Dex: 6 Str: 4 Body: 5
Int: 9 Will: 8 Mind: 5
Infl: 8 Aura: 7 Spirit: 6
Initiative: 27 Hero Points: 50
Martial Artist: 5
Advantages: Connection: Arkham Asylum (Low; High at one point); Lightning Reflexes; Scholar (psychology)
Drawbacks: Catastrophic Irrational attraction to keeping a count of his kills via carving tally marks into his skin; Catastrophic Psychological Instability
Alter Ego: Victor Zsasz
Occupation: Serial Killer
Knife [Body: 5, EV: 3]
Source: original write-up
Foe of: Batman
Ed's Notes: Zsasz is a frustrating yet intriguing character that I've been looking for a write-up for a LONG time now. So I figured I'd take a stab it him myself. One of the problems with him is that like most Batman villains, he's defined by his eccentricities rather than his Skills or Powers. He's more or less just a serial killer. Dangerous, yes, especially with a knife, but more so against ordinary people that against, say... Batman. Batman's main issue is figuring out where he will strike next as opposed to actually overpowering him. (Which... is the case with MOST Batman Villains.) That's FINE, but it doesn't always make for the most interesting write-ups. I mostly tried to keep him in the same class as Joker, Riddle, Two-Face and Scarecrow, while not putting him quite at the top in any category.
Another frustrating thing about the Character was his "origin story." I HAVE his first appearance. I had just gotten into comics at the time, and Shadow of the Bat had just started up (coinciding with the release of the Batman Returns film.) And I'm reading SotB #1 and they're treating Zsasz like he was a long established character. There were expositional flash backs about his long history of killing, and his MO's: not only of carving the tally of his kills into his skin but of leaving his victims arranged in life-like poses, such as seated around a table eating dinner or relaxing in front of the television. And somehow, he had attracted the interest of the Head Doctor at Arkham who tried to use him in a Hannibal Lecter-like capacity, consulting on other patients and also on the Batman. And it ends up that Zsasz was the one manipulating him the entire time. It was a GOOD story, but I always wanted to see Zsasz IN ACTION! I wanted to SEE all the stuff they were alluding to in the story! AND IT NEVER HAPPENED! He was assumed to be an established villains IN HIS FIRST APPEARANCE! So disappointing.
In more recent appearances, his seems to have gotten more violent... well, not MORE violent, but more like EXCLUSIVELY violent, at the expense of his more intelligent, manipulative style - much as they've done with Bane as well. In any case, this is my first, hot-take. I'm definitely open to suggestions and feedback to improve it.
|First Appearance: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (June, 1992)|