This is a collage of the Penguin's history with scans of an early appearance of the Penguin in Detective Comics #87 (1944) "The Man of a Thousand Umbrellas" written by Joseph Greene and art by Dick Sprang [reprinted in Batman Archives vol. 4 (1998)], Batman #38 (1946) "The Penguin on Parole" written by Don Cameron and art by Jim Mooney [reprinted in Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus vol. 5 (2018)] and Detective Comics #171 (1951) "The Menace of the Giant Birds" written by Bill Finger and art by Dick Sprang, art of the Penguin by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez from the DC Comics Batman Returns Style Guide (1992) by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez [that I recolored to make it accurate] and the Penguin description quotes from The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes: Batman (1976) by Michael L. Fleisher that I combined with the revelations from Batman Returns (1992) and the Batman Returns (1992) novel by Craig Shaw Gardner, "Oswald Cobblepot, Tucker and Esther Cobblepot, were horrified when Oswald was born with a deformed shape, like a penguin -- wide body, with a nose that looks like a beak, and syndactyly hands that look like flippers. And, very sharp teeth. His parents kept him in a cage, they did not want to see him. After little baby Oswald killed the family cat, his mother and father threw him out, like a piece of garbage, in a caged bassinet, into the river. The river current sent the caged child down to the old Arctic World, a leftover pavilion exhibition from an old world's fair. Abandoned penguins were in the old Arctic World, and the old ringmaster found him in there, named him Jimmy, and raised him in the Red Triangle Circus freak show, featured as 'the hideous Penguin Boy - the aquatic bird boy,' exploiting the Penguin for money, where he was bullied and abused. He'd grown to hate ordinary people and normal children. After numerous reports of missing children in several towns, police closed down the Red Triangle Circus's fair-grounds, folded the tents. However, freak-show performer the Penguin vanished before he could be questioned. The Arctic World pavilion was Penguin's hideout now, and the place where he hid his Red Triangle Circus Gang. The Penguin found out that his birth name is Oswald Cobblepot, his parents were rich, with a Cobblepot mansion, and they threw him out, the Penguin's rage grew. He wants to reclaim his birthright, to fulfill a destiny his parents carelessly discarded, and he wants revenge. He rarely appears in public without at least one of his trick umbrellas, including umbrellas which fire bullets, sword-handled umbrellas, a flamethrower umbrella, and a helicopter umbrella. The Penguin also uses penguins he can control by headgear, using a pitch and frequency that would cause penguins to follow his every command, as zombies to the Penguin's radio signal controls, with rockets on their backs."
In the comics panels on the side the Penguin is using helicopter umbrella and his says to Batman, "One of these days I'll fix you for good!" from Detective Comics #87 (1944) "The Man of a Thousand Umbrellas" written by Joseph Greene and art by Dick Sprang [reprinted in Batman Archives vol. 4 (1998)].
The Penguin uses penguins with explosives on their backs, from Batman #38 (1946) "The Penguin on Parole" written by Don Cameron and art by Jim Mooney [reprinted in Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus vol. 5 (2018)].
The Penguin cons the public and says, "We've got him badly bewildered -- Won't he be suprised when we spring our real coup tomorrow!" and a henchmen says "Yeah, all this stuff we've 'given back' is just bait for the saps!", from Detective Comics #171 (1951) "The Menace of the Giant Birds" written by Bill Finger and art by Dick Sprang.
Danny DeVito's Penguin was based on the classic '40s Penguin comic book art from Dick Sprang that was a killer with deadly umbrellas. Although Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang's Penguin art was very cartoony and literally looked like an obese dwarf with a deformed beak nose and penguin-like body shape, Danny DeVito's Penguin particularly resembled the Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang Penguin art from the comic books brought to life, with the very short height [Danny DeVito is 4 foot 11 inches and three quarters tall, specifically, [about 5 foot tall - practically a dwarf] and overweight], Danny DeVito's Penguin has the beak nose, the black top hat, stripped pants, flame thrower umbrella, etc. just put into Danny DeVito's real anatomical proportions [which are enhanced to a more penguin-like body shape proportions with a fat suit] with additions to his wardrobe including with an added vest, ascot and trench coat, and expanding on the penguin motif with webbed penguin-like "flipper hands" - which is a real human deformity called syndactyly, making Penguin more of a complete character like a person that could exist and less of a cartoon caricature of a real person.
In the book Batman Returns: The Official Movie Book (1992) by Michael Singer, Tim Burton explained, "I feel like a real kindred spirit with Danny [DeVito], and I think we're really creating something that people will see and enjoy as a natural expansion of the comic book character."
Tim Burton made a painting called "Jimmy The Penguin Boy" (1991) of the Penguin when he was a child in the Red Triangle Circus, that was given to Danny DeVito, and is now in The Art of Tim Burton (2009) book. A lot of people didn't get the clues in Batman Returns that the Red Triangle Circus are who raised the Danny DeVito Penguin, and was named "Jimmy" by the Red Triangle Circus ringmaster most likely, because, since he was abandoned by his parents when he was a baby, he didn't know his real name is Oswald Cobblepot. And he was billed/presented as "the Hideous Penguin Boy, the Bizarre Aquatic Bird Boy" in the Red Triangle Circus freak show. Also included is the old Gotham Globe newspaper report that Bruce Wayne was reading about missing children on the Red Triangle Circus fairgrounds and the police were searching for the Penguin, described as "a young man billed as 'the Bizarre Aquatic Bird Boy' who was last seen in the company of at least one missing child, according to sources." In the comics Bill Finger's original Penguin was without an origin, Michael Fleisher's origin for the "Pre-Crisis" Earth-1 Penguin was getting bullied at school for his mom making him always carry an umbrella [from The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest: Secret Origins of Super-Villains (1981) "The Origin of the Penguin" written by Michael Fleisher and art by Romeo Tanghal] and the "Post-Crisis" Penguin's origin was basically the same Michael Fleisher story [in Secret Origins Special #1 (1989) "The Killing Peck" written by Alan Grant and art by Sam Kieth]. Tim Burton found the psychological underpinnings of that origin to be very weak. Tim Burton and Daniel Waters made Penguin's roots far more larger, dark, tragic and epic. Because the Danny DeVito Penguin was rejected by his family, bullied and abused at his freak show job, so Penguin grew up hating normal children that have all the love, acceptance and comforts he never had and he wants his revenge. Penguin also wants to reclaim his birthright.
Danny DeVito explained, "With Batman, I remember the first meeting we had was so great. He had a painting of circus stripes, red and white, just beautiful, just a big canvas. And this creature, and there was a caption that said, ‘My name is Jimmy, but they call me The Hideous Penguin Boy.’ It was so moving." Danny DeVito on Tim Burton’s Dumbo: “I believe this is the completion of the Circus Trilogy”
In Batman Returns Michael Gough's Burtonverse Alfred calls Danny DeVito's Penguin a "ghastly grotesque." The '40s comics described the Penguin as a "grotesque creature" - Batman #36 (1946) "The Penguin's Nest" for example [Reprinted in Batman: The Dark Knight Archives vol. 8]. And a "grotesque bird" - Batman #25 (1944) "Knights of Knavery" for example [reprinted in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told (1988)].
In Prevue [August 1992] Danny DeVito explained, "The Penguin's really two people. In one sense, he's a super-intelligent guy who just wants to be accepted. On the other hand, he's enraged because people find him so revolting they turn away in horror. He could have been well educated like his parents and become a leader, but instead he's been exposed to a bunch of dishonorable characters. It's kind of a tragedy, but we're all the result of our treatment by other people." Batman- The 1989 Film: Vintage Magazine Article: "Prevue" August 1992
In Movieline [July 1992] Danny DeVito explained, "Burton saw Penguin as a character that had been dealt a hand, a certain set of circumstances he was forced to live with all his life, and because of these events, he's been pushed into the darker regions. But his intelligent and his will to live in another realm kind of clash - his circumstances are dark, serious and heartfelt in the underground, but he desires the above world. So I thought that was a really great take on Penguin." Batman- The 1989 Film: Vintage Magazine Article: "Movieline" July 1992
In Starlog #183 (1992) Danny DeVito explained, "His mother and father hated him and threw him out like a piece of garbage. The Penguin is quite an intelligent man, and someone who, from birth, if Oswald's parents had taken the time to accept him as a human being despite his deformities, he might have grown up to be [an] Albert Einstein. But because he was thrown away, and because of who and where he was raised, he became something totally different, totally evil. There are some moments in the film where you can see the insecurities and conflicts that are pulling at him. In a sense, we see him as vulnerable. One of the most telling lines in the entire film is when the Penguin attempts to assimilate into the real world, but he's rejected and turned back to his lair. He yells out, 'I am not a human being! I am an animal!' That line said it all, as far as I was concerned." Batman- The 1989 Film: Vintage Magazine Article: "Starlog" October 1992
In Prevue [August 1992] Tim Burton explained, "I particularly like the characters in this film because they're symbolic of what's going on in the world today. They aren't simply good or bad." Batman- The 1989 Film: Vintage Magazine Article: "Prevue" August 1992
The Iceberg Lounging, weapon smuggling Penguin [that wasn't even in the comics until 1995] was a comic book reboot. The so-called "traditional Iceberg Lounging, weapon smuggling version" is a Post-Crisis/Post-Zero Hour reboot from Detective Comics #683 (1995) "Odds Against" written by Chuck Dixon and art by Graham Nolan. The Penguin made into a John Romita/Stan Lee 1967 Kingpin rip-off. Bruce Timm made the Kingpin of Gotham-Penguin reboot more popular when he adapted that Penguin to The New Batman Adventures animated series in 1998 episodes on TV and DC made the Kingpin-Penguin reboot more popular when they adapted that Penguin to the Arkham City, etc. video games from 2011, it's still not the Golden Age Penguin by Bill Finger and Kane and Jerry Robinson/Dick Sprang, the grotesque bird-man of a thousand umbrellas, that's the true original Penguin Denny DeVito brought to life in the Burtonverse.