"Freeze wasn't in an oven - it's established that it was cold (Batman can see his breath in that chamber), and Freeze would have died if he was stuck in a warm area without his armor for that long, so his only torture beyond simple confinement was that his wife was kidnapped by Joker, which is a mark against him, not the Penguin."
He was locked under a heatlamp. He didn't die in there because he had a device plugged into his chest which was keeping him alive despite his suit being gone.
"The freezing of the cop's hand (the only actual act of torture he undertakes) was specifically done to lure Batman into a trap - and it's worth noting, if you look at the models of all the rescued cops, they all still have their hands - he didn't actually destroy anyone's hand."
I assumed that was just an oversight on the part of the programmers, or laziness. Not that I blame them, why spend time making a unique model of an incredibly mangled hand that wouldn't be seen unless players were specifically looking for it? In any case, I doubt the Penguin turned to a mook and asked him to scream into a microphone just to punk Batman. Though, side note, best episode of Punked ever.
"He doesn't just do it for the hell of it; he's trying to lure Batman into a trap. Wanton torture is more the province of a Complete Monster."
Actually, Penguin does engage in wanton torture. It's probably why he has a room in his lair labeled Torture Chamber. Besides, the Arkham City stories confirm it. Even if you don't want to use them as evidence that the Penguin is a CM, you can't deny that these events never happened. They're part of the universe's canon.
"As for being a Bad Boss, while Penguin shows no amounts of mercy or concern for those that Batman has beaten, he also isn't all too ready to kill his own men for laughs (unlike the Joker). He's nobody's idea of a good boss, but he doesn't qualify for Bad Boss, either."
Here are direct quotes from Penguin in-game:
Penguin: "See I'd told you it would work. Blow the bridges and cut off the clown's forces. Easy."
Mook: "But Mr. Cobblepot, we're stuck too."
Mook: "We can't get back."
Penguin: "And your point is?"
Mook: "Well, it's just that... You've left us over here with the Joker's crew."
Penguin: "Try to take some of them down before you die, son. (Evil Laugh
"I give you one simple task: stick up a couple of freaking machines. And what? You couldn't even get that right? I hope Batman broke every bone in your stupid bodies. I hope you are lying there, desperately trying to breathe through fractured ribs and punctured lungs. And if you're not, you'd better summon up whatever strength you've got left and run, 'cause after I'm done with the Bat, you're all next!"
How does he not count as a Bad Boss
I know that Arkham City IS a dark game, but not every villain is a baby-eating psychopath. Even the more evil baddies like Killer Croc, Riddler, Scarecrow and Hush haven't done enough yet to qualify as C Ms
(though they're all on their way). The only villains who have done enough horrible things onscreen, act purely out of self-interest or sadism, and have no good-qualities or remorse are Joker, Penguin, and Strange. As such, they seem to be the only ones (IMO) that count as Complete Monsters.