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Names... they don't really matter, do they? Not now. Nothing matters now... except the mark.
~ Victor Zsasz.
Man needs no divine assistance. He makes himself! I chose to exterminate the zombies. I chose to kill. But I hurt myself, too -- to remind me that even I am only human!
Everything becomes clear now. When I'm counting. When I'm cutting. This is when everything comes into focus.
Victor Zsasz is a villain from the DC Universe, primarily appearing as an enemy of Batman. He is a deranged serial killer convinced that life is meaningless, and that by killing his victims he is in fact saving them from their meaningless existence. He tracks his number of kills by carving a tally mark into his flesh for each one, saving a special spot for Batman.
At the age of 25, Victor Zsaz was the CEO of an international company, amassing much personal wealth in addition to inheriting his family's fortune. His life took a turn for the worse when his parents died in a boating accident, sending him into a deep depression. Zsaz developed a gambling addiction, losing money in tournaments across the world, eventually losing everything he owned to the Penguin at Gotham City's Iceberg Lounge. Feeling that his life was now empty and meaningless, Zsaz went to Gotham Bridge to commit suicide, where he was attacked by a homeless man when he refused to give him money. Acting on instinct, Zsaz grabbed his attacker's knife and saw in the man's eyes that all life was meaningless, and that nothing or anyone mattered.
After stabbing the man as a "gift" for saving his life, Zsaz decided to "liberate" others of their meaningless existence. While he primarily targets young women, he has no qualms over who he murders, and often slits their throats before leaving them in lifelike poses. Diagnosed as insane, Zsaz has frequently been incarcerated at Arkham Asylum courtesy of Batman, but often breaks out in order to resume his killing spree.
Zsasz appears as a villain in the Arkhamverse video games, physically appearing in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. In Arkham Asylum, Zsasz is the first real villain that Batman will actually encounter after Joker escapes. He takes a Arkham Asylum guard hostage, threatening to murder him on an electric chair, and is taken down by Batman. Later, Zsasz is ordered to get doctor Penelope Young to give up her research notes and has to be taken down by Batman once more.
In Arkham City, Zsasz appears in one of the Side missions. He calls a random phone somewhere in Arkham City, waiting for Batman to pick up the phone. He then forces Batman to rush through Arkham City in order to find another ringing phone, threatening to murder a hostage if Batman does not hurry. After Batman manages to trac down Zsasz, he defeats Zsasz in his own headquarter and locks him up in one of his own cages.
Victor Zsasz made a very small appearance as a minor villain in the Live Action Movie; Batman Begins. In the movie he was referred as Victor Zsaz and was portrayed by Tim Booth.
Gotham's Assistant District Attorney, Rachel Dawes states that Zsasz butchers citizens for the mob and is one of Carmine Falcone's thugs. Dr. Jonathan Crane testified in court that Victor Zsasz, one of Falcone's assassins, was legally insane and should be moved to Arkham for rehabilitation.
Zsasz would later be released from Arkham, during Ra's Al Ghul and Scarecrow's reign of terror. While trying to escape, he and other escaped prisoners almost attacked Rachel and a young child. the two of them were rescued by Batman from Zsasz and the others. It was later confirmed that Zsasz is still at large.
Batman Telltale Series
In the Telltale video game, Zsasz appears as an inmate at Arkham Asylum. While Bruce is incarcerated there after brutally beating Oswald Cobblepot, he can witness Zsasz playing a board game with Arnold Wesker. John Doe later scratches Zsasz with a knife, creating a tally mark on his body before he has killed someone, driving him into a rage and causing him to attempt to kill another inmate and start a riot that would allow Bruce to use the phone. Depending on the player's choice, Zsasz will either succeed in killing the inmate or be stopped from doing so by Bruce.
When Lady Arkham later storms the asylum and frees all inmates, Zsasz is released as well. When Batman arrives and attacks Lady Arkham, he is briefly attacked by Zsasz. Zsasz is detained when Detective Gordon shoots him into the hand, disarming him, and then beaten up by both Batman and Gordon.
Zsasz makes a brief appearance during the intro of Injustice 2 during Bruce Wayne's interview about the fall of Superman. Batman and Robin (Damian Wayne) head to Arkham Asylum, where Zsasz is incarcerated, in order to stop Superman from executing all inmates after the death of Lois Lane. There, after Batman manages to best Superman in a fight, Damian appears in the room, holding a knife to the throat of Zsasz. Damian reveals that he believes in Superman's motives and violently asks Zsasz how many women he killed. Zsasz nervously answers that he killed 122 women thus far. Claiming that this sounds very irredeemable to him, Robin then cuts Zsasz's throat, killing him.
Prior Injustice 2 in the first game's prequel comic, Zsasz was the one who murdered Alfred Pennyworth, in the same time Damian Wayne becomes the new Nightwing (a present from Dick Grayson's ghost himself, the current Deadman and the previous Nightwing). However, the second game's prequel timeline eventually retcons the first game's comic timeline, with Alfred's fate remaining unknown.
Zsasz is a recurring antagonist in Gotham, appearing in all five seasons. In this version, he is a sadistic hitman initially working for Carmine Falcone, where he would carve tally marks into his skin for every kill.
Zsasz was appear in the 2020 film, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn), as the secondary antagonist and responsible for the death of Helena's family.
He was portrayed by Chris Messina.
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 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.
You may have heard that I have being providing salvation for mindless drones lucky enough to answer my calls. From were I'm standing I can see three little pigs just being for me to cure them of life. From their prospective I imagine that they see things differently.
~ Zsasz in Batman: Arkham City.
Don't be that way. Alive is a very broad category. A man with out hands can still be alive.
~ Victor Zsasz in the show Gotham.
How many women have you killed. Hundred and twenty one.
~ Damian Wayne and Zsasz in Injustice 2.
I don't need to know you, Miss Cassidy. Everything is meaningless. You're no doubt read my file. And none of it matters. Because the only thing that matters is the mark. Have you seen my work Miss Cassidy?
~ Victor Zsasz interview tape in Batman Arkham Asylum.