1992's Batman Returns (opens in new tab) 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.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab).
Tim Burton's Batman (opens in new tab) and Batman Returns films are going through a bit of a cultural renaissance overall, with DC publishing a Batman '89 (opens in new tab) 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.
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 (opens in new tab).
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.