Black Mask Revealed To Be The Big Bad In ‘Batman: Arkham Origins.’ Wait, Who?

A little-known (outside of comics readership, at least) nut in a skull mask will be the heavy in October’s “Arkham Origins” according to a piece in Game Informer.

GI’s write-up provides a rough sketch of “legitimate” businessman/secret crime boss Roman Sionis’ role in “Batman: Arkham Origins.” In the game, as head of the Janus Comsmetic company, Sionis hides his control of the shady goings-on in Gotham City, keeping his well-manicured mitts in all of the local criminal activity. “Arkham Origins” creative director Eric Holmes explains that “He’s known for being brutal and sadistic. And particularly at this point in the Arkham franchise he has enormous resources. He is the number one gang leader in Gotham. And has easily the most power in the city.”

If the character’s not ringing a bell, it’s because outside of the comics, this relatively new addition to Batman’s rogues gallery (he was created back in 1985) hasn’t gotten much exposure in other media. And if this part of his origin from Wikipedia is true, God I hope it makes its way into “Arkham Origins”: “As a child, he was attacked by a rabid raccoon at the Sionis family country estate; his parents forbade him to mention the incident to anyone.” It’s Sionis’ steel mill which the Joker controls in “Batman: Arkham City.”

In recent years, the character has gone from being a crime boss who wore a skull mask to conceal his identity to a guy whose face is permanently marred into a skull-like visage (and then he’s replaced by another guy). Among the flamboyant criminals in the DCU, he doesn’t rank as high as the Riddlers or Two-Faces because his psychological hook is so ill-defined: he’s a criminal because his very rich parents loved their money and station more (Batman villain Hush would get a similarly half-baked origin). His villainy has pretty much nothing to do with his history. He’s just a crazy crook with a striking visual. Typically, writers would surround him with other villains–either as foils or allies–in order to give Black Mask some heat, but outside of the striking visual, he’s never made an impact.

Have hope, though: Eidos Montreal might have a great story in the offing for Black Mask, in spite of the years of writers being unable to find a single good one to tell about him.

[Source: Game Informer]

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