Victor Zsasz is the most unrepentant of sociopaths, a serial killer who marks the death of his victims on his skin with tally marks. He believes that human beings are mindless 'robots' who attempt to give themselves purpose and meaning by materialistic and shallow means. He is very intelligent and deceptively cunning, often trying to manipulate or intimidate his victims before killing them and arranging them in lifelike poses for the police and Batman to find.
Mr. Zsasz lived a privileged existence. He had a loving, wealthy family and graduated top of his class in college, later going on to amass his own fortune of his own through various companies. At the age of 25, his parents tragically died in a boating accident, and while he accepted what had happened, Zsasz could not help but feel depressed at their loss. In an attempt to distract himself from his growing depression, Zsasz became swept up in high stakes gambling. He neglected his companies while gaining, and just as often losing, huge sums of money in card games. It all came to a head in one game, in which Zsasz bet everything to his name in a game against the Penguin and lost. It was then that Zsasz realized that no amount of wealth could change the hollow person he had become or give any meaning to his life, and he fled the casino to attempt suicide at the Gotham Bridge. Before he could jump, a transient threatened him with a knife for whatever he had on him. Zsasz fought back and, upon looking into the homeless man's eyes, realized he was just as empty as he himself was. He killed the man and decided to free 'zombies' of their mortal coils, cutting a notch in himself for each one to remind himself that he too was a human like them; a choice that has caused him to have numerous run-ins with Batman and landed him in Arkham Asylum and Blackgate almost as many times.
The Last Arkham
In The Last Arkham, his first original appearence, he has already 47 known victims. Jeremiah Arkham describes him as serial killer without aparent motif, too clever and dangerous that seems unconcerned. A challenge for psychiatry. Zsasz uses hidden tunels to escape from Arkham and kills a family, two students and one pedestrian, each murder was carried out with a knife, his favorite weapon, and putting them as if they were still alive. Batman pretend to kill an officer and get caught in Arkham so he can be near Zsasz and expose him. While Batman was in the asylum, Zsasz convinces Jeremiah to reunite all the inmates and confront them against Batman. After that, Victor kills Zolly Hiram, architect in charge of recostruction of asylum and designer of the tunnels offered to the highest bidder, making it appear like he had committed suicide and Everard Mallitt, the only inmate who knew about the existence of the tunnels. With the help of Nightwing, Batman solved the mistery of his crimes. At the end Zsasz almost kills Nightwing but is beaten by Batman and returned to his cell.
During Knightfall, he held a school of girls hostage. Batman came on scene and promptly engaged the villain. During the fight, Zsasz injured Batman and taunted him with the notion that they were more alike than Batman could like to think, relating their method of hunting down others and insinuating that Batman got just as much enjoyment over attacking the guilty as Zsasz did the innocent. This threw Batman into an almost uncontrolled rage, causing him to viciously beat Zsasz almost to the point of death before he was stopped by the police and Zsasz was properly apprehended.
When he escaped prison some time later, he attacked Alfred Pennyworth while Bruce Wayne was at a charity event. However, because Alfred was rushed to a hospital before he could die and after a mark had already been carved for him, Zsasz became hellbent on finishing the job and killing the butler. Batman fought with the killer, losing him when the police, who were at the time also trying to apprehend Batman, intervened in their fight and inadvertently allowed Zsasz to escape. In a risky move, he lured Zsasz to Alfred's location and managed to subdue and capture him seconds before he could kill Alfred.
No Man's Land
In the No Man's Land storyline, Mr. Zsasz is the leader of a gang. He is severely injured and ends up being treated by Leslie Thomkins. Even while he is unconscious he is heavily restrained, although it is not enough to stop him from attacking Leslie's assistant with only his fingernails in his sleep. He is later almost killed by Killer Croc, as he was responsible for the death of his best friend and right-hand man. Upon finally waking, he threatens and almost kills Leslie, but is swiftly stopped and captured by Batman, Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), and Huntress.
In the Joker's Last Laugh storyline Mr. Zsasz is turned into a Joker-like Zsasz and participates in a riot a Arkham Asylum where he attempts to kill Robin (Tim Drake).
Mr. Zsasz joins Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains. In Gotham Underground, he was paid to kill Matches Malone aka Bruce Wayne but failed.
In Batman War Drums, after murdering a man on a subway, Mr. Zsasz flees into the subway tunnels he had been living in. Batman and Robin (Stephanie Brown) pursue him in the tunnels where he claims another victim. Robin goes to follow him and is kidnapped, luckily with Batman not far behind. Batman and Zsasz fight, and Zsasz manages to gain to upper hand. An injured Robin comes to Batman's aide and attacks Zsasz with a potentially fatal move which she is later reprimanded by Batman for.
Streets of Gotham
Later, during Battle for the Cowl, Zsasz is one of the Arkham inmates forced to work for Black Mask. He becomes one of Black Mask's more trusted agents, and is given free reign to do as he wishes. Eventually, in Streets of Gotham, Zsasz rescues Black Mask from a fiery demise as thanks for previously freeing him from Arkham. Black Mask gives him a great deal of money to fulfill whatever his desires might be, and with it Mr. Zsasz starts up a gladiatorial arena in which children are forced to first fight each-other before facing off with Zsasz himself. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) go to investigate. Robin lets himself be captured without Batman's knowledge but finds that Zsasz is an incredibly difficult opponent, and is incapacitated quickly. Before Zsasz can deliver the killing blow, he is stopped by Abuse, who had been captured alongside Robin. After Robin recovers enough to fight again, he attacks Zsasz and finally overwhelms him to the point where Zsasz no longer sees him as a helpless victim. As per Abuse's wishes, though, Robin deals a less than lethal blow.
Zsasz is returned to prison with the knowledge that his brother Douglas has been murdered by someone called the White Knight. When the White Knight comes to Arkham, he passes by Zsasz's cell. Zsasz screams out of anger saying that nobody kills his family except him. The White Knight brushes off Zsasz's rant and makes his way to Dr. Phosphorous, the monster that killed his father. All the White Knight wanted was to purify everyone by having them to fly into the light like his father did. When the Dynamic Duo appear, the White Knight becomes so startled that he shoots a bolt of energy at Zsasz's cell. Zsasz grabs a piece of glass from the cell wall and holds it at White Knight's throat until Damian disarms him with a batarang.
Dick tells Damian to find the flowing source of the glowing white liquid and shut it off while he contends with the White Knight. Damian agrees to Dick's order but after Dick left to find the White Knight, Damian decides to unleash his own bloody retribution on Zsasz. Damian remembers what Zsasz did to those runaway children when he put them through a series of games to the death. Damian didn't kill Zsasz but he did cut him up to the point where Zsasz was begging for death. Afterwards, Damian psychologically toys with Zsasz by asking the rest of Arkham's inmates if they wanted a turn at cutting up Zsasz.
The Court of Owls
For more information see : A Court of Owls
While Batman investigates Dan Matthews, a guard at Arkham Asylum who maybe on the take, Dan in a desperate attempt to get away, opens several of the inmates cells. Zsasz is one of those inmates seen attacking the Batman before the Joker appears to come to Batman's aide and the pair work together to beat back the group of rampaging inmates.
Mr. Zsasz is one of many Batman villains injected with Venom/ Fear Toxin, that makes them fearless and super strong. He escapes Arkham but is brought down by Batgirl.
Mr. Zsasz has released a variation of the serum Talia Al Ghul has stolen that creates super soldier man-bats. It was released into the environment and became airborne. Mr. Zsasz kills his latest victim and breaths in the serum and transforms into a crazed man-bat. Batman and the man-bat Zsasz fall from a two story window where he crashes into the roof of a car. His condition is reversed and he is being taken back to Arkham Asylum. His is raving incessantly and he infers that the Emperor Penguin gave him the knife an the jar of blue stuff . The blue stuff was to be placed on the knife and sliced into the victim that would bring the new glorious death.
Zsasz is highly intelligent and highly skilled in both combat and tactics, making him trouble for the both police and the Batman.
He is highly unpredictable, killing people at random. He is a very capable killer, as proven in Detective Comics 815 where he kills four policemen and an Arkham psychologist without using any weapons except for a pen and four metal poles attached to a collar he is restrained with. In the same comic, he accurately throws a knife into the torso of a police officer from a distance. He is incredibly agile and has even been able to sneak up on Batman undetected on several occasions.
- Height: 5'8"
- Weight: 150
- Eyes: Blue, although he is sometimes drawn with white pupils against black scleras.
- Hair: Blonde, usually shaved
- Shoe Size: 12
- Weapon of Choice: Knives and hand-to-hand combat skills
- Unusual Characteristics: Zsasz is covered almost head to toe in the tally mark scars he uses to count his victims.
In the Elseworlds story Batman: Crimson Mist Mr. Zsasz is an inmate at Arkham Asylum. He is killed by the vampiric Batman along with the rest of Arkham's inmates.
In the alternate reality of Flashpoint, Zsasz is incarcerated in the same prison as Heat Wave. He tops Heat Wave's hit list.
Batman Begins (2005)
Mr. Zsasz makes a cameo appearance in the movie Batman Begins as a patient at Arkham Asylum. He is revealed to be a butcher for the mob by Rachel Dawes when Dr. Jonathan Crane is testifying for his transfer to Arkham in court. Some of his trademark scars can be seen on his body later on in the film when he and several other inmates are released from Arkham. He is played by Tim Booth.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Zsasz makes a small appearance in the animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham. In it, he is seen holding a woman captive until Batman quickly takes him down using his grapple gun and clever thinking.
Mr. Zsasz appears in the FOX show Gotham played by Anthony Carrigan. He appears as an enforcer for Carmine Falcone using a gun rather than a knife, though we see the first of his tally marks as he carves them into his arm. He is portrayed as anxious to show off his talent for killing tough is often restrained by Falcone's orders.
Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Mr. Zsasz appears as a villain in the video game Batman: Dark Tomorrow. Zsasz is fought as a boss at Arkham Asylum. He is one of the last bosses you fight and wields two knives.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Zsasz makes an appearance in the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum. Batman must face Mr. Zsasz twice in the actual storyline, both times subduing him before he can kill his chosen hostage. He is also seen in Scarecrow's last hallucination in which he escorts Batman into Arkham. Later on, in the hand-to-hand combat challenge mode, Zsasz appears as a character who must be fought along with some thugs.
Batman: Arkham City
Zsasz appears in the Arkham Asylum's sequel, Batman Arkham City, and has his own side quest in which Batman must foil his murder plots. As Batman travels around Arkham City, Zsasz will call nearby payphones. Batman must then run as fast as he can to a second pay phone, or Zsasz will kill his hostages. After saving enough hostages, Batman is able to trace the calls and uses stealth to take him out using stealth. In Joker's Amusement Mile, a severely cut-up corpse can be found leaning on a payphone. Scanning the corpse revels the answer to the riddle "Does Zsasz still pose a threat? this inmate called to find out."
The video game for the 2005 film Batman Begins features Mr.Zsasz, voiced by Tim Booth from the movie. He is shown being locked up by detective Flass to get information. He later must be found before he can hurt Rachel Dawes.
Lego Batman: The Videogame
Zsasz makes an appearance in Lego Batman: The Videogame as an exclusive character for the Nintendo DS system.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Zsasz appears in the second Lego Batman game as a mini boss and playable character on the Nintendo DC system.