Batwoman: Who Is Black Mask?

Batwoman is nearly halfway through its sophomore season, and it has already worked a surprising number of DC Comics foes into the fold. The past eight episodes have already introduced the series' take on Safiyah Sohail (Shivaani Ghai), Victor Zsasz (Alex Morf), and Amygdala (R. J. Fetherstonhaugh), but it looks like the roster of villains on the series is only set to get bigger. Tonight's episode, "Rule #1", is expected to introduce Batwoman's version of Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Peter Outerbridge) — and here's what you need to know about him.

Created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake, Black Mask first made his DC Comics debut in 1985's Batman #386. In the comics, Roman starts out as a reluctant childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, but one whose origin story almost mirrors his, as he ends up killing his own parents and inheriting their fortune and their cosmetic company, Janus Cosmetics. After slipping into financial turmoil, Roman visits his parents' grave, where he is struck by lightning, an event that he sees as his own personal "rebirth." Roman then destroys his father's casket, using the pieces to make his Black Mask, and quickly becoming a crime boss and drug kingpin.

Over the years, he would go toe-to-toe with Batman, Catwoman, Oracle, and Spoiler, and would go on to join the Secret Society of Super-Villains and later become a Black Lantern. Roman's canon was further expanded upon in the New 52, which furthered his connection to the False Face Society, and also briefly established that he suffered from dissociative identity disorder, and that "Black Mask" was another facet of his personality. Most recently, in the DC Rebirth relaunch, Roman was reestablished as a powerful crime lord in Gotham City.

This won't be the first time that Black Mask appears in live-action, as a version of him was previously portrayed by Todd Stashwick on Fox's Gotham. He then was introduced to a whole new audience last year, when Ewan McGregor portrayed him in the film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).

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Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.