[I'm re-posting this because I'd like to see fallout from Villains United & Rann/Thanagar that gives arms-dealer Penguin access to some serious off-world tech ... most of it small enough to build into, say, an umbrella. Think about the Penguin with a Mother Box umbrella...]
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the REAL Penguin, in his first appearance.
Why do I care? Because I am sick to death of watching the Penguin get beaten up every month.
Batman beating up the Penguin. Robin beating up the Penguin. Batgirl beating up the Penguin. Drunken reprobate Harvey freaking Bullock beating up the Penguin. Does someone at DC have a sexual fetish for seeing formally-dressed fat men with big noses get the snot beat out of them?
It's become a cheap writer's shorthand for "our hero's getting tough now", and it's been beaten to death (as has, by now, the Penguin). As much as I love Robin, when he start beating up the Penguin in his title this month, I was rooting for Oswald to silence the upstart with a whiff of finely filtered Penguin gas and deliver him right into the arms of an exploding octopus. Or a giant clam. Yes, a big hideous man-eating clam.
The real, original Penguin (who I'd like to see returned to us now, DC, thank you) is the one above. He appeared VERY frequently in Golden Age Batman stories and his personality was very consistent, as follows.
He's always very polite and refined.
He's also a completely amoral cold-blooded killer.
He does not get flustered and is well aware that, even if you foil his plans, he's going to escape.
He is well aware that he appears non-threatening, even silly, and uses that to his advantage.
If you are rude to him, he will slit your throat with a razor sharp ferrule, and, as you lie on the floor choking on your own blood, the last thing you'll hear is him calling the florist to send condolence flowers to your widow -- more expensive ones than you ever bought her in your life.
He is not "your stoolie".
He does not get beaten up.
He does not have flippers.
He is not gullible, stupid, crude, uneducated, foul-mouthed, or even ill-tempered.
Even in the '60s show, they understood this. Remember the movie? Who was in charge of the United Underworld? Why, the Penguin, of course. It went without saying.
DC, treat your villains with respect and they'll earn their keep; just ask the Riddler and Catman. Start treating the Penguin with the respect that his over 60 years in the business deserves, and you'll have a much more interesting, viable, popular character.
Just like the original Penguin. The real one.