DC Makes Major Change to Batman Villain Black Mask

The "Year of the Villain" event is currently having ripple effects throughout quite a lot of the DC universe, and it looks like a fan-favorite foe is benefiting from that in a very specific way. The latest one-shot tied to the event focuses on Roman Sionis/Black Mask -- and ends with a major change to his status quo.

Spoilers for Year of the Villain: Black Mask #1 below! Only look if you want to know!

The issue opens with a bit of a crash-course on Roman's origins - his family's time as the leaders of Janus Cosmetics, his hatred for his parents, and his jealousy over the "perfect life" that a young Bruce Wayne seems to have. After burning his childhood home down and making a black mask out of his father's coffin, Roman began a dark life of crime.

This was on full display when Roman took a bank hostage, which quickly caught the attention of Renee Montoya and the GCPD. Things got complicated even more when one of Lex Luthor's drones arrived, offering a holographic message to Roman. Luthor suggested that Roman try to stage a hostile takeover of a company called Headberry Industries, as a way to use their political influence to gain more power across the world. Luthor then offered Roman the chance to "upgrade" his face.

The issue then cut to one of Headberry's executives in Atlanta, who received a package he wasn't expecting from a mysterious delivery man -- who happened to share his face. It became clear that this was Roman, who soon assumed the executive's identity.

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(Photo: DC Comics)

A month later, Renee and Kate Kane/Batwoman made their way to Atlanta, where Renee noticed a slew of shady dealings happening with Headberry's company. They confronted the executive, not knowing that it was Roman in disguise until he shot Renee in the shoulder. He quickly escaped into the crowd of bystanders watching the scene, by manipulating his face once again.

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(Photo: DC Comics)
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While there's no telling exactly how long Black Mask will have this face-changing technology - and what it could mean for the "Year of the Villain" event as a whole - the notion of him getting this upgrade is certainly interesting. Not only does it re-introduce Black Mask into the current DC proceedings in an interesting way (just before his feature film debut in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)), but it makes him an incredibly-elusive villain for whatever hero faces off against him next.

Year of the Villain: Black Mask #1 is available in stores now.