'Gotham': How the Crime Families Compare to Their Comic Counterparts

Everything you need to know about the Falcones, Maronis and more.
Jessica Miglio/FOX

In Gotham, Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) life is complicated by the city's two major crime families: the Falcones and the Maronis. Both families have their roots in the 75-year comic book mythology of the Batman series, but that’s not to say that everything is the same.

Here’s a look at how Fox's TV families compare to their comics counterparts.

THE FALCONES

How they’re similar:
Carmine Falcone looms over both incarnations of the Falcone crime family. In Gotham, John Doman’s Carmine is the head of the family, while in the comic books, Falcone — nicknamed “The Roman” — was believed dead until last year’s Batman: Eternal series, when he reappeared with the intent of usurping control of the crime families from the Penguin. Think of it as the first season of the television show in reverse.

How they’re different:
Arguably the most important figure in the Falcone crime family of Gotham isn’t a Falcone, but Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). That character doesn’t even exist in the comic book mythology, where crime family drama tends to stick to disagreements between families, with members remaining relatively loyal to each other. Another important difference between the comic book and TV Gothams? In the comics, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor on the Fox show) has succeeded in taking control of the Falcone family.

Key comics:
The big Falcone stories are Batman: Year One, Batman: The Long Halloween, both of which are available as collected editions, and the ongoing Batman: Eternal.

See more Secrets of the 'Gotham' Set

THE MARONIS

How they’re similar:
No matter the medium, the Maronis are thorns in the side of the Falcone family, with Sal Maroni seemingly enjoying the struggle. In both Gotham and the comics, the Maronis are, technically, below the Falcones in terms of power. At one point in comic book continuity, the two families essentially merged for a time, under the control of the Falcones — but that doesn’t mean that Sal isn’t scheming to come out on top.

How they’re different:
Aside from the absence in Gotham of Sal Maroni’s father, Big Lou, the biggest difference between the two versions of the family is that the defining moment for the comic book Maronis hasn’t arrived yet in the television timeline: Sal Maroni is the mob boss responsible for the accident that turns idealistic Harvey Dent into the villainous Two-Face. Of course, given that Dent has shown up in Gotham (played by Nicholas D’Agosto), that might be about to change.

Key comics:
While the origin of Two-Face has been told many times, the big Maroni comic to read is Batman: The Long Halloween, which also includes Harvey’s accident and everything that follows.

THE CALABRESES

How they’re similar/How they’re different:
Fans of Gotham might be wondering just who the Calabreses are, in that the name hasn’t even been mentioned on the show as yet. But in recent issues of DC’s Catwoman, it has been revealed that Selina Kyle (played by Camren Bicondova on Gotham) is actually the daughter of a mobster named Rex Calabrese, and heir to a crime family all of her own. Will the television show follow suit? Only time will tell.

Key comics:
Recent issues of both Batman: Eternal and Catwoman reveal more.

Gotham airs Mondays on Fox.

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