Real Name: Aaron Helzinger
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Aaron Helzinger was born with a diminished mental capacity, and was prone to violent rages while growing up. Early in his tragic life Helzinger underwent brain surgery in an attempt to reduce the number of violent outbursts. The doctor performing the operation mistakenly removed his amygdala--the collection of nerves the brain uses to control emotional associations--rather than the hypothalamus that was the intended target. Complicating matters was that the botched operation mysteriously left Helzinger with strength beyond the human norm. Helzinger suffered from a variation of KIuver-Bucy syndrome, which involves damaged amygdalae, leaving its victims unable to properly respond to stimuli.
Given his unstable mental state and increased strength, Helzinger became a pawn of Gotham City's underworld, which resulted in his eventually being committed to Arkham Asylum. Now dubbed Amygdala, his brute strength proved more than a match for the Batman when the Dark Knight was trapped within the institution by Jeremiah Arkham. Once he was finally subdued, his condition was properly diagnosed, and Amygdala received medication that corrected his emotional imbalance.
The medication was slow to change Amygdala's condition, however, and he eventually began committing additional crimes, which landed him back at Arkham until his condition stabilized. When Bane freed Arkham's residents during his attempt to weaken the Dark Knight, Amygdala fell under the sway of the Ventriloquist, who took great comfort in his hulking presence. Their freedom did not last long, and soon they were back within the walls of the institution. At some point after this, Amygdala was transferred to Blackgate Penitentiary, where he took pleasure in being a fearsome hitter on the prison baseball team. Soon after, he was transferred back to Arkham, and freed once more, this time by the demon Neron, who was out to tempt the world's villains with their hearts' desires. The freedom was a rush for Amygdala, but before leaving he wanted to gain some measure of revenge against Arkham's cruel administration, and he nearly killed Jeremiah Arkham. The surprise appearance of the New God Izaya, aka Highfather, whose calming presence soothed Amygdala, saw the brute subdued once more.
Amygdala eventually agreed to a medical implant that distributed medication replicating the amygdala's function throughout his system, which seemed a permanent treatment for his condition. Helzinger, was now declared cured and freed from custody, and he relocated to Bludhaven and wound up living in the same apartment building as Nightwing. He proved to be a good friend to Dick Grayson and his neighbors, in addition to being successfully employed as a warden at Lockhaven Prison. When Blockbuster II blew up the apartment building as part of his vendetta against Nightwing, Amygdala was left shattered and homeless. He eventually found a new apartment in the city, but his whereabouts after Bludhaven was destroyed by Chemo have yet to be chronicled.
First Appearance: Batman: Shadow of the Bat (1992) #3
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#202 Batman Villains Secret Files (1998)
- 'El Último Arkham'
Batman: Crimson Mist (1999)
Batman: Knightfall (1993)
Batman: Shadow of the Bat (1992)
TPB vol. 01 Chase (2011)
- 'The Last Arkham'#3
- 'The Last Arkham, Part Three'#50
- '50th Issue Villain Special'
DC Comics Presents: Batman - Arkham (2011)
Detective Comics (1937)
#659 Gotham Underground (2007)
- 'Knightfall, Part 2: Puppets'#693
- 'Systemic Shock'
#5 Nightwing (1996)
- 'Book Five: Pieces of the Puzzle'
#17 Nightwing Secret Files (1999)
- 'The Stalking Skies'#18
- 'The Hunting Moon'#21
- 'False Starts'#26
- 'Angle of Attack'#31
- 'Bad Night in Bludhaven'#48
- 'The Sylph, Part One: Slender Thread'#50
- 'Big Guns'#54
- 'In the Middle of the Cold, Cold Night'#55
- 'Love & Death'#56
- 'A World of Hate'#64
- 'On a Christmas Evening'#65
- 'Bruce Wayne: Murderer?, Part Three: Bustout!'#66
- 'Bruce Wayne: Murderer?, Part Nine: The Unusual Suspects'#67
Showcase '94 (1994)
#3 Tales of the Multiverse: Batman - Vampire (2008)
- 'Blue Beetle - Psyba-Rats - Arkham'#4
- 'Blue Beetle - Psyba-Rats - Arkham'
The New Gods (1995)
#5 Underworld Unleashed: Batman- Devil's Asylum (1995)
- 'Descent into Madness!'
- 'Arkham: Devil's Asylum'
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