|Real name:||Roman Sionis|
Base of Operations:
|Height:||6ft 1in/ 1.86 meters|
|First Appearance:||Batman #386 (August 1985)|
| Nolan North (Arkham City)
Brian Bloom (Arkham Origins)
- "You know what's so great about you Batman? Even when I lose, I win. So go ahead, call the cops. They'll lock me up, sure. But my lawyer's gonna have me out on bail before the sun's up. And you know what I'm gonna do when I get out? I'm gonna dedicate every waking minute to tracking you down, and taking you out! And the best part is, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Because that justice system you love so much, it's a scam! And you? Well you're the mark. Because you keep tossing us in, and we keep bouncing right back out!"
- ―Black Mask[src]
Fixated on the concept of masks, Sionis carved a wooden one from his father's black coffin and sought revenge, renaming himself the Black Mask. From then on, he constantly battled Batman. Sionis is now a feared gang leader and one of the most powerful mob bosses in Gotham, with a burning hatred of both the Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Gotham City business owner Roman Sionis is alleged to be one of the city’s most powerful crime lords, though no convictions have ever been made. Sionis is also a fan of torture. This shows his sadistic and cruel persona. Sionis maintains several “legitimate” businesses - many of which are believed to be fronts for illegal operations. Notable businesses in his portfolio include: Janus Cosmetics, Gotham Merchants’ Bank, and the now-defunct Sionis Steel Works. Sionis has been charged with embezzling city funds, drug trafficking, murder, racketeering, distribution of illegal narcotics, and other offenses, but never convicted. In previous trials, witnesses for the prosecution have been known to recant, die, or disappear. Investigation is ongoing. It is also revealed that Sionis has Prolonged Q-T syndrome, and had a pacemaker implanted in his heart. This means he can easily be victim to cardiac arrest if his heart rate gets too high. As a "King" of Gotham, Sionis was more cruel and sinister than any other criminal in the city, until his reign fell at the hands of a much more evil monster known as "The Joker".
Before Arkham Origins IncidentEdit
The Early Years and Masks of SocietyEdit
- "This city has a problem: some freak who thinks he's a hero. Luckily, there isn't a problem in the world that can't be solved with a little bit of money. I don't care who does it, I don't care how they do it, I just want the bat dead! Tonight, we all win. One of you gets to walk away with fifty-million dollars. And the rest? Well, we get rid of the Batman!"
- ―Black Mask
Roman Sionis' childhood would be scarred with several incidents that left him in extreme pain, including being dropped on his head shortly after being born in the hospital. His parents are always more concerned on how it would affect their public image however, rather than their son. As they always leave their son behind to engage in social events to uphold their reputation, even if they despise those they are attending with, Roman develops an intense hatred for his parents and an aptitude towards the concept of masks, believing his parents were hypocrites wearing figurative masks to uphold their family image. Over the years, Roman would collect various masks that would make up a massive collection, which would serve him and his criminal activities well years later.
Among the socialites that the Sionis' frequently engage with are the Waynes, with Roman being forced to become friends with Bruce by his parents. As Roman knows his parents true feelings about the Waynes, Roman grows to despise them all. Despite this, Roman is eventually able to complete his education and get a job at his father's massive company, Janus Cosmetics, where he meets a beautiful young woman named Circe, whom he eventually falls in love with. However, his parents forbid him to see her due to Circe being of the lower class compared to them; this would be the last straw for Roman. Roman then starts a massive fire within his family mansion with his parents inside to finally be rid of them once and for all.
After Roman sets fire to his family mansion, completely burning it to the ground and murdering his neglectful parents at the same time, the villain becomes rich in wealth, power lust, and tainted ambitions. With his parents out of the way, Roman took control of Janus Cosmetics and becomes engaged to Circe with Roman believing that he may finally have a chance at being happy. However, Roman is not the business man his father was and nearly bankrupts the company with several ill conceived and rushed products, leaving him no choice but to accept help from Bruce Wayne in exchange for giving up control of the company; this intensified Roman's hatred of Bruce Wayne even more. To make matters worse for Roman, Circe broke up with him in front of the entire company, destroying the last shreds of humanity that may have been left in Roman.
Roman decides to take his business activities into the criminal elements to capitalize on Gotham's violent streets and criminal underworld. Still left with a massive fortune, Sionis embezzles his inheritance money and starts numerous lucrative business ventures, which he eventually uses as a front for illegal operations in conjunction with his late father's corporation, which he manages to uphold control of with his newly formed, massive profits. Carving a mask from the black wood of his father's coffin, Sionis becomes known to the criminal underworld as Black Mask, a sadistic and vicious mass murderer and crime boss. Sionis/Black Mask also had been afflicted with paranoia, which was a large part of the reason he was one of the more successful criminal kingpins.
Roman also was an old accomplice of the Falcone Crime Family, more specifically Carmine Falcone. At some point, Roman also encountered Carmine's son, Alberto Falcone, and offered him a private place to talk after Falcone made a statement about his family at Cucinotta's the night before. However, this later came back to haunt him when Alberto Falcone, who had a history of mental instability, made a threatening call to Roman late at night in his alternate persona.
Arkham Origins IncidentEdit
- "This time tomorrow, Gotham's gonna be mine."
- ―Black Mask
Recruiting dozens of other thugs and murderers to form a group called "The False Facers", Black Mask would lead his gang into performing incredible and daring heists, using his family crypt as an initial base of operations to direct his affairs from. Black Mask and his organization would grip all of Gotham in a massive crime wave and murder countless individuals who have crossed him in the past, including Circe, who eventually commits suicide to avoid extensive torture done regualry to her by Roman, and several Wayne Enterprise employees.
Roman becomes extremely wealthy and powerful in a relatively short period of time, gaining the attention of the Dark Knight himself as the villain buys up and starts several more businesses. By the events of a particularly snowy winter during Batman's second year patrolling the streets of Gotham, Black Mask is by far the most powerful man and crime lord in the city, possessing immense wealth and resources and controls Gotham's criminal underworld with his massive gangs.
Using his massive wealth and ties to the criminal underworld to hire corrupt public officials, such as Commissioner Loeb, and countless bent cops, Black Mask also effectively and completely controls the Gotham City Police Department, with the exception of Captain James Gordon and a few others, allowing him to easily stay out of prison with any evidence against him mysteriously going missing and witnesses ending up dead. Additionally, judges, councilmen, and even guards at Blackgate Penitentiary would end up on Sionis' payroll, effectively making the villain the true law that controls the city with his criminal empire in a seat of supreme power.
To serve as a personal squadron of enforcers for Black Mask within the GCPD, Commissioner Loeb initiates a SWAT team made up of handpicked officers who would use stolen equipment and gear in their "assignments"; the worst of the worst with Howard Branden as their trigger happy leader. This team would serve Black Mask and Loeb most loyally of all by stealing weapons from evidence lockup and transferring them to Roman, helping the crime lord in selling drugs and expanding his profits, eliminating evidence and framing other individuals for his crimes, killing witnesses, and turning a blind eye to his criminal activities. Serving their own interests at the same time, Loeb and Branden would also use their connections to Black Mask to intimidate Gotham citizens into handing over protection money, use the homeless to do their dirty work or suffer beatings, and secure their own financial situations with bribes.
While most police officers who would not take Sionis' bribes or orders are horrifically tortured and murdered, Black Mask would have other plans in mind for Captain James Gordon. While Gordon was previously attacked by his fellow coworkers, including his partner, Arnold Flass, under the orders of Loeb for not being a "team player", Black Mask believes that Gordon would be far more useful to their plans and cause if he was controlled instead as his respectable public image would help to preserve the reputation of a thoroughly corrupt police department. To this end, Loeb orders Harvey Bullock, another officer bordering on corruption as well, to become Gordon's partner to uncover information on the captain that could be used to blackmail and effectively control him for their own designs.
In the meantime, Gordon is given a task that would both keep him busy and out of Loeb and Branden's operations and keep him focused on a task that would benefit Black Mask and the corrupt police department as a whole; capturing Batman. To this end, Gordon is put in charge of a task force whose sole assignment is hunting down and capturing vigilantes, with Batman at the top of the list. This would spark conflict between Gordon and his daughter Barbara, who believes that Batman accomplishes much more than the broken legal system in Gotham.
With Black Mask using sadistic torture, fear, and punishment to exert his control over his followers, enemies, and the entire city alike, and the entire Gotham police force and infrastructure serving as little more than a secondary gang for his forces, few stepped up against Black Mask, despite most believing his involvement in the numerous crimes he has been alleged, but never convicted of, to have committed. Having wiped out most of the competition and begun consolidating his power, Black Mask issues forth a crime wave with his gang to capitalize on his reign over the city. Forming a truce with other criminals within Gotham City, including newcomer to the criminal underworld Oswald Cobblepot, also known as The Penguin, who agreed to assist in his plans for his own purposes, Black Mask also seeks to completely wipe out the entire Falcone Crime Family, one of his last remaining, competing adversaries.
Wearing a Black Mask when leading his men, also similarly wearing masks to represent their personalities, as a disguise and part of his persona when heading up his criminal activities, the villain is able to publicly run his company as Roman Sionis and keep himself from being connected to any crime, while also using his businesses as a front for drug trafficking and other illegal operations. Roman's buissnesses primarily consist of Janus Cosmetics, which he often uses to conceal illegal chemicals and drugs to be sold onto the streets, and Sionis Industries, which has since fell into disrepair.
However, Roman still keeps control over the mill and uses it as a storage facility to receive shipments of illegal materials used in the construction of his drugs. Within the mill warehouses, there is a secret passageway that leads to a massive drug manufacturing facility, where Sionis makes and ships his drugs and also keeps a private office and torture chamber, which he uses to brutalize, intimidate, and slaughter his enemies and cops who would not take his orders in order to further feed his sadistic appetites. Roman also keeps stashes of his ill gotten gains within the mill as a failsafe fortune for his illegal activities.
The remainder of his illegal profits would be stored within the Gotham Merchants Bank, yet another business that Roman owns and uses as a secondary front to launder his ill-conceived fortune. Through his control of the Merchants Bank, Roman would also embezzle city funds, leaving many clients broke and homeless as Roman buys up numerous resources and miles worth of real estate throughout new and old Gotham to serve as secondary headquarters and safe houses. With Sionis selling large quantities of drugs each week, most of Gotham's infrastructure on his payroll, and owning much of the real estate, Gotham becomes rifled with corruption, crime, and poverty, with many turning to a life of crime to support themselves. While Black Mask has complete control over the city and seems to be untouchable by any law, authority, or individual, the crime lord's luck took a turn for the worse with the emergence of a psychopathic mass murderer and villain calling himself The Joker.
Several days before Christmas' Eve, Black Mask was having a criminal known as the Joker followed as the the maniac had been stealing chemicals from him. However, the Joker begins to stalk one of his girlfriends, Tiffany Ambrose. Sionis moves her to his safehouse in Lacey Towers, which turns out to be anything but safe: the Joker breaks in, knocks Ambrose unconscious, and hangs her from the chandelier. Sionis and a henchman, Giovanni Luchese, show up later to check up on Ambrose. Sionis, having always been paranoid, has Luchese act as a decoy while he sneaks around to give himself the element of surprise. Unfortunately, this isn't enough: the Joker is able to tell that Luchese isn't Black Mask and kills him with a shock to the chest, and beats Sionis when the latter tries to beat him into submission. Joker keeps Sionis alive in order to get past the biometric security at Gotham Merchants Bank, but throws a Molotov Cocktail into the room to tie up loose ends, and forces Sionis to kill his girlfriend. The Joker, disguised as Roman Sionis, hires 8 assassins to kill Batman with the reward of 50 million dollars. These assassins are: Killer Croc, Electrocutioner, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Shiva, Copperhead and Firefly.
During the night of Christmas Eve, Batman thought Sionis put up the bounty. After solving the Lacey Towers case by hacking into the National Criminal Database, Batman made his way to the Gotham Merchant's Bank to track down the Joker who had taken Sionis hostage. In the bank, Batman encounters the Joker, who disguised himself as Black Mask and Sionis. Sionis becomes infuriated at the Joker for stealing from him and threatens to kill him only for the Joker to beat him into unconsciousness. Joker the reveals himself with Batman quickly realizing that he put the bounty on his head Joker then tells Batman he has more planned for him and takes Sionis to the Sionis' mill blowing up part of the bank up in the process. With this Batman is forced to take down each of these assassins, hunt down the Joker, and save Black Mask. After eventually rescuing Black Mask from his former gang, Batman questions him on the Joker's whereabouts. Sionis refuses to divulge any information because he plans on murdering the Joker himself for stealing his money, his operations and killing his girlfriend. Before Batman can question him any further, Copperhead attacks, and while the Batman is distracted, Sionis escapes into the night.
Later after escaping the clutches of Batman and the Joker, Black Mask quickly moves to take back control of his empire, it is implied he personally tortured and killed several of his former henchman for betraying him to the Joker, this effectively scares many of his men back into working under him once again. Black Mask then begins putting his drugs back out onto the streets of Gotham, Batman however, is able to destroy almost all of his stashes before they can go on the market. Black Mask, furious at the Dark Knight, sets a trap for him at the old Gotham Church, using his last container of drugs as bait. After Batman destroys the container, Black Mask appears, flanked by several of his men, he then states he plans on making it his personal mission to capture and torture Batman to death for his meddling in his business. A large brawl then ensues with Batman besting all of Sionis' men before personally beating the crime lord into submission. Batman then leaves a subdued Black Mask to be taken into custody by the GCPD, he is soon after imprisoned within Blackgate.
Arkham Origins Blackgate IncidentEdit
- "You'll die badly Batman, making that happen is my personal mission in life!"
- ―Black Mask
Three months later, an incident at Blackgate prison allows The Joker, Black Mask, and Penguin to take over the prison. He and his men capture a guard and cut off his thumb to bypass biometric security. During his escape he attempts to hire assassin, Deadshot, with expensive coins he smuggled into the prision.
Black Mask harbouring a deep hatred of the Joker because of the death of Tiffany Ambrose, heads up to the Industrial Part of the prison, planning to use the generators to flush the Joker out. He overloads the generators by forcing and killing a hostage and re-routing power from other parts of Blackgate, causing the prison to self-destruct, wiping out all of his rivals, but Batman arrives and takes down Black Mask, foiling his plan.
In the aftermath, Black Mask awakens and avoids capture from several Blackgate personnel, escaping the prison.
Between Arkham Origins and Arkham Asylum IncidentEdit
After Arkham Origins, Black Mask got into an accident that caused his leather mask to be burned into his face. Before this incident, he got rid of his wooden mask and wore a new one. As suggested by Dr. Young, this incident caused Sionis to really lose it. He was later apprehended again and sent to Arkham Asylum.
Arkham Asylum Incident Edit
Black Mask doesn't appear in Arkham Asylum, however a wooden mask is mounted on the wall of Penelope Young's office.
Between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City IncidentEdit
Arkham City IncidentEdit
- "No one arrests Black Mask! No one!"
- ―Black Mask
Black Mask is the first inmate to have ever escaped Arkham City (others include Hush, and Calendar Man, though it hasn't been revealed whether they really escaped from the mega-prison). Using explosives stolen from the Penguin, he waited until the TYGER shift change, blasted his way through the containment wall, and went on the run in Gotham City. Black Mask then attempted to leave the city but not before deciding to deal one last blow to Strange by attacking TYGERS weapon storages with some help from his own gang and Firefly . Furious, Hugo Strange ordered his TYGER operatives onto the streets, to focus all their attention on finding Black Mask, who was finally recaptured after a violent siege at the meatpacking plant he owned involving Batman, Robin, and Nightwing. After returning, Black Mask resisted being sent into Arkham City again. Protecting himself with a chair, he was overwhelmed when the guards easily subdue him however after seeing Bruce Wayne about to be sent in Black Mask decides to stay.
After Arkham City IncidentEdit
After Joker's supposed death, Robin goes to find Roman Sionis, as he becomes a new gang leader in Arkham City. He goes through Black Mask's hideout, where he finds out that some of the Penguin's thugs joined him, and that Riddler is also helping Black Mask. Lastly, he goes into the Freight Train and beats through some of the Joker's thugs, that have also joined him. After getting through three cars, Robin comes to end to find a few thugs, Mister Hammer, and Black Mask blocking the control box. After beating the thugs and Mister Hammer, he leaves Black Mask for last, apprehends him, and destroys the control box that's moving the train.
Arkham Knight IncidentEdit
Black Mask appears in 2 DLC challenge maps that come with the Robin bundle pack, which are Black Mask (predator), and Freight Train (combat). in the campaign, Black Mask is chased out of a meatlocker by one of the four playable characters and flees onto a moving train that is smuggling weapons into Arkham City. The player fights their way through groups of thugs and engages in hand to hand combat with Black Mask, along with a group of thugs and an Abramovici twin (Joker's, to be specific). After knocking all of the opponents unconscious, the player attacks the control box and destroys it, thus stopping the train and ending that shipment of weapons into Arkham City. He also tried escaping for a second time.
Real Name: Roman Sionis
- Obsessed with masks
- Torture Master
- Criminal Mastermind
- Harbors a hatred of Batman and Bruce Wayne
- Face resembles a black skull
- Feared and powerful mob boss
- Skilled marksman, known for his double handguns.
- Business Management
Gotham City business owner Roman Sionis is alleged to be one of the city’s most powerful crime lords, though no convictions have ever been made. Sionis maintains several “legitimate” businesses - many of which are believed to be fronts for illegal operations. Notable businesses in his portfolio include: Janus Cosmetics, Gotham Merchants’ Bank, and the now-defunct Sionis Steel Works. Sionis has been charged with embezzling city funds, murder, racketeering, distribution of illegal narcotics, and other offenses, but never convicted. In previous trials, witnesses for the prosecution have been known to recant, die, or disappear. Investigation is ongoing. See District Attorney Harvey Dent for more details.
Dr. Penelope YoungEdit
CANDIDATE FOR ADVANCE RESEARCH?
Psychological Profile: A mild psychopath, Sionis has narcissistic tendencies but the main malady he suffers from is resentful obsession with, of all people, billionaire Bruce Wayne. Sionis is fixated on Wayne possibly due to childhood traumas that he has projected onto the idle playboy. It is difficult to say whether the two actually knew each other as children, or if this is Sionis's invention. However, it is Sionis's criminal activities, and the role playing that resulted in the black skull-like mask accidentally burnt into his skin, that resulted in his committal to Arkham.
I'd question whether Sionis is actually insane, if not for the choice of his obsession; I can't imagine being interested in (much less stalking) such a pointless personage as Bruce Wayne.
Dr. Hugo StrangeEdit
Batman's Database ProfileEdit
- "This time tomorrow, Gotham's gonna be mine!"
- "You son of a bitch! You think you can steal from me and get away with it? You're a dead man! DEAD!"
- "You waiting for something? Get me out of this thing!"
- "Go to hell!"
- "You think that'll make me talk? After what he's put me through? The torture... Turned my men on me. Stole from me. Murdered my woman. He's my kill, not yours."
- "You wouldn't."
- "Kill him and I'll pay you whatever you want. Make him suffer and I'll double it!"
- "Couple a'freaks. You two deserve each other."
- "You'll die badly Batman. Making that happen is my personal mission in life!"
- "You know what's so great about you Batman? Even when I lose, I win. So go ahead, call the cops. They'll lock me up, sure. But my lawyer will have me out on bail before the sun's up. And you know what I'm gonna do when I get out? I'm gonna dedicate every waking minute to tracking you down, and taking you out! And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Because that justice system you love so much, it's a scam! And you? Well you're the mark. Because you keep tossing us in, and we keep bouncing right back out!"
Predator (KO'd henchmen)Edit
- "Wake up! Wake up!"
- "Hey, who needs a break? That's the right answer. No one gets a break 'til I get my city back."
- "I don't wanna hear chatter, I don't wanna hear jokes. All I wanna hear is gunfire followed by the screams of anyone who steps foot in this mill."
- "You'll die badly, Batman. Make it that happened is my personal mission in life."
- "I'm gonna cut out your liver and serve it to my dogs, Batman. You hear me?"
- "You know I don't tolerate failures. So who are you more afraid of? The Bat? Or ME?"
- "You gotta gun, moron! Shoot him with it!"
- "You listen it, Batman? Somewhere, somehow, I'm gonna hurt you."
- "No one arrests Black Mask. No one!"
- "Get me Strange!"
- "You'll die for this!"
Game Over LinesEdit
- "I was hoping you'd at least live long enough to see what I've got planned for this place" (to Batman)
- "With you out of the way, Gotham's mine for the taking. And sooner than I thought!" (to Batman)
- "That's it?! All this build up and he falls over like he's made of sticks?! What an anti-climatic ending!" (to Batman)
- "What?! The party's already over?! But I was just getting warmed up!" (to Batman)
- "I didn't think it would be this easy! Oh well, live and Learn!" (to Batman)
- "Unkillable?...Not quite!" (to Deathstroke)
- "Not your best day Deathstroke...now hurry up and die!" (to Deathstroke)
- "What? Did you think you could beat me? Me?!"
- "First you fall, then Gotham."
- "No one goes up against the Black Mask and lives."
- While Black Mask does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, his original wooden mask is mounted on the wall of Dr. Young’s office in the old Arkham Mansion. A newspaper clipping about Roman Sionis before he became Black Mask also appears on a bathroom cabinet in the Patient Observation room of Arkham Asylum's Medical Facility. Black Mask is referenced in the game in many of the Penitentiary cells, for example, in the cells is a drawing about a little boy and a house on fire, and then the devil rises up and takes the remains, and the boy is happy. This could also be a vague reference to Thomas Elliot, who wanted to kill his parents for the fortune.
- Black Mask appears in Arkham City as a prisoner right outside the room Bruce Wayne was held in, He is holding a chair fighting off 2-3 TYGER Guards, one of them tazes him and he falls to the ground while they continue to beat and taze him.
- In Arkham City, you fight Black Mask on the DLC Map Freight Train.
- The Black Mask's mask seen in Penny Young's Office in Arkham Asylum is different from the one seen in Arkham Origins. However, he has been Black Mask for some time at the beginning of Origins, making it possible for Dr. Young to have the first mask he used; by the time of Origins, he would already be wearing another.
- Black Mask's appearance in Batman: Arkham Origins seems to be based on his appearance in The Batman TV show.
- The GameStop pre-order bonus will include two Black Mask themed challenge maps for Batman: Arkham Origins.
- Despite having brown hair in Batman: Arkham City, he has black hair in Batman: Arkham Origins. Black Mask could've dyed his hair, which is very unlikely, or this could've just been a continuity error.
- His Character Bio in Arkham Origins still states that his hair is brown.
- When you go back to the church to check on Black Mask after his Most Wanted mission, he is not there anymore. He must've been taken to Blackgate or found a way to escape.
- If you look closely at the screenshot on Black Mask's concept art page, you can see him kicking someone who looks like Alberto Falcone. This was perhaps a scene that was planned in early development in which Roman Sionis,or The Joker in disguise, would assault Alberto.
- Black Mask is the first and only known inmate to successfully escape Arkham City.
- It is unknown when his mask was burned into his face, though it was presumably after he escaped from Blackgate and before he was incarcerated into Arkham Asylum, as, in Blackgate, he still has his wooden mask. Before the accident, he got rid of his wooden mask and replaced it with a new, leather mask, which is the one burnt into his face.
- Curiously Black Mask and Hush are surprisingly similar to one another. They both come from very wealthy families, they both suffered from abusive parents whom they eventually grew to resent and hate, they both orchestrated their parents deaths to gain their inheritance, they were both childhood friends of Bruce Wayne, and both eventually grew up to have an obsessive grudge against the billionaire.
- Because of these similarities, its very likely that Black Mask and Hush could work together in Batman: Arkham Knight.
- Its currently unknown if Roman Sionis and Thomas Elliot had any prior connections to one another, although given the fact that they were both childhood friends of Bruce Wayne, its likely that they were at least aware of each other, if not very close.