Carmine "The Roman" Falcone as seen in the interior of Batman Eternal #2.
Art by Jason Fabok.
|First appearance||Batman #405 (1986)|
|Full name||Carmine Falcone|
|Team affiliations||Falcone Crime Family|
|Notable aliases||The Roman, Don Falcone|
Criminal and business connections
Tom Wilkinson portrayed him in live-action in the film Batman Begins. Falcone was also played by John Doman in the television series Gotham. John Turturro is scheduled to portray the character in The Batman.
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, his penthouse is designed in a Roman architectural style.
Falcone 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 a flashback in The Long Halloween, gangster Vincent Falcone brings his dying son, Carmine (who had been shot several times by his rival, Luigi Maroni), to Thomas Wayne. Fearing Maroni would finish the job at a public hospital, he begs Wayne, one of the city's best doctors, to perform surgery at Wayne Manor. A young Bruce Wayne watches his father save Falcone's life. Years later at Thomas and Martha Wayne's funeral, Carmine Falcone, now part of his father's crime family, tells Bruce that he can always ask a favor of him should he need it.
In Batman: Year One, Falcone is shown to be the most powerful figure in Gotham City, with the unidentified mayor, the city council, Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb, Detective Arnold Flass, and much of Gotham's police force in his pocket. His power comes under attack with the arrival of the mysterious vigilante Batman. In one scene, Batman publicly crashes Falcone's dinner party to announce that all of the corrupt attendees will be delivered to justice. Despite Loeb's desperate attempts to stop him, Batman's attacks on Falcone's organization become even more brazen; at one point, Batman invades Falcone's home, strips him to his underwear, and leaves him hogtied to his bed. Humiliated, Falcone decides to have Batman killed himself. Batman is too elusive, however, and further embarrasses Falcone by rescuing a thief calling herself Catwoman when the mobster and his henchmen catch her trying to rob them. In the process, Catwoman leaves Falcone permanently scarred when she scratches him with the metal claws of her costume.
Finally, Falcone orders his nephew Johnny Viti to kidnap the family of Detective Jim Gordon, Batman's ally, but the attempt is foiled. When Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent's investigations start threatening his power, Falcone orders an unsuccessful hit on Johnny out of fear that he might talk. The failed hit results in the Falcone family getting embroiled in a mob war with Viti's boss Carla in Chicago, who despite being Carmine's sister is enraged by her brother's actions. The war serves only to further diminish Falcone's influence in Gotham.
During The Long Halloween, the weakened Falcone family is targeted by a serial killer named Holiday. Falcone demonstrates his wiliness by using a careful mix of murder and influence to protect his family from police investigation. 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 costumed "freaks" in the form of what becomes Batman's Rogues Gallery. Infuriated by Dent's efforts to disrupt his operations (and convinced that Dent is secretly Holiday) he persuades his former rival Sal Maroni to kill Dent while standing trial for murder. Falcone arranges for Maroni to obtain a vial of acid, which he hurls at Dent during a court proceeding 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 leads the rest of Batman's Rogues Gallery (consisting of Catwoman, Joker, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Solomon Grundy) on a raid of Falcone's private penthouse. Two-Face then personally kills Falcone following a coin flip that lands on the scarred side. Falcone's son Alberto ultimately confesses to all of the Holiday killings in an attempt to be accepted into the family business.
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. She recognizes this as a "old-style message", signifying that someone is out to take everything away from the Falcones. Alberto is placed under house arrest to keep him safe, and he begins to hear his father's voice in the home. Ultimately, the dead body of corrupt District Attorney Janice Porter, a former ally of Carmine's, ends up in Alberto's bed while he is sleeping. His father appears in a mirror, calls him a failure, and urges him to commit suicide. Knowing that his father abhorred suicide, Alberto figures out that the voice is part of a ruse, and shoots the mirror: The voice of his father turns out to be Calendar Man, who then shoots him as he tries to escape. When Batman and Gordon investigate, they find secret passages 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 is it 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 and is determined to learn the truth.
The New 52
In 2011, "The New 52" rebooted the continuity of the DC Comics universe. Carmine Falcone appears in the second issue of Batman Eternal. He is depicted as a former mobster determined to reclaim his empire after Commissioner Gordon, the man who took everything from him, is framed for mass murder.
Falcone's plot to retake control of Gotham City progresses well, as he is shown to control Gotham's Mayor, Sebastian Hardy (who has managed to stay in office for five years thanks to Falcone's influence), while also taking advantage of Gordon's downfall to bribe members of the GCPD to do his dirty work. While Falcone and Mayor Hardy instruct the police to hunt down Batman, Falcone family soldiers begin attacking arms caches belonging to his chief rival Penguin.
It is revealed at the conclusion of the story that Falcone was unaware of the larger plot against Batman, and was simply informed that he would have a chance to strike by an anonymous letter sent to him by the true mastermind.
In "DC Rebirth as part of the "War of Jokes and Riddles" storyline, which takes place after the events of Zero Year, Falcone is contacted by the Joker with strict instructions to kill the Riddler within an hour. His men ultimately fail to complete the assignment, leading the Joker to have Falcone's men assassinated. The Penguin then takes over his business interests on Joker's behalf.
The following are relatives of Carmine Falcone:
- Vincent Falcone – Carmine's father and the founder of the Falcone crime family.
- Carla Viti – Carmine's sister and the boss of the Viti crime family in Chicago.
- Louisa Falcone – Carmine's wife and mother of his three children. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
- Johnny Viti – Carla's son and Carmine's nephew. Part of the Viti family in Chicago.
- Lucia Viti – Carla's daughter and Carmine's niece.
- Sofia Falcone Gigante – Carmine's daughter who takes over as boss of the Falcone family. Mario later legally changes his sister's name to Sofia Gigante so he can cleanse the family name of her crimes.
- Alberto Falcone – Carmine's inept son, who is desperate to be accepted into the family.
- Mario Falcone – Carmine's son and a successful businessman who seeks to legitimize the Falcone family, even if it means turning on his siblings.
- Selina Kyle – Carmine's alleged daughter, although her parentage is never definitely proven.
- Kitrina Falcone – Carmine's estranged granddaughter and a skilled escape artist who become Catwoman's sidekick and apprentice.
In other media
- Carmine Falcone appears in the TV series Gotham portrayed by John Doman. He is depicted as a veteran Mafia Don who has Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind), Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Peter Scolari), and specific members of the Gotham City Police Department in his pocket as well as Victor Zsasz as a go-to hitman. He also claims that Detective Jim Gordon's (Ben McKenzie) late father Peter, who previously served as Gotham's district attorney, was also on his payroll. Falcone's crime family includes associates such as accountant Arthur Penn (Andrew Sellon) and hitman Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan). Throughout the first season, Falcone faces several threats to his power: his lieutenant Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) is secretly planning to overthrow him; Gordon vows to bring him down; and his main rival Sal Maroni (David Zayas) is encroaching on his territory. Falcone enlists small-time criminal Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), one of Fish's men, as a spy. Falcone also becomes enamored of a young woman named Liza (Makenzie Leigh) who is secretly working for Mooney. He later strangles Liza to death when he discovers where her allegiances lie. As punishment for her treason, he has Mooney imprisoned and gives control of her nightclub and the remnants of her gang to Cobblepot. Bent on ruling Gotham himself, Cobblepot instigates a turf war between Falcone and Maroni. In the season finale, "All Happy Families Are Alike", Falcone is wounded by Maroni's men and Cobblepot and his enforcer Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) go to the hospital to finish him off. Gordon foils the assassination attempt, however, and takes Falcone, Cobblepot, and Gilzean to Falcone's safehouse – where Mooney and Maroni are waiting, having formed an alliance. During the meeting, Mooney double-crosses Maroni by shooting him in the head, which leads to a fight between Maroni's men and Mooney's gang. While the criminals are distracted, Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone manage to escape back to Gordon's apartment. Falcone announces his intention to retire and leave Gotham, and gives Gordon a knife that was given to him by Gordon's father. In the second season, Falcone emerges from retirement to help Gordon escape Blackgate Penitentiary, where he had been jailed on a false charge. He then uses his criminal contacts to smuggle Gordon out of Gotham so that he can clear his name. In the third season, Falcone's son Mario Calvi (James Carpinello) gets engaged to Gordon's ex, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). When an attempt is made on Mario's life, Falcone tortures one of the captured assassins and learns that the Court of Owls arranged the hit. He meets with the group's representative, Kathryn Monroe, and demands that they leave Mario alone, saying that the group owes him for letting them use the Indian Hill property for their experiments. Kathryn withholds a dark secret about Mario and states that he and those on his side will not win against the Court of Owls if they come after them in retaliation. After his son's wedding, he learns from Gordon that Mario is infected with the Tetch virus and he's willing to kill Leslie. He tells Gordon to bring his son in alive. In "Mad City: Ghosts", Carmine Falcone attends his son's funeral after his death at Gordon's hands. In a talk with Leslie Thompkins, Carmine tells Leslie to let him carry the burden of Mario's loss as he had done with other burdens. This leads to Carmine Falcone ordering Victor Zsasz, who's still loyal to him, to carry out a hit on Gordon. After visiting GCPD Captain Nathaniel Barnes at Arkham Asylum, Leslie tells Carmine Falcone to call off the hit since Mario would've acted the same way that her ex did. Carmine comments that he knows that Leslie still loves Gordon. When Zsasz shoots up Gordon's apartment, Carmine arrives and tells him that the hit has been cancelled. After Gordon apologizes to him about killing Mario, Carmine replies "If it were up to me, you'd be dead" before leaving. Gordon later confronts Carmine believing that he ordered a hit on his father. Carmine reveals that it was Gordon's uncle Frank Gordon who did it on behalf of the Court of Owls. In the fourth season, Gordon heads to Carmine's retirement villa in Miami in order to solicit his help in removing Penguin from power, but Carmine refuses as he is dying from a terminal illness. Carmine's daughter Sofia follows Gordon back to Gotham, where she helps him bring down Penguin. When a gang war threatens to erupt without a boss to keep the peace, Carmine returns to Gotham after being contacted by Penguin and plans to bring Sofia home to protect her. Before he can, Carmine is gunned down by assassins, who Sofia hired in order to assert her control of the city's underworld. Sofia is later shot in the head and left comatose by Leslie when she goes after Gordon. With Carmine and Mario dead, Sofia disabled, and a new criminal named Jeremiah Valeska becoming Gotham's new boss, it appears that the Falcone crime family has met its end.
- Carmine Falcone appears in the Justice League Action episode "Time Share", voiced by Jason J. Lewis. Chronos, Batman, and Blue Beetle go back in time to Batman's first fight against Carmine Falcone and his men, which was also his first case as the Dark Knight. Chronos manages to tip off Falcone, which results in him and his men ambushing Batman. Batman and Blue Beetle stop Chronos from altering the outcome and getting Batman killed while secretly helping the past Batman catch Carmine Falcone, keeping themselves unseen to avoid changing the future. Carmine Falcone and his men are ultimately arrested by the police, preserving the time stream.
- Carmine Falcone appears in Batman Begins played by Tom Wilkinson. He controls Gotham City's criminal underworld, flooding the city with drugs and crime, and serves as a symbol of Gotham's rottenness and corruption. With most city officials and cops either on his payroll or simply afraid to cross him, Falcone is effectively above the law, with few in the city willing to challenge his power. He has Joe Chill (Richard Brake), the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne, killed in public for threatening to testify against him, depriving Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) of his chance to exact revenge. Following Chill's death, Bruce confronts Falcone and tells him that not everyone in Gotham is afraid of him. Falcone simply orders his men to beat the young billionaire, and tells him that real power comes from being feared; he even points an empty gun at Bruce and tells him that he could kill him then and there, and no one, including the numerous public officials he's entertaining, would stop him. This inspires Bruce to travel the world in a journey that culminates in his transformation into Batman. During his absence, Falcone goes into business with Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) and his mysterious benefactor Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), using his influence to smuggle a hallucinogenic chemical compound into Gotham. In return, Crane, who runs Arkham Asylum, falsely diagnoses Falcone's henchmen as insane when they are arrested, keeping them out of prison and protecting Falcone. Batman breaks up one of Falcone's drug shipments and turns him over to the police. While in custody, Falcone tries to blackmail Crane into giving him a cut of what he believes to be profits from the smuggling operation. In response, Crane sprays Falcone with his fear toxin, driving him insane. He then has Falcone incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, where he lies catatonic, mindlessly muttering the word "Scarecrow".
- In The Dark Knight, it is mentioned that Falcone is still in Arkham, and that Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts) 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 his fellow 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 Lt. James Gordon for investigating his criminal activities, their meeting is interrupted by Batman and Catwoman, who defeat Falcone's bodyguards and hand him over to the police. While in the hospital recovering, Carmine orders a mobster named Johnny Viti to have Barbara Eileen-Gordon and James Gordon Jr. killed. Flass has cut a deal with his prosecutors to testify against Falcone.
- Carmine Falcone is set to appear in The Batman portrayed by John Turturro.
- Tom Wilkinson reprises his role as Carmine Falcone in the 2005 video game version of Batman Begins. In the game, Batman sabotages Falcone's drug smuggling operation at the Gotham Docks to show him that there is now something on the streets worse than his criminal empire, before using a crane to lift Falcone's car into the air (with Falcone in it) to capture him and leave him for the cops. A later level has Batman infiltrating a building used by Falcone's crime family as a front for selling stolen and smuggled goods.
- 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 their competitor Bane's drug trafficking operations. Some of the Falcones are seen in a cutscene with Penguin at the Iceberg Lounge where he makes plans to take advantage of the ongoing gang war in Gotham.
- 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 a meeting at their restaurant, only to have gunmen shoot up the building. The few survivors fled to Bludhaven, leaving the Falcones in charge of Gotham's underworld. One of Hugo Strange's interview tapes reveals that the Falcone family gave the man who would become the Joker the Red Hood costume he wore during his fateful first encounter with Batman. Another tape reveals that Harvey Dent, during his time as District Attorney, prosecuted a Falcone family soldier who scarred him with acid, turning him into Two-Face. A boat can be found while searching Amusement Mile, containing an invoice from a Falcone-owned shipping company for Dr. J. Crane, saying the first of fifteen shipments of "Live Insects for Medical Purposes" have arrived. If the player visits Calendar Man as Catwoman, he hints at Carmine being her father.
- The Falcone Crime Family (specifically Carmine) are also mentioned a few times in Batman: Arkham Origins. One of Edward Nygma's extortion tapes, specifically regarding Alberto Falcone, reveal that Black Mask and Carmine Falcone were old acquaintances. In addition, it is revealed through dialogue that Carmine Falcone was forced to give up his involvement in arms smuggling after Oswald Cobblepot abducted and tortured Alberto as a warning. It was also implied that Carmine would have been notified about any potentially untreated psychological issues regarding Alberto by psychologist Harleen Quinzel as a threat to ensure Alberto continued with Hugo Strange's therapy sessions.
- Carmine Falcone appears in the mobile game Batman: Arkham Underworld, voiced by Jon Polito. Though not appearing physically, Falcone mentions that he is under heat from the newly-elected district attorney Harvey Dent and will occasionally pop up after completed missions (specifically ones that involve attacking his businesses to build the player's own criminal empire) to either express his admiration of the player's "moxie" or give thinly-veiled threats warning the player to back off.
- Carmine Falcone appears in Batman: The Telltale Series, voiced by Richard McGonagle. He is shown to be part of a clique that includes Mayor Hamilton Hill, Thomas Wayne, and Martha Wayne. Acting as the muscle for the group, Falcone takes complete control of the city's criminal underworld shortly after the Waynes are murdered. First appearing during a fundraiser for Harvey Dent's mayoral campaign at Wayne Manor, Falcone meets with Bruce and tries to build a partnership with him to keep Dent in check, alternating between calm negotiating and threats before finally giving up and leaving. As Batman, Bruce moves to take down Falcone by raiding his penthouse and subduing his men, before interrogating Falcone himself about a shootout near the docks. While Falcone admits ownership of the building it took place in and the chemical agents stored there, he denies having anything to do with the shootout, saying someone else is manipulating him. He also confirms recent allegations made against the Wayne family before Batman either leaves him to be arrested by the GCPD or administers a savage beating in full view of the police. Falcone is taken into custody, with the GCPD receiving enough evidence on his criminal empire to put him away for life. He is visited in the hospital by Bruce, who wishes to find out whether he had anything to do with his parents' murder. Falcone admits that Joe Chill was one of his hitmen, but denies ordering a hit on the Waynes, claiming that he considered them and Bruce family. GCPD Sergeant Renee Montoya bursts in and shoots him dead before he can reveal the true culprit. It is later revealed that his death was organized by the Children of Arkham.
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