Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

Tony Zucco was a mob-backed racketeer and nephew of crime boss Arnold Stromwell. He would strong-arm companies to take up "insurance". One business he targeted was Haley's Circus. He sabotaged highwire equipment which led to the deaths of Dick Grayson's parents.


Tony Zucco ran a racket in Gotham City, in which he offered "protection" from dangerous life to various performing acts and visiting attractions. In truth, however, the ring was extortion; the services offered were merely a protection from the damage that Zucco would otherwise inflict.

When Haley's Circus visited Gotham for a Wayne Charity event, Zucco paid the circus owner and ringmaster, Mr. Haley, a visit. Haley threw Zucco out, threatening him to never return. Zucco countered with his own threat, stating Haley would wish he'd taken his offer. At the next performance, Zucco disguised himself as a crew member, and infiltrated the circus tent. He took the aerial ropes in hand and slashed them, weakening the overall durability but appearing safe for use. Dick Grayson was ten years old when his parents fell to their deaths at the hands of Zucco.

Bruce Wayne took the young Grayson in, and Batman began a savage hunt through Gotham for Zucco. Knowing this, Zucco laid low, taking refuge with his uncle Arnold Stromwell. It didn't take the Dark Knight long to track him down, however, and Zucco narrowly escaped capture. Taking refuge in Gotham's Lower East Side, he made plans to skip town. Though Batman found Zucco, young Dick found him first. During the struggle, Dick fell into the Gotham River, and Batman chose to save the future Boy Wonder's life rather than apprehending Zucco and risking Dick's death. Zucco, in turn, escaped. When Batman and Robin broke up a sabotage ring years later, a captured con revealed the man behind the operation, one Billy Marin, an alias for Tony Zucco. Aware of this connection, Batman ostracized Robin from the investigation, pursuing Zucco on his own. Robin, however, wasted little time in discovering who Marin really was, and began his own investigation against Batman's orders.

RR II 45 - Robin and Zucco

Zucco captured by Robin

Batman found Zucco first, but the con managed to get the jump on the Dark Knight. Out of ammunition, Batman (his leg injured from a fall) bought some escape time and took cover in an abandoned amusement park. Methodically, Batman eliminated Zucco's thugs until the big fish himself remained, but before he could apprehend Zucco, Robin arrived. Zucco and Robin engaged each other in a furious fight until Robin gained the upper hand and prepared to take his revenge. Batman protested, and despite his innermost desires, Robin let the police arrest Tony Zucco.


This article uses material from the Tony Zucco article at the DCAU Wiki and is licensed under the CC BY-SA License.