Black Mask Origins

Black Mask

Batman Universe Character Profiles Character Profiles


Black Mask is one of the many supervillains within the Batman and DC universe. He is also a mafia boss who leads the Sionis Crime Family. The character made their debut back in 1985 with the comic Batman #386 and was created by both Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake.

Black Mask is known to have an interest in masks and wears one himself, which is often black in colour and has a rather disturbing backstory to it. One in which involves his father.


Red Hood Quotes (Arkham Knight Story DLC)
Black Mask (Batman #636. 2005)
REAL NAMERoman Sionis
CREATED BYDoug Moench (Writer)
Tom Mandrake (Artist)
FIRST APPEARANCEBatman #386 (August 1985)
ABILITIESExpert marksman
Criminal mastermind


Roman Sionis came from a rich family and his father was a very successful industrialist. Though the tragedy from all of that was the fact that was all his parents cared about, their social status and how to become even more successful and rich. Their work would often get in the way and this resulted in them tending to neglect Roman. Their son.

There was even an incident where, as a young child, a nurse accidentally dropped young Sionis, but all his parents cared about was what their work would have them do next. What parties they were to attend. Work and their social status was all that mattered to them and young Roman knew this as he was forced and dragged to all their parties and social events. Even against his own will.

Years later young Sionis found himself up against a vicious and rabid raccoon whilst at the Sionis family country estate. Despite the incident his family threatened him to never mention or bring it up. All to keep the peace and their social standing.

As his parents continued their constant fight to remain high authority figures they were even found to be making friendships with the people they even disliked, such as both Thomas and Martha Wayne. This would then lead to Roman becoming friends with their son, Bruce.


The story behind where Roman Sionis got his mask from, what is it made of, and ultimately why does he even wear a mask. Is all connected to one of his origin stories.

As a young child his parents would not only attend parties and work hard to maintain their high social standing but they were also obsessed with wearing masks.

One day after graduating from high school Roman managed to enrol into his father’s cosmetics company, known simply as Janus Cosmetics. Here he managed to become friends with working-class model known as Circe. They quickly bonded and their relationship grew.

However his parents resented their relationship and forced them to break up. It was at this point when Sionis had finally reached his limit. Enraged he decided to burn down his parent’s family mansion. Which ended up killing both of his parents.

A series of tragic events then followed. Including his father’s cosmetics business ending in failure due to his lack of experience. Then the inevitable breakup between both him and his, at the time fiancée, Circe. Humiliated and furious with these past events Sionis decides to head to his parent’s crypt. However, before being able to reach it he is then hit by a lightning bolt.

As the lightning bolt hit it managed to send him flying head-first into a nearby stone. Whilst also blowing the door wide open to his parent’s crypt. Sionis then took the stone and used it to smash his father’s casket. Then proceeded to carve an ebony mask using the shattered pieces. He then became the Black Mask.

So Black Mask’s mask is essentially made from parts of his father’s ebony casket, in which he was buried in.


Originally both Black Mask and Commissioner Loeb were rivals. However, as Commissioner Loeb tried to claim the role as Mayor of Gotham the two decided to work together. As a newly formed partnership Black Mask told Loeb that he would help him get the role as Mayor only if he continued to do as he commanded. Meanwhile Black Mask decided that he wanted a different role for himself, a role that would see him as the main crime lord within Gotham.

If this all worked out according to plan then Black Mask would have the next Mayor of Gotham working for him and this would also include members of the GCPD. The city would, in turn, be governed by Roman Sionis and he would therefore have complete control over the city.


However, plans took an immediate turn when a man known simply as the ‘Joker‘ appeared in Gotham. This criminal would then spend his time trying to steal chemicals from the Steel Mill, which at the time, belonged to Sionis.

Outraged Black Mask then decided to form a new team that would keep close eye on the Joker so he would not interfere any more. In the process and for her own safety he also ordered his girlfriend, Tiffany Ambrose to a safe house.

Joker eventually caught wind on the location of Tiffany and proceeded to kidnap and hold her as hostage. Black Mask then attempted to go and rescue her but this only led to the death of one of his body guards, Giovanni Luchese. Sionis, himself, was violently beaten by the clown who would then use a Molotov Cocktail to torch the building. The following events then had Roman Sionis forcedly murder his own girlfriend and then be kidnapped and tortured at the hands of Joker.

It was at this point when the Joker decided to disguise himself as Black Mask in order to trick Sionis’s men into joining him instead. On top of that a $50,000,000 bounty was also placed in an attempt to get rid of the Dark Knight, Batman. Alongside a recruitment of assassins which featured the likes of Deathstroke, Deadshot, Firefly, Killer Croc, and even Bane.


The events of Black Mask within Arkham City does not play a huge role within the main story itself. Meaning it can be easily missed. However, taken into consideration that the Steel Mill used to belong to Black Mask in Arkham Origins, whilst as we play Arkham City it now clearly belongs to Joker. So how did that all come around?

Well Roman Sionis ended up being one of the criminals that eventually got transferred like a lot of the criminals that we see at the beginning of the game. Meaning he fell into TYGER territory and although he tries to fight them off, he was eventually detained. Which then allowed the Joker to take over the Steel Mill and the surrounding area. To which he later renamed as the Joker Funland.


Black Mask makes himself present during the Red Hood DLC, known as the Red Hood Story Pack. Which features Sionis as the main criminal mastermind after the events of Arkham Knight. The content was made available as part of a pre-order bonus alongside the Harley Quinn story pack. However, it was then later made available as a separate purchase.

The content itself features Red Hood, Jason Todd, trying to investigate the hideout of Ramon Sionis. In an attempt to redeem himself. This then leads to a confrontation in which Jason then proceeds to kick Sionis out of a window.


Though Black Mask does not physically appear within Batman Arkham Asylum, he does have a small display that you can find. By completing the various Riddler trophies you will eventually come across it. The display itself features the Sionis mask. It can be found in the Asylum Mansion and more specifically in Dr. Young’s Office.

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Black Mask Display (Arkham Asylum)

SOURCE: Fandom, Wiki

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