ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at Creators.co
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

So, we're getting pretty solidly into the thick of Gotham, now, and, as such, the series has already firmly introduced a whole bunch of Batman's most iconic villains, with Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Penguin, and The Riddler having already appeared, at least in a youthful version of the villain they're set to become.

What, though, if one of those villains was hiding something?

Something...huge.

Something...Joker-shaped.

Well, one intrepid Reddit user, Cohencide, recently posited an intriguing theory which suggested exactly that - specifically, that not only is the Joker already appearing in Gotham, but he's secretly one of the legendary villains that we've already met.

And no, it's not the guy with the jaunty hat.
And no, it's not the guy with the jaunty hat.

Their argument, essentially, boils down to this:

The Penguin is Secretly The Joker

But, wait...what?

Well, the logic goes a little something like this:

The Theory

Oswald Cobblepot exists in Gotham, but is nothing like the traditional depiction of The Penguin (who is short, fat, has a long, beak-like nose, and loves birds).

Hello, Danny. We've missed you.
Hello, Danny. We've missed you.

Instead, he's a tall, thin, pale, psychotic mass-murderer, who kills people on strange, often arbitrary whims, usually while grinning.

"Ahem."
"Ahem."

Which suggests that Gotham's Cobblepot is - use of umbrellas aside - a whole lot closer to being Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker, than he is to being The Penguin.

Now, that's all well and good - and Robin Lord Taylor's performance as The Penguin does match up nicely with many of the traditional ideas about The Joker - but that doesn't explain how a waddling, umbrella-holding, be-suited man explicitly named Oswald Cobblepot, and nicknamed 'The Penguin,' could wind up being an entirely different super-villain.

Unless The Joker really likes sweaters...
Unless The Joker really likes sweaters...

The Plot Solution

Well, that self-same Reddit user has a solution for that particular problem:

"Oswald Cobblepot is supposed to be dead. He knows that with such an unusual name it's bound to get back to Fish Mooney that someone named Oswald Cobblepot is still in Gotham. So he hires a short fat kid to go around telling people his name is Oswald Cobblepot. This kid idolizes the Joker so he does everything he can to be more like him. He dresses like him, he walks like him, he carries an umbrella just like him."
Just like King Louie in The Jungle Book...
Just like King Louie in The Jungle Book...
"Meanwhile, original Cobblepot realizes he has to hide his identity if he's going to continue to operate as a gangster in Gotham and develops the Red Hood identity [The Joker's original guise]."
Under that hood, he's definitely smiling...
Under that hood, he's definitely smiling...
"This short fat kid with the big long nose becomes the Penguin. The original Cobblepot has some kind of industrial accident and becomes the Joker."

Which...actually makes a surprising amount of sense...

"So I can quit the day job?
"So I can quit the day job?

The Problem

That being said, this one's a major long shot to actually happen - largely because it'd alter the origin story's of two of the most beloved figures in DC-dom to a huge extent.

This means the theory is assuming that Gotham's creators have been given a pretty wide license, allowing them to alter the history of those characters - but ignoring the fact that they could have just chosen to use that same creative license to make The Penguin a visually very different character to his past appearances.

Although not getting DeVito back? Still a bummer...
Although not getting DeVito back? Still a bummer...

On the other hand - it's also a really, really cool idea - and, if it happened, could lead to one of the greatest twists in modern TV history...

Even so, though - after all the set up that the show's already gone through to point toward The Penguin - could it really happen?

Either way, here's the most important part, [Gotham](series:1127075) fans:

What do you think?

Poll

Could The Penguin really be The Joker in Gotham?

via Reddit

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