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Carmine "The Roman" Falcone
Art by Tim Sale
|First appearance||Batman #404 (1987)|
|Created by||Frank Miller
|Alter ego||Carmine Falcone|
|Team affiliations||Mafia in Gotham City|
|Notable aliases||The Roman, Don Falcone|
Carmine "The Roman" Falcone is a fictional character in DC Comics' shared universe, the DC Universe, who made his debut in the four part story Batman: Year One written by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli in 1987.
In the comics, Falcone is a powerful Mafia chieftain nicknamed "The Roman," where his stranglehold over Gotham City's organized crime is referenced as "The Roman Empire" at least once. In Batman: Year One, the top of his penthouse is shaped like Roman architecture.
Falcone later appeared in the mini-series Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. The character is based on Marlon Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone from the 1972 film The Godfather. Loeb stated in an interview that he paralleled the Falcone family to that of the Corleone family: Falcone's power and wisdom akin to Vito Corleone, his son Alberto's personality and appearance that of Fredo's and his daughter Sofia's temper matching Sonny's. Lastly, his elder son Mario's deportation to Sicily, physical appearance and desire to redeem and legitimize the Falcone family name are all traits shared with Michael Corleone.
Fictional character biography
In The Long Halloween, Vincent Falcone, Carmine's father, brings his dying son, who had been shot several times by Sal Maroni's father Luigi, to Thomas Wayne for help. Fearing Luigi Maroni would finish the job at a public hospital, he begs Wayne to perform surgery at Wayne Manor. A young Bruce Wayne watches his father save Falcone's life. At Thomas Wayne's funeral, Carmine Falcone tells Bruce that he can always ask a favor of him.
In Batman: Year One, Falcone virtually runs the city, with the mayor, city council, and Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb in his pocket. However, his power base comes under attack with the arrival of the mysterious vigilante Batman. In one scene, Falcone hosts a dinner party, attended by the commissioner and other corrupt high society members. Batman crashes the dinner party to announce that they will be delivered to justice.
Despite Loeb's desperate attempts to stop him, Batman's attacks on Falcone's organization become even more brazen. Batman has Falcone's car dumped into the river, invades his home, assaults him, strips him to his underwear, and leaves him hogtied to his bed. Humiliated, Falcone orders Batman killed. Batman is too elusive, however, as he later helps Catwoman attack Falcone and leave three scratch marks on his face. Finally, Falcone orders police detective Jim Gordon's wife and child kidnapped to bring him to heel. He orders his nephew Johnny Viti for the job. However, the plot is in part foiled by Gordon while Batman rescues his son, James Jr. Eventually, investigations led by Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, with some secret assistance by Batman, restore law and order to Gotham: Loeb is forced to resign and Falcone's power is put under threat by the new opposition he faces. Angered by Johnny's failure, he orders his nephew killed. Johnny survives the attempt on his life, however, meaning Falcone now has to battle his sister Carla Viti, the head of the Viti crime family in Chicago.
The plot of The Long Halloween involves a serial killer named Holiday. This mysterious assassin targets Gotham's crime families, with particular attention paid to the Falcone family. Falcone's son, Alberto, confesses to all of the Holiday killings, in an attempt to be accepted into the family business.
During The Long Halloween, Falcone is able to frustrate his enemies' with a careful mix of murder and influence. However, the situation changes when Batman and Dent discover one of Falcone's warehouses, containing millions in stockpiled cash. They burn the money, striking a blow against Falcone he cannot ignore. This drives him to take desperate measures, hiring "freaks" in the form of what becomes Batman's Rogues Gallery. He also has a hand in the birth of Two-Face: infuriated by Harvey Dent's efforts to disrupt his operations—and convinced that Dent is the Holiday killer—he persuades his former rival Sal Maroni to kill Dent while standing trial. Falcone's men provide Maroni with a vial of acid, which he hurls at Dent during a court proceeding. This happens on August 2, Falcone's birthday. The acid disfigures the left side of Dent's face, leading to him becoming Two-Face. At the story's climax, Two-Face and the rest of Batman's Rogue's Gallery (consisting of Catwoman, Joker, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Solomon Grundy) break into the Falcone penthouse. Two-Face kills Falcone following a coin flip.
In Batman: Dark Victory, Falcone's grave site is robbed and his body goes missing. His finger is cut off and sent to his daughter, Sofia Gigante, the new leader of the Falcone Family. This is described as an "old style message", signifying that someone is out to take everything away from the Falcone Family. Alberto is put under house arrest, and he begins to hear his father's voice in the home. Ultimately the dead body of corrupt District Attorney Janice Porter ends up in Alberto's bed while he is sleeping. His father calls him a failure, and urges him to commit suicide. Knowing his father abhorred suicide, Alberto figures out that the voice is part of a ruse, and shoots a mirror: Behind the mirror is the Calendar Man, who shoots him as he tries to escape. When Batman and Gordon investigate, they find secret passages and microphones for the Calendar Man to move freely about the house. They then learn that Scarecrow had laced Alberto's cigarettes with fear toxin. Not until the end it is revealed that Two-Face has Falcone's body in his possession, having frozen it using Mr. Freeze's cryogenic technology. Selina Kyle briefly visits the grave at the conclusion of the story, where it is revealed that she believes that Falcone is her biological father.
- Vincent Falcone - Carmine's father.
- Carla Viti - Carmine's sister. Boss of Viti Family in Chicago.
- Louisa Falcone, Carmine's wife. Her current location is unknown.
- Johnny Viti - Carla's son and Carmine's nephew.
- Lucia Viti - Carla's daughter and Carmine's niece.
- Sofia Falcone Gigante - Carmine's daughter. Mario later legally changes his sister's name to Sofia Gigante.
- Alberto Falcone - Carmine's son.
- Mario Falcone - Carmine's son.
- Selina Kyle - Carmine's alleged daughter.
- Kitrina Falcone - Carmine's daughter.
In other media
- In Batman Begins, Falcone is played by Tom Wilkinson. He controls Gotham City's underground world, flooding it with drugs, crime, as well as poverty. He is effectively above the law, as most government officials are either on his payroll or afraid of him (examples being two councilmen, a union official, Judge Faden, Detective Arnold John Flass, and an unnamed police officer). He has Joe Chill (the murderer of Bruce Wayne's parents with whom he shared a cell) killed for threatening to testify against him, depriving Bruce Wayne of the chance to take his own revenge. Bruce confronts him at an underground establishment and tells Falcone that not everyone in Gotham is afraid of him. Falcone dismisses the young billionaire as a harmless nuisance, telling him that real power comes from being feared. This inspires Wayne to travel the world in a journey that culminates in his transformation into Batman. When Falcone goes into business with Dr. Jonathan Crane and a mysterious accomplice/employer, he smuggles a fear toxin into Gotham and Crane (who runs Arkham Asylum) diagnoses Falcone's henchmen as insane when they are arrested so they can avoid prison. Batman foils the plot and leaves Falcone unconscious on the scene. While in prison, Falcone tries to blackmail Crane into giving him a cut of what he believes to be profits from the smuggling operation. Crane instead gasses him with the fear toxin, literally driving him insane with fear. He is last seen in Arkham in a catatonic state.
- In The Dark Knight, it is mentioned that Falcone is still in Arkham. In his absence, Sal Maroni has taken over his crime family.
- Carmine Falcone appears in Batman: Year One voiced by Alex Rocco. He is first seen hosting a dinner party with Gotham City's corrupt politicians and crime bosses, which Batman crashes to announce his presence to the criminal underworld. Later on, Batman catches Falcone, strips him naked, and ties him up in his bed after dumping his car in the river. When Falcone makes plans to dispose of James Gordon, their meeting is interrupted by Batman and Catwoman, who defeat Falcone's men.
- Tom Wilkinson reprises his role as Carmine Falcone in the 2005 video game version of Batman Begins. In the game, Batman confronts Falcone at the docks to show him that there is now something on the streets worse than his criminal empire, using a crane to lift Falcone's car into the air (with Falcone in it) to make his statement.
- Carmine Falcone's crime family is featured in DC Universe Online. In the villain campaign, Killer Croc mentions that he has been hired by the Falcones to put an end to Bane's drug trafficking operations. Some of the Falcones are seen in the Penguin's cutscene at the Iceberg Lounge, where the Penguin plans to take advantage of the gang war.
- The Falcone Crime Family (specifically Carmine) are mentioned several times in Batman: Arkham City. Scanning several items related to the Falcone and Maroni families offer stories about them. The exposition reveals that the Falcones won the war with the Maroni family by first offering to parlay with them in Maroni's restaurant, only for Falcone's men to shooting up the building. The few survivors fled to Arkham City. One of Hugo Strange's interview tapes reveals that the Falcone Family gave the man that would become the Joker the Red Hood costume he wore during his fateful first encounter with Batman. Another tape reveals that Harvey Dent was the prosecutor of the Falcone Family's trial, which led to Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face. A boat can be found on Amusement Mile, containing an invoice from Falcone shipping for the attention of Dr. J. Crane, saying the first 15 shipments of "Live Insects for Medical Purposes" have arrived. If the player visits Calendar Man as Catwoman, he hints at Carmine being her father.
- Batman: Year One by Frank Miller
- Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
- Batman: Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb
- Batman #404
- Batman: The Long Halloween #8
- Batman: The Long Halloween #3
- Batman: The Long Halloween #11
- Batman: Dark Victory #10