Batman 51 – the talking Penguin, and a day-dreamer


Odd choice of story to put on the cover of Batman 51 (Feb/March 1949).


Mind you, even the Penguin story would have made for a bizarre cover, as Schwartz and Paris have a talking penguin central to the tale.


The Penguin introduces Pee-Wee, the talking penguin, and takes him onto the stage, performing a musical comedy routine with his new partner.  And it proves to a profitable hit.


So profitable, that former gang members of the Penguin show up demanding a cut.  Rather than hand over his earned money, the Penguin decides to steal money to pay them off.  Not that smartest move.


Batman catches the Penguin, and he goes on trial.  Batman calls Pee-Wee to the stand, and the Penguin protests when the animal testifies against him, insisting that Pee-Wee is unable to talk.  And that was exactly what Batman was hoping for, exposing Penguin’s fraud.  He had a receiver attached to Pee-Wee’s throat, and had been broadcasting his words.

Silly, but decent.


Schwartz and Paris also do the art on the cover story for the issue, likely inspired by the recent Danny Kaye hit movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.


In this story Mr Wimble is a day-dreamer, just like Mitty.  He fantasizes himself a detective, working alongside Batman.  And, in fact, that is exactly what winds up taking place.  Batman gets the old man a job with a real detective agency at the end of the story.


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