- "This is a world you'll never understand. And you always fear what you don't understand."
- ―Carmine Falcone to Bruce Wayne[src]
Carmine Falcone was the head of the Falcone Crime Family and was the biggest crime lord in all of Gotham City.
Carmine Falcone all but controlled Gotham City, and flooded it with drugs and crime. Falcone was above the law, with most of Gotham's politicians and police on his payroll (examples being two councilmen, a union official, Judge Faden, Detective Arnold Flass, and an unnamed policeman). It was mentioned that he shared a prison cell with Joe Chill, who murdered Bruce Wayne's parents: Thomas and Martha Wayne. He had a female operative (disguised as a reporter) that killed Chill for threatening to testify against him, and deprived Bruce of the chance to take his own revenge. Bruce confronted Falcone at an underground establishment and told him that not everyone in Gotham was afraid of him. "The Roman" dismissed the young billionaire as a harmless nuisance and had his henchmen beat him up to teach him a lesson, and also showed that he effectively "owned" the city due to some city council members, policemen, and a judge who were under his payroll while he gave the implied threat of killing Bruce right then and there. Ironically, he later ended up inspiring Bruce Wayne into adopting the Batman identity after citing that people always "fear what [they don't] understand."
Years later, Falcone went into business with Dr. Jonathan Crane and Ra's al Ghul, and smuggled Fear Toxin into Gotham that was inside toy rabbits. As a form of payment, Crane, who ran Arkham Asylum, diagnosed Falcone's henchmen as insane when they were arrested so they could avoid prison. Bruce, who became Batman, discovered and foiled the plan, knocked Falcone unconscious, and left him tied to a searchlight for the police to find. The trussed-up mobster, surrounded by his tattered overcoat, projected a bat-like shape into the sky; that impromptu calling card later evolved into the Bat-Signal. Batman also gave evidence to Rachel Dawes and blackmailed the judge into giving an unbiased verdict, which ensured that Falcone would finally face jail time.
While in prison, a humiliated Falcone tried to blackmail Crane into allowing him a part in the upcoming Fear Toxin project. Crane instead put on a freakish Scarecrow Mask that he used in his experiments on Arkham Asylum's inmates and gassed Falcone with Fear Toxin. Crane literally terrified his former partner-in-crime out of his mind and left him in a wild state of psychosis. Falcone was incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, and continuously muttered the phrase: "Scarecrow". Falcone escaped with the many criminals that Ra's henchmen had released from Arkham as a diversion to get the fear toxin into the main waterline, though he was eventually recaptured. After Falcone's capture, Sal Maroni took over the Falcone Crime Family.
Behind the Scenes
- In the comics, it was strongly hinted that Selina Kyle was Falcone's illegitimate daughter. That was not explored in the films.
- In the comics, he had three scars on his right cheek, which are absent in the films. He is also depicted as slightly more heavyset than in the comics.