One of the many underrated Batman villains, Black Mask is one of the most powerful villains in DC Comics. A perfect example of Gotham’s unique villain, Black Mask is a combination of mob boss and evil super villain. With these combined elements, Black Mask has the same influence on Gotham as someone like Carmine Falcone and poses a threat as a villain like the Joker.
Gaining popularity since its live action debut in the 2020 film, bird of prey, Black Mask is increasing its B-list status. Historically, Black Mask has not received as much recognition as legendary villains like the Joker or the Riddler, but he has caused a lot of trouble for Batman and his allies.
10 Black Mask’s first appearance is one of his best
Written by Doug Moench, one of Batman’s most influential Batman writers, with art by Tom Mandrake, Batman #386 is Black Mask’s comic debut. The comic depicts the origin of Black Mask, beginning with his young life in a wealthy family. Unfortunately, Roman Cynis was dropped on his head as an infant and the head injury adversely affected him.
Throughout his childhood, Roman was forced by his parents to try to fit in with society, which he saw as wearing a mask to hide his true self. Eventually becoming head of his father’s business, Janus Cosmetics, Roman ran the business into the ground. This left him with no choice but to sell the rest of his family’s inheritance to the Wayne Foundation. Later turning to a life of violent crime, Black Mask was instantly recognized as a villain with a personal vendetta against Bruce Wayne.
9 Backward masking showed a black mask effect
Three issue story arc in Catwoman Volume 3, issues 50 to 52, “Backward Masking” is written by Will Pfeffer with art by Pete Woods. The plot describes Black Mask’s villainous nature, as the entire story revolves around his desire for revenge. The story begins with the Gotham police interrogating Angle Man for a recent attempt to kill Catwoman.
A mystery of sorts, the story ultimately tells how Black Mask hires a powerful mercenary to hunt down Catwoman. The story showcases Black Mask’s influence and his ability to wreak havoc without leaving his desk
8 A new Black Mask emerges from the afterlife
Based on the early days of Dick Grayson’s career as Batman, “Life After Death” was directed by Tony S. Daniel and Sandu Floria have a six-issue story. After the death of the aforementioned Roman Cynics Catwoman In the plot, a new Black Mask emerges after a mass breakout at Arkham Asylum, leading to the formation of a gang called the False Faces.
Although this story does not feature Roman Cynics, it is a great example of Black Mask’s relentlessness, always seeming to pursue his goals despite obstacles. At the end of the story, it is revealed that the new Black Mask is Jeremiah Arkham, the director of Arkham Asylum, Sionis’s influence is so great that he demonstrates how he can influence Gotham’s great families from beyond the grave.
7 Batman infiltrates the Black Mask gang in Warpaint
Another great Black Mask story written by its creator, Doug Moench, and drawn by Tom Grindberg, “Warpaint” is a one-issue story that took place in 2012. Batman #484. In the comic, shortly after Bruce realizes he has lost some of his physical edge, Black Mask reappears in Gotham and orders an attack on companies owned by Wayne.
Infiltrating Black Mask’s gang, Batman works to stop Black Mask from rooting out, destroying his entire gang in the process. However, about a quarter of the way into his infiltration, Batman learns that his friend, Lucius Fox, has been kidnapped by Black Mask’s gang. While Black Mask initially debuted as a villain with a masked gimmick, when he kidnapped Lucius Fox, readers learned how far he was willing to go to hurt Bruce Wayne.
6 Black Mask infiltrates the Bat Family in War Games
A massive crossover event taking place between the pages of five different Batman-related titles, “War Games” was written by numerous authors, including Bill Willingham, Anderson Gabrich, Devin Grayson, Dylan Horrocks, and Ed Brubaker.
Considered by fans to be the event that catapulted Black Mask into the limelight, “War Games” details Black Mask’s most cunning plan, infiltrating the Bat Family. Black Mask is able to kill Orpheus and capture Stephanie Brown, displaying this ruthless criminal at his most cunning and effective.
5 Black Mask expands his gang in Detective Comics 553
“The False Face Society of Gotham” is a one-issue story written by Doug Moench with art by Klaus Johnson. Detective Comics #553. The story revolves around Batman after Black Mask declares himself the main criminal of Gotham City.
Expanding his gang, the False Face Society, Black Mask orders the death of a board member of Janus Cosmetics, which is bought by Bruce Wayne. Batman #386. Only his 2nd appearance in DC Comics, this comic showed fans that one defeat of Batman is not enough to stop Black Mask.
4 Black Mask created black and white in All-Star Batman
A fourteen-issue series by Scott Snyder, with art by the legendary John Romita Jr., All-Star Batman Considered one of the best Batman comics written by Scott Snyder. Acting as the kick-off title for Batman in the DC Rebirth era, All-Star Batman There is a long list of great Batman villains.
That list includes Black Mask, who forms a gang called the Black and Whites with the Penguins and the Great White Shark. The villains are a constant presence throughout the series, but serve as the main antagonists in three of the last four issues. The comic exemplifies Black Mask’s adaptability and shows that he is still dangerous even without an army of thugs.
3 Black Mask sends the Red Hood on a violent journey into the Dark Trinity
A six-issue arc written by Scott Lobdell with art by Dexter Soya, “Dark Trinity” is the first DC Rebirth story. Red Hood and the Outlaws. Featuring a wild team-up with Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro, the “Dark Trinity” centers around the group as they try to stop Black Mask’s plans to destroy the neighborhood Jason grew up in before meeting Bruce Wayne.
Tired of Batman’s methodical approach to crime fighting, Red Hood decides to confront Black Mask by jumping through the windshield of his car. Thrown off his game by a puzzling question from Black Mask, Red Hood ends up on a violent adventure that could have been avoided entirely if Black Mask hadn’t confused the unsuspecting antihero from the start.
2 Black Mask was a serious player under the Red Hood
Considered by Batman fans to be one of the most important Batman comics ever made, “Under the Red Hood” was created by Judd Winnick and Doug Mahnke. A sixteen-issue comic telling a serious story in the Batman mythology, “Under the Red Hood” Batman Issue 635 to 650.
In this story, Batman faces a new challenge when a mysterious figure named the Red Hood becomes violently involved in the Gotham crime scene. Taking out members of Black Mask’s gang, Red Hood forces Black Mask to take notice of him. Angered by the Red Hood’s taunts, Black Mask enlists the help of villains such as Mr. Freeze and Deathstroke to bring down the emerging criminal.
1 Batman got personal with the Black Mask in War Crimes
A six-issue story arc set between the events of “War Games” and “Under the Hood”, respectively, “War Crimes” was created by Anderson Gabrich and Bill Willingham. Through three different titles, “War Crimes” shows the aftermath of “War Games” and how the people of Gotham effectively blame Batman for the underworld conflict.
The story follows the death of former Robin Stephanie Brown after she is tortured by the Black Mask, making the high-level conflict between the Bat and the Mask intensely personal. Gotham’s supervillain scene also highlights Black Mask’s role as an interloper when he is targeted by the Joker for “copying” the Joker by killing Robin.
Next: 10 Best Batman Two-Face Comics