|Real name:||Roman Sionis|
Base of Operations:
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||195 lbs (88 kg)|
|First Appearance:||Batman #386 (August 1985)|
| Nolan North (Arkham City)
Brian Bloom (Arkham Origins)
|Gillian B. Loeb|
- "You'll die badly Batman. Making that happen is my personal mission in life."
- ―Black Mask
Following the suspicious deaths of his multi-millionaire parents in a fire, Roman Sionis inherited their fortune and then went on to bankrupt their company. Saved by a buy out from Bruce Wayne, Sionis came to resent and hate his rescuer. 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 burnt 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 of the Batman.
Incident Reports Edit
Before Arkham Origins IncidentEdit
- "This city has a problem. Some freak who thinks he's a hero. Fortunately there isn't a problem in the world that can't be solved with a little bit of money."
- ―Black Mask...?
Note: Sionis's exact past is one of the more confusing in the series. His bio for Asylum and City draw heavily on his mainstream DC Comics background, with Bruce Wayne's buyout as the primary motivator for his adopting the Black Mask identity, but his appearance in Origins place him as an established crime lord, persona and all, in Batman's second year as a crime fighter which raises some questions about timing. To avoid too much speculation or presumption this page will simply use information established within the actual games themselves.
Sionis inherited his parents fortune after a mysterious fire that claimed there lives (which he may have caused, possibly an early manifestation of his sadistic impulses). In addition to their cosmetics company he expanded into construction business, purchasing a steel mill and building themepark attractions as well as purchasing a restaurant. Unfortunately Sionis Steel was forced to back out of the themepark business due to the resultant attractions breaking down and killing or maiming customers. Though it's just as likely Black Mask was using the mill as a front to manufacture drugs during it's legitimate days, control of the Gotham drug trade was the source of most of his money, allowing him to dabble in other businesses, most likely also fronts, as well as bribe city officials. The greatest of these assets was undoubtedly ownership of the Gotham Merchants Bank.
With the anonymity of his trademark mask allowing him to be the face of both his business and criminal empires Black Mask became a rising star in the Gotham underworld alongside arms dealing rival Oswald 'The Penguin' Cobblepot, backed up by an army of similarly masked mobsters. He enjoyed so much wealth he was able to afford a private suite in the prestigious Lacey Towers, which he preferred to use as a safe house in times of crisis, and indulge several relationships with several women, particularly Tiffany Ambrose, a convicted drug trafficker who may have been the only person he ever truly loved. His power similarly increased to the point where he had direct influence over corrupt G.C.P.D officials such as Commisoner Loeb and S.W.A.T team leader Branden. Sionis was even the one to suggest a frustrated Loeb use the stubbornly incorruptible Captain Gordon as good publicity for the rest of the department. Whenever there was the possibility he could be linked to his alleged crimes and his minions could not bribe or silence witnesses, Sionis had them kidnapped and disposed of. This most likely contributed to his developing appetite for torture, as torture equipment could be found within his own office at his steel mill. Such was Black Mask's power that he was even able to challenge the Falcones, Gotham's most powerful crime family. He took particular delight in intimidating Alberto Falcone, the family's youngest and most insecure member, after witnessing him drunkenly boasting about his supposed power in public at a restaurant. That came back to bite him though as he was threatened over the phone by a "higher power", secretly Alberto in the throws of a schizophrenic episode.
In spite of all, this Black Mask was not invincible. He was acused with multiple crimes despite managing to avoid conviction and large numbers of his men were dissatisfied with what he paid them and how he treated them. His legitimate businesses were not always successful and Batman's presence also interfered with his criminal enterprises as much as any of his rivals'. Despite his bravado Sinonis was paranoid to the point of hiring a body double, not an entirely unreasonable outlook in his line of business but, coupled with his temper and sadism, possible also the result of instability. His physical health didn't air much better and he was forced to have a pace maker installed for Prolonged Q-T syndrome. He also harboured an obsessive hatred of Bruce Wayne for some reason, though Dr. Penelope Young speculates in her notes that Black Mask may have fabricated reasons for this as a result of his instability but that is simply speculation. (She was deeply mistaken about Bruce Wayne so who's to say she about with Black Mask?)
He was also being robbed by a clown.
Surveillance photos showed a pale skinned man stealing chemicals from various Sionis businesses, which could be used in the manufacture of explosives. Black Mask had the so-called-Joker followed to keep find out what he was up to. He was unaware that the Joker wasn't just after his chemicals and was turning members of his own mob against him to take over his empire. As the Christmas season wore on Joker raised the stakes by stalking Tiffany. This spooked her so much Roman placed her in his safe house at Lacey Towers. Unfortunately for Black Mask and his lover, the Joker was waiting when Tiffany returned from grocery shopping. Tiffany's last act before Joker violently smashed her head into the counter and tied her to the living room chandelier was to message Roman about the identity of her stalker, who he dismissed as "No one important" and beg him to come over.
Ever paranoid Black Mask had his body double enter the safe house as a diversion while he snuck in via the adjacent balcony. When the decoy arrived through the front door the Joker, casually waiting at a table, immediately shoot him through the heart. The real Black Mask rushed from behind and tackled the Joker straight through his props, but the Joker managed to rally, overpowering Black Mask and tying up his hands. The lunatic removed any evidence of the crime (or so he thought) with a Molotov cocktail and jammed a gun into Sionis hands, forcing him to pull the trigger and shoot Tiffany before dragging him from the room.
The only thing that kept Sionis alive was the Gotham Merchants bank. The Joker needed him to access the bio-metric security installed in the vault. In the meantime he disguised himself as Black mask and began to take over his empire in earnest. Looked up in his own steel mills torture room Sionis could only watch as the Joker turned Gotham upside down, ignoring what few rules kept the underworld from erupting in all out war, targeting honest and crooked institutions alike. The Joker's most brazen acts were to hire eight of the deadliest assassins money could buy to kill the Batman and to openly attack Blackgate Penitentiary, releasing multiple inmates and killing Commissioner Loeb.
Arkham Origins IncidentEdit
- "This time tomorrow, Gotham's gonna be mine."
- ―Black Mask
During Christmas Eve night, Batman thought that Sionis had put up the fifty million dollar bounty for his head. After he solved the Lacey Tower's 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 encountered the Joker, who had disguised himself as Black Mask and Sionis. Sionis became infuriated at the Joker for stealing from him and killing his girlfriend. Sionis threatened to kill him only for the Joker to beat and kick him into unconsciousness. Joker then revealed himself, while Batman quickly realized that he was the one who put the bounty on his head. Joker then told Batman he had more planned for him and took Sionis to the Steel Mill and blew up part of the bank up in the process. With this, Batman was forced to take down each of the assassins, hunt down the Joker, and save Black Mask. After eventually rescuing Black Mask from his former gang, Batman questioned him on the Joker's whereabouts. Sionis refused to divulge any information because he planned on murdering the Joker himself for stealing his money, his operations and killing his girlfriend. Batman started torturing Sionis and was almost able to control his pacemaker if he wasn't going to start talking. Before Batman could question him any further, Copperhead attacked, and while the Batman was distracted, Sionis escaped into the night.
Later after he escaped the clutches of Batman and the Joker, Black Mask quickly moved to take back control of his empire. It was implied he personally tortured and killed several of his former henchmen for betraying him to the Joker & Getting Tiffany To Gotham General, this effectively scaring many of his men back into working under him once again. Black Mask then began by putting his drugs back out onto the streets of Gotham. Batman, however, was able to destroy almost all of his stashes before they could go on the market. Black Mask was furious at the Dark Knight, and set a trap for him at the old Gotham Church, and used his last container of drugs as bait. After Batman destroyed the container, Black Mask appeared, flanked by several of his men, he then stated he planned on making it his personal mission to capture and torture Batman to death for his meddling in his business. A large brawl then ensued with Batman besting all of Sionis' men before personally beating the crime lord into submission. Batman then left a subdued Black Mask to be taken into custody by the GCPD. He was later imprisoned within Blackgate.
Arkham Origins Blackgate IncidentEdit
After the events of Arkham Origins, Black Mask was finally arrested and placed within Blackgate Penitentiary along with the other criminals within Batman's extensive rouge's gallery. During his incarceration at Blackgate Penitentiary, Roman would keep a photo of Tiffany with him at all times, implying that, despite his overall persona as a sadistic and mass murdering crime lord with several female admirers, Black Mask truly cared for and loved his former girlfriend. With his hatred of Joker only intensifying every day, Black Mask had his men within the prison watch the Joker and made notes of all his movements in preparation for his planned revenge.
Stealing various dental equipment from the prison's medical ward, Roman planned to slowly torture and murder the Joker in retribution for the actions against him and his criminal empire and planned to wipe out the rest of his opposition. Three months later, a massive explosion within the prison commenced a riot that allowed Black Mask, the Joker, and the Penguin to seize complete control of the facility and carve up a portion of it for themselves and advance their own, individual agendas. Using a a homemade security override system and crowbar, as well as cutting several power cords controlling security systems, Black Mask was able to access several weapon caches, claiming the artillery for his gang, and made his way to the prison's power plants, wiping out all resistance and planning on using the prison's power to flush the Joker out and use as his trump card and ultimate weapon against the rest of the prison population.
Believing the carnage to be much more complex than just a simple prison riot and takeover, Batman arrived at the penitentiary to investigate the situation further, allowing Black Mask a chance of ultimate revenge against his hated enemy. After taking over a section of the prison, Black Mask attempted to overload the prison generators to wipe out everyone in the prison, taking out all his rivals in the process and leaving himself the sole remaining criminal kingpin. Forcing a technician to overpower the generators, Roman shot the man dead after he completed the deed and ventured further into the Industrial District with several dozen of his men. Targeting a lone security guard, who made one final phone call to his wife to say goodbye, Roman murdered the man and cut off his thumb in order to use his fingerprint to activate the main electric controls to reroute even more power.
However, Batman was able to foil his plans once again, stabilized the generators, and defeated Black Mask and his men, and left them to be arrested and imprisoned once again. Black Mask, however, had a fall-back plan, where he had Catwoman rig the prison with various explosives (this revelation depended on which kingpin Batman defeated last). Catwoman didn't actually care about ensuring the bombs went off, however, as she only needed a distraction to ensure that Bane was smuggled out. However, before Black Mask could be taken into custody by the police, Black Mask regained consciousness and took a technician, who was fixing the generators (also commenting that Black Mask's earlier actions messed up the heating and cooling systems, certainly weakening them due to the quick succession of expanding and contracting pipes), hostage.
Black Mask demanded that the police officers give him access to the Joker, still hungry for revenge against the villain for everything that he took away from him. When the officers refused, Black Mask threw the technician at them as a diversion and began shooting, forcing the police to fire back, killing the technician and critically damaging the generator right next to Black Mask. As a result, the generator exploded and the resulting fire consumed Black Mask, who screamed uncontrollably, but was nonetheless able to escape into the night, with the guards also speculating that wherever he went to, the Joker had better watch his back. However, Black Mask still received his due as the fires from the explosion grafted his mask onto his face to the extent that it was unable to be removed short of sufficient blunt force.
Between Arkham Origins Blackgate and Arkham Asylum IncidentEdit
Arkham Asylum Incident Edit
Black Mask didn't appear in Arkham Asylum, however, a wooden mask was mounted on the wall of Dr. Penelope Young's Office.
Before Arkham City IncidentEditBlack Mask was the only inmate confirmed to have ever escaped Arkham City. 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 TYGER'S weapon storage facilities 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.
Arkham City IncidentEdit
- "No one arrests Black Mask! No one!"
- ―Black Mask
After returning, Black Mask resisted on being sent into Arkham City again. Black Mask tried to protect himself from the TYGER Guards with a chair in the Arkham City Processing Center, but he was easily overwhelmed by the guards.
After Arkham City IncidentEdit
After Joker's supposed death, Robin went to find Sionis, as he became a new gang leader in Arkham City. He went to Black Mask's hideout, an old Sionis Meat Packing facility, where he found out that some of the Penguin's thugs joined him, and that Riddler was also helping Black Mask. Lastly, he goes onto the Freight Train and beat through some of the Joker's thugs, that had also joined him. After getting through three cars, Robin came to the end to find a few thugs, Mister Hammer, and Black Mask blocking the control box. After beating the thugs and Mister Hammer, he left Black Mask for last, apprehended him, destroyed the control box that was moving the train and sent him, the thugs, and Mister Hammer back into Arkham City. It can be assumed that he was taken to temporary holding cells when the GCPD invaded the mega facility and shut it down.
Arkham Knight IncidentEdit
Batman: Arkham Origins Edit
Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate Edit
Batman: Arkham City Edit
Black Mask appeared 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 the meat locker by one of the four playable characters and flees onto a moving train that was 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 Mr. Hammer. 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 a second time.
Real Name: Roman Sionis
- Tactical Analysis
- Torture Master
- Criminal Mastermind
- Hand To Hand (Basics)
- Escape Artist
- Skilled marksman
- 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
Roman Sionis A.K.A Black Mask
Batman's Database ProfileEdit
Roman Sionis is one of Gotham's most powerful crime lords though this he has avoided conviction. He maintains several legitimate businesses though many of them are fronts for illegal operations. Notable businesses in his portfolio include Janus Cosmetics, Gotham Merchant's Bank and the now defunct Sionis Steel Mill. Sionis has been charged with embezzling funds, murder, racketeering, distribution of illegal narcotics, and other offenses but never convicted. Witnesses for the prosecution have been known to retract, die, or disappear. He owns half of the Gotham City Police Department officers in Gotham along with several judges and city council members. He intimidates with torture or murder. Now in a turf war with Carmine Falcone, and the Penguin.
- "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!" (Joker)
- "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." (Joker)
- "Kill him and I'll pay you whatever you want. Make him suffer and I'll double it." (Copperhead)
- "Couple a'freaks. You two deserve each other." (Batman and Copperhead)
- "I was hoping you'd show up. Saves me the trouble of having to hunt you down." (Batman)
- "With everything going on in Gotham tonight, you decide to waste your time with me? I'm touched!"
- "You'll die badly Batman. Making that happen is my personal mission in life!"
- "I've got the numbers here, Bat. Which means I've got the advantage!"
- "You really wanna spend the night screwing around with me in here?!"
- "Take off now and I'll consider not coming after you!"
- "You really should mind your own business, Bat!"
- "Oh, come on! Just die already!"
- "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 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."
Progress of HenchmenEdit
- "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. Making that happen is my personal mission in life."
- "I'm gonna cut out your liver and serve it to my dogs, Batman. You hear me?"
- "I don't need excuses. I don't want whining. I want damn results."
- "There it is. You got action. Now ACT."
- "You know I don't tolerate failures so who are you more afraid of? The Bat? Or ME?"
- "You gotta gun, moron! Shoot 'em with it!"
- "You listenin', Batman? Somewhere, somehow, I'm gonna hurt you."
Predator (KO'd henchmen)
- "Wake-up! Wake-up! Wake-up!"
- "HA! Why am I not surprised?"
Arkham Origins BlackgateEdit
- "You hit the nail on the head, Batman. I came to this hole to close the books on my competitors-especially the Joker. And I can't let you stand in my way."
- "The Joker...All I want is the Joker..." (hold technician hostage at gunpoint)
- "No one arrests Black Mask. No one!"
- "Get me Strange!"
- "You'll die for this!"
- "I'll kill you!"
- "You bast-!"
- "Stop it!"
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."
Batman: Arkham OriginsEdit
Batman: Arkham Origins BlackgateEdit
Batman: Arkham AsylumEdit
Batman: Arkham CityEdit
- 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 their fortune.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Arkham City, Batman uses his Cryptographic Sequencer and hacking the code says "Roman Sionis", which the code is reference to Black Mask's identity.
- In the Game Over Lines for the Deathstroke DLC, his voice is noticeably different to when he defeats Batman. This is likely because at the time Black Mask was being impersonated by the Joker. It can then be assumed that his voice when beating Deathstroke is his real voice.