|First Appearance:||Detective Comics #354 (August 1966)|
|Created by:|| John Broome|
Doctor Tzin-Tzin was a Fu Manchu-inspired, Asian-looking (but actually American) crime lord who battled Batman several times and once encountered Jonny Double and Supergirl (Power Girl in current continuity). Tzin-Tzin was seemingly killed on an airship during a battle with Peacemaker.
On the surface, Doctor Tzin-Tzin seemed to be the stereotypical Asian menace. Behind the robes, the long mustache and oriental demeanor, was a man of American origin and an orphan. The man known as Doctor Tzin-Tzin was actually found years ago by Chinese bandits and raised by them. "He adopted their ways -- then entered the western world to rob and pillage in a grand style". While his companions studied martial arts, Tzin-Tzin devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient art of hypnotic illusion until he became its greatest practitioner.
Thus armed, Tzin-Tzin returned to America, where he rose through the ranks of the outlaw organisation called the Tong until he became one of America's greatest crime lords. He robbed the Western world in grand style until he turned his sights elsewhere. Interpol had charted a long string of audacious crimes attributed to the mastermind, ranging from the seizure of a South African gold mine to the literal disappearances of a South American jet and a mid-Atlantic ocean freighter, its crew left catatonic and floating in lifeboats.
In Gotham City, the discovery of a dead mobster, literally frightened to death, signaled the worst: Tzin-Tzin had set his sights on the city. Assembling a band of local thugs, the Doctor's sole objective was to destroy the Batman and Robin. Never one to resist a challenge, the Dark Knight smashed through the gauntlet of villains while the mastermind viewed the proceeding via hidden cameras, all but drooling at the display. ("It's the GORE!", explained one underling. "The doc WALLOWS in a gory fist battle.") Finally coming face to face with Tzin-Tzin, Batman was confronted by the Doctor's fabled death-gaze. Deducing that the effect was enhanced by special lighting, the Dark Knight smashed the fixture and brought the international fugitive to justice.
Having lost face with the Tong, Tzin-Tzin became obsessed with revenge against Batman and Robin "but that luxury requires money and equipment". Accepting a commission from the League of Assassins in 1970, the Doctor attempted to fulfill his goal, luring the duo to a suburban Gotham mansion and attempting to drive them mad before finally imprisoning them in pressurized tubes that were timed to explode. Batman escaped the trap but, as he and Robin escorted Tzin-Tzin to the Batmobile, the so-called "master of illusion" vanished from their grasp in the blink of an eye. As a peal of laughter erupted from the mansion, the structure burst into flame, collapsing in a matter of moments. (Detective Comics #408)
The feared Doctor returned in 1972's ADVENTURE COMICS # 418. Now based in San Francisco's Chinatown, Tzin-Tzin was rebuilding his organization, using brainwashed youngsters as the Dragon Tong. He attempted to build a new order by hypnotically controlling large numbers of the city's children. This time his efforts were thwarted by Supergirl and a local private detective called Johnny Double. "An army of the young," he gloated to Johnny Double, "the wave of TOMORROW." The Doctor momentarily rebuffed Supergirl with a fire-breathing dragon until the Girl of Steel recalled the villain's penchant for illusions and directed her attention towards the real threat. Vowing that he "not be humilated again", Tzin-Tzin plunged into the Bay, his body vanishing in the undertow.
By December 1976, Doctor Tzin-Tzin had learned to use intense meditation to create a reservoir of mystic energy within his body. After a practice run in which he replaced the legendary Sphinx with a copy and deposited the original on the ocean floor, the Doctor headed for Gotham, seeking (for reasons unknown) to steal the Gotham Stadium from beneath the Dark Knight's nose. ("What a magnificent opponent he is," the villain mused. "If there were no Batman, I would have to invent him.")
Batman had retrieved a small mystic artifact at the site of the Doctor's first attack on the city and used it to track Tzin-Tzin to the sports arena. With "his energy ... almost totally engaged" from levitating the stadium, Tzin-Tzin had left himself vulnerable to a physical attack and Batman wasted no time in subduing him and ensuring that he be placed in solitary confinement.
After six days of meditation, Tzin-Tzin's tsal had been replenished and he used the opportune appearance of an ant to call thousands more to eat away the mortar between the stones of his cell. On December 23, he walked out of prison, the guards now in his thrall. Taking note of the season, the Doctor lured Batman to Gotham's massive Christmas tree, where he announced his intent "to rob this city of something infinitely precious ... irreplaceable ... something you can never recover -- because it exists only in the mind."
On December 24, the villain's plan had become apparent. With the Dark Knight deliberately excluded, Doctor Tzin-Tzin had used magic to steal all knowledge of Christmas from those within Gotham City. Playing to the mage's ego, Batman pretended to be affected by the spell, drawing Tzin-Tzin out of his base at the Gotham Steam Company. As he was approached by "dozens of demons", the Dark Knight blasted the assembly by opening several steam valves, scalding the Doctor and breaking the spell.
"The new skin he'll be growing will itch enough to make his tsal concentration impossible for months" .
By mid-1977, Batman was forced to seek out the mystic in prison when an encounter with the villain known as Skull Dugger left him unable to fight crime without suffering excruciating pain. Disguised as a rogue guard, Batman offered to free Tzin-Tzin in exchange for a spell granting him an hour's immunity to pain, which he claimed to need in order to surmount an electric failsafe linked to a security vault. If the heist was a success, the "guard" would free the Doctor. Tzin-Tzin fulfilled his part of the bargain and, following Skull Dugger's defeat, a remorseless Batman justified his actions by saying that "I DID give him hope -- for an hour, anyway.".
More than a decade passed before Doctor Tzin-Tzin returned, now commanding a miniature army on "a small island, 17 miles southeast of Greece". His objective was nothing less than the overthrow of the Soviet Union, with the ensuing destabilization of its satellites creating a wealth of opportunities for the villain's league of terrorists. The prelude to the attack on Moscow brought the attention of the organization known as Project: Peacemaker. Its unstable namesake eventually found himself confronted by Doctor Tzin-Tzin's death-gaze aboard the villain's dirigible fortress while the Project's Dominique St. Claire invaded their ground base and redirected the nuclear missiles toward the airship. Given a degree of immunity from the mastermind's hypnotic power, the unhinged Peacemaker pummelled the Doctor into unconsciousness and took flight before the missiles struck. (1988's Peacemaker# 1-4)
Doctor Tzin-Tzin's tale was recounted as part of an entry in WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE # 7.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Doctor Tzin-Tzin was a brilliant criminal mastermind, able to plot spectacular crimes. He possessed a formidable intellect. However, his greatest powers were perhaps his manipulation skills, coupled with his status as one of the greatest hypnotists in the DC Universe.