Danny DeVito writing a Penguin comic for the Batman villain's 80th anniversary

Danny DeVito as the Penguin
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

1992's Batman Returns has become a cult classic largely on the strength of its villains, including actor Danny DeVito's whole cloth transformation into the Penguin. Now, DeVito is reprising that role in a somewhat unique way, writing a Penguin-centric comic book story for November's Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 anthology one-shot.

Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 cover (Image credit: Lee Bermejo (DC))

DeVito's monstrous, ruthless depiction of Penguin redefined the character in the public conscience from being a dapper but dastardly crime boss to a bloodthirsty, birdlike mastermind. Though DeVito's version hasn't necessarily become the definitive Penguin, his portrayal of the character continues to influence and add to the way he's depicted in comic books and other media. DeVito's story in Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 marks a celebration of Penguin's 80th anniversary, with Gotham's monocled menace having debuted in 1941's Detective Comics #58.

Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films are going through a bit of a cultural renaissance overall, with DC publishing a Batman '89 title that continues the continuity of Burton's movies, while Burton's Bruce Wayne, Michael Keaton, is returning to the role in the currently in production Flash movie

(Image credit: Chris Burnham (DC))

DeVito's return to Penguin is right in line with the goodwill the films have been receiving in current pop culture, and with the actor's own enduring popularity, particularly for his ongoing role as bizarre miscreant Frank Reynolds on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Along with DeVito's Penguin story, Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 features contributions from writer/artist Wes Craig; writers G. Willow Wilson, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Stephanie Phillips, Dan Watters, and Mairghread Scott; as well as artists Dan Mora, Emma Rios, Riccardo Federici, Max Raynor, Max Fiumara, Skylar Patridge, Ariela Kristantina, Khary Randolph, Jill Thompson, Christian Ward, Gabriel Walta, and more. 

The artist of DeVito's Penguin story isn't specified.

Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 goes on sale on November 30. 

Check out GamesRadar's list of the 50 greatest Batman villains.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)