The great-great grandfather of the Penguin, Theodore Cobblepot obtained his fortune in the steel industry and would eventually become mayor of Gotham City. Along with his associates Alan Wayne and Edward Elliot, he would be instrumental in building the modern day Gotham.
Theodore Cobblepot was created by writers Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins, first appearing in their mini series Batman: Gates of Gotham.
Major Story Arcs
Gates of Gotham
Alan Wayne, Theodore Cobblepot and Edward Elliot would contract young architect stepbrothers Nicholas Anders and Bradley Gates to construct three great bridges within Gotham, all adorned with the names of Wayne, Cobblepot and Elliot. These bridges would soon be nicknamed the Gates of Gotham. After the completion of the bridges, Wayne would have the brothers construct Old Wayne Tower, the city's biggest skyscraper. With the completion of these projects, the brother's notoriety grew, and Nicholas decided to take his stepbrother's last name, Gates. Together, the two would become known as the Gates of Gotham.
Within a few months, Nicholas got married and had a child. After Wayne Tower was built, the founding fathers asked the Gates Brothers to construct a retaining wall along the Eastern shoreline of Gotham in order to provide additional land thereby establishing new buildings. Alan Wayne wanted the Gates Brothers to do this because he was familiar with Gotham's poor geography and he wanted a foundation that will enable the Gates Brothers to build a colossal bridge which will surpass the others. With this bridge, the main city will be connected to on of the outer counties and allow Gotham to grow into one of the largest cities in the world.
Nicholas approached Bradley with the founding fathers' new proposal. However, Bradley was less than thrilled about this monumental bridge. Bradley feels their efforts have only lined the founding fathers' pockets and when there is nothing left to build in Gotham or their usefulness runs out, they will be cut off financially. Bradley tries to convince his brother into branching out with different cities while they still have notoriety.
By the summer of 1892, Cameron Kane became involved with the founding fathers' push for a new bridge because the bridge would connect Gotham to the northern county which is owned by Kane. Theodore was concerned about this new bridge because Gotham would be open Kane County's infamous reputation as a solicitor of prostitution, gambling and violence. This could jeopardize his chances for re-election. Edward Elliot on the other hand, was leaning towards the connection between Gotham and Kane County because if they move the direction of the bridge towards the Eastern county then Alan Wayne will gain more influence since he owns the Eastern half.
The Elliots were jealous of the Waynes and the Cobblepots worried about their reputations being tainted by the Kane's corrupt legacy. The founding fathers left the decision of building the bridge to Nicholas. Nicholas admired Alan Wayne out of three founding fathers so he decided to build the bridge and connect to the Eastern county. Kane angrily left Wayne Manor because this meant less clientel for Kane county.Bradley and Nicholas began the construction of the colossal bridge but they were met with disaster. Bradley was working on the bridge's foundation below the water line with his underwater protection suit until the bridge suddenly came crashing down on him. Nicholas only found Bradley's helmet among the wreckage.
After burying Bradley, Nicholas was confronted by bad publicity. The Gotham Herald branded Nicholas as a failed architect whose reckless behavior and lack of architectural knowledge cost the lives of so many innocent laborers. The construction of the bridge was given to someone else and the bridge's direction was moved to Kane county even though Wayne county was structurally ideal and sound. Nicholas goes to Alan Wayne for support in his theory that the Kane family was responsible for the sabotage of the their latest bridge and the murder of his brother. Nicholas knows how much Kane county would be worth if it became an entry point into Gotham as a gateway.
However, Wayne threatens Nicholas to keep his assumptions to himself because secrets can be influential, powerful and dangerous if not kept. Wayne tells Nicholas that any word he utters to the Gotham Herald will be branded as libel slander or it may never reach the public's ears at all. As for an investigation, Cobblepot's influence over the police will make Nicholas' case stick and the police can make Nicholas' life difficult. Nicholas leaves with the realization that the founding fathers are corrupt.
Nicholas also realizes that Wayne is angry because he knows the Kanes and probably the Elliots were responsible for the sabotage but now the founding fathers have to do damage control. Cobblepot's worries about losing votes have been put aside because Kane county will support Theodore's re-election. Elliot will be pleased because Alan will have lost his impending influence over Gotham with the destruction of the bridge to Wayne county but Wayne will have at least gained capital with the merger between Kane county and Gotham.
Nicholas takes it upon himself to exact revenge on those who murdered his brother. First, he attacked Cameron Kane with his brother's underwater protection suit. Unfortunately, Nicholas came under fire by Robert Kane, Cameron's son. Robert shot a valve in Bradley's suit and Nicholas was beginning to feel fatigued by the depressurization. With his last ounce of strength, Nicholas grabbed the shotgun from Robert's hands and began to choke him. When the police arrived, Nicholas stood perfectly still because the suit could no longer allow Nicholas to move. Robert Kane died in Nicholas' grip and Nicholas was carted off to either Blackgate or Arkham. From that day, Nicholas swore that any descendant of the founding fathers would suffer for the sins of their fore fathers because their crimes against the Gates of Gotham.
In present time, a masked villain by the name of The Architect bombs the three bridges with the Wayne, Cobblepot and Elliot adornments also targeting their descendants in Penguin and Hush. He leaves a message for the city's protectors, reading: "The families will fall by the Gates of Gotham."