Aaron Helzinger, also known as Amygdala,[1] was an Arkham Asylum inmate.


According to Edward Nygma, Helzinger can't stand criticism because of his overbearing mother and wants love and approval (he becomes angry when he doesn't get it). At an unknown point in time, Aaron killed his entire family with an axe.[2]

Abduction from Arkham

An inmate at Arkham Asylum, Aaron was seduced by Barbara Kean, with the latter asking whether he wanted to be friends with her or not, which he agreed to, also swearing to protect her if anyone tried to hurt her. Aaron was later rendered unconscious by the knock out gas that came out of Zaardon, and abducted by Tabitha Galavan. He and five other inmates were later offered the chance to become a team that would make Gotham City tremble, by Theo Galavan.[3]

While the remaining Maniax attacked the Gotham City Police Department, Jim Gordon followed Barbara Kean into an alley where Aaron badly beat him up. Barbara kept Aaron from finishing Gordon off and they both left.[2]

At some point, Aaron was recaptured and re-incarcerated at Arkham Asylum. When Hugo Strange puts Oswald Cobblepot through the "Ice Cream Therapy" in Arkham Asylum's cafeteria, Aaron attacked Oswald out of anger that nobody else was offered ice cream. Upon not seeing Oswald fight back, Hugo sent the guards in to break it up. Oswald was later thrown in the same room with a chained-up Aaron so that Hugo can see if Oswald would kill him. Hugo sees that he didn't kill Aaron and declares that Oswald is sane.[4]

Edward Nygma later broke up Aaron Helzinger's attack on Rudy by stating that the "Lucy" that talks to Rudy is a ghost. Upon overhearing Hugo Strange and Ethel Peabody, Edward Nygma offers to help Hugo as he tells him about the motives behind the conditions of Aaron Helzinger, Sharon, and Norton. Ethel Peabody later retrieves Aaron Helzinger. When brought to where a revived Theo Galavan is, Aaron remembered him. Hugo then tells Theo that Aaron is a demon as Theo knocks him out with the chest that contains the recently-forged Sword of Sin.[5]


"Can't stand criticism because of an overbearing mother. Wants love and approval. Gets mad when he doesn't get it."
Edward Nygma to Hugo Strange[src]

Helzinger in Gotham is portrayed as child like man with a sensitive temperment. The slightest insult or injustice in his eyes would be enough to set him off.  Reacting in violent anger. Which is especially dangerous due to his adult self being tall and inhumanly strong.  However getting past that, he has some minor depths.  If someone is friendly to him, his love for them is just as passionate as his anger at anything else. When Barbara offered him friendship in exchange for protection, it caused him to smile brightly.  Due to his child like personality, he considers small pleasures to be a great importance.  When Hugo Strange experimented on Penguin to suppress his violent urges, he tested his project through what he called the Ice Cream Test. Where Penguin, but no one else in Arkham was offered Ice Cream. This naturally was enough for Aaron to go berserk and beat Penguin to near death.  With the latter not resisting even to save his own life.  While he is not very bright, he does show loyalty when he feels it's deserved. Such as when he worked with Galavan, Jerome and later Nygma. While it was scarce there was only two times, when Aaron showed fear.  The first time was when Hugo tested Galavan. Upon recognizing Galavan, he reacted in intense fear begging Strange to let him out. The second time was Edward Nygma saved Rudy from an accidental altercation, when one of his alters called Aaron fat. He did so, by convincing Aaron that said alter is a ghost. The child like Aaron backed away in fear allowing Edward to resolve the conflict between the two.


Brute Strength: Aaron has immense strength, being the only one who lifted the bodies of the shipyard workers over the ledge to throw them off the roof. He's also able to dish out a savage beating to Gordon without sustaining so much as a scratch.

Combatant: Aaron, despite having no formal combat training, is a very formidable opponent due to his size and pure muscle, able to overpower and nearly kill Gordon who is a former military soldier.

Stealth: Aaron has some skills in stealth, he was able to hide in a alley and caught Gordon by surprise and defeated him.


Season 2


  • He is the only member of The Maniax that never died, despite the fact Barbara Kean and Jerome Valeska were both resurrected, though Jerome died again.


  • In the comics, Aaron Helzinger is the alter-ego of the supervillain Amygdala. The character was created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, and first appeared in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #3.
  • Press-releases and IMDb pages of episodes originally suggested Aaron Danzig to be Aaron Helzinger. It was probably so on the early stages of writing and probably even filming (as surnames "Danzig" and "Helzinger" are very similar and could be dubbed and lip-synced in already filmed sequences with relative ease), but was likely abandoned and changed the last moment as Aaron Helzinger was largely written into first episodes of Season 2.
    • As such, the Gotham Season 2 Red Band Trailer shows footage of Aaron Danzig from the episode "Rogues' Gallery" to show Aaron Helzinger's past.
  • This is the first live-action incarnation of Aaron Helzinger/ Amygdala.


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