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The Untold Truth Of Penguin's Iceberg Lounge

Throughout his many years cleaning up the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City, Batman has accumulated quite the rogues' gallery. Of course, the infamous Joker tends to overshadow such forgettable foes as Condiment King and Eraser, but that's not to say that there aren't others who manage to hold a spotlight all their own. Take Oswald Cobblepot — better known to many as the Penguin –, for example, who has proved to be quite the monocle-wearing, umbrella-wielding thorn in the Dark Knight's side since his debut in December 1941's "Detective Comics" #58.

As the years have gone on and the Penguin has jumped from one form of media to the next, he has undergone a series of transformations. From Bob Kane and Bill Finger's campy comic book take to Danny DeVito's monstrous live-action rendition in 1992's "Batman Returns," the character has proven more malleable than he's often given credit for. Some of the more drastic alterations tend to disappear from version to version, but every now and again, a new tweak to Mr. Cobblepot and his corner of the DC universe will stick around.

For instance, something that has become a key element of the Penguin and his presence in Gotham is the Iceberg Lounge. Here's the untold truth of this now-famous DC locale.

The Iceberg Lounge hasn't been around long

At this point, the Penguin has been a consistent player in the DC Comics canon for over 80 years, concocting evil schemes and typically finding little success year in and year out. However, he hasn't done so from the cold comfort of the Iceberg Lounge the entire time. In fact, the seedy club has only been around for just under 30 years, debuting on the pages of "Detective Comics" #683, which arrived in March of 1995. This marked a change to the Penguin's character, or so readers briefly believed.

In his early days of terrorizing Gotham City, the Penguin stood as a figurehead of the criminal underworld. Lacking superhuman abilities or a desire to create mass chaos, Cobblepot was content simply committing robberies and stabbing his supposed allies in the back — actions that often landed him in jail. So, he eventually decided to open the Iceberg Lounge as a means of proving he'd given up his life of crime and just wanted to run a legitimate business. As one could imagine, it was a front all along.

It has been used as a valuable resource

To the untrained eye, the Iceberg Lounge is an entirely legitimate business that anyone who's anyone should check out. There's a restaurant, dance floor, expensive-looking decorations, and even a live band, making it the perfect spot for a night out. Although, for someone like Batman, who knows the Penguin's track record inside and out, he sees right through this façade and keeps tabs on what's going on behind the scenes there. Additionally, he has used it and its patrons as a resource to study up on the happenings of Gotham's criminal underworld.

When the Caped Crusader isn't slinking around the Iceberg Lounge as his false criminal identity, "Matches" Malone, to gain information, other members of the Bat-family have visited for vastly different reasons. On one occasion, when the titular hero went missing during the "Batman R.I.P." storyline, both Robin and Batgirl went there to forcefully gather what intel they could from the Penguin on his whereabouts. Conversely, Jason Todd took the Iceberg Lounge for himself in the "Red Hood: Outlaw" series, ousting Penguin from power for a time and holding him captive.

The Iceberg Lounge makes its live-action cinematic debut in The Batman

Despite its prevalence on the page, a proper live-action theatrical Iceberg Lounge has only recently come to fruition. Director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy and the DC Extended Universe lacked both it and the Penguin, and it only briefly appeared in animated form for "The LEGO Batman Movie" in 2017. Thus, 2022's "The Batman" from director Matt Reeves marks its first live-action outing at the movies. Colin Farrell's scarred, calculating take on Oswald Cobblepot serves as its proprietor and uses it as a cover for his nefarious activities.

Even though "The Batman" hosts the first live-action theatrical Iceberg Lounge, the establishment isn't a stranger to viewable media outside of comic books. In cartoon form, it featured on "The New Batman Adventures" and "Justice League Unlimited" TV shows as well as the animated movies "Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman" and "Batman: Assault on Arkham." The Season 3 finale of "Gotham" teased it, and it inevitably became a focal point of Season 4, giving audiences their first look at a live-action Iceberg Lounge.

It is a Batman: Arkham mainstay

Batman has left his mark on virtually all mediums, but many would argue that he excels in the world of video games. The "Batman: Arkham" franchise endures as one of the most widely appreciated reimaginings of the Dark Knight's mythology you can find, tossing elements from a variety of Bat-projects into a giant, grimy, gothic melting pot. Multiple games in the series also feature the Iceberg Lounge at varying capacities, allowing the boldest of players to explore it in all of its Penguin-designed glory as the Batman (Kevin Conroy) himself.

The Iceberg Lounge featured first in "Batman: Arkham City" within the Cyrus Pinkney Institute for Natural History. After you battle Penguin (Nolan North), his numerous cronies, and his horrifying "pets," Tiny the shark and Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore), you're free to look around, solve riddles, and collect the building's hidden Riddler Trophies. In both "Arkham City" and its sequel, "Batman: Arkham Knight," the Iceberg Lounge is a combat challenge map where the player faces endless waves of enemies to see how long they can survive.

You can visit the Iceberg Lounge yourself

Now armed with the knowledge of its dark secrets, rich history, and untrustworthy owner, surely you're daydreaming about taking a trip to the Iceberg Lounge, right? If you are, then you're in luck. Unlike Superman's Fortress of Solitude or Wonder Woman's Themyscira, you can actually visit Oswald Cobblepot's Iceberg Lounge as you please. Located in Central London, the venue promises "champagne, cocktails, exceptional food, live entertainment, and decadence" at a vaguely Batman-inspired corner of the city appropriately known as Park Row.

Aside from the Iceberg Lounge, guests can experience their own little slice of Gotham at a handful of other stops without fear of being mugged by Joe Chill. Park Row includes other restaurants like Pennyworths, Rogues Gallery, Old Gotham City, and the Monarch Theater — all paying subtle homage to the Caped Crusader, his bevy of villains, and the city they all occupy. Park Row also accommodates private bookings and sells gift vouchers for that Batman fan in your life who's eager to spend a special night out in the world of DC Comics.

The Iceberg Lounge has become a vital piece of the Penguin's characterization, and will likely continue to be for years to come. It'll be interesting to see how future comic book writers, filmmakers, showrunners, and video game developers interpret it down the road.