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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 Corleone, and his daughter Sofia's temper matching that of Sonny Corleone. Lastly, his elder son Mario's deportation to Sicily, physical appearance and desire to legitimize the Falcone family 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 led the rest of Batman's Rogue's Gallery (consisting of Catwoman, Joker, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Solomon Grundy) into breaking into the Falcone penthouse. Two-Face kills Falcone following a coin flip that lands on the scarred side.
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.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Carmine Falcone appears in the second issue of Batman Eternal determined to reclaim his empire after framing Commissioner Gordon for mass murder.
Falcone's plot to retake control of Gotham City progresses, with it clear that he controls the Mayor and also control of the Gotham City Police Department. While Falcone and the Mayor instruct the police to hunt down Batman, Falcone's henchmen begin attacking arms caches belonging to his chief rival Penguin.
The following are relatives of Carmine Falcone:
- 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
- Don Carmine Falcone appears in the TV series Gotham portrayed by John Doman. He is depicted as a Mafia Don who has the Gotham City government and several members of the Gotham City Police Department in his pocket. He is first seen in the "Pilot" episode, where he and his men save detectives James Gordon and Harvey Bullock from being killed by men working for Fish Mooney, a mobstress who coordinates part of Carmine Falcone's criminal empire. Carmine also tells Fish Mooney's second-in-command Butch Gilzean to deliver a message to Fish Mooney that she does not kill any policemen without his permission. It is also implied during Gordon's conversation with Falcone that Gordon's late father (who worked as a Gotham City district attorney) worked with Falcone where he claims to want a stable if compliant Gotham City (as organized crime can't happen without order). Falcone also confirms that Mario Pepper was set up for Thomas and Martha Wayne's death, but that he himself doesn't know who really did it. While faking Oswald Cobblepot's killing, James learned from him that Carmine's power is slipping, to the point where his rivals and even his subordinates like Mooney are about to rise up in a mob war. In "Selina Kyle," Don Falcone visits Fish Mooney at her club telling her that Oswald has stated that the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne has placed the Gotham City out of balance. He also states that the Maroni Family is among the organizations wanting to gain the powers from the void that Thomas Wayne left. Carmine then warns the new waiter and Mooney's gigolo Lazlo that if he breaks Fish Mooney's heart, he breaks his heart. Carmine even has Lazlo beaten up to serve as Fish Mooney's reminder in his organization. After Carmine Falcone leaves, Fish Mooney plans to bide her time until she has enough power to take on Carmine Falcone. In "The Balloonman," Falcone visits Don Salvatore Maroni at his restaurant. Carmine later visits Fish Mooney at her restaurant to make sure there are no hard feelings while mentioning that his comare Natalia had an accident in the mugging. Carmine Falcone vows to find the person responsible and the ones who helped him. In "Arkham," it is revealed that Carmine Falcone is backing the Wayne Plan for the Arkham District that Mayor Aubrey James is endorsing. When Sal Maroni's restaurant is attacked, Sal Maroni claims that Carmine Falcone's men are responsible. After Mayor James' plans for the Arkham District are announced, James Gordon mentions to Bruce Wayne that Carmine Falcone will handle the small housing development while Sal Maroni will handle the refurbishment of Arkham Asylum. In "Viper," Sal Maroni plans to rob a casino that is owned by Carmine Falcone. Carmine Falcone meets with the mob members on his side including Fish Mooney and a Russian mob leader named Nikolai. Carmine discusses with them about what to do with Sal Maroni. A disguised Liza later visits Carmine Falcone in the park where she shares her opera music with her.
- Carmine Falcone appears in Batman Begins played by Tom Wilkinson. He controls Gotham City's criminal underworld, flooding the city with drugs, crime and poverty. He is effectively above the law, as most government officials are either on his payroll or afraid of him. He has Joe Chill 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 Ra's al Ghul, he smuggles a specific drug into Gotham. In return, 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 hands Falcone to the police. While in prison, Falcone tries to blackmail Crane into giving him a cut of what he believes to be profits from the smuggling operation, but Crane, as Scarecrow, drives him insane with his fear toxin. Falcone is incarcerated in Arkham Asylum continuously muttering "Scarecrow" and wasn't seen when Ra's al Ghul's men release all the inmates of Arkham Asylum.
- In The Dark Knight, it is mentioned that Falcone is still in Arkham Asylum. 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 start shooting up the building. The few Maroni Family survivors fled to Bludhaven. 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 Eternal by Scott Snyder
- Batman #404
- Batman: The Long Halloween #8
- Batman: The Long Halloween #3
- Batman: The Long Halloween #11
- Batman: Dark Victory #10
- Batman Eternal #2
- Batman Eternal #3
- "Gotham is 'Not A City For Nice Guys' in new TV spot - Flickering Myth". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "Gotham Chronicle". Retrieved 15 October 2014.