Complete Monster Edit
Hoo boy, I'm probably in hot water for adding the Complete Monster category so before I get in more trouble, I'd like to explain my reasoning on why Penguin fits the Complete Monster criteria.
For starters, I know, I know, Joker is worse and all that. Thing is, the Penguin still manages to be as evil as he can given his resources and whatnot. He runs an incredibly tight ship where one screwup leads to an agonizing death. He gleefully indulges in murder and torture, and leaves the victim's bodies propped in his museum with recorded mesages where he gloats about how he killed them. The bodies show that yes, the Penguin has killed them, and in ways that would be too gory for the game to keep it's T rating (Baked in a hot oven? "Worked on" with blowtorches and crowbars? Yikes!) Even if you want to say that a lot of his victims deserve it for also being criminals, do they really deserve such agonizing deaths? And do I even need to explain the scene where he hammers off a cop's hand, and the other terrifying fates he had in store for the rest?
Hell, his interaction with Bruce Wayne shows he's not afraid to get his hands dirty and hurt innocent people. He doesn't know Bruce is Batman, but drags him over to his hideout right when Bruce enters Arkham City because to Cobblepot, Bruce is just a rich guy whose family was more succesful than his, now if Bruce wasn't living a double life as a crime fighting vigilante, he had done nothing wrong to him, personally. There's also how he got his "monocle", getting it shoved into his eye by a guy who was trying to defend a friend of his who the Penguin was torturing for the crime of cheating at cards. And while him wanting to kill Mr. Freeze so the Joker can't use him to find a cure is understandable, he does it an in agonizingly slow way, trapping him in a custom display case that roasts him alive! All in all, Penguin is more than happy to hurt innocent people who he's viewed as having disrespected him.
And do we need to get into how he treats his employees? He constantly verbally abuses them, threatens them with slow and agonizing deaths should they fail him, and goes as far as to strand his henchmen on Joker's territory and laugh at their fates knowing full well that they're screwed. Assault on Arkham shows that if you do have his respect, it's not respect for you as much as it is for your competence as Deadshot shows, and given how quickly he tried to kill him and the rest of the Suicide Squad only to stop when he's told his reputation will be ruined for it, he still hates Deadshot and has pretty much lost all respect for him, showing that Penguin didn't truly like him.
I know people at TV Tropes site his description for Victor Zsasz as being a monster as him hating him for killing women and children, but that's not how it sounds to me at all. The words Penguin speaks are him simply acknowledging Zsasz's evil, he's not condemning him (and if he was, it would be hilariously hypocritical of him). Arkham City and Assault on Arkham flat out show that he has no problems with hurting women. He has not only a display case holding a League of Assassins member (She's alive, though it's never made clear if Penguin intentionally left her alive or mistook her for dead), but one planned to store Harley Quinn's head (And let's not forget the disturbing quote he makes about how "She'll be good for minutes of entertainment" which along with torture implies he may rape her as well). And in Assault on Arkham, he's willing to have Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad slaughtered, female members included after noticing Harley among the bunch and throwing a temper tantrum. Whether he has standards regarding children we'll never know, as the only kid we're likely to ever see is young Bruce Wayne.
As for the way his tone sounds when describing Zsasz, it feels like he's trying to sound dramatic, to frighten people with the knowledge that he has such a monstrous person locked up in his museum.
As for the heinous standard, he's pretty damn high up there. He gets a reasonable amount of screentime and is at his evil best, with lots of people in Arkham City (Many being his own men) terrified of him and view him as a monster. He earns his reputation of being viewed as just as bad as the Joker by many people in and out of universe. Unlike most other Arkhamverse villains who either fail the heinous standard, have a valid freudian excuse, or possess at least one good quality, the Penguin is morally bankrupt and truly stands out among his peers as a truly vile, repulsive human being. This is exactly why I view him as a Complete Monster. Anyone else willing to agree? I think we ought to keep a tally of people approve of him being labeled as a monster and those who don't/ NoxiousSludge (talk) 22:20, September 21, 2014 (UTC)NoxiousSludge
For one thing, disgust for Zsasz's crimes is still a standard, hypocritical or not. And he doesn't just condemn him for hurting women and children, but for killing and mutilating over a hundred men, women, and children.
And in Arkham Unhinged he is shown to have good qualities. He refuses to let his men harm birds, and in the backstory behind his feud with Joker, Joker disfigured the face of an Iceberg Lounge waitress just because she accidentally spilled a drink on him, and Penguin called Joker out for this. Bentonfill (talk) 22:48, September 21, 2014 (UTC)
From what I hear, most of Unhinged is considered Non-Canon except for the portion called Endgame, so the bird thing wouldn't count against Penguin if it wasn't a part of Endgame. And I've read the Arkham City story that describes the Penguin Joker feud, and his anger doesn't seem to be out of concern for the waitress's welfare but more for the fact that the Joker caused a disturbance at his lounge, therefore disrespecting Penguin by extension. And what I said earlier was that Penguin didn't seem to be condemning Zsasz, but simply acknowledging his monstrous nature. Recognizing the evil one indulges in should not be a disqualifier at all. Plus, like I said earlier, Penguin's tone seemed like he was going for dramatic effect as opposed to disgust.
EDIT: Whoops, just learned that the feud was covered in Unhinged, and from what I see Endgame is a seperate comic alltogether, so ignore that. But what I say stands, non-canon deeds shouldn't disqualify Penguin.
Rocksteady hired Derek Fridolfs to write Unhinged, so it is canon. And in a later issue, he refers to the waitress as "dearly departed Bonnie"
But so is saying that he was disgusted. Nothing indicates disgust in what he says, he is listing Zsasz's crimes and says nothing hinting that he's disgusted by him.
And apparantly, Unhinged has a lot of content that contradicts what's shown in the games (Such as Vicki in Wonderland and Gotham City Sirens) which wouldn't make it canonical. So no, anything shown in these comics shouldn't be used to disqualify Penguin as at best, it's loose canon. NoxiousSludge (talk) 00:20, September 22, 2014 (UTC)NoxiousSludge
Vicki in Wonderland doesn't contradict canon, it is a continuation of a side mission. Arkham City Sirens takes place much earlier than Joker's death, contrary to that claim.
And the plot holes are a result of having a different writer. Arkham Origins has just as many plot holes as Unhinged for the same reason, but it is still canon for the same reasons as Unhinged. Bentonfill (talk) 00:52, September 22, 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, I still feel uncomfortable having to count the Unhinged comics as canon. Really, I think there should be a vote to see how people feel about adding the Penguin as we're both at a stalemate.