Batman: Danny DeVito will write a comic for the 80th anniversary of the Penguin

Batman: Danny DeVito will write a comic for the 80th anniversary of the Penguin


1992's Batman Returns, known to us in Italy as Batman - The Return, has become a cult classic in large part thanks to the strength of its villains, including the transformation of actor Danny DeVito into the Penguin. Now, DeVito is reprising that role in a rather original and unique way, writing a Penguin-centric comic story for the Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant # 1 anthology due out in November in the US.

Danny DeVito's tribute to the Penguin

DeVito's monstrous and merciless depiction of the Penguin has redefined the character in the eyes of aficionados from an elegant, yet cowardly-minded bloodthirsty-looking criminal leader so similar to that of a real penguin. The interpretation of the character proposed by the famous actor continues to influence the way he is portrayed in various media, including cinema and comics themselves. DeVito's story in Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant # 1 was written by him specifically as a celebration of Penguin's 80th anniversary, as Gotham's menacing monocle-wearing character made his debut on the pages of Detective Comics # 58 in 1941.

The Batman films and Tim Burton's sequel Batman Returns are undergoing something of a cultural renaissance in general, as the Bruce Wayne chosen by Burton for his films, Michael Keaton, is about to return to dress play the role of the iconic Dark Knight in the Flash movie, currently in production.

DeVito's return as the Penguin is in line with the long-standing positive assessment that Batman Returns received from the public and with the influence of his iconic performance even in current pop culture, particularly for his recent role as the bizarre Frank Reynolds star of the TV series There's Always the Sun in Phila delphia.

Get your Blu-Ray copy of Batman Returns, the 1992 film directed by Tim Burton starring Danny DeVito as Penguin, here on Amazon!

Batman’s sidekick, Robin, comes out as LGBTQ+ in new comic

More than 80 years since he was first introduced to readers, and after decades of homoerotic subtext with his companion Batman, comics’ most trusty sidekick Robin has canonically come out as LGBTQ+.

In a cliffhanger ending to DC’s latest issue of Batman: Urban Legends, the current iteration of the Boy Wonder, Tim Drake, is shown accepting a date invitation from his friend Bernard, having just rescued him from a villain while in disguise as Robin.

“Ever have a lightbulb moment?” Drake muses in one panel. “Like something out in the ether has been taunting you, teasing you. Like you know you’re supposed to be on the same page as your brain but not everything made sense. People keep asking me what I want. But I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was. It always felt just out of reach. Until now. Until right now.”

Writer of the issue, Meghan Fitzmartin, told Polygon that she was not prepared to put a label on Drake’s sexuality, who has also been depicted dating the female superhero Spoiler, alias of character Stephanie Brown. “I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey,” Fitzmartin said. “To be clear, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100% real, as are his feelings for Bernard. However, Tim is still figuring himself out. I don’t think he has the language for it all … yet.”

She said she was thrilled to be given the go ahead by DC. “I fully sat on the floor of my apartment for a solid two minutes in happiness as it sunk in … I hope it is as meaningful for others as it has been for me.”

NPR critic Glen Weldon argued that it was no surprise, but a pleasant development. “Treatises have been written, and entire chapters of (very well-received!) books devoted to, the queer subtext in the Batman/Robin relationship. In Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), the late film-maker Joel Schumacher did everything he could to transform that queer subtext into a butchy, leather-queeny text,” Weldon wrote. “But today … well. Incredibly enough, to those of us who’ve been waiting for years, Robin just came right out and said it himself, in the pages of Batman: Urban Legends #6.”

Drake is just the latest in a run of superheroes to be written as LGBTQ+, including Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, married couple Midnighter and Apollo, and, most recently at Marvel, Captain America.