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Villain Overview

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

WOOO! Who's having a good time? I know you are.
~ Roman Sionis enjoys Black Canary's song
I wanna kill you. Because without the Joker around...I can. For all your noise and bluster, you're just a...a silly little girl, with no one around to protect her.
~ Sionis to Harley Quinn.
Friends. Brothers. Men of Gotham! I have funded you. I've protected you. I have scratched your backs just to keep you out jail. Now, it's time to say thank you. Go show those little bitches you don't mess with Roman Sionis!!!
~ Black Mask giving a speech to his followers.
Excuse me?!
~ Sionis' last words before Cass plants a grenade on him and eventually gets killed after having his legs blown off.

Roman Sionis, also better known by the alias Black Mask, is the main antagonist of the 2020 DC Extended Universe film Birds of Prey. He is a powerful Gotham City crime lord, the owner of the Black Mask Club, and the boss of Victor Zsasz, who seeks to take control over all of Gotham by acquiring the Bertinelli fortune.

He was portrayed by Ewan McGregor, who also played Patrick McKenna in Angels and Demons and Mark Renton in Trainspotting.

History

Roman Sionis was first seen in the movie at his club where he tries to convince a Chinese mob boss to join his criminal empire only to be shut down. He draws the attention of Harley Quinn, who just broke his driver and bodyguard's legs.

He asks her if she is having a good time and if her boyfriend, the Joker, will be joining them. She replies that Joker has some business to take care of and she will be leaving soon. Before leaving he says to her that he sends his regards. Unbeknownst to him and everybody in Gotham, The Joker and Harley broke up.

The next day, he watches Dinah Lance (Black Canary), his club's featured singer, defending an unconscious Harley from two rapists. He is so impressed by Dinah's fighting skills that he decides to promote her to be his new personal bodyguard and driver so he sends his right-hand man Victor Zsasz to pick her up and tell her the news.

The same day, he goes to a warehouse where he holds a Chinese mob boss, along with the man's wife and daughter, captive. He decides to send a message to all criminals in Gotham who don't work for him of what could happen if they refuse to join him so he orders Victor Zsasz to brutally murder the mob boss, kill his wife and daughter.

After this, he goes outside the warehouse and orders Dinah to drive him to his club the same day he with the help of his connectios discover the location of the bertinelli diamond wich inside has a code to access the bertinelli fortune wich is was bigger than wayne fortune roman plans to use the fortune of the bertinelli to bribe every cop and politician in gotham and also create the biggest criminal empire in the history of gotham and take control over the city and also overcome his rival in the underworld the joker but cassandra cain an orpahn girl steals the diamond from victor when he and dinah go to pick the diamond in one of the banks under black mask control when he finds this he went into a rage attack until victor come with a plan to calm him down he tell roman the news about the joker and harley broke up and she dont have the protection of the joker anymore so roman use this to take revenge against harley for all the trouble she give him in his club in the past so he sends his men to find her and bringing to him

He was killed when Cass plants a grenade on him and when Harley Quinn throws him off a pier with his legs getting blown off.

Personality

Roman Sionis is said to be an absolute narcissist who is also a rather misogynistic and foul-tempered individual. He is also highly ambitious and power-hungry, sadistic, and emotionally unstable. He appears to see his right-hand man/best friend and theorized lover Victor Zsasz as an obsession as they both love violence. He also appears to have some level of attraction towards his new driver/bodyguard Dinah Lance but that went a way when away  after she turned on him.

Trivia

  • Black Mask is, so far, not only one of the few characters in the DC Extended Universe to be LGBT, but the first incarnation of Black Mask to be so. In the mainstream comic book continuity, Black Mask has always been depicted as straight.
    • Despite this, Roman Sionis' sexuality was never addressed in the finished film. However, it's not strange for characters to be announced as LGBT in a film for their sexuality to not be acknowledged onscreen like with Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films or Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
      • Even so, two possible hints that may reference his sexuality are the mention that Roman was disowned by his father, which perhaps may have something to do with Roman's sexual orientation (it's common in real life for homophobic parents to disown their children if they come out the closet) and that Harley Quinn mentions at one point that Roman dislikes her for having a vagina, possibly indicating that Sionis doesn't like women at all. However, given his interaction with Black Canary, it's likely that Sionis is bisexual.
  • Ewan McGregor's performance as Black Mask was praised by film critics, much like Margot Robbie's reprisal as Harley Quinn.
  • A reference to Black Mask was previously seen in Justice League, as a building of Janus Cosmetics can be seen as part of Gotham City's skyline.
  • This is the first live-action appearance of Roman Sionis and the second live-action appearance of someone using the Black Mask identity. Black Mask had appeared in the first season of Gotham, although the identity of the character was Roman's father, Richard Sionis.
  • Roman Sionis is the second main antagonist in a DC Extended Universe (following Lex Luthor) to not have any superpowers or cosmic abilities. Additionally, his motives are much lower in scale compared to previous main villains as he only wants to rule Gotham City.
  • Black Mask's death is, by far, considered one of the most graphic of the DC Extended Universe.

External links

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