Carmine Falcone was one of the great crime lords of Gotham City, back when it was run by the mafia. Nicknamed The Roman for his unflinching ruthlessness and expansionism, he was one of the earliest enemies of the Batman.
Main article: Batman: Year One
Falcone virtually controlled the entire city, with the Mayor, the City council, and the Police Commissioner, Gillian B. Loeb under his influence. Falcone was completely untouchable by the law, but not by the Batman.
When Batman made his debut in Gotham, Falcone was his first real target. At a dinner party hosted at the Falcone mansion, attended by Gotham's wealthiest and most corrupt residents, Batman made his first announcement. He incapacitated the guards, broke in, and informed Gotham's corrupt that they would be brought to justice. Despite Commissioner Loeb's promises that he would be stopped, Batman's attacks grew more brazen. At one point, he even invaded the Roman's personal bedroom, assaulted him, stripped him to his underwear, leaveing him hogtied to his bed before dumping his car into the river. Humiliated, Falcone ordered Batman killed. But Batman was too elusive, and to the disbelief of the Roman Empire, nobody was able to even touch him, or Catwoman who, During an attack on the mafia head, scratched three scars into right side of Falcone's face.
Finally, Falcone ordered the wife and newborn child of police detective Jim Gordon - who had been stirring up trouble for Commissioner Loeb within the GCPD - kidnapped by his nephew Johnny Viti to bring him to heel. The plot was foiled by the joint efforts of Gordon and Batman. Eventually, with the help of District Attorney Harvey Dent, Commissioner Loeb was removed from office, and for the first time in years, Carmine Falcone's power began to slip. Angered by Johnny's failure, he ordered his nephew dead. Johnny survived the attempt on his life however, and Falcone had to battle his sister Carla Viti, the boss of the Viti crime family in Chicago.
The Long Halloween
Main article: Batman: The Long Halloween
A serial killer named "Holiday" soon surfaced, targeting Gotham's crime families, with particular attention paid to the Falcones. Batman, Gordon and Dent formed a coalition, and swore to each other that they will do whatever it took, within the system, to bring Falcone down. The murders committed by the mysterious Holiday grew increasingly brutal, and began to grow from simple hits, to full scale massacres of the Roman's men and loved ones, including Johnny Viti and Falcone's bodyguard and long-time friend Milos Grapa. Anyone remotely affiliated with The Roman were targeted, such as the Maroni family, and those not even involved in the mafia, like Carmine's son Alberto, who's body was found and identified by Gotham city coroner, Jasper Dolan.
Also trying to identify Holiday to end his bloodbath, Batman grew even more persistent with Falcone. He and Dent even managed to burn an entire warehouse of piled up unlaundered cash to the ground. While fighting off the attacks against him from both sides, Falcone was reduced to hiring several of the new "costumed freaks" in Gotham to do special jobs for him. His family saw some disgrace in this, as otherwise the crime in Gotham was largely organized, and the "freaks" were seen as unpredictable, disrespectful, and "bad for business." He hired Poison Ivy in an attempt to coerce Bruce Wayne into allowing the Falcone organization to use his bank for money laundering purposes. He recruited The Scarecrow and The Mad Hatter to attempt to blackmail the city by contaminating the water supply - after arranging Scarecrow's break-out from Arkham - and also asked The Riddler to solve the mystery of Holiday's true identity. He also had a hand in the birth of Two-Face.
Infuriated by Dent's efforts to disrupt his family's operations and convinced he was Holiday, The Roman persuaded his formal rival, Salvatore Maroni to murder Gotham's zealous district attorney while standing trial. Dent, while prosecuting Sal Maroni in court, had acid thrown in his face. This happened on August 2, also Falcone's birthday. Dent escaped from the hospital with half his face seared off, and disappeared below Batman and Gordon's radar for a disturbingly long time, despite their attempts to find him. Falcone's seemingly weakest son Alberto was eventually revealed to be responsible for the Holiday killings after murdering Maroni in prison. His motive was simply wanting to prove his father he was strong enough for the family business. He was committed to Arkham Asylum.
Alberto was not responsible for every death accredited to Holiday. Evidence pointed to Harvey and Gilda Dent's involvement in the killings.
Still devoted to his son, The Roman attempted to get Alberto to plead innocent, knowing he could get him off, but Alberto refused. With both his business and his family in shambles, Falcone returned to his house only to find Harvey Dent, now Two-Face, waiting for him. Despite Batman's attempts to intervene, Two-Face, gathered with The Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, The Joker, Catwoman, The Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and The Penguin, shot Falcone in the head, ending his control of Gotham once and for all. The most powerful mob in Gotham was brought to it's knees by the so-called "costumed freaks."
Main article: Batman: Dark Victory
Sometime after his death, Falcone's grave was robbed and his body went missing. His finger is cut off and sent to his daughter, Sofia Gigante, the new leader of the Falcone Family. This "old style message", signified that someone was out to take everything away from the Falcone Family, crushing them both as a public business organization in the crime world, as well as literally killing members of the family.
At the Falcone mansion close to Wayne Manor where Alberto was under house arrest, he began to hear his deceased father's voice. Eventually the corpse of corrupt District Attorney Janice Porter ended up on Alberto's bed while he was sleeping, and his father's voice urged him to commit suicide. Knowing his father would never suggest that, he shot the mirror in anger, Behind which was Calendar Man. Alberto managed to escape, but was wounded by Calendar Man in the process. When Batman and Gordon investigated the home, they found secret passages and microphones used by Calendar Man to move freely about the house. Scarecrow most likely worked out a psychological profile for Alberto and discovered his fear was of his father. The cigarettes Alberto smoked were laced with Scarecrow's fear toxin. Janice's body, meanwhile, had been preserved with Mr. Freeze's cryo-technology. Batman and Gordon noted that it was a conspiracy against one man, Holiday. It was Two-Face all along who had Falcone's body.
In the quiet aftermath of another violent part of Gotham's history, Selina Kyle briefly visited the grave of Carmine Falcone, believing that Falcone was her biological father, despite being unable to obtain any evidence.
Powers and Abilities
- The character is based on and bears a striking resemblance to Marlon Brando's portrayal of mafia leader 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: Carmine's power and wisdom akin to Vito Corleone.
- 25 Appearances of Carmine Falcone (New Earth)
- 17 Images featuring Carmine Falcone (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Carmine Falcone (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Carmine Falcone (New Earth)