A relatively small-time arsonist with his brother Carver, Matches Malone came to Gotham early on in Batman's career, attracting Batman's attention when Carver was apparently murdered. Although Malone was the prime suspect, there was no concrete evidence to make the charges stick and Matches was released, only for Batman to subsequently find what appeared to be Matches' dead body in another fire, apparently a suicide. However, Batman never reported the death; at the time, he had been attempting to establish a criminal alias for himself to help him gather information, but the exclusive nature of the criminal sects meant that nobody would recruit someone they hadn't heard of, prompting him to adopt Matches' identity and use it for his own.

However, years later, Batman learned the truth about what had happened. Carver's death had actually been a suicide prompted by his guilt over a fire that he and Matches had started that resulted in the death of a homeless man resting in the building they had torched. Matches made the body look like a murder victim because he was ashamed of his brother's suicide. Subsequently deciding to fake his death and escape Batman's stalking him, Matches used the victim's body to fake his own death. Batman, being so eager to establish his criminal alias, never took the time to confirm the body's identity. Returning to Gotham after hearing reports of 'his' activities, Matches was shot by Scarface, surviving long enough to simply confess his role in events to Batman and Nightwing before dying; his last request being that Batman bury him next to his brother Carver.

Having destroyed Scarface in 'revenge' for Matches' death, Batman commented to Nightwing later on that he continued using the Matches identity because, in the years he had spent playing Matches, he had come to recognise that Matches wasn't an evil man, but had done some bad things he never had the chance to make up for, regarding his use of Matches' name as a chance to give Matches some absolution.

  • Matches Malone's nickname derived from his habit of constantly keeping a match in his teeth.
  • Matches Malone has never been identified with a proper first name, either in Pre- or Post-Crisis continuity.



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This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.

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