Starving and living in rags, the boy who was to become the Tally Man lived with his mother and sister, in constant fear of the criminals who threatened the family for the money his father had borrowed from them years before. After his father died, those same criminals extorted his weekly fee from the deceased man's wife. The boy begged his mother not to pay, but she tearfully replied, "Everybody has to pay the tally man." One night, when the collector came, his mother could not afford to pay and the criminal beat her. Filled with rage, the boy attacked and brutally killed the money collector with a fireplace poker. The 12-year-old boy was arrested for murder, and abused horribly by the others in the boy's prison, who called him a "mama's boy." After his release, the boy returned home and his mind snapped when he discovered his sister had died of starvation and his mother had committed suicide.
Years later, a figure dressed in the strange dark robes of an old-fashioned tax collector emerged in Gotham City, calling himself the Tally Man. Hired by the underworld to "collect" on debts owed, his fee was not money, but human lives. When Tally Man attempted to collect the "debt" owed by Batman, he battled Azrael, who was standing in for Batman after he had his back broken. Tally Man mistook Azrael for the original Batman and he was brutally beatean and scarred, which left him with an even greater hatred for the Dark Knight. He was found barely alive by Detective Harvey Bullock and Stan Kitch.
Eventually, Tally Man returned to claim his debt again, only to be defeated by Nightwing (who has taken Azrael's place as Batman), believing the former Boy Wonder to be the man who had bested him previously.
Tally Man carries a variety of hand guns and machine guns.
- 12 Appearances of Tally Man I (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Tally Man I (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Tally Man I (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Tally Man I (New Earth)