Lazlo Valentin or Professor Pyg is the leader of the Circus of Strange.
Pyg made his first appearance in the non-canonical future of Batman #666. He is a powerful gangster who is one of Gotham's five reigning crime-lords. He isn't shown with his iconic mask but rather as being an ugly man with a pig-like appearance who uses chemicals to brainwash and torture people into becoming his Dollotrons.
He is later found by the police crucified upside-down with a pike through his mouth. It is revealed that he was murdered by the Bat-Devil, Michael Lane.
Professor Pyg is a deranged schizophrenic who has developed an obsession with making people "perfect", which he accomplishes by transforming them into Dollotrons, a process that bonds false "doll" faces to their own, presumably permanently. Professor Pyg uses cordless drills, hammers and ice picks along with the "doll" faces in the process of converting his victims into Dollotrons. It appears the operation he performs involves brain surgery or a form of lobotomization and possible gender realignment. Behind his mask he is a middle-aged Caucasian male. He wears a simple pig mask and is often depicted wearing a makeshift surgical outfit.
Morrison describes the character 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." The character name is a shortened form of Pygmalion.
In Batman and Robin issue 2 he proclaims the "Year of the Pig" at the end of the issue as his minions capture Robin. It is revealed in issue 3 of Batman and Robin that Pyg was attempting to release an addictive identity destroying drug in the form of a virus into Gotham through infected Dollotrons. He initially sold the drug/virus to gangs who were using it to control prostitutes. Finally realizing its potential he intended to hold the city for ransom. His plan is foiled when Batman (having extracted his whereabouts from Phosphorus Rex) confronts him at his hideout. Batman arrives at Pyg's disused fun fair hideout to discover Robin, who had previously run off after an argument, there too. Robin, having just escaped from Pyg's efforts to convert him into another Dollotron, works with Batman in subduing Pyg. Pyg is arrested and taken to Arkham Asylum where he currently resides.
New 52 (Prime Earth)
Pyg was given an origin story in the New 52. Here it was revealed that Dr. Lazlo Valentin was formerly an agent of the rogue U.N. organization known as Spyral. Spyral was secretly lead by a neo-nazi known as Dr. Daedalus who used it for his own means, recruiting rebelled daredevils and rogue geniuses to serve him.
Valentin was a surgeon who experimented on mind-warping drugs only to be driven into schizophrenic madness by exposure to his own concoctions. He later allies himself with Talia Al Ghul via the Leviathan Organization.
Powers and Abilities
Pyg does not have any superhuman powers or abilities. He is however, an extremely skilled surgeon.
In Other Media
Prof. Pyg cameos in this show, getting defeated by Batman in a hypothetical future imagined by Alfred.
There is a Professor Pyg reference when the Balloonman is about to kill his first victim, he dons a hoodie and pig mask, also, Gerald Crane's accomplice wears a costume similar to Pyg.
But in season 4, Pyg (played by Michael Cerveris) finally makes an appearance, murdering crooked cops while wearing a pig mask ("Hog Day Afternoon"), and tricking the cops and Penguin's loosely allied gangsters into an embarrassing trap while manipulating Jim Gordon into playing the hero ("A Day in the Narrows").
The Gotham version of Pyg does not appear (so far) to have surgical skills. Instead, he so far seems to be a very effective trap-maker, have a source of information in the mob and/or the GCPD, and be a master of disguise.
Pyg makes a cameo in a sequence enacted if someone completes story-mode using Jason Todd. In the ending shown, Pyg appears right after having traumatized Scarlet and after being defeated by Red Hood. Hood pins Pyg to the ground with his foot right before shooting him in the skull.
While not being one of the villains in the film (likely due to being such a dark character), Pyg makes a cameo in the background of one scene. In Gotham City, an advertisement for a place called, "Lazlo's Slaughter House" features a man with a pig-mask, wielding a butcher's knife.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
In this animated film, Pyg is portrayed by James Urbaniak. He was hired by Two-Face to erase the Harvey Dent side of his personality only to be hijacked by Scandal Savage to perform surgery on her father. After he serves his purpose, he is promptly killed by them.
In the CW's Batwoman, Pyg is portrayed by Rob Nagle. He is a man who works as a personal chef to Jada Jet. He used the ruse to get close to her for revenge. He used to work in the corporate cafeteria, but was fired. This led to his wife divorcing him, going into debt, and losing everything. He slips a paralytic into the wine at a dinner party, getting Ryan, Sophie, Jada, Marquis, and his date Zoey. He is killed by Marquis.
- Professor Pyg takes name and influence from the Greco-Roman legend of Pygmalion and its 1913 stage-adaptation of the same name. In the legend, an artist named Pygmalion becomes convinced that no woman is perfect enough for him and is given magical power from the goddess Aphrodite to bring a statue of his own carving to life to fall in-love with him.
- Creator Grant Morrison specifically got inspired by the song Pygmalism by Momus which was inspired by the myth/play.