A Professor Pyg Primer: Who Is Gotham's Creepy New Villain?


This week sees the live-action debut of one of the most interesting, exciting and downright disturbing Batman villains to be created in the modern era. Professor Pyg is set to debut in Gotham in this week’s episode (titled “Hog Day Afternoon”), but his portrayal and modus operandi in the show seem to take a very different approach than that of the comics.

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While in the show, Professor Pyg targets police officers — pigs, get it? — the comics version of the character is one of the strangest and most twisted villains to ever step foot in Gotham. It's no surprise, then, that he’s become one of the most iconic twenty-first century Batman rogues.

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Professor Pyg was first introduced to readers in Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert’s Batman #666, which gave us a look into a possible future for Gotham where Damian Wayne had taken over as Batman and had his own rogues gallery of super criminals and mob bosses. Pyg was introduced already dead, crucified upside-down by the Bat-Devil, but like many aspects of that issue, it was just hinting at larger events to come in Morrison’s run.

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Pyg made his present day debut in the first arc of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin, serving as the first enemy for the new team of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne to test themselves against. He arrived in Gotham with his Circus of Strange to peddle mind-altering drugs and create more Dollotrons for himself. What’s a Dollotron? They’re kidnapped victims of Pyg whom he operates on to make them “perfect” by taking everything unique away from them and turning them into identical slaves controlled by his drugs.


The character and the name were inspired by the song Pygmalism, itself inspired by the play Pygmalion which you might know better as My Fair Lady. All of these adaptations go back to the myth of Pygmalion, a Greek sculptor who devoted himself to perfection in his work, eventually creating a sculpture of a woman so beautiful that she came to life. Similarly, Professor Pyg seeks perfection through his hideous Dollotrons, kidnapping and torturing innocent people as part of his efforts.

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