a threat. It is a guarantee. 

    • Alright, if that’s the way you’re going to go about it, then there is no point in continuing to talk. -But there is, my dear doctor. You see, I have no intention of ending this discussion without expanding my…sphere of influence. And no, that is not in reference to my physical form.

    • What sort of influence can I add for you? -You know people. Important people. Otherwise, you would not be assigned to evaluate me. But I can leverage that to my advantage. Tell me, Dr. Issues, what your career would look like, if you were named an accomplice to my crimes?

    • *laughs* that’s not possible. -Really now? Even though I have access to my own records and can reverse engineer them to say that you knew about all of them and never reported them?

    • But this is the first time I’ve seen -*interrupting* it doesn’t matter what we SAY, here, doctor, only what is documented. You know that. I’m not privy to share my ways, but let’s just say that, oh right about now, several friends and family will learn of your attempts on their lives, their residences, their places of employment…all because you wanted to be more powerful and wanted my help. *tsk tsk tsk* for shame, a psychiatrist driven mad with power, and my confession with impeccable transcription the only remaining source of legitimate inquiry. I had to stop you of course, because I AM the one who cares for Gotham you see.

    • You…you had all of this planned from the start? -Certainly. Now, I’d be willing to trade. None of those events continue, if you would be so kind as to give me details on Batman and everyone he has come into contact with. Oh, I may still kill you, but at least everyone else is spared and you are made to look like some sort of martyr. Sounds like a bargain to me. 

    • *deep sigh* I’m scared to say no. -Splendid. Now if you could just.

    • *interrupting* Scared, not unwilling. No deal. -Preposterous! *angry* You simpleton! You are truly going to throw away your career and everyone you know just for the sake of righteousness? Absurd.

    • You’re right. I’m way too practical for that. *jet plane and random siren sound effects* Yeah, I think I did the right thing. -What does that mean?

    • It means that the same people you wanted to hurt are the same people that are being protected and rescued by the same people you wanted dirt on -Stop saying “same people!” For someone with alleged intelligence you limit your vocabulary too much. 

    • Not a priority. Plus I know it pisses you off. -*realization* You too had this all planned from the start.

    • Eh, not quite. But someone else did. Take a guess. – YOU DO KNOW HIM. This is too much! You will not play me like a cheap fiddle! 

    • Oh it’s clear you’d be quite expensive and rare. But I’ll admit that we’re not a good fit because I don’t follow the collectibles market. So I’ll sign off of your case for now. You were giving me the cold shoulder anyway. – STOP WITH YOUR PUNS *wenk wenk wenk*

  • Ending (52:07)

    • Recommended reading: Penguin: Pain & Prejudice

    • Next episodes: Arcade, Jonah Hex, Mister Sinister

    • Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network


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