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"I just can't shake the suspicion that I'm the same cog in a different machine. First Jacob Kane's, now yours. What's the difference? What's in this...for me?"
—Russell Tavaroff to Black Mask[src]

Russell Tavaroff is a corrupt former high-ranking agent of Crows Security and a former member of the False Face Society.


Early life

At some point, Russell joined Crows Security.

Russell had been winning the Crows poker tournament for two years straight.[1]

Lead investigator

In order to free Angelique Martin from jail, Black Mask had three Crows killed by False Face Society members,[2] essentially declaring war on the Crows and drawing the attention of Russell.

Russell was having a meeting with Commander Jacob Kane about the incident when Sophie entered the office and told of her failure during her undercover infiltration mission. Commander Kane removed Sophie from the case and gave command to Russell, though Sophie believed that Russell's tactics were not suitable for the mission.

The next evening, Russell ordered the Crows to chase a speeding car that was suspected of being involved in a theft.

Later, Russell and the Crows investigated a warehouse where Batwoman, Sophie, and Black Mask fought; watching security footage, Russell noticed that Batwoman was hit so hard, her mouth was bleeding. Russell went to the puddle of blood and collected a sample.[3]

Russell gives the DNA sample to the Crows' DNA lab to have it analyzed; he brags about the fact that soon he will have an identity for Batwoman if she is in the criminal database. Russell checks the computer often for updates. Ultimately, after Russell gathers a few of the Crows to show them the secret identity of Batwoman, the computer reveals that she is not in the database; Sophie teases Russell for having a party needlessly.[4]

The next evening, Agent Tavaroff led a squad of Crows to a location where Batwoman was fighting a group of gang members; he and the Crows surrounded her with weapons drawn. Russell told her to surrender, but Batwoman gave a speech about how she was not the enemy and how the Crows were disrupting her operation to learn the identity of Black Mask. Suddenly, Batwoman escaped using a variant of a Grappling gun.[5]

Guns blazing

Two days later, Sophie Moore coming straight from jail, had a meeting with the Crows about the cannibals running through Gotham. Sophie's research showed that the cannibals were focused to a four block radius, but that section was outside of the Crows territory. Agent Tavaroff protested with doing the job, citing the boundary and that Commander Kane had not given the order; then he insulted Sophie telling her to take a break "to get the stink of jail" off her. The agent now had his squadron laughing and smirking. Sophie sternly reminded Agent Tavaroff that she was second-in-command and that he was to follow her directive to protect the citizens.

Russell and his squadron went to a church that was the epicenter of the cannibal attacks; they started shooting everyone they saw. When Sophie asked why she heard gunfire on his radio, Russell said the cannibals were beyond saving, so he was eliminating the problem.

Later, Russell saw two people arguing by a car; the one closer to the car said that the other was trying to rob him of the vehicle. The second man said that the former was a liar and a known car thief, citing that he had a picture of the attempted theft. As the second man reached into his vest to retrieve his phone, Russell yelled, "Gun!" and shot the man in his chest.[6]

Going rogue and facing Batwoman

Shortly after the shooting, Russell was immediately brought in for questioning by the Crows Security higher-ups. After falsely explaining that he shot in response to seeing a gun, he was commended by one of the higher-ups, though Commander Kane asked for his body cam footage before telling Tavaroff to bring in Agent Miller, who was also present at the scene.

As the news of the shooting caused protests across Gotham, Batwoman's investigation led her to Russell through Eli, leading to a fight. Russell narrowly escaped Batwoman after his fellow Crows agents hit her with a car and provided him an easy getaway.

Later, a pressured commander Kane brought Russell in for further questioning in his office, where Russell attacked Kane in hopes to oust him as commander. Keeping him confined to a room with plans to force him to overdose on Snakebite, Russell was thwarted by the returning Batwoman, who was able to take down Russell and his fellow crows, and free commander Kane.

Russell was later sent to Blackgate Penitentiary as Commander Kane announced his plans to end the Crows after the incident.[7]

Out on bail

Days later, Russell was out on bail. As Russell left the courthouse, Dana Dewitt commented on the news about the protests that were occurring because of him.

Later, Russell went to a poker tournament where only law-enforcement agents were allowed entry; he was surprised when he saw Luke Fox there and called him a stalker.

Though Russell cheated during a poker hand, he still lost to Luke, who won not only Russell's money, but also the money that Russell borrowed to cover the bet. Russell watched as Luke left the table and tipped the dealer.

Angry and embarrassed, Russell went outside and started to beat Luke up until the fight was stopped by John Diggle.[1]

Joining the False Face Society and incarceration

Russell was among the former crows agents that joined the False Face Society for money.[8] When Russell states that he would just be a "cog" in someone's device, Black Mask offers to make him a "machine" instead. Using Bane's Venom and the Snakebite, Black Mask experimented on him which didn't work at first, causing Black Mask to have his body disposed. He regained conscious in Mary Hamilton's clinic and pursued her for the Snakebite that was taken off him before being defeated by Batwing.

After Russell's involvement with the False Face Society was exposed to the public; he was sent back Blackgate, thus; his bail was revoked.[9]


Russell is extremely arrogant and egotistical; to the point of being delusional, as he believes that because he is a crows agent, that the laws don't apply to him, but legally it does. He also wants to take down Ryan Wilder (under the persona of Batwoman) not because she is a vigilante, but out of glory as she makes Crows Security look bad as they have proving themselves ineffective of taking down the False Face Society.

Russell also blames Ryan's predecessors, Kate Kane (the original Batwoman) for tarnishing the crows' reputation; completely disregard the fact that they are responsible for ruining there own reputation, when they tried to kill the original Batwoman in cold blood.

Russell is an extremely dishonourable and immoral individual; for example, after his then-superior, Sophie Moore ordered him not to harm any individuals; who were turned into cannibals by the new version of Snakebite, he completely disregard this order and killed them in cold blood, Russell tried to justify this vile of act his by stating that "they were a lost cause"; proving that Russell has guilt, shame or remorse for any of his despicable actions.

Russell is proven to be a racist; for example, when Luke Fox was reached into his vest to retrieve his phone in order to prove that Eli was one who was trying to steal a car and that he was trying to stop him; after the latter had lied about Luke being the one; who was trying to steal a car, Russell shot Luke in cold blood and only assumed that he was reaching for a gun; due to the latter being of African-American descent.

After Russell had discovered that Luke did not have a gun, he had his fellow crows agent, Miller plant a gun at the scene, and doctored video footage to make it look like Luke was with armed a gun and had committed armed robbery; in order to keep the public from discovering that he had shot the latter in cold blood.

When Russell tried to fool his superior, Jacob Kane into believing that Luke was with armed a gun and had committed armed robbery; as he was forced to shoot him in self-defense, but Jacob was not foold at all by this lie of his.

After Jacob suspended Russell, as he was going to do a full on investigation not just on Luke's shooting, but also on Russell and his fellow crows agents, as that investigation would not only revealed that Russell had shot the Luke in cold blood, but also that he and his posse had committed despicable acts in every case they were involved in.

Russell then captured Jacob and with other corrupt crows agents, as he was going to kill Jacob with Snakebite to make it look like he overdosed; in order to avoid going to prison for his crimes, only to be thwarted by Ryan (under the persona of Batwoman); proving just how despicable Russell truly is.

Russell is known to be cheater, whether at poker games or at life; as evinced in his attempt to best Luke in a poker game by cheating; only to be outsmarted by the latter.

Russell cannot tolerate when someone (rightfully) disrespects him; after he lost to Luke in a poker game and was thus; humiliated and embarrassed before everyone present at the poker-tournament, he attacked Luke and tried to take back his money, as well as the money borrowed to cover the bet he had lost; only to be stopped by John Diggle.

After John points out that Luke had won the tournament fairly and so all the prize money rightfully belongs to him, but when Russell (arrogantly) states that; "he demands respect from Luke"; this resulted in him receiving a well-deserved beating from an enraged John; who (coldly) points out that Russell did not deserve any form of respect; especially after he had shot Luke in cold blood and tried to frame him for armed robbery in an attempt to cover up his crime.

Russell later joined the False Face Society for money; proving just how low he had fallen.

These negative traits of Russell's, are what eventually led to his deserved/justified incarceration.

Powers and abilities


Russell faces off against Batwing.

  • Meta-human physiology: Due to being injected with both Venom and Snakebite, Russell possesses meta-human attributes; such as superhuman strength and durability.
    • Superhuman strength: Russell is much stronger than normal humans and most other meta-humans; for example, he is able to throw around adult humans with one arm and was able to overturn a dumpster.
    • Superhuman durability: Russell is far more durable than normal humans and most other meta-humans; for example, he was able to withstand a shock from Mary Hamilton's taser and still keep on going.


  • Peak of human physical condition: As a former member of Crows Security, Russell is likely in peak condition, given most of their agents are ex-Navy SEALs or Green Berets.[10]
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: As a former crows agent, Russell is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist. He was able to head-on against Ryan Wilder (under the persona of Batwoman) twice, even using an electrical cord in an attempt to choke out in their second confrontation, but he was ultimately bested by her on both occasions. He later bested Luke Fox in a fight who's combat skills (at the time) were interfere to Russell's, although the latter lost to John Diggle when he interfered; proving that Russell's combat skills are inferior to master level combatants/martial artists.
  • Expert marksman: As a former crows agent, Russell is highly skilled in the use of firearms. He shot Luke Fox several times without missing. He was also able to gun down several individuals drugged by the imperfect Snakebite.
  • Expert tactician/Manipulator/Leader: Russell is a skilled planner and deceiver. Russell was able to lead other crows agents and coordinate their activities in the field. He he was able to fool the Crows Security higher-ups into believing that Luke Fox was with armed a gun and had committed armed robbery; as he was forced to shoot him in self-defense, however, he was unable to food Jacob Kane into believing this lie of his; due to the fact that Luke does not have a criminal record and has never committed any crime in his life. Russell captured Jacob and planned with other corrupt crows agents to kill him with Snakebite to make it seem like he overdosed.
    • Expert investigator: Russell is an experienced investigator; he was able to notice Batwoman's blood stain on a wall in security footage and collect it in an attempt to discover her true identity.[5]
  • Stealth: As a crows agent, Russell is trained in stealth tactics and able to get the drop on Batwoman.


  • Limited durability: Although Russell is incredibly durable, he does have his limits; for example, a powerful kick from Batwing in his high-tech suit of armor; was enough to completely knock him out cold.
  • Addiction: After being injected with Venom and Snakebite he became addicted to the latter; to the point of trying to kill Mary for a sample of the drug.


  • Venom/Snakebite delivery system: Russell wears a tank and tubes on his person that fed a Venom/Snakebite mix into his system.

Former equipment

  • Handgun: Like all crows, Russell carried this handgun as his sidearm.
  • Submachine gun: As a member of the crows, Russell used this submachine gun in the field.



Season 2

Season 3

Behind the scenes