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Jafar says: Read my lips and come to grips with the reality!

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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Black Mask from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Black Mask (DC).

Masks have taken on... various meanings over time. Deceit, disguise, cheap entertainment, but as Jung once said, we all wear masks, both to create an impression upon others, but also to hide our own true natures.
~ Black Mask
Every one of you, signed up to protect this city with a noble purpose in your hearts. And what did you get in return? Your hands tied by corrupt politicians who care more about some criminal's rights than what is right. The system, more concerned with the red tape than the red blood running through our streets. The people you're there to defend would rather defund. Well, I'm here to pick up the tab. I'm gonna give you the tools you need and the free reign to use them. So what do you say? Who wants to take off the gloves...and put on a mask?!
~ Roman Sionis/Black Mask to former Crows members

Roman Sionis, also known as Black Mask, is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Safiyah Sohail) of Season 2 of the TV series Batwoman.

He is the pragmatic and charismatic CEO of Janus Cosmetics, and the sadistic leader of the False Face Society, who is notable for wearing a black mask, who puts a dangerous drug known as Snakebite on the streets of Gotham City. By day, Roman plays the "white knight" against Gotham's corrupt systems. As Black Mask, he is an evil mastermind with a deep hatred of Crows Security and masked vigilantes, like Batwoman, And Roman is willing to tear down Gotham to enact his revenge for the death of his daughter.

He is portrayed by Peter Outerbridge.

History

Early life

In the past, Roman became the CEO of Janus Cosmetics and had a daughter, named Circe Sionis who captured by Crows Security, sent to Arkham Asylum and was killed during Alice's breakout. At some point, Roman founded and lead the False Face Society gang in Gotham City in a misguided attempt to hurt Gotham's legal system.

Batwoman

At some point, Roman's gang succeeds in kidnapping Kate Kane, unaware that she is Batwoman, he tells her that her family declared her dead, but they would make them believe in life after death.

The gang drew the attention of Crows Security by selling the drug Snakebite in Gotham City; which led the crows to discover that Black mask leads the gang.

Black Mask later ordered the False Face Society to kill Commissioner Jack Forbes in order to keep distributing Snakebite and because the police department has worked with masked vigilantes, which Black Mask despises. The next morning, Black Mask as Roman Sionis gave an interview to Dana Dewitt regarding the situation saying how he wants to falsely help this city.

Later on, after hearing that Jordan Moore witnessed the assassination of Forbes, Black Mask ordered the gang to kill Jordan, but she was saved by Batwoman. He later ordered Angelique Martin to be captured, after learning that she wanted to leave the gang. In his hideout, he tortured and killed a member of the False Face Society and told Angelique that if she tried to leave the gang, she and her girlfriend, Ryan Wilder, would die too.

After Batwoman showed up to save Angelique, she was knocked out and tied up. On the other side, Black Mask told a member in a Guy Fawkes mask that he failed the kill the witness and that he was out, before killing him using a buzzsaw. Batwoman was horrified by what he did, and he said it was just an "H.R. matter" and sarcastically asked if she was a "OSHA" and she replied that she was after Angelique. Black Mask then says he understands what she thinks about him, but he was only trying to get rid of the Crows and masked vigilantes, after they arrested and killed his daughter. He said he didn't need her help and told his henchman to start the buzzsaw, but then Sophie Moore came in and he ran away while firing his gun at the agent.

Black Mask and Enigma then appear in Kate's cell. Enigma expressed sympathy for Kate's condition as Black Mask disregarded her. Before Black Mask left, he asked Enigma to alter Kate's memory and appearance, and make her forget who she was.

Personality

In public, Roman pretends to be a legitimate businessman and a white knight dedicated to helping Gotham City and isn't afraid to speak out against Gotham's criminal element and corrupt legal system. He still speaks with some arrogance and narcissism as he considers masked criminals "a blemish" and "ugly," to which even Sophie Moore refers to him as a "Pompous Ass."

In secret, Roman is a terrifying individual who uses fear and violence to get his way. He is vengeful, sadistic, angry, amoral, and manipulative with a deep hatred of the Crows and masked vigilantes, especially Batwoman; he is willing to tear down Gotham to enact his revenge. Even by recruiting all kinds of individuals and even kidnapped children into his ranks, proving how vile Roman is. He commands his gang with an iron fist, executing members when failing to succeed in their objectives. In committing his crimes, Roman has no shame, remorse, or fear when killing someone.

Abilities

  • High-level intellect/Great business acumen/Master tactician/Leader: Roman is highly capable of leading the False Face Society from behind the scenes and in person.
    • Master of deception/Manipulator: Roman is highly skilled at deceiving and manipulating others to his advantage. He is able to hide his identity and activities as Black Mask, putting on a facade of a white knight willing to help the legal system.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant: Roman is a skilled hand to hand fighter. He was able to disarm and incapicate Sophie with a single kick to her lower back. Roman was able to fight Ryan Wilder as Batwoman and eventually gain the upper hand on her, even causing her mouth to bleed. When Sophie Moore joined the fight, he was able to briefly fight on until he was overwhelmed by the two of them.
  • Expert Marksman: Roman is quite proficient in the use of firearms, particularly handguns.
  • Expert Interrogator/Torturer: Roman is proficient in interrogating and torture to get information or to get others to do his bidding.
  • Intimidation: Roman uses a black skull mask and his status as a crimelord to intimidate people.
  • Stealth: Roman was able to ambush Sophie Moore. Talking at her from the shadows before appearing behind her.
  • High pain tolerance: Roman was able to pull a batarang out of his back with little discomfort.
  • Network: As a businessman and a crimelord, Roman has many contacts in the criminal world and in high society.

Quotes

Your family has declared you dead, Kate Kane. But sit tight. We'll make them believe in life after death.
~ Black Mask to Kate Kane.
Yes. Thank you, Dana. You know it shouldn't take a businessperson to step in here, but I have made a career out of concealing blemishes, and quite frankly, the makeover this city needs comes from an ugly I've never seen before. So yes, I am here to speak on behalf of the people without a platform like the hundreds who work for me who say they're scared to death, Dana. They are scared to death of the criminal element lurking behind masks, but I'm not here to beg for help today. I'm here to offer it. To the law enforcement in charge of protecting us, what can we do? How can we help you? Because enough is enough.
~ Roman Sionis giving a speech to the public.
Black Mask: Find the witness, bring her to me. Very simple task and you failed. Consider this your termination notice. Next.
Batwoman: What the hell are you doing?!
Black Mask: It's an H.R. matter, what are you, OSHA?
~ Black Mask kills a failed henchman while Batwoman is captured.
Black Mask: Oh please enlighten me. Who am I?
Batwoman: You're a sadistic drug lord.
Black Mask: Okay I can see why you might think that. But it's Gotham that's sadistic, not me and they say the best way to change the system, is from within.
~ Black Mask to Batwoman.
Black Mask: Your best isn't good enough and I would know that better than anyone. My daughter was imprisoned by the Crows and killed by Batwoman!
Batwoman: I never killed anyone.
Black Mask: But you've taken the on the symbol of the woman who did, so tell me, is that change, or is that just pandering to a sick city that worships extremist crows and bats? Maybe you wouldn't bother me so much if I said I was a squirrel.
~ Black Mask explaining his motivation to Ryan Wilder.
No. It's a symbol of liberation from people like you, people who think they'll never be held accountable as long as they pretend that what they do is justice.
~ Black Mask about his mask.
Now that is some impressive branding. Though you should really consider bringing a gun to a gunfight.
~ Black Mask to Batwoman about her batarang.
You don't want to be a cog, huh? I respect that. What if I told you, you could be the machine?
~ Black Mask convincing Russell Tavaroff to join him.

Trivia

  • This is the second live-action appearance of Roman Sionis and the third live-action appearance of someone using the Black Mask identity. Roman Sionis appeared as Black Mask the 2020 DC Extended Universe film Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Black Mask had also appeared in the first season of Gotham, although the identity of the character was Roman's father, Richard Sionis.
  • Black Mask's characterization in the Arrowverse is similar to his mainstream counterpart. In the comics, Black Mask was prone to have his men extensively tortured if he was put in a bad mood, as well as gunning them down on a mere whim, while in the Arrowverse, he tortured and killed his men if they wanted to leave him or if they failed him.
  • Black Mask gunning down a False-Facer who failed him then saying "you are forgiven", is similar to how Darth Vader force-chocked Lorth Needa for losing the Millennium Falcon then said "apology accepted, captain Needa".

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