- "I got one for all the little birds I helped fly away from this world. I'm saving a special spot for you. Right here."
- ―Victor Zsasz taunting Harley Quinn and telling her about his scars[src]
Victor Zsasz was a serial killer who would mark himself with a scar for every person he killed. He worked under Black Mask as his right hand and one of his main enforcers.
Serving Black Mask
The Bertinelli massacre
As part of his duties, he participated in the Bertinelli massacre. This was the slaughter of almost the entire Bertinelli crime family to consolidate the power of Black Mask's criminal organization in Gotham City. Though the assault was successful, it would ultimately prove Zsasz's undoing, as one member of the family, the young daughter Helena Bertinelli, was spared.
More nefarious activitiesRoman Sionis, continuing to consolidate his power, many years later demanded that Mr. Keo of the crime family the Golden Lions join his organization with the Black Mask gang. When Mr. Keo declined, he captured him, his wife and daughter, and chained them up. On Sionis’ orders, Zsasz cut off Mr. Keo’s face, after which he slit Mrs. Keo’s throat, referring to it as “setting her free.” Though Sionis initially considered sparing the daughter, her blowing a snot bubble while crying disgusted him so much that he had Zsasz peel her face off as well.
Between the meeting with Mr. Keo and the murder of him and his family, Sionis and Zsasz watched from Sionis’ penthouse as Dinah Lance rescued an intoxicated Harley Quinn from being kidnapped. Sionis sent Zsasz downstairs to tell Lance that she would be his new driver, as Harley Quinn had disabled his previous driver the night before. Though Lance initially turned down the job offer, Zsasz didn’t give her an option.
The next day, Dinah Lance arrived late to pick Roman Sionis up for his planned murder of the Keo family. When she arrived, Zsasz was in the process of updating Sionis on the news of the day, and suggested that Sionis tell her to come back later because she was late. When Sionis refused and his attention was diverted towards showing off to Lance, Zsasz made a grab to regain his attention by dropping the news that Harley Quinn had blown up Ace Chemicals, publicly declaring her break up with the Joker. His attempt was successful, and Sionis told him to send the boys to capture her, as he had a longstanding vendetta against her.
Zsasz then went with Dinah Lance to secure the Bertinelli Diamond, a valuable diamond that was the key to unlocking the fortune of the Bertinelli crime family, for Sionis from the Gotham City Imports Office. Lance successfully secured the diamond, which Zsasz insisted on taking from her possession though Sionis had given the task to Lance. It was snatched from him by Cassandra Cain, a local thief and pick-pocket about Gotham City. By the time he realized what had happened, it was too late, as she had already been picked up by a squad car of the Gotham City Police Department and taken to jail.
Upon returning to Roman Sionis’ penthouse, Zsasz prevented Lance from telling their employer that the diamond had been stolen from them, insisting instead that they had never gotten their hands on it before it was stolen. When Sionis threw a tantrum about the missing diamond, Zsasz was able to calm him down. He suggested they blow off steam by killing Harley Quinn, who had been brought in downstairs.
Making a Deal With Harley Quinn
Zsasz brought Sionis down to where Quinn was be held. Sionis intended for Zsasz to dole out the same punishment he had given to the Keo family. However, when Quinn heard Sionis ranting about the loss of the diamond, she offered her services to him as a finder of lost things. Sionis took her up on her offer, while simultaneously having Zsasz send out a bounty for Cassandra Cain to every mercenary in Gotham. Quinn tracked down and freed Cain, deciding to go into hiding with her until she could pass the diamond she swallowed through her sistem instead of handing Cain over to Sionis to be killed. When Zsasz informed Sionis that Quinn and Cain had disappeared, he diverted Sionis’s anger away from him by encouraging him to take his frustration out on Erika, an innocent bystander. When Harley Quinn did finally agree to set up a meeting at the Booby Trap, Sionis ordered Zsasz to go there, with Lance as his driver. Along the way, Zsasz discovered that Lance had betrayed them informed Sionis of the betrayal.
Zsasz arrived at the Booby Trap, where he temporarily paralysed Harley Quinn with a poisoned dart. He taunted Quinn while she was unable to move, stating that he had been waiting a long time to kill her and showing her where on his chest he would cut a mark after she was dead. Upon discovering that Cassandra Cain had swallowed the diamond, Zsasz held a gun to Dinah Lance’s head and told her to cut Cain open. He confronted her on being a rat, stating that he never trusted her and that rats like her were why Roman Sionis needed Zsasz to take care of him. His plan to kill Dinah Lance, Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain was thwarted by the surprise arrival of Helena Bertinelli, now going by the alias "Huntress." She shot him with her specialized crossbow pistol, Lance dug the bolt into his neck until he collapsed, and Harley then tranqed him over and over until he died. His death avenged the Bertinelli Family as the last remaining individual that was part of the group that had slaughtered her family.
Victor Zsasz is a psychopath and a sadist, who takes pleasure from exerting power over others and “freeing” people from life. He enjoys watching fear and suffering in his victims as much the act of killing them, though the methodology of removing faces may be for Roman Sionis’s enjoyment rather than his own, as the main take away from killing for Victor Zsasz isn’t physical trophies (to which the cuts on his skin for each victim serve the purpose) but rather the ending of their lives itself. He gets close to his victims, invading their personal space and body autonomy because he relishes their fear, and their knowledge that he is in a position of power over them.
Victor’s main driving force in the comics is chaotic nihilism, and this seems to be reflected here his general disregard for anyone other than Roman Sionis. He’s shown encouraging Sionis to torment innocent people and potential allies alike. Victor had no qualms murdering children, as seen when he was involved in the murder Helena Bertinelli's family, and was willing to cut Cassandra Cain open to receive the diamond. He has an obsessive fixation on being the sole person on whom Sionis can rely, and relishes watching him lean into criminal and unethical behavior. He is immensely jealous and annoyed when anyone else has Sionis’ attention and confidence, leading him to act in a petty and sometimes rash manner to reinstate his position.
Zsasz works directly with Roman Sionis, and serves not only the function of bodyguard and hitman but also performs the tasks of a personal assistant. He is ever-present as a physical threat behind Sionis’ words, but he also manages some degree of his staff and informs him of the goings-on of his employees and the general criminal activities of Gotham. He appears to have Sionis’ full confidence and trust, as Zsasz has shown that he is intimately familiar with Sionis’ tantrums and how to bring him down from a manic episode. He relishes in Sionis’s turns of violence and enjoys that Sionis lets him torture and kill whoever he pleases. However, Zsasz is not above lying to Sionis or deceiving him to make him more infuriated, such as when he told Sionis that the woman in the booth was laughing at him as a way to divert his rage onto an external target. While Zsasz is not book smart, shown struggling with advanced vocabulary, he is a competent manipulator who is constantly observing the situation around him and trying to lead it in a direction that best suits his and Roman Sionis’ needs.
- Knife mastery: Zsasz is extremely proficient with knives and has a lot of experience with skinning and cutting people.
- Expert marksman: Zsasz shot Harley with a tranq dart before she could react from across the room. He was also capable of spraying down a family with a machine gun and seems to be adept with other types of firearms.
- Expert torturer: Zsasz is an expert interrogator and takes deep pleasure in the torture and murder of his victims.
- Stealth: Zsasz was capable of sneaking up on Harley and subduing her before she could react.
- Hunting knife: Zsasz uses this knife as his preferred weapon, using it to torture Black Mask's enemies.
- Curved folding knife: Zsasz used Black Mask's knife when he was about to torture Harley Quinn.
- Tranquilizer dart gun: Zsasz shot Harley with a tranq dart from this gun, temporarily subduing her.
- Handgun: Zsasz used this handgun during a confrontation with Dinah.
- Sub-machine gun: Zsaz used a sub-machine gun when killing the Bertinelli crime family.
- Bertinelli diamond: A diamond that unlocks the fortune of the Bertinelli crime family. He briefly secured it for the Black Mask, but it was quickly stolen by Cassandra Cain.
- His character first appeared in the comic Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1, part of a storyline called Batman: The Last Arkham in 1992.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hodson, Christina (writer) & Yan, Cathy (director) (February 7, 2020). Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
- ↑ Schedeen, Jesse (March 26, 2019). Birds of Prey Movie's Victor Zsasz Explained: Who Is the Twisted Batman Villain?. IGN. Retrieved on January 26, 2020.