Danny DeVito’s Batman story creates DC’s new (unlikely) superhero couple
The Gotham City Villains’ Birthday Giant’s # 1 story “Bird Cat Love” by Danny DeVito and Dan Mora features two unexpected characters teaming up.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Gotham City Villains Giant Birthday # 1, on sale now at DC.
The most publicized story of the 100 pages Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 was “Bird Cat Love”, a 12 page story written by Danny DeVito and illustrated by Dan Mora. This story involves a rather surprising romantic and heroic couple: the one between The Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot (which DeVito played in the film Batman Returns) and Catwoman / Selina Kyle.
“Bird Cat Love” begins in the suburbs of Gotham City, posing as set in “Another Time, Another Place” in recognition of its own non-canonicity. Some children play in the streets and are rescued from an oncoming car by The Penguin. Meanwhile, Catwoman saves a newborn bird that has fallen from its nest. These first acts of casual kindness come as a shock; While Catwoman sometimes plays an antihero role, The Penguin has almost always been a straightforward villain.
Catwoman and The Penguin are then shown together in bed, drinking, kissing, and discussing their next big plans. They end up robbing a bank together, then escape on a boat to complete an even more ambitious heist in Monte-Carlo. But it’s not just about the money – all of it is setup for a surprisingly effective plan to steal vaccines from drug companies and distribute them fairly around the world, ending a pandemic. The people of Gotham are bewildered by the actions of the ordinarily mean duo, but one of the children The Penguin saved early in the story understands what’s going on: “The bird and the cat are in love, idiot!” It’s that simple ! “
The story ends with Catwoman and The Penguin living happily ever after, adopting three penguins and three kittens as their own. The narration gives the impression that they have engaged in heroic deeds: “What’s great for us is that there will always be a villain to beat. It’s human nature, driven by fear. and greed. This gives us the opportunity the life of the cheap usurpers and con artists of the world is deeply miserable. “
Altruistic and anti-capitalist heroism is a new look for The Penguin, who is generally described as greedy and selfish. This alternate take on the character in many ways reads like a personal fantasy for DeVito, an actor who describes himself as a democratic socialist. It seems unlikely that this version of Oswald Cobblepot will make its way into DC’s main canon, but it makes for unique and entertaining news.
Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 is on sale now at DC Comics
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Source: Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1
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