Black Mask, a.k.a. Roman Sionis, is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. A foe of Batman, he first appeared in Batman #386 (August 1985). Black Mask was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake.
Black Mask's origin story was established in his first appearance. Roman Sionis was born into one of Gotham City’s elite families, to wealth and utterly self-absorbed parents, caring more about their social status than their son; moments after his birth, the doctor carelessly dropped him on his head. Roman's parents were less concerned about their son's well-being and more concerned about covering up the entire incident out of fear of how their wealthy friends would react to the news of their son's injury. A second incident occurred when he was a child. While at the Sionis family country estate he was attacked by a rabid raccoon. This incident was also covered up by the Sionis family, who forbade Roman to mention it to anyone.
Further adding to the cauldron was his father's "friendship" with Thomas Wayne; both of Roman's parents disliked the Waynes and were quite vocal about it in private with their son. However, to their son's dismay, they continued to associate with Thomas and Martha Wayne and pretended to be friends with the couple, to the extent of literally forcing him to become friends with their son, Bruce. His parents' hypocrisy had a deep impact on him, and he grew to hate and resent them and the "masks" they wore in public.
After his high school graduation, Sionis was given a high ranking position inside his father's company, Janus Cosmetics. There, he met and fell in love with Circe, a working class secretary. His parents didn't approve of the relationship and made it clear that they wanted it ended. Enraged, Roman burned down the family's mansion, killing both of his parents. Upon their deaths, he inherited the family fortune and business. Roman wasn't the businessman his father was, however, and eventually ruined Janus Cosmetics by funding a line of face-paint make-up which failed. In desperation, he threw large sums of money at the staff chemists to create a product to save the company, and what came back to him was a kind of water-proof makeup. The product was rushed to market without proper testing, and once it hit the market turned out to be a deadly toxin which disfigured several hundred women.
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Wikipedia Un. Guide to the DC Universe ign.com