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History

Original

The original False Face Society appeared in Batman #152 (1962), organized by the Joker disguised as a mysterious mastermind, who held a contest to see which criminal could commit the most spectacular crime while dressed in the costume of another profession. For example: one committed a crime dressed as a deep sea diver, which helped him to escape underwater. They were presumably disbanded after the Joker was exposed and defeated by Batman. Whether the Joker's role as the False Face mastermind led to the creation of the Batman villain known as False Face is unknown.

Revival

In 1984, the False Face Society was reimagined for the Bronze Age of comics by writer Doug Moench to be the cult-like gang for his new villain, industrialist-turned-mobster Black Mask. Like their employer, each member wore a mask to conceal their appearance and to give themselves a new identity, as the mask, in effect, "became" their new, true faces. Black Mask's philosophical use of masks inspired fanatical devotion from the False Face Society, and those members who questioned their boss' views were swiftly executed by other False Face Society members.

When Gotham City was decimated by an earthquake in the events of Batman: Cataclysm, which then led to Gotham becoming a lawless No Man's Land, Mask's insanity caused him to turn the False Face Society into a full-blown cult, and demanded that they abandon their masks in favor of self-mutilation, to deface their own faces and bodies just as Gotham itself was defaced. After Mask's defeat and capture, the False Face Society scattered, some being executed by Two-Face and the Tally Man, while others reformed.

In the time following NML, Black Mask seemingly abandoned the False Face Society as his army, choosing instead to surround himself with standard mobsters, hoods, and henchmen. It is unknown whether the False Face Society was disbanded either officially or unofficially, or whether or not they continue to operate following Black Mask's death at the hands of Catwoman.

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