DC Database

Tony Zucco is the man that killed Richard Grayson's parents, the Flying Graysons.

In his youth, Zucco was a mobster in Gotham. His first wife was a young mail order bride from Asia named Meili Lin, and Tony was violent and possessive towards her. When the couple visited Haly's Circus, Meili took the opportunity to escape Tony's abuse and fled into the crowd, taking refuge in the trailer of a young acrobat named John Grayson. The circus performers roughed Zucco up and threw him out when he tried to enter the trailer, with John sarcastically giving him a carnival prize teddy bear as compensation. Meili travelled with the circus for some time and formed a relationship with John, eventually becoming pregnant with his child.

When the circus passed through Star City, Zucco kidnapped Meili from the trailer and left the bear in her place. He lay in wait for John then pistol whipped him from behind and broke his hand when he came into the trailer. He took Meili to Bludhaven where John would be unable to find her, and six months later she gave birth to a baby girl, Melinda Zucco. Tony knew that Melinda could not possibly be his child, but pretended that she was to save face. When Melinda was eight, Meili left him and took Melinda with her, and this time Zucco did not try to stop her. However, Zucco did kill the Graysons by making them fall to their deaths during a trapeze stunt in retailiation.

At some point, Zucco remarried and had a daughter, Sonia, with his second wife.

Sometime after his murder of the Graysons, Zucco fled to Chicago and vowed to turn his life around. Changing his name to Billy Lester, the reforming criminal settled down with a wife, raised a child, and became good friends with the corrupted mayor. Zucco managed to keep his identity a secret pretty well before Richard Grayson, disguised as his alter persona Nightwing, came looking for his parents' murderer.

After his identity had been compromised, Zucco was captured by Nightwing. Zucco, not knowing his capturer to be the son of his victims', unknowingly apologized for his sins. Later, Zucco actually saves Nightwing's life from the terrorist having his way with Chicago, Prankster, by shooting the villain cleanly through the arm as the Prankster was strangling the hero. Zucco was then quickly captured by the police, not resisting his demise.

Later, in jail, Zucco is told that his wife had left him with his child. Trashing his Billy Lester alias, Zucco demands to be called by his real name.

Later, Zucco's daughter Sonia goes to visit him in prison. Zucco expresses immense gratitude in seeing her, despite the pain he must have caused her by going on the run, and vows to make amends to her once he gets out. However, Sonia interrupts him by stating that she will personally ensure that he is never released from prison. Sonia goes on to explain that while Zucco has apologized for leaving her and expressed love for both her and his son, there is one subject that he has avoided. He killed the Graysons.

Without saying another word, Sonia leaves her father in prison.


  • Deception: Tony Zucco was able to fake his death, move to Chicago, and start a new life, all without anyone finding out who he really was.