Lazlo Valentin was a gifted scientist who suffered a schizophrenic breakdown, which caused him to develop an utterly deranged new persona named Professor Pyg. Pyg formed the Circus of Strange, began to tour the country, started kidnapping people, leaving a string of mysterious missing persons cases in his wake. An obsessive perfectionist, Pyg used identity-destroying drugs and invasive surgery on his victims to create genderless lobotomized humans known as Dollotrons.
Unlike other villains who could potentially be rehabilitated (albeit with great difficulty), Pyg's insanity appears to be far worse than that of the other villains Batman has fought and as such, there does not appear to be any particular hope of him regaining his sanity.
Lazlo Valentin was obsessed with making himself and people "perfect" after he was berated by his parents that he wasn't "perfect" or "wasn't good enough" to please them. As an adult, Lazlo was a gifted scientist, but after he suffered a schizophrenic breakdown, Valentin believed that people must have their uniqueness removed if they were to be perfect the way that he envisioned. After he took up the deranged persona of Professor Pyg, Lazlo became the ringmaster of the Circus of Strange, where he and his freaks would tour the country, lure victims of all ages to his show, and turn them into his Dollotrons using identity-destroying chemicals (possibly DNA mutagens) and surgery, "perfecting" them as he saw it. The end result of this macabre process were a form of organic robots with doll masks grafted onto their faces, their genitals presumably removed, made unable to think or feel in any way. Those that Pyg could not "fix" were killed and posed in public places, along with messages indicating their imperfections.
During his time as ringmaster, Pyg constructed a crudely made iron maiden with a female mannequin head attached to it, and called it his "mother of nails" as a macabre tribute to his mother. Eventually, Pyg conceived a son, Janosz. At one point, Pyg turned the young son of a rich man named O'Neil into a Dollotron, and when O'Neil brought a suitcase of money to release him, Pyg refused to let the boy go, and had his Dollotrons, including O'Neil's son, capture him and prepare him for "perfection".
Pyg was interrupted in one of his experiments by Batman, who demanded that he release all of his prisoners from his Monster Machine. Pyg refused and turned his Dollotrons upon Batman before joining in the fight himself, throwing knives and cleavers at Batman while singing crazy song lines as the Opera music played on. After Batman had defeated the Dollotrons, he threw Pyg onto the surgical bed and took him down with a punch strong enough to break Pyg's pig mask and make the bed collapse in the process.
Batman took Pyg to the GCPD Lockup, stating that hanging up his failed dollotrons like hunting trophies is what got him caught (as the remaining unique features lead Batman to figuring out who they were and where they went missing). Pyg bemoaned on how his mother would be very disappointed in him. At the Lockup, Pyg sickened Deacon Blackfire, Two-Face, Penguin, Azrael (if he was arrested), and Riddler, who all preferred to avoid contact with him out of sheer disgust. However, Deathstroke offered to recommend Pyg to someone he knew from Vietnam who was famous for skinning enemies and making wallets out of their corpses.
Lazlo Valentin can be assumed to have been a proficient surgeon up to and until his breakdown. However, his parents' constant belittling of him and how he wasn't 'perfect' enough to please them affected him into adulthood until he finally snapped completely, becoming a psychotic freak that in terms of insanity was on a whole different level than the rest of Gotham's criminal element in general (most of whom were not of sound mind either).
As Professor Pyg, he is a deranged perfectionist who sees everything as something that can be made 'better' and 'perfect', becoming obsessed with perfection and is incredibly unstable as a result of his breakdown, though this didn't hamper his intelligence to an extent as he was able to use the Circus of Strange as a cover for his crimes. He is also something of an opera buff and would sing it even while he was doing surgery on his victims, though he himself was more of an amateur at opera, indicating some delusion of his singing skills.
Because none of his victims were found (most likely either turned into Dollotrons and imprisoned at the Circus of Strange or disposed of as "failures"), Pyg could have easily gotten away with his actions, but his obsession caused him great frustration as he couldn't complete his work on six individuals he had kidnapped as they had tattoos, previous surgeries or other imperfections that, in his own words made him feel sick as he could do nothing to make them perfect in his mind, this caused him to string up six of his victims around Gotham, where Batman eventually found them and then him.
In his Audio Files it's revealed Pyg has a son and had left the files for him so he wouldn't be alone, even as unstable as he was it's shown he loves his son deeply, considering him perfect. Pyg reveals later on that if he hadn't stopped his mother she would have killed Pyg's son and mother, showing the love he has for his son. Pyg also talks about the boy's mother, despite not remembering her name or how they met at least some remaining part of him does remember his feelings for her, and like his son comments on how she was perfect, being dismayed to see what his mother had done to her later on, commenting that 'the nails had done their work', and no matter how hard he worked he couldn't restore her beauty, and implies he had to mercy kill the boy's mother after so many months of trying to help her. However, because of his unstable frame of mind it's not known how truthful Pyg's account of his son's mother really is.
Despite both parents having belittled him, it seems it's his mother whose words affected Pyg the most, sometimes calling her Mother Goat and had said that along with making him feel sick his six victims made her angry, suggesting he might suffer from hallucinations of his mother even if she isn't there.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! The Circus of Strange is coming to a town near you! Never before has such a host of talented performers gathered in one place, to amaze and entertain! Be astounded by Big Top! Is it a man, is it a woman? Who knows, but I guarantee it's the most gigantically grotesque assortment of flesh you have ever seen! Be dumbfounded by the acrobatic oddity that is Siam! Stare open mouthed as these conjoined triplets defy the limits of the human body and its imagination! And last and by no means least, be stunned and horrified by the combustible wonder that is Phosphorus Rex! Folks, you gotta see it to believe it! Come and join us and you'll never look at the world the same way again!
Janosz, my dearest son, my perfect child, I make these recordings so you are not alone, so that you know daddy loves his son. Daddy loves his little Pyg! The circus has traveled far and we have brought joy to many sad people. They join us now like a big family, growing week by week! Now they feel no pain, they know nothing of misery. I call them my Dollotrons. To each new home, we move at night, finding a fresh patch of earth to inhabit. Secret places in forgotten parts of town, ugly wastelands where the locals stumble unawares into our candy-stripe tent. The Dollotrons are the first to greet them with open arms and perfect faces! The climax of the show is when I take them to see mother! Oh, I tell you, they are amazed by my imagination, confounded by my dexterity as each is transformed into a beautiful work of art! But, mother is hard to please! She wants more, always more, never satisfied, always driving me to work harder, to obtain perfection! And I will! Night has drawn its curtains yet again and the circus moves on, our numbers swollen, to a different patch of Earth. On the dark horizon, the building tops glimmer, the heat and smog of industry shroud the den of criminals and beasts. Gotham is her name! Janosz, I tell you, the circus has come home!
My dear Janosz, it is time you learned the truth about your mother, your real mother. I remember not her name, nor how she found me wallowing in that pit of despair. Like an angel, she swept into my turvey world, dragged me screaming from shapeless chaos and wrapped me into her arms. She was a beauty, Janosz. A masterpiece, perfect in every way. Until mother goat found her. Imagine my horror when I emerged from that dreamy soup and discovered what she'd done. Placenta face, gorgon smile, ribbons of fractured flesh. The nails had done their work, but, by then, my seed was already sown. Your life already begun. Mother would have killed you both had I not stopped her, saved you from her rage. Day and night I worked, month after month, sculpting her loathsome clay to recapture the beauty that saved me that night. The night of your creation. She clung to me as you grew, as I toiled to make her right again, but nothing pleased mother goat! Nothing! I did all I could to fix her, to make her perfect, but by the time you came along, I couldn't even look upon the spoiled canvas that was her face. I couldn't let that be the face that greeted you in this world. I had to end it, Janosz! For you! For mother! She left me no choice.
- "Pyg make it all better. Pain is just the body's way of saying thank you!" (Dollotron)
- "Here comes the choo choo!" *porcine noise* (Dollotron)
- "Almost finished, my darling! Almost...perfect!" (Dollotron)
- "Oh no, no, no, no, no! Pyg not ready yet. She's all unique and wrong. All messed up, inside out. Pyg make her better! Pyg make all of us better!"
- "But Pyg can fix you too! Make you perfect! Like the others!"
- "And what are you?"
- "Bad, bad, bad. Pyg is like clay. Pyg is like God. Pyg is here to fix us all!"
- "That's it, my darling! Show him how perfect you are!"
- (Singing) "Pyg make you invincible! Perfect and invincible! Dollotron feel no pain!"
- (Singing) "Rise up, my precious! He cannot keep you down!"
- (Singing) "Encore! Encore! Show him how perfect you are!"
- (Singing) "Pyg coming for you Bat! Coming to make you perfect!"
- (Singing) "There's no perfection without a little pain!"
- (Singing) "Pyg make you one of us!"
- (Singing) "Destroy him! So daddy can rebuild him!"
- "Fix him, my darling! Make him perfect!"
- (Singing) "Oh, that's it! hahahah, Oh, that's it! You're perfect!"
- "On your feet, my precious! Yes! Yes!"
- "Kill! Kill! Make daddy proud!"
- "Yes! Yes! Daddy! Perfect!"
- "Yes, my lovely! Yes!"
- "Bring him to daddy!"
- "Let me fix you!"
- "Just you and Pyg now!"
- "W-Where are you taking me? Pyg go back to his Circus!"
- "Pyg doesn't hurt, Pyg heals, Pyg fixes… My Dollotrons are works of art!"
- "Not death... Pyg makes life worth living!"
- "Too broken for Pyg to make better... too imperfect... huuuurgh, ach. They make mother angry... make Pyg feel sick..."
- "No... not fail...(unintelligible noises)"
- "Pyg show you sick... Hmm, like to see?"
- "Don't... Don't lock Pyg away, mother won't be pleased..."
- "Pyg not good enough. Never good enough! So close until you stopped me. I can do better. So much better! It could have been so perfect!"
- "It's not too late for you, Batman. Pyg is an artist. I can make a maiden from a monkey. A model from a miscreant. A beauty from a bat."
- "No, no, no! Pyg has so much more to give. Come...show me what's under that mask. I can still fix you. Make you perfect. Pyg can take all the pain away. You'll see!"
- "Pyg wants a hug! Pyg wants to feel the nails in his chest!"
- "Oh mommy! Are you upset? Pyg tried his best, Pyg tried to help them!"
- "Hungry! Hungry! Hungry like a goat..hungry like a rat!"
- "Lock Pyg away and forget about him! Still so much to do, so much to improve! You could have been a perfect little Bat, so beautiful! Ohoho!"
- "Where are my Dollotrons? My perfect creations...Are you treating them well? They will be frightened without their Pyg."
- "Pyg feels sick, riddles no tricks..." (Riddler)
- "Pyg can make Harvey right again! Dent can be...a dolly!" (Two-Face)
- "Mommy! Mommeeeeee! Yeeeooow, ohoho!" (Penguin)
- "Pyg on the cross, Pyg with nail, Pyg on cross, Pyg with nail!" (Deacon Blackfire)
- "There is no God but mother! Mommy makes everything better!" (Azrael)
- "Beauty is Pyg's specialty! Pyg can make you young again! Pyg can soften the scars!" (Deathstroke)
- ( Unused ) pyg doesn't need a hat pyg likes the pain keeps pyg same ( mad hatter )
Game Over Line
- "Pyg happy, Pyg glad, Pyg gets to play with flesh, make it look pretty after death!" *snorts*
- Professor Pyg is voiced by Dwight Schultz, who is best known for playing the wacky television character H.M. Murdock on The A-Team.
- Professor Pyg almost always refers to himself in the third person.
- Professor Pyg got his name from the play, Pygmalion, which reflected in the character's desire to transform people into an idealized state.
- Pygmalion itself is named after a sculptor in Greek mythology who crafted a statue of a woman out of ivory and fell in love with it, in which eventually the statue would then in turn come to life. A similar trait was used with Pyg and his Dollotrons albeit in a much more disturbing and sinister fashion.
- Pyg's creator, Grant Morrison, described him 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". That was also alluded to in-game twice: first, when Batman deduced that Professor Pyg was one who was responsible for the serial killings, where Alfred warned Batman to proceed with caution regarding Pyg as even by Gotham standards, he's unstable; and second, when visiting the confinement cell after completing his Gotham's Most Wanted Mission, yet before encountering Scarecrow, where a Joker hallucination commented that Pyg was "sicker than Joker and Harley's honeymoon tapes."
- Pyg appears to have a God complex, believing he has the right to create anything he wants from whatever he can get his hands on.
- Pyg seems to think his mother is still watching him, and going to yell at him for not being good enough; this hallucination may be what partially drives his insanity.
- Pyg was similar to the Dollmaker from DC Comics, where a deranged doll-maker altered kidnapped victims to make their bodies perfect.
- The opera music that played near Professor Pyg and his victims and the way that Pyg sung along to the opera could be a reference to the opera Pygmalion, which, in turn, referenced his alias, Pyg.
- While he spoke, Pyg had a tic that resulted in him making various porcine sounds that befitted his alias.
- In one of the audio tapes, the villains Siam, Big Top and Phosphorus Rex were mentioned.
- Some local surveillance quotes indirectly mentioned Pyg as a "freak" who chained up dead bodies.
- Pyg's face seems to be stretched and pulled, with obvious creases on it, and his lips seem larger than normal, giving the impression that Pyg probably mutilated himself at some point in his life as part of his obsession with "perfection". In the comics, Pyg sometimes injected himself with Botox and PCP.
- In the character showcase of Arkham Knight, Pyg is holding a knife in his right hand; this weapon seems reminiscent of that used by Heath Ledger's Joker from the Dark Knight (2008).
- Pyg is one of the most insane members of Batman's rogue gallery he had faced, with numerous inmates trying to avoid contact with him, Batman himself being disgusted by him, Alfred Pennyworth warning Batman earlier that Pyg was unstable, even by Gotham criminal standards, and even a hallucination of the Joker, a man who was completely insane in his own right, saying that Pyg was a total lunatic. Pyg's insanity is, in terms of severity, close to that, if not on par with, that of the Lunatics.