Professor Pyg

Professor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman.

Michael Cerveris portrayed the character in the fourth season of Gotham.

Professor Pyg
Professor Pyg
Professor Pyg as he appears on the cover of Batman #62 (January 2019)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #666 (July 2007)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoLazlo Valentin
Team affiliations
Abilities

Publication history

Created by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, Professor Pyg was introduced in Batman #666 (July 2007).[1] Morrison describes the character as "one of the weirdest, most insane characters that's ever been in Batman. We hear a lot about Batman facing crazy villains but we tried to make this guy seem genuinely disturbed and disconnected".[2]

Grant Morrison's main inspirations for the character came from the song "Pygmalism", written by Momus for Kahimi Karie. Both the song and character are references to the play Pygmalion, reflected in the character's desire to transform people into an idealized state.[3]

Fictional character biography

Batman (Dick Grayson) first learns about Professor Pyg when he captures his minion Mister Toad.[4] Professor Pyg proclaims the "Year of the Pig", and he and his Circus of Strange appear in Gotham City as part of the plan by Simon Hurt. Professor Pyg starts a campaign to make people "perfect", and his minions capture Robin (Damian Wayne).[5]

Professor Pyg attempts to release an addictive identity-destroying drug in the form of a virus, using his Dollotrons — genderless lobotomized humans with special masks fused into their faces. He previously sold the drug to gangs, who used it to control prostitutes. Professor Pyg also plans to convert Robin into another Dollotron. He is foiled by Batman, who obtains Professor Pyg's location from Pyg's captured henchman Phosphorus Rex. Batman arrives at Professor Pyg's disused amusement park hideout (previously used by Joker in The Killing Joke) after Robin escapes from Professor Pyg's clutches. Together, they succeed in subduing Professor Pyg and his Circus of Strange, and they capture most of the Dollotrons.

Professor Pyg is arrested and taken to Blackgate Penitentiary. He is later freed by Simon Hurt's enforcers, the 99 Fiends Gang. A major part of the plan by Simon Hurt and the Black Glove, Pyg wreaks havoc across Gotham with his viral infection. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are captured by the 99 Fiends Gang, and a giant army of Dollotrons appears. Batman breaks free, but Professor Pyg plans to convert Gordon at a "party" held in Crime Alley. The plan is foiled by Batman and the Joker (who has captured Robin); Joker is revealed to be Dr. Simon Hurt's adversary. The Black Glove was terminated with the Joker's laughing gas. Professor Pyg and Simon Hurt are nearly captured by Batman, but they subdue him using the drugged Gordon.

Robin is freed by the Joker as a part of a plan to stop Dr. Simon Hurt. Robin assaults Professor Pyg's van and liberates Gordon, but he is captured by the 99 Fiends Gang. Professor Pyg leaves Hurt and his 99 Fiends to pursue his own agenda in the city. Simon Hurt impersonates Thomas Wayne, and he nearly defeats Batman and Robin until Bruce Wayne arrives as the original Batman. Wayne remains to fight Simon Hurt, and he sends Robin and Grayson after Professor Pyg.

Professor Pyg is at the center of the virus infection zone, surrounded by Dollotrons and numerous addicts. He is using a device that he claims will bring the addicts "salvation"; the device is a mobile Dollotron converter. Grayson and Robin defeat Professor Pyg, luring him out of the crowd by tricking him with his "mother". He is taken to Arkham Asylum.

A new villain named Son of Pyg briefly appears as an agent of the Leviathan organization. He is defeated by Batgirl during a plot to turn a group of teen mercenaries-in-training into agents of Leviathan.[6] His real name is revealed to be Janosz Valentin a.k.a. "Johnny Valentine".[7]

Otto Netz, also known as Doctor Daedulus, later revealed to Batman (the returned Bruce Wayne) that Lazlo Valentin was a former agent of his spy organization Spyral who went insane after being exposed to a mind-eroding chemical agent of his own design.[6]

The pre-Flashpoint Professor Pyg appears in the Convergence limited series where a group of pre-Flashpoint Batman villains, including the Riddler and Professor Pyg, attempt to confront Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the modern-reimagined Earth-Two (who is commonly mistaken for the deceased Flashpoint Batman due to a similar costume). These villains, seeing him as simply an obstacle, attack en masse. This version of Pyg is eventually slain when Thomas Wayne blows himself up as a delaying tactic.[8]

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Professor Pyg is reintroduced as part of a group of Arkham Asylum inmates who attempt to escape from the facility during a riot, but are stopped by Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Grayson.[9] Later, during the war with the Leviathan organization, through investigation, Batman discovers that Professor Pyg's "Mother of Nails" is actually Talia al Ghul.[10]

During the Forever Evil storyline, when the Crime Syndicate arrives from another universe to take over the world, Earth is plunged into chaos, and Gotham City is divided by its criminals in Batman's absence. In the middle of the mess, Professor Pyg uses the Gotham Memorial Hospital as his hideout during the division. Pyg, with his Dollotron army, sedated unknowing pedestrians and unnecessarily operated on them. Pyg's reign, however, is short-lived because the Scarecrow approaches Professor Pyg at the hospital to see if he will give his supplies and Dollotrons to the Scarecrow's followers. Bane later approaches Professor Pyg and forces him to join his cause.[11]

DC Rebirth

In this relaunched universe, Pyg's white van was followed by the Birds of Prey and he was stopped from making Dollotrons. He was found to have come down with the same sickness affecting the rest of the males in Gotham, eventually tracked to the "Daughters of Gotham" cult. [12]

In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Professor Pyg is among the supervillains that attend the underground meeting held by Riddler that talks about the Supermen Theory.[13]

Dollotrons

The Dollotrons are Professor Pyg's army of robotic mind-controlled people. They wear doll-like dresses and have doll masks permanently attached to their original faces. The masks cannot be removed surgically. The process of creating them is not described in detail, but it is implied it involves brain surgery, genital mutilation, and mind-altering drugs.

They number in the hundreds, and can appear suddenly when Pyg is around.

A prominent Dollotron is Scarlet, the daughter of one of Pyg's Russian victims. Pyg was prevented from completing her transformation and she remains sane. She later joins Red Hood as his sidekick. Her mask eventually wears off by itself, but there may be lasting damage.

Other versions

In a possible future depicted in the story Batman in Bethlehem, Professor Pyg and some members of the Circus of Strange have become crime bosses in Gotham City. He is found dead by the police without his mask, crucified upside down in a church. A special Dollotron is also seen, an improvement on the older models.[1]

In other media

Television

  • Professor Pyg has a cameo appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In the episode "The Knights of Tomorrow!", he is seen fighting Batman and Robin along with Mr. Toad, Flamingo and King Kraken.
  • Professor Pyg appears as a recurring villain in Beware the Batman, voiced by Brian George.[14][15] The character's violence was toned down by series' creators, though Pyg is still shown using surgical tools as weapons.[16] Professor Pyg and Mister Toad are depicted in the series as eco-terrorists who hunt and commit crimes against those who they find guilty of hurting animals and endangering their habitats. Pyg is also depicted as exceptionally strong, even showing the ability to pick Batman up above his head and throw him. Pyg is shown to be a mad doctor, performing experiments in which humans are transformed into animals.
  • Professor Pyg appears in the live-action series Gotham, portrayed by Michael Cerveris.[17] According to executive producer Bryan Wynbrandt, "Pyg is going to be a big part of the season. That's kind of our big villain of the first half".[18] Michael Cerveris elucidated that Pyg's Dollotrons are unlikely to appear in Season 4: "You know how much he's liked the Pyg in the comics, but I would say that his focus is more on things to do with the city and with Jim Gordan [sic]. His whole reason for existing is not the Dollotrons. It's possible that the Dollotrons are a later part of his life. That doesn't mean that they just decided to get rid of it".[19] This version of the character was introduced in the fourth season episode "Hog Day Afternoon" as a serial killer who targets corrupt cops and dresses them with the heads of pigs. When he and detective Jim Gordon finally meet, he states that he is targeting all dirty cops on Oswald Cobblepot's payroll and that he suffered profound loss at the hands of the "greedy pigs" in power. In "A Dark Knight: Let Them Eat Pie", Professor Pyg posed as a rabbi and killed some homeless people in Squatter's Row to harvest their organs. With assistance from some hired help posing as waiters, Professor Pyg posed as a chef and infiltrated a charity event at Falcone Home and School for Orphans in order to make Oswald Cobblepot, Sofia Falcone, and those present eat the meat pies filled with the homeless people's organs. Gordon managed to defeat Professor Pyg who is then arrested by the police. Pyg, while incarcerated, is found to have altered his face with metal rods to hide his true identity as that of Lazlo Valentin (pronounced "Valentine"), an escaped murderer from down south. After Gordon discovers this they arrive at Arkham to find Valentin had already escaped. During Gordon's investigation, Valentin reveals to him that he is actually a mentally stable contract killer who was part of an elaborate conspiracy orchestrated by Sofia Falcone to overthrow the Penguin's criminal empire. "Professor Pyg" was merely a disingenuous persona that Valentin used in order to falsely appear to be an unrelated rising supervillain. As Gordon threatened to send him to Blackgate Penitentiary, Valentin is ultimately shot by Sofia Falcone, who blackmails a confrontational Gordon to stay silent. This caused Gordon to take the credit of taking down Professor Pyg.

Film

Professor Pyg appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by James Urbaniak. He first appears in his lair trying to operate on Two-Face by making scarred on both sides and purging Harvey Dent's persona completely. The operation is crashed by Scandal Savage and Knockout who arrive to capture Pyg for "a patient in need of medical attention". He is later tied up in a chair in the two women's apartment until he is caught up in the fight between them and the Suicide Squad. Right after Vandal Savage arrives to collect the "Get Out of Hell Free" card the Suicide Squad was sent for, Pyg is taken by Savage's men as Savage has Pyg to surgically implant the "Get Out of Hell Free" card into the immortal's chest cavity. Once the operation is successful, Savage kills him when he is no longer needed. Pyg's corpse is later found tied up in a chair as a warning for the Suicide Squad.

Video games

  • Professor Pyg makes his video game debut in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Dwight Schultz.[15] This version is portrayed as a serial killer who kidnaps people across the country under his front "The Circus of Strange", where he brings them back to Gotham and turns them to what he calls "Dollotrons". Any failed attempt to turn victims to Dollotrons are left behind mutilated as what Pyg calls his failed "flawed" experiments (in which rejected victims have distinctive features: shark bite, six fingers on one hand, etc.), left in full display on rooftops and always accompanied by opera music. In his audio files, Pyg can be heard introducing the acts of his circus and later is heard recording diary-like audio logs for his son Janosz in which he talks about his work with the Dollotrons and how he had to kill Janosz's biological mother after she became imperfect. In the "Perfect Crime" side quest Batman tracks him down by investigating the corpses left behind. Batman later tracks him down at the Pretty Doll Parlor at Ryker Heights. After a fight against Professor Pyg and his group of Dollotrons, Batman takes him down while breaking his pig mask and rescues the captive civilians. Batman then brings Professor Pyg to the Gotham City Police Department to be locked up with the other villains.[20]
  • Professor Pyg has a cameo appearance in Injustice 2. He is seen during Red Hood's ending being stopped from attacking Scarlet with a meat cleaver.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Batman #666
  2. ^ http://au.comics.ign.com/articles/986/986031p2.html
  3. ^ http://www.newsarama.com/comics/060904-Grant-Batman.html
  4. ^ Batman and Robin #1
  5. ^ Batman and Robin #2 (September 2009)
  6. ^ a b Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1
  7. ^ Batman Incorporated #4
  8. ^ Convergence #3
  9. ^ Batman (Vol. 2) #1
  10. ^ Batman Incorporated (Vol. 2) #2-3
  11. ^ Forever Evil: Arkham War #1
  12. ^ Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15
  13. ^ Doomsday Clock #6 (July 2018). DC Comics.
  14. ^ Zalben, Alex. "'Beware The Batman' Trailer Shows Off The Menace Of Professor Pyg". Animation, Comic Books, DC Comics. MTV. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  15. ^ a b "The Voices of Professor Pyg". Behind The Voice Actors.
  16. ^ SDCC 2012: DC Nation – Beware The Batman – Mitch Watson & Glen Murakami Interview
  17. ^ "Gotham Season 4 Will Introduce Professor Pyg". Screen Rant. July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  18. ^ Charlie Ridgely (October 6, 2017). "Exclusive: 'Gotham' EP Reveals Every Villain Appearing in Season 4". Comic Book. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  19. ^ Charlie Ridgely (October 31, 2017). "'Gotham's Michael Cerveris Explains How His Professor Pyg Is Different Than the Comics". Comic Book. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  20. ^ "Batman: Arkham Knight - The Perfect Crime Victim Locations and Guide". Shack News. June 25, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2017.

External links

A Day in the Narrows

"A Day in the Narrows" is the seventh episode of the fourth season and 73rd episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by co-executive producer Peter Blake and directed by John Behring. It was first broadcast on November 2, 2017.

In the episode, Gordon and Bullock go after Professor Pyg after he kidnaps three police officers. They manage to locate two but one of them dies. They then discover a third one is being held hostage by Pyg in a courthouse. However, Gordon is certain it's a trap but his advice falls into deaf ears as Cobblepot wants to gain popularity by leading the raid. Meanwhile, Bruce finds himself with former classmates and experiences a severe maturity change. Also, Selina and Tabitha set to find money from a biker gang.

The episode received generally positive reviews with critics praising Bruce's character development but the rest of the subplots as well as the pace were criticized.

Beware the Batman

Beware the Batman is an American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on July 13, 2013, as part of their DC Nation block, replacing Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. The series ran on Cartoon Network until it was pulled from the schedule four months after its premiere, without official explanation. After the series was put on hiatus, the remaining episodes of the season began to air on Adult Swim's Toonami block, from July 27 to September 28, 2014.

Cell Block Tango

"Cell Block Tango" is a song from the 1975 musical Chicago, with music composed by John Kander and lyrics written by Fred Ebb.

Circus of Strange

Circus of Strange is a criminal group in DC Comics.

Gotham (season 4)

The fourth season of the American television series Gotham, based on characters from DC Comics related to the Batman franchise, revolves around the characters of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne. The season is produced by Primrose Hill Productions, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Television, with Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens serving as executive producers. The season was inspired and adapted elements from the comic book storylines of Batman: Year One, Batman: The Long Halloween, and Batman: No Man's Land. The subtitle for the season is A Dark Knight.

The season was ordered in May 2017, and production began the following month. Ben McKenzie stars as Gordon, alongside Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas, Chris Chalk, Drew Powell, Crystal Reed and Alexander Siddig. The fourth season premiered on September 21, 2017, on Fox, while the second half premiered on March 1, 2018. The season concluded on May 17, 2018.

The season received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who cited the character development, writing and action sequences as highlights of the season, with some calling it the best season yet. The premiere was watched by 3.21 million viewers with a 1.0 in the 18–49 demo, which was a 17% decline from the previous season premiere but on par with last season's average. Despite remaining with consistent ratings throughout the first half of the season, the second half experienced new series lows in the spring and being in danger of cancellation. Despite the ratings drop, Fox renewed the show for a fifth and final season on May 13, 2018.

Hog Day Afternoon (Gotham)

"Hog Day Afternoon" is the sixth episode of the fourth season and 72nd episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by Kim Newton and directed by Mark Tonderai. It was first broadcast on October 26, 2017.

The episode revolves around Gordon and Bullock tracing to a serial killer who has been targeting corrupt police officers. The killer, also known as "Professor", has been targeting the officers and put pig masks on their heads. Gordon confronts the killer and discovers more information regarding Bullock. Meanwhile, Nygma uses Butch for personal gain in the fight club to win money. He also tries to get Lee to help him deal with his problems but he also finds more about her. Also, Cobblepot begins following Sofia as it seems she's hiding something. The episode also marks the live-action debut of Professor Pyg.

The episode received positive reviews from critics, who praised Michael Cerveris' performance as Professor Pyg as well as Nygma's storyline, but Cobblepot's subplot received criticism.

James Gordon (Gotham)

James Gordon is a fictional character that appears in the Warner Bros. TV/DC Comics TV Series Gotham. He is portrayed by Ben McKenzie. He is based on the character of the same name created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, that debuted in the first panel of Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).

Let Them Eat Pie

"Let Them Eat Pie" is the ninth episode of the fourth season and 75th episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by consulting producer Iturri Sosa on his writing debut and directed by Nathan Hope. It was first broadcast on November 16, 2017.

In the episode, the newly appointed GCPD Captain Gordon and the task force continue the manhunt for Professor Pyg, who has now killed homeless people and served them as "meat pies" he plans to use at Sofia's fundraising event. Cobblepot begins to doubt Sofia's true intentions and is paranoid after finding Gordon as the new Captain. Also, Alfred gets angered at Bruce's new behavior.

The episode received positive reviews from critics, who praised Cerveris' performance, Bruce's character development as well as Gordon and Pyg's fight.

Leviathan (DC Comics)

Leviathan is a fictional criminal organization in DC Comics, later revealed to be a schism of the League of Assassins under the leadership of Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul.

List of Batman enemies in other media

Various villains of the American comic book superhero Batman have been created over the years for media adaptations that previously did not exist in the comics. This is a list of such villains, and original villains that share the same moniker as characters from the comic books are noted.

List of Beware the Batman characters

The following is a list of characters that have appeared in the television series Beware the Batman.

List of Gotham characters

Gotham is an American crime television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on characters appearing in and published by DC Comics in their Batman franchise, primarily those of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne. The series premiered in the United States on September 22, 2014 on Fox television network. The series stars Ben McKenzie as the young Gordon while Heller executive produces along with Danny Cannon, who also directed the pilot.

As originally conceived, the series would have served as a straightforward story of Gordon's early days on the Gotham City Police Department, but the idea evolved, not only to include the Wayne's "transformation" into Batman, but also to explore the origin stories of several of his villains, such as Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman and several others.

The following is a list of characters who have appeared in the television series. In addition to directly adapted characters from DC Comics, many other characters in the series are based on, inspired by and/or otherwise reference preexisting characters without sharing the exact same identities.

Mister Toad (comics)

Mister Toad is a fictional character in DC Comics. His appearance is a homage to the character Mr. Toad in the novel The Wind in the Willows.

Phosphorus Rex

Phosphorus Rex is a supervillain in DC Comics.

Queen Takes Knight

"Queen Takes Knight" is the eleventh episode and midseason finale of the fourth season and 77th episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by executive producer John Stephens and directed by Danny Cannon. It was first broadcast on December 7, 2017.

In the episode, the gang war between Cobblepot and Sofia Falcone is intensifying. Carmine Falcone's arrival to the city jeopardizes Sofia's plans to seize control of the city, and Gordon is set to end both conflicts.Meanwhile, Bruce's recent behavior and his new attitude bring a new conflict with Alfred, which ends in tragedy.

The episode received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised Falcone's fate, Crystal Reed's performance in the episode and Monaghan's return to the show for the winter finale.

Simon Hurt

Dr. Simon Hurt, commonly known simply as Doctor Hurt, is a fictional character from the DC Comics universe. First appearing as an unnamed character in Batman #156 (June 1963), the character was retro-actively revived in 2008 by writer Grant Morrison.

Sofia Falcone Gigante

Sofia Falcone Gigante is a DC Comics villain associated with the superhero Batman.

Sofia Falcone made her live-action debut in the fourth season of Gotham played by Crystal Reed.

Things That Go Boom

"Things That Go Boom" is the tenth episode of the fourth season and 76th episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by co-executive producers Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt on his writing debut and directed by Louis Shaw Milito. It was first broadcast on November 30, 2017.

In the episode, Sofia and Cobblepot's war tension begins to increase when both sides start attacking violently. Gordon decides to do something before the city falls due to the war while also trying to identify Pyg's identity. Meanwhile, Barbara, Tabitha and Selina set to find a way to settle their debt to Cobblepot while Lee and Nygma face problems on their first days as rulers of the fight club.

The episode received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, who criticized Cobblepot acting out of character as well as Professor Pyg overstaying its welcome.

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