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The DC Cinematic Universe is properly kicking off with the launch of Batman V Superman, but in the gap between the release of Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, DC have been slowly taking over the TV world. Shows such as Arrow, Flash and Supergirl frequently crop up all over the internet. However, perhaps the most underrated of all is Gotham.
Gotham tells the story of Jim Gordon, future confident to Batman. However, Gotham shows the years before Bruce Wayne took up the cowl and the rise of the super villains which he would soon come to face. One such villain is Oswald Cobblepot, although some may know him better by his more commonly attributed name, The Penguin.
Robin Lord Taylor Breaks Out As Cobblepot
A surprisingly breakout performance by the then relatively unknown Robin Lord Taylor, Cobblepot has proved to be a conduit of fan adoration for the show. You’d be hard pressed to go to any comic convention and not see someone cosplaying as him. And, well, depending how hard you look on the internet, let's just say you can find a great many other forms of media dedicated to him.
Robin Lord Taylor was born in Shueyville Iowa and attended Northwestern University where he managed to achieve a Bachelor Of Science degree in Theatre. An impressive accolade to be sure. If anything it shows that he does have the raw talent to pull off mentally taxing roles such as Oswald Cobblepot.
In the following years he would mostly play small roles in shows like The Walking Dead and Person of Interest, however it was not until he was cast as The Penguin that he gained mainstream success. In fact, when the first episode of Gotham aired, he was praised the highest out of any of the other aspects of the show. Esquire described him as the, “standout performance of the first episode” and the Wall Street Journal described it as a, “passionate performance… [that] steals the show”.
Often lauded# for how he is able to portray such a despicable main in such a sympathetic light, Robin Lord Taylor has found his legacy. Let's examine the arc of The Penguin throughout the show and how it demonstrates the skills of Robin Lord Taylor.
The Cobblepot Calls the Kettle Black
At the beginning of Gotham, Oswald Cobblepot is a lackey of the fearsome Fish Mooney. However, off the bat he is known to be a traitor and sells her out. After Mooney finds out about his discretion, she beats him to a pulp. Cobblepot is then targeted for an assassination which none other than Jim Gordon must complete in order to show himself as complying with the corrupt world of the Gotham Police Force. They manage to fake his death, however, any viewer expecting Cobblepot to turn over a new lead is sorely mistaken, as his first act once back on land is to murder and steal once again.
Now seeking to create his own criminal empire, Cobblepot indulges in a spree of violence and crime, seemingly out of pure enjoyment. Cobblepot, although vowing not to, returns to Gotham and makes a surprise visit to Jim Gordon. Unsurprisingly furious, Gordon is furious, but Cobblepot persuades him to let him stay if he becomes his informant. Gordon reluctantly agrees.
Cobblepot for a time is the crony to a mob boss called Sal Maroni and helps him commit crime all across Gotham, however, Maroni believes that Cobblepot worked for a rival mob member and threatens to kill him. Gordon vouches for Cobblepot and save his life. A favor that Cobblepot would return soon enough. Soon the Gotham Police Department arrest Gordon for the murder of Cobblepot way back at the start of the season, however, Cobblepot shows up thereby disproving that Gordon murdered him, shocking everybody.
Cobblepot, now gaining in influence tries to patch over relations with Fish Mooney who had betrayed earlier, to no success. However, Cobblepot’s past continued to haunt him over the next few episodes. In a bid to try and kill Cobblepot indirectly, Fish Mooney tells Maroni that Cobblepot used to be a spy for the rival crime family, the Falcones. Maroni falls for the lie hook, line and sinker and attempts to assassinate Cobblepot. Cobblepot barely makes it away and begins to plot the assassination of Maroni himself.
This is where we see the genius of Cobblepot. We have seen that he would kill if pushed to it, however he is by no means an intimidating force. Instead, Cobblepot manipulates both Falcone and Maroni to attempt to kill each other, sparking a gang war in Gotham in which he hoped to become the overall victor.
Cobblepot Leads Gotham's Gang War
Maroni and Falcone both died in the gang war that ensued. Soon, Cobblepot took the fight to Fish Mooney who had proved to be his hubris since the very beginning. He killed her thugs and drowned her in ocean, making him king of the Gotham crime world after a long struggle. However, Cobblepot is not invulnerable and in fact has many weaknesses. One such weakness is an adoration for his mother. Gallavan kidnaps his mother, making Cobblepot work for him. In classic Cobblepot fashion, the only solution here is naturally, murder.
However, it blows up In his face, and in the following events Cobblepot’s mother is murdered. It destroys Cobblepot almost completely. However, with the help of many of the supporting characters and Gordon, Cobblepot eventually exacts his revenge upon his mother’s murderer.
Cobblepot, nothing left to live for is sent off the Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane. He’s eventually released after extensive therapy, but a sinister undertone still remains.
Robin Lord Taylor’s portrayal of a man who rises and falls so fast that he can’t tell which way is up is fascinating. It shows how the raw desire for revenge and power can drive a man to the edge of his sanity and wit. The Penguin is a character not frequently portrayed in live action, and although Danny De Vito’s performance is frequently claimed to be one of the best portrayals of the character, we think that Robin Lord Taylor’s is a hell of a long way better.
“When you know what a man loves, you know what can kill him.” There’s a reason why Oswald Cobblepot is one of the most beloved and feared characters on Fox’s Gotham. He is also one of the most cosplayed characters from the show which boasts iconic figures such as James Gordon, Edward Nigma, young Bruce Wayne, and Selina Kyle. While he is an ambitiously cunning sociopath, he will do whatever it takes to get ahead and stay there. He started off as Fish Mooney’s umbrella man and worked his way up the crime boss ladder in order to obtain power in the city of Gotham. The character was originally portrayed by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, but the younger version of Oswald Cobblepot is currently played by Robin Lord Taylor. Maybe he was destined to play the role of the Penguin since his name is also that of a bird. Either way, the actor (who is best known for his roles in Would You Rather and The Walking Dead) has made a name for himself playing the Penguin on Gotham. You can now channel your inner Penguin as Gotham’s Oswald Cobblepot with our easy cosplay how to.
White Button Down by Alfani
Oswald is always careful to never get blood on his crisp white button down. Since he’s a man that knows how to make a statement with his clothing, a white shirt such as this a must. Gotham’s costume designer, Lisa Padovani, told Entertainment Weekly all about Cobblepot’s look; “Everybody’s got such an iconic image in their mind of what the Penguin is. We’ve seen a lot of shows where he’s been portrayed in mostly comic book ways. I took from the storyline that he’s young, he’s working for Fish Mooney in a nightclub—so I riffed on more of a burlesque theater/1970s/Las Vegas/vintage look.” This white button up fits the Penguin’s style since it has a modern silhouette. It cuts close to the body with a straight and narrow profile through the waist for more of an athletic fit. It also features a broader fit in the shoulders as well as tapered armholes and sleeves. Made of a cotton and polyester mix, this shirt is machine washable and you’ll be able to continue to use it even after you are done cosplaying as Oswald Cobblepot.
Black Dress Pants by Dockers
Similar to a penguin, Cobblepot wears a black suit. According to artist Bob Kane who created the Penguin for Detective Comics in 1941, the character was inspired from the then advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes – a penguin with a top hat and cane. Writer Bill Finger thought the image of a gentleman from high society resembled the emperor penguin. Oswald Cobblepot is certainly a man of high society, which is why he always dresses to the nines. These Dockers men’s dress pants are just classy enough for the Penguin. You get to choose from pleated versions, a classic flat front, or even pants with a handy concealed pocket. There are also slim fit and regular so you can find the size that fits you best. When choosing which Dockers pants to complete your Penguin cosplay, make sure you make your choice based on what Cobblepot would wear.
Black Cross Tie by Uniform Tux
Did you know that Oswald Cobblepot is the first Penguin to despise his nickname? This version of the character in Gotham hates his nickname so much that he even goes as far as killing someone for calling him “Penguin.” In all other mediums, the Penguin fully embraces his name. However, Cobblepot has adopted the same cool style of clothing that all other Penguins in the past have donned. One of the most interesting aspects of his costume is his cross tie, which makes him stand out in a crowd. This black cross tie is the perfect addition to your Penguin cosplay. Made of satin fabric with a silk feel, this cross tie will feel comfortable all day long. It also comes with a fabric covered snap for easy attachment or detachment. It also features high-quality construction and stitching that the Penguin would be proud of.
Cufflinks by Geoffrey Beene
Don’t forget to cuff ‘em up! Gotham’s costume designer Lisa Padovani told Entertainment Weekly that Cobblepot’s costume “is from all different eras, yet made with modern fabrics. With the slight extension to his nose, together it evokes a bird-like quality.” With all the intricate details in his costume, Cobblepot would never forget to wear his cufflinks. One of the smallest, but most important details to this cosplay are the cufflinks by Geoffrey Beene. Beene was one of New York’s most famous fashion designers who was known for creating classy fashion pieces for men and women. These cufflinks are made of polished rhodium. The black and silver on these cufflinks will match the rest of your cosplay. The Penguin would definitely approve, considering his fashion sense is as sharp as his blade.
Purple Vest by Vesuvio Napoli
Not many people can pull off a purple vest, but the Penguin can. Cobblepot’s fashion is on another level, which is why he always dresses up. His personality seems to match his fashion sense. He speaks with a constant smile, often talking fast and shaky. He also constantly flatters whoever he talks to, but it is often sarcastic. This purple vest was designed in Italy by Vesuvio Napoli. With an adjustable belt in the back, you can be sure that the vest will fit you perfectly. The sizes also range from extra small to 4 extra large. With a paisley design, you will be bringing your own flare to your Penguin cosplay.
Sunglasses by Vivian & Vincent
Did you know that the Penguin was actually a leader of a super villain group? In the comic book series Super Friends, Cobblepot led a team of super villains called the Super Foes. They were similar to the Legion of Doom featured in the Super Friends cartoon series. He even had his own sidekick called Chick whom he ordered to infiltrate the Hall of Justice. Maybe Gotham will branch out and follow this character arc someday. However, one of the most iconic aspects of Cobblepot’s costume in the show is his sunglasses. He usually wears them when he is outside because he is so pale, and the sun hurts his eyes. These vintage circle frame sunglasses have a metal frame and gradient lenses that are 52mm wide. It also features inky black designs on the golden legs of the glasses. From Vivian & Vincent, these sunglasses will pull together your Oswald Cobblepot cosplay look.
Umbrella by Totes
He was Fish Mooney’s umbrella man for a reason! Sure, he started out just holding an umbrella over Mooney but he has risen up the ranks in his life of crime in order to become a nightclub owner. Possibly one of the most important aspects of this cosplay is the umbrella. It’s near and dear to Cobblepot’s heart, especially when he changed Mooney’s club name to his own and replaced Mooney’s neon pink fish with a neon blue umbrella. He also uses the umbrella as a walking stick because he once betrayed Mooney and paid dearly for it. This fancy umbrella has a wooden handle just like Cobblepot’s. It has a 48" canopy for maximum coverage and is made of nylon with a water-repellent coating. This umbrella from Totes is not only useful for Oswald Cobblepot your cosplay but you can also continue to use it to when it rains outside.
Black Gloves by Warmen
Cobblepot wears gloves because he’s not the kind of guy that likes to get messy. Throughout the show, he will take out the people he needs to, but he generally prefers to let others take the lead when it comes to killing someone. Since the episode Penguin's Umbrella, he has placed a final kiss on the top of the head of his victims, like a benediction or absolution. However, he likes to keep his hands clean with his leather gloves. These leather gloves are made of genuine nappa leather to provide you with softness of touch, suppleness, strength, and lasting comfort. It comes with solid stitching seams and a leather covered button so that you can adjust the gloves to your hand. The gloves can also work with touch screens so you don’t have to keep taking when off to use your phones. Like a lot of the other products on this list, you can continue to use these gloves even after you are finished cosplaying as Oswald Cobblepot.
Dress Shoes by Giorgio Brutini
How could you forget Oswald’s shoes?! Cobblepot wears classy leather shoes that slightly lift at the toe. This makes it look like his feet are cartoonish bird’s feet, which ultimately contributes to his nickname of the Penguin. Since Cobblepot is all about style, he wears only black designer shoes. These Giorgio Brutini leather shoes are probably on Cobblepot Christmas wish list. Ranging from size 7.5 to 14, the shoe comes with stitching detail that will match the rest of your cosplay outfit. Giorgio Brutini has been creating high-quality shoes like this for the past 40 years, so you can be sure that these classy shoes will be comfortable yet stylish. These shoes also lift slightly at the toe to give off that penguin-vibe.
Black Blazer by Benibos
The finishing touch to the ultimate Oswald Cobblepot cosplay is the blazer. On the show, Cobblepot wears a continental cross tie with its ends tucked inside a silk, purple vest and a black coat with dark green lapels, black pants and matching shoes. While this blazer does not have dark green lapels, it matches the rest of the cosplay and brings a more serious attitude to the costume. The green in the original lapels makes his seem a little more cartoonish than usual for his serious attitude. This one-button blazer is a cotton and polyester mix that comes in a variety of colors. However, you will want to go with black in order to complete your Penguin cosplay look. It features three pockets so you can place a purple pocket square in the pocket on the chest. Channel your inner Penguin with this black blazer.