Posted Monday, February 10th, 2020 by Barry

Detective Comics (1937) 58

With today National Umbrella Day, the Penguin is the obvious choice to act as ambassador.

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot originally bore some resemblance to his current countenance, but was a doughier rapscallion in Detective Comics (1937) 58.  Mr. Cobblepot has firmed up a bit over the past 70 years. He has also moved on from his days of out-and-out larceny to become more of an underworld consort, catering more than cavorting.

Detective Comics (1937) 58

Detective Comics (1937) 58

In his first appearance, the Penguin begins his criminal career as an art thief, stealing under the noses of Batman and Robin themselves. He moves on to jewels in a crime spree that not only confounds the Caped Crusaders, but implicates them.

In the final showdown, Penguin manages to elude Batman, though the Dark Knight does clear his name.

Penguin does little with his bumbershoot other than spray some acid this issue. It is in subsequent appearances he and his decorative accessory earn its spot in the pantheon of weapons. Of all his assorted implements of violence, the Bulgarian umbrella is his favorite.

The umbrella has been in use since 21 AD, first seen in China as a useful and decorative cover for a four-wheeled carriage. The invention has evolved little over the years having been perfected right out of the gate.

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