Boo! Since we’re getting closer and closer to Halloween it feels like it’s time to look into some of the scarier characters comics have to offer. How about Victor Zsasz? A serial killer who is either locked up or a threat to all the people of Gotham or whatever poor city he is in. How did he come to be? What is his modus operandi? What’s with the tally marks? Let’s find out!
Victor Zsasz came from a rich family and had also made a fortune on his own by his early twenties. Sadly, when Victor was 25, his parents would die in an accident sending Victor spiraling into despair. He would lose his fortune and attempt suicide, but during the attempt a homeless man would try and rob him at knife point. This would change Victor forever, taking the knife and fighting with the homeless man, Victor would kill the man. Realizing this was the feeling he was looking for since losing his parents, he made a new commitment, seek this feeling out for the rest of his life. He would mark each kill with a tally mark cut into his skin.
Seeing his victims as zombies, Victor finds himself freeing them as much as he is himself. By the time he is incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, he has well over 143 tally marks scarred into him. While his segment of the Asylum was being built, Victor was somehow able to bribe the contractor to build him an escape hatch. At night, when he was no longer restrained, Victor would sneak out to continue his murders.
Eventually, he’d be caught by Batman after a plan of having Batman incarcerated within the Asylum as well. Zsasz would continue to be a deadly thorn in Gotham’s side as whenever he could escape, he would be a grand threat. When Bane breaks out many of Arkham’s inmates, Zsasz wastes no time and holds an entire boarding school hostage until Batman can stop him, two officers died in the process.
Zsasz is deadly with or without a weapon. When he was restrained in Dr. Leslie Thompkins’s field hospital during Gotham’s time as a No Man’s Land, he was able to severely injure a medic with just his fingernails. His deadliness was still no match for Stephanie Brown, who during her short time as Robin, was able to stop him from killing her and Batman.
Zsasz would often pick high level targets of celebrity or those adjacent, he even stabbed Alfred Pennyworth during an event Bruce Wayne was attending. Wherever there is a chance for murder, Zsasz would team up with other villains.
Sometimes, Zsasz is more terrifying when he goes beyond his normal path to killing. Realizing he could create more wide-scale death, Zsasz would use others to make a child fighting ring, where kids would fight to the death in an arena and then fight him. Damian Wayne, as Robin, would fight Zsasz, nearly killing him.
In the New 52, has fought Batgirl while he was on Venom, the drug Bane uses to enhance his physical abilities. He would be used to help spread the Man-Bat serum in a plot to infect all of Gotham.
There you have it! The thing that makes Zsasz so scary is that he isn’t so much a comic book villain as he is someone you could read about on the news. A terrifying figure who cares not for human life and only seeks to indulge in his own sick pleasures. The scars adorning his body are less a costume and again feel all too real an idea some serial killer could actually employ. What scary character will we get into next time? Who knows! See you then!
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