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"The Penguin" as a character mirrors the recent history of the city of Pittsburgh. He was raised the son of a steel worker and he grew up watching his dad work in the steel mills. The toughness and gritty determination to provide left an indelible imprint on him.
However, he's a visionary and he loves thinking about how to improve the world around him especially when it comes to his native Pittsburgh. He is a gifted inventor and has a love of science and innovation.
Of all the Guardians, the Penguin is the least willing to be placed into a box. He considers himself a renaissance man, able to adapt to a variety of conditions. In exterior appearance, the Penguin is an impressive looking superhero, mostly human features except for a set of Penguin like wings attached to his arms. The wings, like that of an actual Penguin, don't enable him to fly but rather they allow him to maneuver both in the air and especially at sea.