Hello guys! Today, here's my fifty-sixth PE proposal, and it's about Mayor Oswald Cobblepot, the main antagonist of the DC Elseworlds graphic novel Batman: Earth One. He's actually listed as PE, but I feel that it's necessary to have him officially approved.
WHAT'S THE WORK?
Batman: Earth One is a superhero graphic novel written by Geoff Johns published in 2012 by DC Comics. The novel tells a new origin story of Batman, one of the most iconic heroes in comic books. The story is set on Earth-1, an Earth of the DC Multiverse where most of DC's superheroes have just started their careers.
WHO IS HE / WHAT HAS HE DONE?
Mayor Oswald Cobblepot is the Mayor of Gotham City. When Bruce Wayne was a child, Oswald ran against Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father, for the mayoralty of Gotham. Whereas Thomas wanted to make a better Gotham, Oswald wanted to defeat Thomas to ensure no other Wayne tarnished the legacy of the Cobblepots. To do so, Oswald paid the corrupt police detective Jacob Weaver to cut power of the Monarch Theatre the fateful night the Waynes went to the movies, planning to have Weaver and his men kidnap and kill the Waynes, but luckily for Cobblepot, a vagrant delinquent called Joe Chill shot Thomas and Martha dead, sparing only the young Bruce. By default, Oswald won the elections and things worked out better than he intended.
When Bruce Wayne grows up, he becomes Batman and started to investigate why his parents were killed. Fearing that Batman is too close to learn the truth after an altercation with his bodyguards at a function organized by him, a furious Oswald sends the Birthday Boy, a serial killer under his employment, to kill Weaver. He later sends a petty thug named Axe to kidnap Detective James Gordon's teenage daughter Barbara, who then sends Barbara to Birthday Boy, but Batman helps Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock to stop Birthday Boy.
Batman then goes to confront Cobblepot at the Iceberg Lounge and Cobblepot confesses the truth about his involvement in the Waynes' murder. When he unmask Batman with his umbrella's trick stilleto, Oswald tries to kill Bruce, but Alfred Pennyworth fatally shoots him, leading the dying Oswald to fall off a window to the street below. After Coblepot's death, Axe is arrested, Birthday Boy is send back to the Jonathan Crane Institute for the Criminally Insane and Jessica Dent, a childhood friend of Bruce's and sister of Harvey Dent, becomes the new Mayor of Gotham City and outs Cobblepot's crimes, effectively tarnishing the Cobblepot family's legacy.
MORAL EVENT HORIZON
Earth-1, the alternate DC Earth where the story takes place, is full of planets and alternate realities, so of course it's full of villains, some more despicable and dangerous than others. Some of them, especially the extraterrestrial and interdimensional ones, have much more resources than the ones on Earth, but this doesn't mean that some villains with less resources are less evil. That's the case of Mayor Oswald Cobblepot. Unlike other villains of Earth-1, like General Zod and Hercules, who are an alien and a deity, Oswald is a human, but makes up for his resources with his cruelty and villainy, being one of the worst incarnations of the Penguin to date, especially given that he is somehow linked to Batman's origin story and that he is Gotham City's mayor thus having more resources than other versions. Every PE villain must have crossed the Moral Event Horizon to be PE, and Cobblepot definitely crosses it when a judge fails to prevent Harvey and Jessica Dent from investigating him, he has the judge's eldest daughter in payment to kill a police officer who is a liability to him and threatens the judge to hand over his younger daughter to Birthday Boy if he fails him again.
The Penguin has had some incarnations who are worse than his mainstream one, and this version of the Penguin is no exception. It should be noted that he never takes the alias of the Penguin, but that doesn't change his villainy. At first, Oswald's villainy is a bit standard, but his cruelty is apparent. Given his desire to win the elections for Mayor of Gotham City and prevent Thomas Wayne to tarnish his reputation as a Cobblepot, Oswald resorts to have the Waynes murdered. Rather than just having Thomas killed, he also wants his wife Martha and his son Bruce killed. When Cobblepot's plan failed because of Joel Chill's intervention, Oswald just got happy that because of Chill, he would not have to have any alibi to explain the presence of Jacob Weaver and his men. He only regretted that Weaver and his men didn't get to kill Thomas, but was still happy that Thomas died. Even if Chill killed the Waynes, Oswald was still responsible for it as he had Weaver cut the power of the Monarch Theatre; if Weaver hadn't done so, the Waynes would have likely left the screening later on and would have possibly not be murdered. He didn't care at all that Bruce Wayne was left orphaned after this.
As Mayor, unsurprisingly, Oswald makes no effort to make Gotham better like Thomas desired, allowing criminals to reign over the city and controlling the courts and authorities by intimidating them to do things like he wants, being happy that Gotham is corrupt despite that a Mayor's intentions should not be those. He also employs many criminals, like Axe and the Birthday Boy to do his bidding. The latter one is a psychotic serial killer who kidnaps young women and kills them, and Oswald actually provides his victims to Birthday Boy. If that's bad, as previously pointed out, his power over the city's law enforcement becomes apparent when he threatens a judge under his employment for failing to prevent the Dent siblings from investigating his mayoralty, leading Oswald to send the judge's eldest daughter to the Birthday Boy, who kills her, and threatens to have the judge's youngest daughter send to the Birthday Boy as well if he fails him again. This kind of treatment towards his henchmen is despicable. He also has Weaver killed by the Birthday Boy when he realizes that Weaver could expose the truth. When he finally faces Batman, Oswald finally admits sadistically his involvement in the Waynes' murder and expresses no genuine regret for his actions, even trying to kill Batman with his sword umbrella and threatening to manipulate him once he discovers that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same.
In the end, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot may not be a costumed villain like his mainstream incarnation nor the other members of Batman's rogues gallery, but he is a despicable and corrupt man who doesn't care for anyone but himself and will resort to whatever means to ensure his power and position.
A possible redeeming quality could be that Oswald cared for his family name and wanted his family to be remembered by the Gothamites, which could possibly mean that he cared for his family members. However, aside that we never see other members of Oswald's family, this can't be counted as a redeeming quality, because Oswald could have still done other things with his wealth to improve Gotham City but resorted to murder to achieve victory, which if gone wrong, could have given his family a bad reputation. That said, after his death, Oswald's actions were exposed and his family name was utterly tarnished, which proves, as previously mentioned, that he didn't really care for his family's reputation but for his own.
Taking all of this into account, I would say yes about considering Mayor Oswald Cobblepot to be officially approved as PE.