I'm sick of seeing that panel posted all the time whenever a Penguin thread pops up.
Honestly, it's just Joker's Asylum being way too tryhard (not just in Penguin's segment) and stories trying to ape it like Pain and Prejudice that have him go full edgelord. Most modern writers don't even use Penguin in the first place, and when they do, they turn him into a discount Rupert Thorne. Can you name other instances other than these two comics where modern Penguin does this ? I don't think you can't. Modern Penguin barely does anything at all. >Are they just overcompensating for his goofy, silver-age persona?
That's pretty much the entire thought process behind how most Batman characters from the Silver Age are handled nowadays.
But there is a precedent in Penguin's over-the-top revenge schemes that has been a thing ever since the character started being written more seriously and they gave him a backstory, like The Killing Peck, for example. And Penguin is a manipulative character who's best stories involve him pulling off crimes in ways that can't be traced back to him. You put two and two together and shit like pic related happens.
Penguin has always been a brutal fucker whenever he was allowed to be.>>93233256
But he does have a lot of things that set him apart. Some of these very characteristics are the reason he's not used more
The problem is that writers nowadays either write him as a lesser Kingpin stuck in the Iceberg Lounge who gets beaten up for information, and his two most recent major roles, Joker's Asylum and Pain and Prejudice, had laughably extreme revenge plots (athough the latter was just doing it to imitate the former)
Comics like Penguin Triumphant, The Penguin Affair, The Penguin Returns two-parter, and even other media like Batman Returns and TAS, all developed his characterization and added their own spin on it. But that would require writers to actually give a shit about his character instead of falling back on moronic shock value.