Oswald Cobblepot was born into a wealthy Gotham family but had physical traits that earned him the hated "Penguin" nickname. Over the years, he became used to sidelong glances, frightened whispers, withering disrespect, and prejudgment. He became the last surviving member of his family. Driven by self-interest and an inferiority complex, he relies on his cunning, will, and intimidation to exploit his surroundings for profit. In spite of his appearance, Penguin is a dangerous fighter and appears to be self-taught in some forms of martial arts. He also carries an umbrella modified with multi-purpose functions like emitting fireworks, firing laser blasts, emitting a high voltage shock, or spinning propeller blades to simulate flight. His monocle conceals advanced technology that can scan and analyze the environment.

Cobblepot used his inheritance to invest in the construction of the Aviary, a luxory condominium tower. It was completed after seven years. To recoup the investment, everything under the penthouse was planned to be leased out. He also hired Dr. Kirk Langstrom to work at his firm Bumbershoot Mechanics on a line of unmanned robotics based on animals for exploration and retrieval. Cobblepot kept a close eye on the design phase and insisted on a specific dual vibrational transmission. In reality, both projects were part of Cobblepot's true agenda. The Midas Heart asteroid would soon pass by the Earth. Using a tractor beam built into the roof of the Aviary, he could alter the asteroid's path and put it on a collision course with Gotham City. 12 transmitters would planted around the Aviary by criminals he recruited into a team he called the Animilitia. The transmitters would form a protective force field. The Bumbershoot robots, the Cyber-Animals, would dig through the rubble of the city and retrieve the asteroid's solid gold core. Insanely wealthy and rid of the city he grew to hate, Cobblepot would have his happy ending.

While walking past a market, Cobblepot was mocked by three punks. He lamented how humanity never failed to disappoint him and addressed the punks. He admitted at one time, he was also blind to the precariousness of human nature. His monocle found a fault with the exterior structure of the market front. He nudged a spring mechanism with his umbrella and caused three bricks to pop out and drop near the head punk. The punk was knocked out by one of them. The others attacked Cobblepot but he knocked them out easily. On the grand opening night of the Aviary, Cobblepot threw an exclusive gala event catering to the city's high society. He was introduced to Bruce Wayne by Gladys Windsmere but he was distracted by the negative comments guests were making about him. Penguin met with the Animilitia at Bumbershoot Mechanics with less than 20 hours before the Midas Heart passed. Green Arrow fired an arrow and pinned Penguin's hat to a wall, nailed him with a boxing glove arrow, then pinned him to the wall with a net arrow. Penguin ordered his death. Silverback and Cheetah went after him.

Batman and Nightwing entered the room in search of Dr. Langstrom, unaware he was Man-Bat. Penguin got free and tasered Nightwing in the back with his umbrella. He ordered Killer Croc to dispose of Nightwing, who tossed him out a window. Penguin ordered a withdrawal and flew off with Killer Croc using his propeller blade umbrella. After the force field enveloped the Aviary, Penguin addressed Gotham City and revealed his plans then bid the people farewell. When Batman simply walked through the force field, Penguin became irate. Realizing Langstrom aided him, Penguin ordered Silverback to send every single Cyber-Animal produced after Batman. Once the force field was taken down, Penguin cut his losses and abandoned the Animilitia. He fled the city in a escape pod programmed to fly to the Greek Isles. Green Arrow unknowingly managed to pierce the pod's guidance system with one of his rocket propelled arrows. Penguin found himself stranded in the Arctic. Surrounded by lot's of penguins, he swore revenge against Batman.

Back in Gotham City, Penguin put together a small crew and conducted a heist. While on the road, they were pursued by Batman. The crew failed to take out the Batmobile with their rocket launcher and their transport was flipped. With Batman closing in, Penguin released all the ice blocks on the bed of his Ice Truck. Batman armed his Capture Claw and easily broke through them. He caught up and flipped the truck on its roof. Penguin was knocked out by one of the bags of money he stole. Penguin was later chased through the Gotham Zoo by Batman. He threw a chimpanzee's banana at Batman and was kicked clear across the flamingo pond. Penguin armed himself with a gauntlet and fired but Ace arrived and shielded Batman. Batman leapt over Ace and was armed with the Bat Sword. Penguin took up his own blade and fought Batman. Batman elbowed Penguin then disarmed him and took him out with an uppercut. As he fell over, a chimpanzee threw a banana at his face.

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