|Real name:||Roman Sionis|
|First Appearance:||Batman #386|
|Created by:|| Doug Moench|
|Affiliations:|| False Facers|
Roman Sionis, a former business executive who originally hated Bruce Wayne rather than Batman, wears a black wooden mask and leads the cult-like society of False Facers. Black Mask eventually became a mob boss controlling large sections of Gotham City's criminal underworld. Following the suspicious death of his multi-millionaire parents, Sionis had inherited their fortune and went on to bankrupt their company. Saved by a buyout by Bruce Wayne, Sionis came to resent and hate Wayne. Fixated on the concept of masks, Sionis carved one from his father's black coffin and sought revenge; his ensuing battle with the Dark Knight caused his mask to be burned into his skin, remaking him as the Black Mask. Sionis is now a feared gang leader and one of the most powerful mob bosses in Gotham, with a burning hatred for Batman.
Personal History Edit
Young Roman Sionis came from a rich family, his father a successful industrialist. His parents would drag him around to parties, and force him to be friends with the children of other wealthy Gothamites like the young Bruce Wayne. His parents hated other people like the Waynes though, but put on almost social masks in public to seem like more charming people. Roman hated the masks his parents wore. He would later inherit the prosperous Janus Cosmetics Corporation after his parents died in a suspicious fire. Roman quickly drove the company into the ground, leaving the company open to a Wayne Industries buyout. Driven mad by losing his legacy, he turned his hatred on Bruce Wayne. Donning a mask carved from his father's coffin, he began murdering Wayne employees. In the ensuing battle with Batman, Sionis's mask became permanently burned into his face as a living death mask. Over time he would become one of Gotham City's most ruthless and sadistic crimelords, commanding the "False Facers," a masked army of henchmen. With each subsequent loss to Batman, his empire shrank and his sadism grew. Among his many crimes were the destruction of a community center on Gotham's East End, the painstaking murder of Catwoman's brother-in-law, and driving her sister Maggie insane.
War Games Edit
Believed dead at Catwoman's hands, Black Mask survived, and when Gotham City's gang wars erupted part of a "war game" created by Batman that went horribly wrong - they created a power vacuum in the underworld that he could exploit to build a criminal empire.
Murdering Orpheus, a costumed gang leader working secretly with Batman to end the unrest in Gotham, he took the tragic hero's identity and gained the trust of the teen hero Spoiler (who had triggered Batman's "war games" in a misguided attempt to prove herself), learning information vital to his cause before betraying and torturing her.
Following Batman's plans, the faux Orpheus rallied all the factions, revealed his true identity and initiated a spree of carnage culminating with Spoiler's death. Black Mask became undisputed ruler of the entire Gotham underworld.
The End Edit
Deathstroke later approached Black Mask offering him a place within The Society. Eager to strengthen his increasingly tenuous grip on the underworld (Batman and the new Red Hood had both been targeting his operations), he accepted, and Captain Nazi, one of the Hyenas, and Count Vertigo were sent after Batman and Red Hood. However, these villains were defeated, and Batman ultimately prevented the Society from securing a foothold in Gotham.In an attempt to "improve himself" after this debacle, Black Mask threatened the most important people in Catwoman's life, from Slam Bradley to Holly Robinson.Still thinking that she adhered to a strict no-kill rule, Black Mask was caught by surprise when Catwoman retaliated by shooting him in the head and blowing off his jaw, seemingly killing him.
After the shooting, Selina Kyle passed the mantle of Catwoman to her friend Holly Robinson. Not long after, Holly was arrested for the killing of Black Mask.
Black Mask II Edit
- See: Jeremiah Arkham
In the "Battle For The Cowl" storyline, a new Black Mask surfaces. He has drugged several of Arkham Asylum's inmates, including The Great White Shark, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Mr. Zsasz, Firefly, Jane Doe, and the Scarecrow, with a substance that can kill when triggered. Black Mask is quickly acknowledged as the leader of the group when he blows up much of Arkham Asylum, and then prepares for his ascension by destroying Two-Face's and Penguin's reign and becoming Gotham City's crime lord once again. Eventually, the new Black Mask is revealed to be Jeremiah Arkham, administrator of Arkham Asylum. After being defeated by Batman, he is imprisoned in the rebuilt Arkham Asylum.
We see Dr. Arkham locked up in Arkham Asylum in the pages of Batman but over in Detective Comics (which Tony Daniel has repeatedly sworn is not set in the past) we see Dr. Arkham running the Asylum. We have also seen some of Black Mask's henchman, resembling the False Facers, which may imply Roman Sionis is still alive and active in the new continuity, making his debut in the New 52 in issue 9 revealing that Arkham is no longer Black Mask but merely "had a ride" with Sionis' friend.
- Criminal Mastermind: He is arguably the greatest criminal strategist and organizer in all of Gotham, having taken complete control of the entire Gotham underworld on at least two occasions.
- Torture Master: Perhaps his most defining skill is his mastery in both physical and psychological torture, which he often uses to extract information or to punish his enemies.
- Hand to Hand Combatant: His fighting skills are at least on par with people such as Nightwing, The Red Hood, Robin, Catwoman, even Batman.
- Peak Physical Conditioning: His strength, speed, endurance, durability, reflexes, and agility are all in peak physical condition.
- Marksman: He is an excellent marksman who is, 9/10 times, successful at hitting a target.
- Master of Disguise: He appears to be a master of disguise and a highly gifted actor.
- False Facers - The False Facers is a criminal organization founded by Black Mask. Each of it's members wears a mask that was in Black Mask's collection.
- Tattoo - Member of the False Facers. He has a face that is covered in tattoos.
- Tupeng - Member of the False Facers.
In Other MediaEdit
- In the DCAU comic Batman Adventures, Roman Sionis was a businessman who turned his failing company, Sionis Industries, into a corporate juggernaut, but lost it all as soon as he took on Wayne Enterprises. Following this, an associate of The Red Hood approached Roman to become his personal Black Mask, to lead The False Face Society, which consisted of Sportsmaster, Gorilla Boss, Black Spider, Bronze Tiger, Firefly, and Deadshot. Unfortunately for Roman, he was unable to fulfill the Red Hood's first command--to take out the Batman. He was subsequently betrayed by the Phantasm, who was promised his old position in the False Face Society. However, Batman thwarted her before she could deal the killing blow, and Roman was taken into custody.
- Black Mask appears in The Batman, voiced by James Remar. Unlike other incarnations of this character, this Black Mask's mask is unremovable and covers his whole head. He is a major mob boss in Gotham City and is all about escape and timing. This precision, and his suit, bears some resemblance to Phileas Fogg from Around the World in Eighty Days. He is later captured by Rumor in "Rumors". He also hires Shadow Thief in the episode "What Goes Up..."
- In Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, the DCAU video game based on The New Batman Adventures, Commisioner Gordon found his emergency phone lines jammed with reports in the chaos covering Gotham, one of which was a desperate plea from a policeman named Bock, who reported he was trying to suppress an incident single-handedly: Black Mask and his gang were facing The Luckhand Triad Gang in Chinatown in a looming gang war. Black Mask is not mentioned again, nor does he make an actual appearance in the video game.
- In the videogame Batman: Dark Tomorrow, Black Mask and his gang fought the Ventriloquist in a gang war, with weapons supplied by Ra's Al Ghul.
- LEGO pieces to create Black Mask in the character creation feature can be unlocked in LEGO Batman: The Videogame after obtaining all the mini-kits in the villain chapters. He is also featured as an unlockable character in the "Villain Hunt" mini game in the Nintendo DS version. Black Mask in the games resembles his animated versions.
- In Batman Begins, after Jonathan Crane is exposed to his own Fear Toxin, he views Batman as having a black skull-like face. This could possibly be a nod to the Black Mask character.
- Black Mask appears in animated feature Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- He also makes an appearance in Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
Batman: Arkham Asylum & Batman: Arkham City Edit
- Main article: Black Mask (Batman: Arkham City)