"Burning Faces": Batman spots a couple of False Facers and follows them to know what are they scheming. The False Facers stop just outside a currency exchange store and wait, hidden in the shadows. A third man, a very big guy knocks
- Ever prepared, the Penguin is back! And how sweet it is.
- — Penguin
Appearing in "Burning Faces"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Miranda Cobblepot (Flashback only)
- Cecil DeWitt (Single appearance)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Burning Faces"
Batman spots a couple of False Facers and follows them to know what are they scheming. The False Facers stop just outside a currency exchange store and wait, hidden in the shadows. A third man, a very big guy knocks the door and the shopkeeper opens it and gives the big man a bag of money. When they are making the exchange the False Facers come out of their hiding place and demanded the money. Batman attacks the False Facers and knock them out and the big man and the shopkeeper manage to escape.
At that moment at the Iceberg Lounge, Oswald Cobblepot remembers his childhood and the moment when he became obsessed with umbrellas. The big guy, whose name was Big Bruno, arrives at the Iceberg Lounge and tells Cobblepot about the situation and all that happened with the False Facers and Batman. Oswald Cobblepot then decides that he needs to go back to the basics and tells his personnel that he is leaving the lounge to handle business by his own hands.
Commissioner Gordon tells Batman the information the police managed to get from the False Facers about the crime. The plan is that the shopkeeper, who is now missing, gave his money to an unknown guy and made it seem like a robbery to claim the insurance. Batman still isn't sure who is the man who could have planned all that.
At his old hideout, Cobblepot makes an oath to bring back the Penguin and start a crime spree like in the old days that would end in the death of the Batman. The Penguin takes one of his umbrellas and heads to Gotham City. Penguin strikes at a jewelery store, steals a little diamond and puts it in a carrier pigeon. He leaves the scene carrying no evidence that would compromise him.
A police officer calls the major crime units to the scene to check it. The crime is unusual as the thief only took one little diamond and left an egg. The egg starts to break and then it hatches a baby penguin which Officer Montoya finds adorable. Harvey Bullock tells her that all that clues left indicate that the Penguin is back in action.
Back at the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin tells Big Bruno about his plans against the False Facers and tells him to quit complaining as he needs to get that out of his system. Bruno is walking in one of the lounge corridors when Batman appears and demands to see the Penguin. Bruno refuses and tells Batman to leave, but just as the Dark Knight turns around, Bruno attacks him. Batman is faster and avoids his attack to answer with a counterattack. The two of them struggle for a while but the fight ends when Batman punches Bruno so hard that the man goes through a wall and into the main casino of the lounge and is knocked down almost immediately. Batman tells him to give the message to the Penguin, that Batman is looking for him.
Meanwhile, at Warehouse 9, the False Facers are unloading some merchandise out of their loaded trucks. When they open one of their trucks, the Penguin greets them and burns their faces with his flamethrower umbrella. Penguin then expects that his next victim will be the Batman and that he will pay the ultimate price: death.
- This is the first part of the storyline labeled as The Penguin Returns; and features the Penguin going back to commit crimes himslef instead of being an underworld gang leader.
- The story continues in Batman #549.
- It is stated in this issue that Oswald Cobblepot's father, Tucker Cobblepot died of pneumonia when Oswald was still a child. It is also stated that Penguin's obsession with umbrellas was a result of his mother actions overprotecting him and his moody personality was a result of being constantly bullied by other kids.
- Penguin makes a reference to William Shakespeare's famous line: to be or not to be. He calls Shakespeare his favorite bard.