13 PENGUIN COVERS: An 80th Anniversary Celebration

Danny DeVito’s Penguin story debuts this week!

The Penguin, one of Batman’s most storied adversaries, debuted 80 years ago this year, in 1941’s Detective Comics #58. The ish was released in October of that year, but this week seemed a good time for a 13 COVERS gallery because Danny DeVito has written a Penguin story that appears in Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1, out Tuesday.

Dig this variant by Frank Quitely:

Quitely’s Penguin is a mash-up of DeVito’s look from Batman Returns and Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot’s classic image. Here’s how the Bird of Banditry looked in his first appearance, by the by — he wasn’t even on the cover!

Detective #58 splash page. Bob Kane pencils, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos inks. Script by Bill Finger.

Anyway, we’ve culled a selection that ranges from the Golden Age to the Modern Age, featuring artists like Dick Sprang, Carmine Infantino, Mike Grell, Norm Breyfogle and more.

Waak! Waak!

Dick Sprang

Carmine Infantino pencils, Joe Giella inks

Nick Cardy

Artist unknown. If you have any info, leave it in the comments!


Brian Bolland

Brian Stelfreeze

Win Mortimer

Mike Grell

Norm Breyfogle

Jerry Robinson

Jim Aparo

Infantino and Giella


— Dig This UP-CLOSE LOOK at the Original 1966 PENGUIN SUB. Click here.

— Dig This UP-CLOSE LOOK at an Original PENGUIN Costume. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I’m guessing the standard, non-painted cover for the Batman Returns Adaptation is by the interior team of Steve Erwin (not that one, mate) and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (Praised Be His Name).

    That B&B issue was seminal for me, as Black Canary ends up tied up to her chair in her underwear…in a code approved book! I was only 5 or so, but I think it helped confirm I would be straight. 😉

    Love some Sprang and Infantino covers. I particularly love their takes on the Penguin.

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  2. B&B #166 is also a favorite of mine.
    I just love an oversize character(Penguin) looming over Gotham and his enemies.
    Plus as Chris said, Black Canary in her her undies. As a 12 year old that was aces.

    Alas my favorite PENGUIN cover isn’t on the list, BATMAN #374 by Don Newton and Dick Giordano.

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  3. A great selection of covers but no THE BATMAN ADVENTURES #1, the first comic based on the Dini/Timm Animated Series?! WAUGH!

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  4. Penguins’ first appearance was in Detective Comics #58, not #38. ‘Tec 38 introduced some minor, long forgotten junior sidekick.

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  5. The Batman Returns cover looks, to me, like the work of Jerry Ordway, who did the cover for the first Batman movie adaptation. Anyone else think so?

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