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Tony Zucco ran a protection racket in Gotham City, offering "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 the 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 Zucco's 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 due to Anthony 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, 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 the orders of the Dark Knight.
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. .
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