Obscurity of DC Presents: Obscure Book Club, Week 95 (January 28-February 3) --- TALLY MAN!

Why hello there, @ObscurityofDCClub and other members of the DC Community! Welcome to Week 95 of Obscurity of DC’s Obscure Book Club! This week will be a mini, and we’ll be focusing on…


Number of Issues: 2

Description from dc.fandom.com: The Tally Man is a hitman who collects on debts owed to the Gotham mob. This made him an enemy of Batman and Azrael.

Now that that’s over with, here are some discussion questions:

  1. Refusing be bribed by a criminal yet often phrasing his kills as “debts collected.” What is Tally Man’s reasoning behind accepting human lives rather than money as payment?
  2. When we are given Tally Man’s tragic backstory and how it connects with the mob. Why then does the Tally Man choose to adopt the moniker of criminals that hurt him and his family?
  3. Tally Man claims to have killed 66 people since his original victim but constantly affirms 67 throughout his fight with Azrael and Batman. Why is Tally Man obsessed with the knowledge of the people he murdered and his inability to do so with them?

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  1. My impression on Tally Man initially was one of a psychotic killer whose choice to kill was pure sadistic pleasure to kill that monetary value was irrelevant. However after re-reading the character and understanding how his kills were largely on the mob. I believe he wanted to kill the mob but he needed a excuse to avoid being targeted by the criminal underworld, so he became a hitman for them to be given that permission to target the mob while still working under the veil of following orders. His choice to avoid being paid with money is also intentional as he likely wants to avoid blood money from his murders.

  2. Understanding his backstory that before he became Tally Man, the villian had a tragic childhood involving mob men who would exploit his family and his mother referred to as Tally Men. I believe his motivation is primarily revenge for those who are responsible for the death of his family.
    Taking the name that brought him fear as a child and using it as a weapon against criminals. Does sound Batman-esk doesn’t it?

  3. Tally Man obsession with killing people likely has to do with his trauma and referring to killing people as collecting debts was likely a compulsive issue and rule to keep his already fragile mental state in check. Failing to kill Batman and Azrael caused him to relieve aspects of his past which caused him to go into a psychotic break and likely broke this dark serial killer into a more crazed individual. Something I now believed he was trying to avoid.

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Great answers!

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