"Fantomas" (1911) is a crime novel by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. Fantomas was introduced a few years after Arsène Lupin, another well-known thief. But whereas Lupin draws the line at murder, Fantomas has no such qualms and is shown as a sociopath who enjoys killing in a sadistic fashion. He is totally ruthless, gives no mercy, and is loyal to none, not even his own children. He is a master of disguise, always appearing under an assumed identity, often that of a person whom he has murdered.
Fantomas makes use of bizarre and improbable techniques in his crimes, such as plague-infested rats, giant snakes, and rooms that fill with sand. Tragedies are following his activities, but he does not care. Juve, the French police detective is always after him. In the history of crime fiction, Fantomas represents a transition from Gothic novel villains of the 19th century to modern-day serial killers.