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Villain Overview

I'm not happy, you all know, I'm not happy, and despite appearances... ...this ain't a damned smile on my face.
~ The Black Mask
I have another face now. One that suits me far better.
~ The Black Mask
If you have a gun, you can rob a bank... But if you have a bank, you can rob everyone...
~ Black Mask
You know she's better off without you. You were right, Lawton. All the things you did... it all caught up to you.
~ Black Mask,

Black Mask (real name: Roman Sionis) is a villain from the Batman series. He is a ruthless, greedy, and egotistical crime lord and businessman. He is also the son of a very wealthy couple, that died in a fire, which he caused intentionally. He got their money and their company, but went bankrupt. His company was saved by Bruce Wayne, and Sionis hates him for taking everything he had, resulting in him becoming one of Gotham City's most ruthless crime lords. His mask is carved out of the black coffin of his father. Despite being sent to Arkham Asylum, his mild insanity is overshadowed by his greed that he was often reconsidered to be relocated to a regular prison instead of an institution due to knowingly and competently committing his crimes.



Roman Sionis was born to a rich and influential family in Gotham City, his father being a very successful industrialist. His parents were narcissistic egotists who only cared about maintaining their social standing and image; when a doctor dropped Roman on his head after his birth, they were more concerned about covering it up from their high society friends than their son's well being. During his childhood, Sionis was attacked by a rabid raccoon at the family's country estate, but his parents forbade him from telling anyone about the incident. They frequently dragged him around to parties and would force him to become friends with the children of other wealthy families in Gotham City, including the young Bruce Wayne. In reality, his parents hated social climbing nouveau riche types like the Waynes, but they continued affiliating themselves with them to preserve their public image. Sionis was deeply affected by his parent's hypocrisy, and he grew to despise them and the "masks" that they wore in public. After his high school graduation, Sionis was given a high ranking position in his father's company, the prosperous Janus Cosmetics, where he fell in love with a working class model named Circe. However, he was outraged when his parents disapproved and demanded that he break off his relationship with her. This proved to be the last straw for Sionis, who proceeded to burn down the family mansion, killing his parents.

With his parents deaths, Sionis was free to propose to Circe and inherited his family's fortune and Janus Cosmetics, but lacked the business acumen needed to successfully run the company, running it into the ground by funding a failed line of face-paint makeup. In an act of desperation, he poured his money and resources into an experimental waterproof makeup, which he quickly released to the public without proper testing; the makeup turned out to be a deadly toxin that left hundreds of women disfigured. Following the incident, Circe broke up with Sionis in front of his entire company staff. Afterward, Bruce Wayne, now head of Wayne Enterprises, bought out Janus Cosmetics, relinquishing control from Sionis and appointing his own Board of Directors,

Sionis was driven mad from losing everything he had; unable to admit to his own mistakes that ruined his life, he turned his hatred towards Bruce Wayne. Donning a mask carved from his father's ebony coffin, he murdered three Wayne Foundation executives, planning to eventually assassinate Bruce himself to fulfill his revenge. In the ensuing battle with Batman, Sionis' mask became permanently burnt into his face as a living death mask, ironically granting his wish of removing all traces of his former identity. In the following years, he would become one of Gotham City's most ruthless and sadistic crime lords, commanding the False Face Society, an army of masked henchmen. With each loss to Batman, his empire shrank and his sadism grew. Among his many crimes were the destruction of a community center on Gotham's East End, the painstaking murder of Catwoman's brother-in-law, and driving her sister Maggie insane.

War Games

Believed to be dead at Catwoman's hands, Black Mask survived, and when Gotham City's gang wars erupted - part of a "war game" created by Batman that went horribly wrong - they created a power vacuum in the underworld that he could exploit to build a criminal empire. He murdered Orpheus, a costumed gang leader secretly working with Batman to end the unrest in Gotham, and he took the tragic hero's identity and gained the trust of the teen hero Spoiler. This way he learned information vital to his cause before he betrayed and tortured her. Following Batman's plans, the fake Orpheus rallied all the factions, revealed his true identity and initiated a spree of carnage. Black Mask became the undisputed ruler of the entire Gotham City underworld.

The End

Deathstroke later approached Black Mask offering him a place within the Society. Black Mask was eager to strengthen his increasingly tenuous grip on the underworld since Batman was targeting his operations. He accepted the offer and Captain Nazi and Count Vertigo were sent after Batman. 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 Catwoman adhered to a strict no-kill rule, Black Mask was caught by surprise when Catwoman took revenge by shooting him in the head and blowing his jaw off. After the shooting, Selina Kyle passed the mantle of Catwoman to her friend Holly Robinson. Not long after, Holly was arrested for the murder of Black Mask.

Black Mask II

Black Mask II

In the "Battle For The Cowl" storyline, a new Black Mask surfaces. He has drugged several of Arkham Asylum's inmate, including the Great White Shark, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Victor Zsasz, Jane Doe and the Scarecrow, with a substance that can kill when triggered. Black Mask is quickly acknowledged as the leader of the group when he blows up much of Arkham Asylum. He then prepares for his ascension by destroying Two face and Penguins reign and becoming Gotham City's crime lord again. Eventually, the new Black Mask is revealed to be Jeremiah Arkham, administrator of Arkham Asylum. After being defeated by Batman, he is imprisoned in the rebuilt Arkham Asylum.

Blackest Night

During the Blackest Night event, Roman Sionis was reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps and intended to hunt down and kill Selina Kyle. However, when Selina refused to show him any fear, Roman decided to provoke her by torturing her traumatized sister Maggie. Although Black Mask was eventually stopped, the experience proved too much for Maggie who later becomes an adversary of Catwoman.

New 52

Black Mask's history was altered for the New 52 continuity. Roman Sionis managed to survive being shot by Catwoman and eventually turned himself in at Arkham Asylum in exchange for medical treatment. Jeremiah Arkham only became Roman's brief successor while Roman himself recovered from his injuries. It soon becomes evident that Sionis is also more unhinged than before, as he now believes his iconic mask to be sentient and is compelled to carry out its wishes.

It's later revealed that Black Mask's origin had been changed for this continuity as well. Roman was the son of Richard Sionis, a powerful crime lord who founded the False Face Society and was known by the criminal underworld as "The Mask". With the help of his right hand David Franco (a.k.a. White Mask), Richard lorded over a large criminal empire that spanned across America and Europe. However, the False Face Society eventually split into two halves. One half remained loyal to The Mask while the other half accepted White Mask as their new leader. Roman Sionis desired to reunite the splintered society by taking control of both halves as Black Mask. He tracked down and killed David to usurp leadership of his faction before ending his elderly father's life while disguised as a nurse. With the False Face Society whole again due to Black Mask's efforts, Roman focused his attention on eliminating the gang's competition.

However, it appears his origin has been reverted to being the same as his Post-Crisis counterpart during the Year of the Villain saga.

Powers and Abilities

  • Criminal Mastermind: He is considered the top strategist and organizer in the Gotham Underworld.
  • Torture Master: Has been known to torture people into insanity. It is considered his defining skill, as he both physically and mentally tortures them to a degree few could match.
  • Hand to Hand Combat: Highly accomplished athlete and has been seen to be on par with heroes and villains such as Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, Catwoman, and at one point the Batman.
  • Peak Physical Condition: All aspects are considered on par with most adventurers in his time.
  • Marksman: Considered by many to be deadly accurate.
  • Master of Disguise: Has been able to blend in and even fool the Batman with his disguises.
  • Mind Control: Sionis has the ability to control other people's minds with his mask.

Other Media

The Batman

Main article: Black Mask (The Batman)

Batman Arkham Series

Main article: Black Mask (Arkhamverse)

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Main article: Black Mask (Under the Red Hood)

Black Mask is a major antagonist in the animated movie.


Main article: Richard Sionis

A character loosely based off Black Mask named Richard Sionis appears in the first season of Gotham in the episode "The Mask" as the CEO of Sionis Investments who pits his candidates against each other for a position at his company. Richard makes a reappearance in the opening of season 2 where he ends up being killed.

Richard was later brought over into the main DC continuity as the father of Roman Sionis. Richard Sionis is also the name of Roman's son.

He is played by Todd Stashwick.

DC Extended Universe

Main article: Black Mask (DC Extended Universe)

Black Mask has appeared as the main antagonist in the 2020 film, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). He was portrayed by Ewan McGregor, who also portrayed Patrick McKenna in Angels & Demons.


Kill him and I will pay you whatever you want. Make him suffer and I'll double it!
~ Black Mask in Batman: Arkham Origins.
All the martial arts ninja training in the world doesn't matter a thinker's damn. The only thing that counts is weather or not you have the will to do what needs to be done. That's why I win even though you beat me.
~ Black Mask
First you fall then Gotham.
~ Black Mask game over in Batman: Arkham City.
I like to keep the lights on. That way I can always see who's at the table. That way, there are never any surprises.
~ Black Mask
And between the two of us, little man we both know I'm the one who's not afraid to die.
~ The Black Mask
Do me a favor and die already! I got a business to run.
~ Black Mask's message to the player in Arkham Knight's game over screen.
Gotham's my bitch.
~ Black Mask plotting to take over Gotham City by force.
You're supposed to be dead. Let me fix that for you.
~ Black Mask ordering Batman (unaware that he is really Dick Grayson) dead when he notices that he is alive in Batman: Bad Blood.


           TheBatman.png Villains

Alfred Stryker | Alice | Amanda Waller | Amygdala | Anarky | An Innocent Guy | Arkham Knight | Arnold John Flass | Azrael | Baby Doll | Bane | Barbatos | The Batman Who Laughs | Black Glove | Black Mask | Blockbuster I | Blockbuster II | Brain | Broker | Brother EYE | Calculator | Calendar Man | Captain Fear | Carmine Falcone | Catman | Catwoman | Circus of Strange | Clayface | Claything | Clock King | Clownface | Club of Villains | Cluemaster | Commissioner Loeb | Composite Superman | Condiment King | Copperhead | Cornelius Stirk | Court of Owls | Crazy Quilt | Crime Doctor | Curtis Base | Dark Archer | David Cain | Dark Knights | Deacon Blackfire | Deadshot | Dealer | Deathstroke | The Dawnbreaker | The Devastator | Doctor Death | Doctor Dedalus | Doctor Double X | Doctor Hurt | Doctor Phosphorus | Doctor Randolph Porter | Dr. Silversmith | The Drowned | Electrocutioner | Emperor Penguin | Enigma | Ernie Chubb | Faceless | Film Freak | Firebug | Firefly | Flamingo | Floronic Man | Gearhead | General Ulysses Armstrong | Gorilla Boss | Gotham City Police Department | Great White Shark | The Grim Knight | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Harley Quinn | Holiday | Holly Robinson | Humpty Dumpty | Hugo Strange | Hush | Jack the Ripper | James Gordon, Jr. | Jason Todd | Joe Chill | Joker | Judge of Owls | Joker's Daughter | Key | KGBeast | King of Cats | King Snake | King Tut | Killer Croc | Killer Moth | Kite Man | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Leviathan | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Lloyd Ventrix | Mad Hatter | Mad Monk | Magpie | Malochia | Man-Bat | Maxie Zeus | The Merciless | Merrymaker | Mister Bloom | Monk | Mr. Freeze | Mrs. Freeze | Mr. Toad | Mutants | Nightslayer | Nocturna | Nyssa Raatko | Onomatopoeia | Orca | Outsider | Owlman | Penguin | Penny Plunderer | Phosphorus Rex | Planet Master | Poison Ivy | Polka Dot Man | Professor Arnold Hugo | Professor Pyg | Prometheus | Punchline | Ra's al Ghul | Ragdoll | Ratcatcher | Reaper | Red Claw | Red Death | Reverse-Flash | Riddler | Roland Daggett | Roxy Rocket | Royal Flush Gang | Rupert Thorne | Sal Maroni | Scarecrow | Sensei | Sewer King | Signalman | Sinestro | Snowman | Solomon Grundy | Spellbinder | Squid | Steeljacket | Suicide Squad | Talia al Ghul | Tally Man | Ten Eyed Man | Terrible Trio | Thomas Wayne | Tiger Shark | Timecode | Tony Zucco | Tweedledum and Tweedledee | Two-Face | Ubu | Vandal Savage | Ventriloquist | Ventriloquist II | Ventriloquist III | Vertigo | Victim Syndicate | Victor Zsasz | Whisper A'Daire | White Rabbit | Wrath | The Wonderland Gang | Zebra-Man

Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Phantasm | Joker | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins) | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler
Joker: Clowns (Joker, Clown & Ambulance Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul, Woof & Bonk) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
Batman: Year One: Batman | Commissioner Loeb | Carmine Falcone | Arnold John Flass | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Vinnie & Joe | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Black Manta, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Knockout | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Thomas Elliot

Batman: The Animated Series
Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge | Grant Walker

The Batman
Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Ethan Bennit | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro | Joker 2.0 | Prank | Killgore Steed | Team Penguin | Julie | Spellbinder | The Joining | Cosmo Krank

Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Joker | Music Meister | Catwoman | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Clayface | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Lex Luthor | Harley Quinn | Morgaine Le Fey |

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Joker | Scarecrow | Queen of Fables | Darkseid | Parademons | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Lex Luthor | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Riddler | Kite Man | Doctor Psycho | Clayface | King Shark | Sy Borgman | Doctor Trap | Frank the Plant | Two-Face | Catwoman | Nick Quinzel | Sharon Quinzel

           CatwomanTitle.png Villains

Angle Man | Bane | Black Lantern Corps | Black Mask | Calculator | Captain Cold | Catman | Catwoman | Cheetah | Chemo | Deadshot | Deathstroke | Film Freak | Gorilla Grodd | Hellhound | Hugo Strange | Hush | Joker | Killer Croc | League of Assassins | Lex Luthor | Magpie | Maxie Zeus | Mercy Graves | Mister Freeze | Neron | Nightslayer | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Ratcatcher | Scarecrow | Suicide Squad | Two-Face

Patience Phillips/Catwoman | Hedare Beauty (Laurel Hedare & George Hedare)

           Bird of Prey Logo.pngVillains

Atomic Skull | Bane | Black Mask | Blockbuster II | Brainiac | Brutale | Calculator | Captain Nazi | Catman | Chemo | Cheshire | Cluemaster | Copperhead | Deathstroke | Electrocutioner | Gorilla Grodd | Harley Quinn | Harvest | Hector Hammond | Hellgrammite | Hellhound | Java | Joker | Kalibak | Killer Moth | Lady Spellbinder | Lady Vic | Lashina | Livewire | Mammoth | Penguin | Pistolera | Prometheus | Psimon | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler | Secret Society | Shadow-Thief | Shrapnel | Talia al Ghul

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn | Huntress | Black Mask | Victor Zsasz | Stefano Galante | Carlo Rossi | Happy | Joker

           Nightwing Villains

Black Mask | Blockbuster II | Brutale | Chemo | Clayface | Copperhead | Deathstroke | Doctor Sivana | Electrocutioner | Firefly | Grimm | Joker | KGBeast | Killer Croc | Lady Vic | League of Assassins | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Mad Hatter | Monsoon | Nite-Wing | Penguin | Polka Dot Man | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler | Scarecrow | Shriek | Talia al Ghul | Tarantula | The Trigger Twins | Tiger Shark | Two-Face | Ventriloquist

           Batgirl Villains

Alpha | Black Mask | Brain | Brutale | Calculator | Catwoman | Clayface | Cluemaster | Deathstroke | Doctor Death | Doctor Phosphorus | Doctor Psycho | Hush | James Gordon, Jr. | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Livewire | Mad Dog | Man-Bat | Mister Freeze | Monsieur Mallah | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Ravager | Roulette | Scarecrow | Shadow-Thief | Shrike

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