DC Animated Universe
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Anthony "Tony" Romulus was a pentathlete and philanthropist-turned-monster.

History[]

Romulus was an amateur sportsman who competed in several low-level competitions, usually placing well in those. He seemed to have a desire for greater success. Romulus got his chance when his earlier victories allowed him to compete in the more prominent Autumn Games.

Despite Romulus' dedication to strength training and proper exercise, he still lacked confidence. His desire for prestige consumed him, which led to a search for something that would guarantee him a gold medal. He eventually called upon Dr. Milo. Milo knew he could not use anabolic steroids, as that was an illegal drug the games committee was carefully checking athletes for. Milo proposed an experimental steroid which was derived from timber wolf hormones, a chemical the games committee was not aware of and thus would not be flagged in any drug test. Milo had some hesitancy about going through with this, but Anthony Romulus grabbed the beaker and imbibed the serum, likely not even considering that he may have been tricked. Milo smirked and remarked, "Then all that remains is to discuss my fee."

Afterwards, Romulus' career expanded incredibly. At the Autumn Games, Anthony Romulus amazed the crowd as he won event after event. After receiving the gold medal and enormous fame and fortune, Romulus was able to secure himself endorsement deals. He spent his money on a mansion and sports cars, then began dating attractive starlets. However, when Milo came around asking for his share of the winnings, Anthony threw him out, claiming Milo was no longer needed. Milo remarked that Romulus would regret it soon enough.

The serum had horrible side effects, however, as Romulus was transformed into a werewolf during a night of the full moon, albeit a partial werewolf. When he came to Milo for help, he said that Romulus had moderate lycanthropy, as evidenced by his shaggy appearance, but lacking animalistic tendencies. Romulus pleaded for a cure, to which Milo claimed he could not treat the stage of lycanthropy he was in. However, he did have a cure for advanced lycanthropy and so he made Romulus a bargain: Milo would complete his transformation into a full werewolf to be properly treated, but Romulus would have to do everything he says, including the elimination of people who Milo considered dangerous to his work. Romulus accepted and was fully transformed into a werewolf, which he would become during nights when the moon was full.

Romulus Werewolf

Anthony in Werewolf form

As a dangerous beast, Romulus caught the attention of Batman when he was spotted at the Gotham Zoo attacking John Hamner, a guard who had information that could lead back to Milo. Romulus managed to escape once his assassination attempt was thwarted and went back to Milo. After returning to his human form, he reported his encounter with Batman and Milo decided that they needed to get him out of the way.

Romulus then told the press that he would double a donation he had promised to charity, but he would only sign the check should Batman be the one to accept it. When explaining why to Bruce Wayne, who was an associate of Romulus from their gym, he mentioned that he merely wished to meet Gotham's "second-best athlete".

Later during the night, Batman arrived in Romulus' study, with the intent on picking up the check as quickly as possible. However, it was all revealed to be a trap, as Romulus activated knock-out gas from his venting system and incapacitated him.

Batman was then bought to Milo's secret workplace, at the Gotham Coliseum, a stadium that was still under construction. They chained Batman in the middle of the arena, with Milo intent on having Romulus transform and kill Batman while he was immobile. When Romulus transformed into his werewolf form, it made him so aggressive that he even attacked Milo, ignoring his orders. In fear, Milo dropped the vial containing the supposed cure, angering the werewolf, who then flung him into a ditch where he was knocked unconscious.

Batman was luckily able to free himself just before Romulus attacked and proceeded to fight back against him, now a wild, uncontrollable beast. Eventually, as the fight continued to the tallest exteriors of the structure, Romulus was seemingly defeated when he was struck by lightning and knocked off the edge into the river. Milo was arrested, but the police were unable to find the werewolf upon searching miles of shoreline. Harvey Bullock snidely remarked that they would wait until the next full moon to see if it will turn up alive or not.

Months later, Romulus' savings were exhausted, and his mansion was seized to pay back taxes and his legal creditors. One married couple looked at buying it, to which the real estate lady explained that there were rumors that Romulus skipped town. The couple wondered why someone who had it all would suddenly abandon it.

Abilities[]

Anthony was already a superb athlete before he took the wolf serum. After taking the serum, he virtually became the best in every field, beating his competitors with record-breaking performances seemingly without effort. After his complete transformation into a werewolf, which would happen every full moon, his wolf form would be even larger, more powerful and more ferocious than he could ever hope to be in his human form. He had no speech or recognizable thought capabilities whilst changed, but his more bestial instincts easily proved to be dangerous enough to eliminate the need for such. Batman himself noted that in a fair physical fight on even ground, he would be no match for Romulus as a werewolf and was forced to devise smarter tactics.

Background information[]

  • Anthony's human appearance is modeled on a typical stereotype of classic 30/40's-era Werewolf films—he has a unibrow and is a wealthy man—whereas his Wolf form is closer in appearance to creatures seen in The Howling (which Dick Miller, Kevin McCarthy and Robert Picardo had acted in).
  • Though he made no more appearances in the animated series, he resurfaces in the tie-in comic The Batman Adventures #21. Anthony has an encounter with Emile Dorian (who had escaped from Arkham Asylum) and joins up with him in exchange for a cure that would restore his human form. Man-Bat, Tygrus, Dorian and Romulus' werewolf form are all apparently killed in an explosion at the end.

Appearance[]

Batman: The Animated Series

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