The Gotham City Crime Families in DC Comics, Film, & TV

We can all agree on one thing about Gotham: Batman and Jim Gordon certainly have their hands full! The city is teeming with criminals. While many of them are petty thieves or casual evildoers, there’s something far more sinister hiding in broad daylight. The Gotham City crime families are paragons of corruption and hypocrisy. And there are so many of them, all with their own selfish agendas and villainous vendettas.

Below, let’s explore the organized crime families operating inside Gotham City. Plus, we’ll look at the different depictions of the most famous members across DC comics, film, and television.


Carmine Falcone, or “The Roman,” is undoubtedly the most infamous Mafia man in Gotham. Every iteration of this character focuses on his old ties to the Waynes, as well as Bruce Wayne’s moral struggles and guilt associated with the favor Carmine owes to his family for saving his life. Because Thomas Wayne saved Carmine’s life, the man is able to build a sprawling empire. His large family consists of 10 criminal members, sometimes including Carmine’s illegitimate daughter Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

The DC Comics televisions series Gotham and Justice League Action have Carmine in them. His family drama also takes center focus in the comic series and animated film The Long Halloween. Most recently, an incredibly grounded and disturbing version of Carmine Falcone is seen in The Batman with Robert Pattinson. But the most iconic Carmine is the gun-toting gangster from Batman Begins. Overconfident and surprisingly sinister, he proves a thorn in the side to both Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter ego.


The Italian mob is controlled by two kings who are in constant conflict. Falcone’s rival, Salvatore “Sal” Maroni, also called “Boss Maroni,” is a suave and slippery antagonist. Unlike Falcone, he doesn’t care much about getting on the DA’s good side. In fact, Maroni is directly linked to Harvey Dent’s descent into the mad villain Two-Face. Depending on which canon you follow, he either orchestrates the incident that scars Harvey or personally throws acid on the man’s face.

Maroni has appeared in the DC Comics TV shows Gotham and Titans. Fans can find him in the films Batman Forever, Batman: Gotham Knight, Batman: The Killing Joke, and Batman: The Long Halloween. Most notably, Maroni is seen in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Here, Maroni makes enemies of both Christian Bale’s Batman as well as Heath Ledger’s incredibly dangerous Joker. Finding himself on everybody’s bad side, the character of course meets a grisly end.

Bertinelli and Tomasso

Long ago, the Bertinellis were the mightiest of the Gotham crime families. Then, everything changed when a rival of the family ordered a hit on the bloodline. Now the only survivor is Helena Bertinelli, AKA Huntress, who devotes her life to vengeance. She does not, however, carry on her family’s crime legacy. In the Bertinelli’s stead, the Tomassos rise to lead Cosa Nostra in the Sicilian-occupied East End.

All of the Bertinellis, including their violent figurehead Franco Bertinelli, appear briefly in Birds of Prey to showcase Helena’s tragic backstory. Helena herself can be found in Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Arrow, and Injustice. Currently, Tini Howard’s Catwoman run utilizes the rising tensions between the Tomasso Family and the other Gotham Crime Syndicates.


In DC Comics, Selina Kyle takes over the Calabrese Crime Family in order to unite the Gotham families. However, Eiko Hasigawa refuses to ally with the rest. She and Selina are at odds for a while before engaging in a romantic affair, and now they are trying to lead the crime families to actually benefit Gotham.


The Romanians of the East End belong to Dragos Ibanescu. Historically, the Ibanescus are considered small-time players. They deal in human trafficking, prostitution, and animal fights. Tini Howard’s Catwoman brings them more to the forefront of Gotham’s crime narrative.


Mickey Sullivan leads the Irish mafia. Often looked at as a sub-organization under the Falcones, the Sullivans specialize in assassinations and generally do grunt work and hit jobs for Carmine.


The most famous member of the Sionis Crime Family is Roman Sionis. Also known as Black Mask, he is a wealthy and psychotic individual who is well known for his brutality and sadistic torture methods. Above all, Roman craves power and control. He is an extremely formidable foe, and has thus appeared across DC Comics media. Black Mask is featured as a villain in the television series The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Gotham, and Batwoman.

Roman Sionis can also be found on the silver screen. Fans of his particularly twisted role can watch him in the animated films Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: Bad Blood, Batman: Death in the Family, and Catwoman: Hunted. Black Mask’s most famous appearance, however, is in the live-action DCEU movie Birds of PreyPlayed by Ewan McGregor, Black Mask is a terrifying sociopath and Harley Quinn’s primary antagonist — though an admittedly entertaining one.

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