Public Domain Super Heroes


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The Penguin
Wow Comics 16 001

Real Name

Unknown (probably Bruce Baron)

First Appearance

"Wow" Comics #15 (1942)

Original Publisher

Commercial Signs of Canada/Bell Features

Created by

Adrian Dingle

Golden Age Origin

The Penguin was a detective and master spy who protected Canada against Axis spies, saboteurs and infiltrators during World War II.

Wearing a coat and tails and a distinctive face mask, the Penguin was an acrobat, expert hand-to-hand combatant, marksman, master detective and the most prominent mystery man in Canada, so much so that his true identity became one of the secrets that spies most sought from Canada.

Wow Comics 25 001

Penguin in action. Wow Comics #25

However it was well known among evil-doers that those who saw the face the Penguin did not live long after seeing it.

As the war progressed The Penguin started to execute spy hunting expeditions below the 49th parallel into the United States, during these he kept the same clothing as before but called himself the Blue Raven, perhaps to avoid confusion with an American villain who used the same motif.[1]

The most likely candidate for being the Penguin was Bruce Baron, a well known “neo-socialite.”[2]

His enemies included enemy spy the Luger and Professor Kazar.

Golden Age Appearances

  • "Wow" Comics #15-30
  • Slam-Bang #7 (as "The Blue Raven")


  • Penguin creator Adrian Dingle states "In those days the white tie was still in vogue for evening wear, and this gave him a Jimmy Valentine quality. I thought that by making him into a penguin - after all, penguins, if you see them walking around, do resemble men in white tie and tails - gave it a quality in those days. So he just wore a hood and kept his identity a secret."[3]
  • The Collections Canada site listed below notes that "© Nelvana Limited. Reproduced with the permission of Nelvana Limited." It appears that there are no registrations, deeds or probated wills etc. that prove or show that Nelvana Limited has ownership of the original copyrights to this series of comics explicitly "Wow" comics, neither in the U.S or in Canada. There is some indication that at one time this company reprinted these comics, but still no indication of copyright ownership.[4]
  • The Penguin was renamed The Blue Raven when Bell Features attempted to break into the U.S. market, so as to avoid legal battles with National Periodical Publications, who published Batman.
  • Although not intended to have "Bruce Baron" as his alter-ego, the series ended before this could be proven as false.


  1. Alter Ego #71, referencing Wow Comics #30
  2. Alter Ego #71, referencing Slam Bang Comics
  3. Alter Ego #71
  4. Discussion at Golden Age Comics

See Also

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