- I'm not happy, you all know, I'm not happy, and despite appearances... ...this ain't a damned smile on my face.
- -- Black Mask src
- -- Black Mask src
Roman Sionis, better known by his criminal alias Black Mask, is a longtime enemy of Batman and one of the most prominent figures in Gotham City's organized crime.
Once a member of Gotham's social elite and president of makeup giant Janus Cosmetics, Roman's own poor business sense led to a series of decisions that largely destroyed his reputation as both. Humiliated, Roman sought revenge on those he perceived to be responsible for his misfortunes - namely, Bruce Wayne and his company. To this end, Roman created the identity of the crimelord named Black Mask, as well as the criminal organization known as the False Face Society.
Born to a wealthy Gotham City family, Roman Sionis grew up with parents that cared far more about their own social standing than about the well-being of their child. When an infant Roman was dropped on his head mere moments after birth, for instance, his mother refused to sue the doctor, unwilling to slander the Sionis name in a "common lawsuit". Thereafter, people - including Roman's parents - would note that Roman's eyes contained a "strange dullness".
Roman's childhood proved to be one of pretensions as well as luxury. Countless times, his parents would don "masks" of courtesy and respect for similarly wealthy and influential guests that they privately loathed, including the Wayne family. Soon, Roman grew resentful of both the "masks" and his family's high-society "friends", not to mention his parents themselves, who would often pressure him into donning a "mask" as well.
At the age of twelve, Roman was taken on his first "camping trip" at the luxurious Sionis country estate. It was here that his lifelong obsession with masks would truly begin, as it was on the estate grounds that Roman was bitten by a rabid raccoon - a creature "trapped in a lifelong mask" just like he believed himself to be. The bite brought on nightmarish fevers and hallucinations, all of which the young Roman survived, though he would emerge from the ordeal with an even more unstable mind.
When he turned twenty-one, Roman became an employee at his father's company, Janus Cosmetics. Starting at the bottom, Roman managed to work his way up to the position of vice president in a month. Shortly thereafter, Roman fell in love with a young model auditioning for Janus Cosmetics, who operated under the stage name of " Circe". Though Roman hastily hired and proposed to Circe, his parents - still in charge of Janus Cosmetics - forbade him from associating with such a lower-class woman, and planned to fire Circe. Roman pretended to accept his parents' decision, managing for the first time in his life to successfully don one of the "masks" his parents loved so much. The subsequent summer, both of Roman's parents died in a mysterious fire.
Shortly after his parents' deaths, Roman took over the position that his father once held - president of Janus Cosmetics. However, Roman soon proved himself to be a poor businessman, refurnishing the four of the company's five public relations offices as a private apartment for himself and Circe. The final office was used as a storeroom for Roman's new obsession - collecting masks from every corner of the world. Roman's "hobby" would soon spill over into his work, as he pressed his subordinates to market a new line of "extreme", brightly-colored makeup that were, in effect, liquid masks. The new face-paint line failed spectacularly, and Roman was disgraced in the eyes of his employees.
Desperate to improve Janus Cosmetics' plunging revenues, Roman began to throw money at the company's Research and Development division, urging them to invent something new. To Roman's joy, Janus' scientists soon created a new, one-hundred-percent waterproof makeup, which Roman hastily and aggressively marketed to the public, ignoring pleas that the still-experimental makeup be tested for safety first. Unfortunately for Roman and Janus Cosmetics, the makeup proved to be a highly dangerous toxin, permanently disfiguring several hundred consumers across Gotham.
Janus Cosmetics soon found itself besieged by several hundred lawsuits, and teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. A humiliated Roman was forced to accept a bailout from Wayne Enterprises, on the condition that Roman give up control of Janus Cosmetics and allow Wayne Enterprises to appoint a new board of directors (while staying on as a figurehead leader). To add insult to injury, Circe left Roman during the whole debacle, to pursue employment as a model elsewhere.
Now totally unhinged, Roman traveled to the cemetery where his parents were buried, unwilling to blame himself for his misfortunes. As he began to unlock the door the Sionis family crypt, a bolt of lightning struck him, blasting open the door and hurling Roman headfirst into a nearby stone. Roman took the event as an omen signifying his "rebirth", and rushed into the crypt, smashing his father's ebony casket with the stone.
Roman would spend the next several days in hiding, preparing for his rebirth by carving a piece of his father's casket lid into a fearsome black mask. As the police investigated his disappearance, Roman gathered several other items from his home and from Janus Cosmetics - an automatic pistol, several thousand dollars in cash, his entire mask collection, and the remaining jars of the defective waterproof makeup - and debuted as Gotham's newest crime lord, Black Mask. 
The False Face Society of Gotham
Black Mask was easily able to gather a legion of followers from the ranks of Gotham's underworld, beginning with two petty criminals whom he dubbed "Thespis" and "Tupeng". The " False Face Society", as Black Mask called the gang, was highly distinctive, and cult-like in several aspects - each member wore a different mask, which Black Mask himself assured would "recreate" the wearers' personalities into stronger ones. Operating from a base in the Sionis family crypt, the False Face Society soon buried Gotham beneath a crime wave, attracting the attention of both the police and Batman.
As the forces of law and order began to piece together Black Mask's true identity, the crime lord pursued his vendetta against those who had wronged him. With only Thespis and Tupeng at his side, Black Mask personally murdered three of Janus Cosmetics' new, Wayne-appointed executives, forcing each to don a mask laced with the failed waterproof makeup. The toxic chemicals made short work of the executives, killing each one painfully and leaving his face horrifically disfigured. This done, Black Mask next kidnapped Circe from her new career as a magazine model and forced her to don a mask laced with a diluted form of the makeup, sparing her life but permanently disfiguring her face. Black Mask then demanded that Circe rejoin him, or face the "full facial treatment", as the Wayne executives had. Left with no choice, Circe agreed, and was given a "mannequin" mask intentionally designed to mock her former life.
In the meantime, Batman had deduced Black Mask's true identity, and correctly predicted that Bruce Wayne would be the crime lord's next target. Hoping to set a trap for Black Mask, he held a masquerade ball at Wayne Manor, knowing that Sionis would not be able to resist attending. True to his predictions, Sionis, with Circe as his "date", infiltrated the ball and mingled with the guests. Sionis subsequently lured Bruce to the mansion's conservatory, intending to kill him with a gun. Bruce successfully fought off and disarmed Sionis, forcing the latter to flee the premises and allowing Robin to trail him to his hideout in the Sionis crypt.
The Dynamic Duo soon followed Black Mask into the graveyard, fighting off the hordes of the False Face Society with ease. Black Mask himself, however, escaped through a false bottom installed in his father's coffin, and fled the graveyard in a hearse. With the Batmobile hot on his heels, Black Mask drove to the Sionis family estate, chalking up his failure to kill Bruce Wayne to the "weakness" of Roman Sionis, and intending to fully sever the aforementioned identity from that of Black Mask. As Batman and Robin battled with the remaining members of the False Face Society, Black Mask entered Roman Sionis' old bedroom and set fire to the old toys inside, intending to burn the mansion to the ground.
Though empowered by the symbolism of the act, Black Mask's sense of invincibility was shortly-lived, for he emerged from the room to see that the entire membership of his False Face Society had been defeated by Batman and Robin. Unnerved, the crime lord immediately fled back into the burning bedroom. In an attempt to save him from a fiery death, Batman flung a Batarang-attached cable around Black Mask's knees, causing him to fall face-first just as the bedroom's rafters began collapsing. The rafters pinned Black Mask's face into the pile of burning toys; though Batman and Robin were able to tow him out of the fire, it was soon revealed that the flames had burned the mask into his face, ironically accomplishing his goal of eliminating all traces of Roman Sionis.
Shortly afterward, Black Mask was arrested, and sentenced to the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
Return to Gotham
Some time after his arrest, Black Mask was freed from Arkham by the machinations Ra's al Ghul, along with many other criminals hailing from both Arkham and the Gotham State Penitentiary. Once freed, Black Mask went off to pursue his own agenda, refusing to follow the Joker's lead as so many of his fellow escapees (including Penguin, Riddler, and Killer Croc) were. 
Post-Crisis, Black Mask made a brief appearance during the events of "The Last Arkham" as one of the inmates in Arkham Asylum. Here, he was part of an enormous mob of inmates that Jeremiah Arkham unleashed upon Batman, as part of a "disciplinary exercise". The crime lord was presumably beaten senseless, much like his fellow inmates. 
Later on, Black Mask returned to crime after an unspecified breakout at Arkham Asylum, leading a rebuilt False Face Society (complete with an unwilling Circe by his side) and a new, powerful lieutenant named Tattoo. As the crimelord quickly rose through the ranks of Gotham's underworld, he continued his vendetta against Bruce Wayne by ordering the False-Facers to burn down various Wayne Enterprises-owned buildings around Gotham. The rash of arsons attracted Batman's attention once more, prompting the Dark Knight to disguise himself as a new recruit to the False Face Society who was Christened "Skullface" by Black Mask himself.
Though "Skullface" was able to foil another arson attempt by the False Face Society with the help of Robin, he was unable to stop Tattoo from kidnapping Lucius Fox, the "mastermind" behind the Wayne bailout. His grudge still powerful, Black Mask almost killed Fox on the spot, but was convinced to spare him - for the time being - by Circe. The crimelord decided to leave Fox locked in his hideout to starve, and began to redirect his energies toward strengthening his criminal empire. During this time, however, he began to grow suspicious of his new recruit's inquisitive nature, and correctly began to suspect (as did Tattoo) that "Skullface" was a spy.
The following night, Black Mask began to interrogate Fox, demanding that the WayneCorp executive betray all that he knew about Bruce Wayne. Defiant, Fox resisted Black Mask's demands, even when Black Mask threatened him with disfigurement and death via one of his infamous toxic makeup-smeared masks. As the angered Black Mask prepared to force the mask over Fox's face, a desperate "Skullface" attacked the crime lord, saving Fox but revealing his identity as Bruce Wayne. Tattoo quickly managed to subdue Bruce, but as Black Mask prepared to shoot his most hated enemy at point-blank, Circe leaped into the fray and threw off the crime lord's aim. In the confusion, Bruce managed to escape, and don the cape and cowl of Batman.
Soon enough, Black Mask and Tattoo fled into the night, with Batman in hot pursuit. The pair were eventually cornered on a pier, and with no other option left, Tattoo resorted to physically fighting the Caped Crusader. After a short yet brutal battle, Batman emerged victorious; panicked, Black Mask leaped off of the pier and escaped into the dark waters. The police would comb the area for the crimelord's body, but would find only a decoy constructed from the corpse of a WayneCorp executive that the False Face Society had kidnapped some time before. Batman - already in the throes of a mid-life crisis - took his failure to capture Black Mask extremely hard. 
Black Mask remained at large throughout the events of "Knightfall" and "Zero Hour". He resurfaced shortly thereafter, still leading the False Face Society, and killed rival mobster "Dirty Dan" Doyle in an ambush shootout. 
Later still, Black Mask was approached by a young hoodlum named Johnny LaMonica, AKA the Black Spider, who wished to join the False Face Society. Finding LaMonica irritating, Black Mask demanded that the young man "make his bones" first by crashing another masquerade ball being held at Wayne Manor. The Black Spider did as ordered, but failed to hurt a single person, and was barely able to escape Batman.
Batman would later learn, however, that LaMonica was a double agent for "Turk" Ottoman, a rival of Black Mask. Realizing that Black Spider intended to kill Black Mask one way or another to make way for his true employer, the Caped Crusader tracked Black Mask to an abandoned theater. Though Batman arrived too late to stop LaMonica from killing several False-Facers, he was able to prevent LaMonica from shooting Black Mask. Deeming the armed Black Spider to be the greater threat, Batman fought with LaMonica, having no choice but to allow Black Mask to escape in the confusion. The next night, Batman staged a desperate and violent manhunt for the crimelord, but to no avail. 
When a new and radical vigilante known as Lock-Up appeared in Gotham, Black Mask and the False Face Society became unwitting partners in a plan concocted by Batman and the Gotham police to capture the self-declared crimefighter. One of the False-Facers' top enforcers, Joe Rabbit, was captured and pressured to turn state's evidence against Black Mask, receiving high publicity from the local media. Such a move was meant to lure in Lock-Up, as the vigilante targeted any and all criminals who managed to "weasel" out of prison sentences. Unexpectedly, however, Black Mask sent in a gang of False-Facers to kill the "traitor", nearly resulting in the plan's total failure.
For a brief period, Black Mask attempted to expand his operations into Gotham's sister city, Bludhaven. To this end, he ordered a team of False-Facers to kidnap the "children" (really a dozen unfertilized eggs awaiting in vitro fertilization) of the Mihn family, the head of Bludhaven's Vietnamese mobs. Black Mask planned to hold the eggs hostage until the Mihns gave him access to Bludhaven's heroin trade, but the scheme was ultimately foiled by the recently-arrived Nightwing. 
On one occasion, Black Mask approached Detective Harvey Bullock with a deal: in exchange for a disc filled with information about the False-Facers' rivals in the underworld - "enough potential cases for ten successful police careers" - Bullock would give a testimony at the upcoming trial of Johnny Poodles - a top False-Facer - that would dismiss the entire case. Bullock initially refused the offer, but later gave in, and began to eliminate Black Mask's competition around Gotham. When Bullock's resolve began to slip, Black Mask went so far as to offer him the identity of a notorious serial killer known as the "Widow-Whacker" - a False-Facer himself. In the end, however, Bullock's integrity won out, and he gave an honest testimony at the Poodles trial that ensured Poodles' conviction. Angered, Black Mask sent several False-Facers to kill Bullock, but the cop managed to lure the False-Facers into the territory of a rival biker gang, resulting in a shootout that left only Bullock himself alive. 
Crime's New Face
After reading about the Spanish Inquisition during an unspecified period in his criminal career, Black Mask underwent an enormous shift in personality and modus operandi. His obsession with masks began to mutate, merging with his new-found interest in physical pain and torture. Eventually, Black Mask came to think of torture as an "art form", and his own mask as proof that he had survived his own personal torture - the searing of his mask into his face. As a result, the crimelord began to make heavy use of physical torture in both business and pleasure, as a means of entertainment as well as interrogation. 
Once Gotham had been declared a "No Man's Land" in the wake of the Cataclysm earthquake. The crimelord, like the other released Arkham inmates, gathered a gang and seized a piece of "turf" in the abandoned, half-destroyed Gotham - in his case, the Fashion District. This time, however, he no longer wore his trademark mask, and his goal was no longer money or power; instead, he began to espouse a nihilistic philosophy that claimed Gotham's "true face" had been revealed by the earthquake. Black Mask's followers, now calling themselves the "True-Facers", became a full-blown cult, horrifically disfiguring their own faces and doing the same to anyone who continued to uphold a "false face".
The former crimelord and his numerous followers cut a bloody swath across the earthquake-ravaged Gotham, heading for the still-standing Gotham clock tower and facially mutilating - and sometimes murdering - anyone in the way. The clock tower, still the base of operations for Oracle and in the middle of "Blue Boy" (former GCPD) territory, nevertheless proved an easy target for Black Mask and his enormous mob - to the point where a desperate Oracle was ready to shoot Black Mask with an emergency sniper rifle. Black Mask's life, however, was inadvertently saved with the intervention of the new Batgirl, who beat many of the True-Facers into submission before publicly breaking Black Mask's arm. Upon seeing their leader humbled, the rest of the True-Facers fled, and Batman soon arrived to take Black Mask to Blackgate Penitentiary, now run by the vigilante's tenuous ally, Lock-Up. 
Later on, the incarcerated Black Mask (who had apparently abandoned his new philosophy while in Blackgate) would play a small but pivotal role in Nightwing's mission - on Batman's orders - to end the alliance with Lock-Up and retake Blackgate. After Lock-Up and his lieutenants discovered the Nightwing prowling about the island, they subdued the vigilante and threw him into a holding cell with many incarcerated super-villains, most of whom howled for his blood. Black Mask, along with the Scarecrow, opposed this short-sighted fervor for revenge, reasoning that a living Nightwing could serve as a ticket to their freedom. The inmates ultimately decided to refrain from killing Nightwing, and the former Robin paid them in kind by helping them use gunpowder residue to blast an escape out of their cell. Nightwing, however, had no intention of letting the inmates run free once again, and abandoned them shortly before taking down Lock-Up and his cronies. 
Pride Before A Fall
After the United States government lifted the No Man's Land and welcomed Gotham back into the union, Black Mask returned to his traditional role as a mob kingpin, though he completely abandoned the False Face Society in favor of ordinarily-attired criminals. Soon, he turned his attentions to the drug trade in Gotham's notoriously crime-ridden East End, enlisting the help of many corrupt policemen to secure his hold over the area. His activities, however, eventually led him to clash with the East End's newly-appointed "protector", Catwoman. After two policemen on the crimelord's payroll shot Catwoman's friend Holly Robinson, Catwoman retaliated with an elaborate revenge scheme, enlisting the help of police detective Crispus Allen and private eye Slam Bradley. The scheme was a total success, breaking up a heroin-diamond exchange that the crimelord had planned with Gotham's Russian mob: the heroin was destroyed by a bomb, while Catwoman kept the diamonds for herself. To top everything off, several of the policemen on the crimelord's payroll were removed in a corruption bust. 
The enraged Black Mask sought vengeance on Catwoman, and eventually caught wind of rumors concerning a woman named Sylvia Sinclar - an incarcerated woman who supposedly knew of Catwoman's secret identity. The crimelord sent his lieutenant Xavier Dylan to confirm this information, and offer Sylvia a deal: if she agreed to help Black Mask pursue his vendetta against Catwoman, Black Mask would arrange for her release from prison. In the meantime, Black Mask continued to pursue the missing diamonds, violently interrogating - and eventually killing - several well-known underworld traders in the process. 
Sylvia, in reality a former childhood friend of Selina Kyle's, readily agreed to Black Mask's terms in order to settle her own personal grudge against Selina. With Sylvia's assistance, the crimelord masterminded the bombing of a community center that Selina had funded, the abduction and torture of Selina's sister Maggie (compounded by the murder of Maggie's husband, Simon), and the near-murder of Holly and Slam. Catwoman eventually discovered Black Mask's involvement and location, having threatened the information out of the crimelord's lieutenant, Xavier Dylan. Subsequently, the thief burst into Black Mask's penthouse to confront the crimelord and her traitorous friend.
To Catwoman's dismay, Sylvia and Black Mask had one more ace in the hole: a captive Holly, brought to their clutches by the delinquent children of the East End. Catwoman immediately surrendered upon seeing Holly, and with Sylvia holding the thief at gunpoint, Black Mask led Catwoman down into his torture chamber. Upon entering the chamber and seeing her sister chained to a wall, near-comatose from sheer trauma, Catwoman begged Black Mask to release Maggie. In response, Black Mask offered the thief a deal: he would release Maggie and send her to an emergency room, but in exchange, Catwoman would agree to be tortured to death in Maggie's place.
Catwoman agreed to Black Mask's conditions, but after she had been properly chained, Black Mask immediately went back on his word and ordered Maggie killed. His betrayal, however, had been anticipated by Catwoman, who immediately activated a bomb she'd earlier planted in the crimelord's penthouse. While Black Mask and Sylvia were distracted by the explosion, Catwoman wrested herself free of Black Mask's chains; panicked by this turn of events, Black Mask fled the torture chamber, leaving Sylvia behind to stall Catwoman.
Sylvia, however, proved a poor match for Catwoman in hand-to-hand combat, and was quickly defeated. Catwoman then confronted Black Mask, leaving the crimelord with nowhere to run. A desperate Black Mask attempted to take Holly hostage a second time, but was outmaneuvered by Catwoman, who subjected him to a beating that left him disarmed and hanging from his penthouse's balcony by one hand. Black Mask begged for help, but the vengeful Catwoman gave him none; seconds later, the crimelord's grip broke, and he fell several stories to his apparent death. 
Black Mask became obsessed with obtaining the ability to turn invisible. He stated that it was the ultimate mask. To this end he funded Niles Glass research on a Translux invisibility serum. Glass successfully turned himself invisible, but then went on a revenge killing spree and almost killed Black Mask. He was rescued by Batman and the serum was lost. Black Mask's fascination with invisibility would continue in his legacy, the second Black Mask.
When Tim Drake quit his role as Robin in War Games, Batman chose Stephanie Brown, aka The Spoiler, to replace him. Batman quickly discovered that her lack of focus and inability to follow orders made her a danger to herself and others, and fired her. Desperate to prove herself, she took one of Batman's contingency plans and set it into action with the intent of shepherding it to a successful conclusion. The plan was to get all of Gotham's crime lords under the control of Orpheus, an agent of Batman, and therefore under the control of Batman himself. The plan failed because Spoiler was unaware that a key contact with the crime lords, Matches Malone, was actually another alter ego of Batman himself. When "Matches Malone" did not appear as expected, the tension at the meeting accidentally degenerated into a firefight, leaving many dead and wounded. This created a power vacuum that quickly erupted into a brutal gang war on the streets of Gotham.
In War Games Act Two, Spoiler sought Orpheus, believing that if she could enlist his help there might still be a chance to bring the plan to some sort of successful conclusion. As she finished telling Orpheus his role in the plan, Black Mask murdered him by slitting his throat in front of Spoiler. He then tortured Spoiler for the rest of information on the plan.
Black Mask assumed Orpheus' identity, using face putty and padding, (as seen in 'Batman: War Games, Act Three') fooling even Batman and Onyx. As Orpheus he fanned the flames of the crisis, driving Gotham's criminal element into a bloodthirsty, destructive mob seeking to kill any member or associate of the Batman Family. He then returned to torture Spoiler for his own enjoyment only to find that she had escaped. Black Mask soon tracked her down again and they fought. Spoiler managed to overcome Black Mask and get away, but was left with severe internal injuries.
Black Mask then infiltrated Oracle's Clocktower in an attempt to expose her to the criminal mob. Batman attacked him in a blind rage and Oracle, fearful for Batman's life, was forced to activate a self-destruct device in the tower to get Batman to save her.
In the end, the Spoiler supposedly died due to the injuries inflicted on her and the willful negligence of Leslie Thompkins (although a recent retcon establishes that Stephanie's death had been faked).
Black Mask then rose to become the overlord of the Gotham underworld.
Allied with reporter Arturo Rodriguez, Black Mask began a campaign to discredit Batman. While Rodriguez slammed Batman in the press, Black Mask committed a series of murders disguised as Batman. This plan was complicated by the arrival of the Joker. Black Mask was intent on killing the Clown Prince of Crime and framing Batman for it, but the Joker wanted to kill Black Mask, because he robbed him of the opportunity to kill another Robin. The two nearly killed each other before Batman intervened. Batman eventually exposed Rodriguez and finally managed to capture Black Mask. However, while being taken to jail, he managed to kill the escorting officer and escape again.
The assassin 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, killing him.
After the shooting, Selina Kyle passed the mantle of Catwoman to her friend Holly. Not long after, Holly was arrested for Black Mask's murder.
During Blackest Night, the original Black Mask, Roman Sionis was reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps with a power ring. Black Mask immediately attacked Catwoman in an effort to avenge his death. Not getting the emotional response he wanted from her as he attempted to kill her, Black Mask decided to go after Catwoman's sister, Maggie Kyle, who he had tortured into insanity prior to his death. At the mental hospital, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn manage to intercept Black Mask before he reaches Maggie. Black Mask temporarily defeats Ivy and Harley and proceeds to capture Catwoman and Maggie. Just as he is about to torture Maggie again, Ivy has a giant venus fly trap devour him. The fly trap's digestive acid dissolves Black Mask's body, and when the body is reanimated by the Black Lantern ring, it is dissolved once again, trapping Black Mask in a perpetual cycle presumed to last until the Blackest Night is over.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
Sionis' death has recently been erased from the timeline. It is revealed that after being shot by Catwoman, he staggered to Arkham, willingly turning himself in and begging to be treated.  He had attempted a hunger strike to try and regain his mask, but to no avail. He meets with Doctor Arkham, asking for the return of his mask and recounting their shared time as Black Mask. The Talon attack the Asylum soon after, Arkham commanding Roman to mind control the inmates to attack the assassins and to keep anyone from entering his safe room. In return, he receives the mask, Sionis once again becoming Black Mask. He is quickly defeated by Batman.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Criminology: Black Mask is arguably the greatest criminal strategist and organiser in Gotham, having taken almost full control of the city's underworld on at least two occasions.
- Disguise: Black Mask is a formidable master of disguise as well as a highly gifted actor, as he was able to fool even the deductive skills of Batman when disguised as Orpheus. He most often uses face putty or plastic masks to hide his skull-head and look like someone else.
- Acting: He has led almost all of Gotham to believe he was Batman when donning his suit.
- Marksmanship: Roman Sionis is an excellent marksman who always carries at least two semi-automatic handguns. He has proven capable of hitting highly nimble athletes (like Jason Todd and Catwoman) in mid-air with relatively little effort and has also shot mid-flight batarangs away from himself.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Black Mask is a highly accomplished athlete and hand to hand combatant who has been shown fighting on par with the likes of Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin, Catwoman, and even Batman himself on at least one occasion.
- Weaponry: Perhaps Black Mask's most defining skill is his mastery of both physical and psychological torture, which he often uses either to extract information, or simply to torment his enemies.
- Criminal Insanity: While not traditionally insane by any recognizable disease or mental defect, Roman is criminally insane which means he cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.
- Small Arms: He has been shown using a variety of crude, sharp-edged weapons, as well as the use of everyday objects including kitchen knives, steel pipes, and electricity cords which he slowly drips with water causing mild electric shocks.
- Black Mask is very resourceful when it comes to torture, murder, violence and business. As such he's used various kinds of tools and techniques over the years.
- Black Mask's face is actually a mask, from a collection he's kept, which was seared onto his face and blackened by fire.
- Roman has been shown, with his mask, the ability to control the weak minded in Arkham Asylum. He is able to control all of the inmates with ease and almost controlled the Batman. The mind control easily stops with a blow to the face.
- It has been suggested that because of his methods that Roman might be sociopathic but this is unsubstantiated.
- 97 Appearances of Roman Sionis (New Earth)
- 32 Images featuring Roman Sionis (New Earth)
- 8 Quotations by or about Roman Sionis (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Roman Sionis (New Earth)
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- ↑ Batman #386
- ↑ Batman #400
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #3
- ↑ Batman #484, #485
- ↑ Detective Comics #684
- ↑ Batman #518, #519, #520
- ↑ Nightwing (Vol 2) #1
- ↑ Batman: Bullock's Law #1
- ↑ Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ Batman #565, Detective Comics #732
- ↑ Nightwing (Vol 2) #35, #36 #37
- ↑ Catwoman (Vol 3) #6, #7, #8, #9
- ↑ Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ Catwoman (Vol 3) #12, #13, #14, #15, #16
- ↑ Catwoman (Volume 3) #83
- ↑ Detective Comics Vol 2 9
- ↑ Detective Comics (Volume 2) #9
|Batman Villain(s) |
This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."
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