DC gives a Batman villain a major makeover

As the Dawn of DC initiative kicks off, some of the publisher’s heroes and villains are getting the narrative spotlight. Of course, the nature of superhero comics means that spotlight includes some big changes, including, in the case of a fan-favorite villain, an interesting makeover. Front spoilers Punchline: The Gotham Game #4 of Tini Howard and Blake Howard, Max Raynor, Luis Guerrero and Becca Carey below! Watch only if you want to know!

The issue followed the latest moves by Punchline and the Royal Flush Gang to wreak havoc in Gotham City, particularly through control of the underground drug trade. As the issue reveals, Punchline and Catwoman’s recent fiery warehouse fight has caught the attention of some notable names in Gotham’s underworld, including Roman Sionis/Black Mask. After Catwoman came face to face with Sionis early in Howard’s Catwoman run, his precious black mask has been destroyed – but this issue of Punchline shows a new one, combining white elements and more hardware than the previous version.

(Photo: DC)

Who is DC’s black mask?

Created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake, Black Mask first made its DC Comics debut in 1985’s Batman #386. In the comics, Roman starts off as a reluctant childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s, but one whose origin story almost mirrors his own, as he ends up killing his own parents and inheriting their fortune and their cosmetics company, Janus Cosmetics. After falling into financial turmoil, Roman visits his parents’ grave, where he is struck by lightning, an event he sees as his own personal ‘rebirth’. Roman then destroys his father’s coffin, uses the pieces to make his Black Mask, and soon becomes a crime boss and drug kingpin.

Over the years, he would face off against Batman, Catwoman, Oracle, and Spoiler, and would become a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, later becoming a Black Lantern. Roman’s canon was further expanded in the New 52, ​​which furthered his connection to the False Face Society, also briefly establishing that he suffered from dissociative identity disorder, and that “Black Mask” was another facet of his personality. The character has made several live-action appearances in recent years, played by Todd Stashwick on Fox’s Gotham, Ewan McGregor in Birds of Prey (and the fantastic emancipation of One Harley Quinn)and Peter Outerbridge in The CW’s Batwoman.

What do you think of DC redesigning Black Mask? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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