Batman Arkham: Victor Zsasz

batman arkham victor zsasz cover review
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10

Nice range of issues

Zsasz isn't a very compelling Batman villain

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman:  Shadow of the Bat/Batman Chronicles/Batman:  Batgirl/Detective Comics (Volume 1)/Batman:  Streets of Gotham/Detective Comics (Volume 2)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Alan Grant/Kelly Puckett/Shane McCarthy/Paul Dini/John Layman

Artist:  Norman Breyfogle/Jennifer Graves/Jim Balent/Cliff Chiang/Dustin Nguyen/Henrik Jonsson/Roger Robinson

# of Issues:  11

Release Date:  2020

batman shadow of the bat #1 cover 1st victor zsasz

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1

Reprints Batman:  Shadow of the Bat #1-4, Batman Chronicles #3, Batman:  Batgirl #1, Detective Comics (1) #815-816, Batman:  Streets of Gotham #10-11, and Detective Comics (2) #18 (June 1992-May 2013).  Victor Zsasz is killer.  Raised a privileged youth but an accident broke him.  Left penniless, Zsasz took up a new interest…and a knife.  Zsasz now is one of Gotham’s biggest killer, and the only thing standing between him and an increasing body count is Batman and his allies.  Zsasz is on a rampage, and Batman must stop him!

Written by Alan Grant, Kelly Pucket, Shane McCarthy, Paul Dini, and John Layman, Batman Arkham:  Victor Zsasz is a DC Comics superhero comic book collection.  Featuring art by Norman Breyfogle, Jennifer Graves, Jim Balent, Cliff Chiang, Dustin Nguyen, Henrik Johnsson, and Roger Robinson, the collection is part of the Batman Arkham series featuring collections about Batman’s biggest enemies and villains.  The story also contains an unpublished story called “Draining” by Devin Grayson and Roger Robinson.

Victor Zsasz is a rather bland Batman villain and a villain of a much darker turn in Batman.  While characters like Penguin and Riddler often dress up in outlandish costumes and have gimmicky crime techniques, Zsasz is a straight killer…Zsasz is a maniac.

The story starts at the beginning where Zsasz almost appears as a mini-supporting character.  He is introduced in a way that is almost like we are supposed to know the character and it is a rather unspectacular introduction in that way.  Zsasz continues to pop-up off and on following “The Last Arkham”, but he never feels like a fully developed character…and this collection doesn’t change him much.

detective comics #816 cover batman victor zsasz

Detective Comics (1) #816

The character is written kind of strange in that he comes off as a sociopath, but he’s also presented as a guy who has lost everything and then lost his mind…which doesn’t necessarily mesh well.  Joker has the crazy locked up in Gotham, and Zsasz is just a killer. It is a bit lazy in that sense.  It might be necessary to have a villain with no motive, but it feels a bit more like a generic foil that can be thrown in stories.

It would be interesting to get Zsasz out of Gotham.  Here, you see only interactions with the Batman Family, but a Victor Zsasz story that has someone like Green Arrow or Vigilante or someone who is a scrapper fighting him would be a change of pace.  That doesn’t fit the format of this collection, but it would also be hard to have a logical reason for Zsasz to get out of Gotham…but maybe have the “heroes” come to him.

Batman Arkham:  Victor Zsasz is a rather weak collection, but it isn’t because of the stories involved.  If you have to tell the story of Zsasz, these are probably decent choices…but Zsasz’s story isn’t that compelling and maybe doesn’t need to be collected.  Zsasz is fine as a back-up character, a supporting henchman, or an issue-to-issue foil, but he definitely isn’t Batman top tier.  If you read this collection, you will probably find that as well.

Related Links:

Batman:  The Last Arkham

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response