Black Mask
Black Mask
Personal Info:
Real Name: Roman Sionis
Also Known As: The Crime King, Orpheus, Black Head
Place Of Birth: Gotham City
First Appearance: Batman Vol.1 #386 (1985) Bronze Age Villain
Known Associates: False Face Society
Group Affiliation: Gotham Organized Crime, False Facers, Secret Society, Black Lantern Corps
Base Of Operations: Gotham City
Grudges: Batman
Creators: Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake
Gallery: Click
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. He is also an expert in torture, hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship and disguise.
Mind Control: 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.
Weapons: Black Mask usually carries at least two automatic pistols.
Roman Sionis was born into one of Gotham City’s elite families, to parents who were wealthy and utterly self-absorbed, caring more about their social status than their son. During his childhood several accidents happened to Roman. These were covered up and Roman was forbidden from mentioning them to anyone, out of fear that it would make his parents look irresponsible.
Further adding to the cauldron was his father's "friendship" with Thomas Wayne; both of Roman's parents disliked the Wayne’s and were quite vocal about it in private with their son. However, to their son's dismay, they continued to associate with Thomas and Martha Wayne and pretended to be friends with the couple, to the extent of literally forcing Roman to become friends with their son, Bruce.
The hypocrisy of his parents had a deep impact on Roman, who hated and resented his parents and the "masks" they wore in public. And despite being a prototypical spoiled rich kid, Roman also began hating his peers too in regard to the hypocrisy he saw his fellow peers engage in.
When he graduated from high school, Roman was given a high-ranking position inside Janus Cosmetics, the cosmetic company his father ran. It was here that Roman met Circe, a young working class secretary that he fell in love with. His parents, self-absorbed and class-obsessed, disliked Circe and made it clear to their son that his relationship with her was causing his parents to look like fools in the eyes of their friends. So Roman took matters into his own hands and burned down his family's mansion, killing both of his parents.
Roman inherited the family fortune, as well as the family's business. But he wasn't good with business and he began squandering his money, running the firm into the ground with a line of face-paint make-up. Desperate, he offered a large sum of money to the chemists on-staff to create a revolutionary product to save the company. One chemist came up with a waterproof make-up product, but needed desperately to test the product before he could authorize its use. When Roman learned of it, he rushed the product out to market without any sort of testing for possible harmful side effects. This would cost Roman dearly.
The waterproof make-up Janus Cosmetics released to the market quickly was exposed as a deadly product, disfiguring several hundred women who applied the make-up to their faces. Being sued left and right by victims, Janus Cosmetics was ruined and to add insult to injury, his fiancé (and now successful model) Circe dumped Roman in front of his entire staff of employees.
However, there was a brief light at the end of the tunnel, as childhood acquaintance Bruce Wayne offered to financially bail out Roman's company. But Bruce's help came with a price, as Bruce demanded that Roman must give up control over the company and allow Wayne to install a new board of directors to run Roman's company who were loyal to Bruce. Roman agreed but was furious at the humiliation and dramatic loss of face he had suffered.
Enraged, he went to the family mausoleum and broke his father's ebony coffin lid. Roman had always been obsessed with masks, and the old idea that when a person dons a mask, they become someone else. He took a large piece of the coffin and carved a mask from it, becoming Black Mask.
Black Mask at DC Database
Black Mask at Batman Wiki
Black Mask at Comic Vine