10 Unexpected Inspirations Behind Famous Comic Book Villains

Artists have been known to draw inspiration from the unlikeliest of places and conjure up the most impressive creations from seemingly ordinary things. Some creations hold deep meaning and express inner emotion, while others have more of a “why not?” attitude to them. Iconic comic book villains have been created by both schools of thought, such as…

10. The Penguin

The Penguin, one of Batman’s oldest and most prominent foes, is an eccentric criminal mastermind. Engaging in criminal deeds throughout Gotham from his criminal front, the Iceberg Lounge, the Penguin is known for his signature tuxedo and top hat look, as well as his high-tech umbrella with an arsenal of weaponry and his evil squawking laugh.

According to Batman co-creator Bill Finger, the inspiration behind the Penguin was none other than, well, emperor penguins, which reminded Finger of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos, hence the Penguin’s tuxedo and top hat look. Batman creator Bob Kane, however, had an entirely different view on the whole matter and claimed that the Penguin was modeled after the Kool cigarette penguin, who also sported a top-hat, cane, monocle and cigarette.

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