[World of Bats] The Penguin Affair and Penguin: Triumphant!

Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

This week, to continue our look at the rogues featured in The Batman by checking out some 90s era stories featuring Oswald Cobblepott/The Penguin!

First we’ll be looking at the crossover storyline “The Penguin Affair,” written by Marv Wolfman and Alan Grant, with art by Jim Aparo, Norm Breyfogle, and M.D. Blight.

The Penguin takes in Harold, a mute and disfigured man with a gift for technology, and exploits his genius to steal anything and anyone he wants. With the help of his new apprentice, Tim Drake, will the Dark Knight be able to stop him?


Batman #448
Detective Comics #615
Batman #449

And for something a little extra, we’ll look at the one-shot Penguin Triumphant, written by John Ostrander and drawn by Joe Stanton.

In this one-shot story, the Penguin decides to become a legitimate businessman, his goal to take over Wall Street…and crush business rival Bruce Wayne.

LINK: Penguin Triumphant #1

Reading will last from 2022-03-19T05:00:00Z2022-03-25T05:00:00Z, but if you get kidnapped by a flock of birds, you can always come back later to share your thoughts. :slight_smile:

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I know that you’re covering these issues as a tie-in to The Batman, but considering that they’re from the early 1990s, I’m inevitably reminded of Batman Returns instead. :wink:

But hey, we’re getting the debut of everyone’s favorite sidekick, Harold! And “The Penguin Affair” is in that weird transition period where Tim Drake is allowed to help out around the cave but isn’t permitted to be Robin III yet.


I felt really bad for poor Harold! Interesting to see Penguin’s version of “The Birds.” I think the story didn’t really need 3 issues to tell, but I enjoyed it. The beginning of Penguin Triumphant threw me off with the British setting. I thought it was an Elseworlds story at first. Sad but not surprising to see that Oswald holds grudges from childhood. Funny to see Alfred deal with him living at Wayne Manor!


Penguin Triumphant came out before or after Catwoman: Defiant. This is by no means required reading but it is an interesting era when DC began to explore the idea of a “graphic novel”.


These were a couple of fun stories. It was interesting that in both of them Batman considers Penguin to be a legitimate threat.

The ending to Penguin Triumphant seemed a bit abrupt. It was an intriguing looking into Penguin’s past, though.

One other thought about the Penguin Affair: I wonder why they didn’t show the winner of the chess game that was implied to be between Batman and Penguin.


The reading this week also reminded me of this clip. Probably the real reason Benedict Cumberbatch is in Marvel movies rather than DC.


I remember reading this one when I was doing research for a month highlighting Catwoman for the club, that was a good one – and interesting to see in that I think the time frame adds up that they were both done to capitalize the two featuring in the Batman Returns movie. And then later on I think we saw similar one-shots for characters like Mister Freeze and Poison Ivy. These stories tended to be good to get more in-depth into the minds of these villains then possible when in the Batman books proper.


By far Penguin Triumphant has to be my favorite Penguin story, it was really well done, wish they made it into a series.:slightly_smiling_face:
As for The Penguin in The Batman, I think he was really more based on Batman Earth One vol 1 comic.