Maroni's first appearance was in Detective Comics #66 (dated August 1942) as "Boss" Moroni created by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.
Vincent “The Boss” Maroni was a mobster put on trial by D.A. Harvey Dent (named “Harvey Kent” in the original story), charged with the murder of another criminal named “Bookie” Benson. When Dent produced the key piece of evidence--Moroni’s “lucky” two-headed silver dollar--the mobster screamed, “Okay, pretty boy, I’ll fix you!” and flung a smuggled bottle of acid at the D.A.’s face. The trauma of this attack led Dent to become the criminal known as Two-Face.
In truth, Maroni wasn’t actually trying to hit Dent, but rather his arresting officer: Dave “Pretty Boy” Davis. It was Davis who obtained the incriminating confession from a hired assassin that would, with D.A. Dent’s help, would have put Maroni away for life. To keep the evidence safe, Dent hid the confession within a secret desk compartment in his office. However, Dent and Davis never got a chance to use that evidence when Maroni attacked, and was subsequently sent to prison for different charges.
Years later, Maroni was released from prison, but knew that he had to find that confession or else he’d be sent back. He kept tabs on Detective Davis, who approached Dent in Arkham Asylum to find out where he hid the missing evidence. Released into Davis’ custody, Two-Face and the detective found Dent’s old desk in a police storage warehouse, and the evidence within.
Maroni ambushed them and persuaded Two-Face to betray Davis and hand over the file, but Davis urged Dent not to ally with the man who scarred him. Waffling, Two-Face flipped the coin while Davis and Maroni fought over a handgun. In the scuffle, the gun fired, and the bullet ricocheted off the coin in midair and into Maroni, seemingly killing the mobster.
However, Maroni survived, but was crippled from the waist down and hungry for revenge against Two-Face. He approached Dr. Albert Ekhart, the “miracle” plastic surgeon who once restored Harvey Dent’s face, and created a new identity for himself as “Anton Karoselle.” Then he learned that Dent’s beloved ex-wife, Gilda, had married Assistant D.A. and Dent protege Dave Stevens, and were living together happily. Seeing a perfect opportunity to hurt Harvey Dent through Gilda, Maroni/Karoselle had Stevens murdered.
Furious that Gilda’s last chance at happiness had been taken away, Dent vowed to find Stevens’ killer, tracking down Karoselle and learning his true identity as Vincent Maroni. Getting a whole new face from Ekhart, Dent took on a new identity as “Carl Ternion,” and confronted Maroni/Karoselle in the latter’s mansion home.
As Ternion, Dent accused Maroni/Karoselle of Stevens’ murder, to which Maroni/Karoselle responded by trying to blow away his accuser with a shotgun. In the struggle, Dent/Ternion forced Maroni/Karoselle to fire upwards at the chandelier, which fell and crushed the mobster, killing him once and for all.
In the Post-Crisis DCU, following the events of Batman: Year One, Vincent “Boss” Maroni was Gotham’s #1 mob boss, arrested thanks to the powerhouse trio of Captain James Gordon, D.A. Harvey Dent, and the Batman. Seeing Dent as the biggest threat, Maroni paid off Dent’s corrupt assistant, Adrian Fields, to release a criminal named “Mad Dog” Pike. Maroni hired Pike to kill Dent, not realizing that Dent’s increasingly instability led Pike to getting nearly beaten to death at the D.A.’s hands.
Wanting to go out in a blaze of glory, Maroni considered smuggling a gun into the courtroom, but Fields explained how it would be impossible to bypass metal detectors. Maroni instead had Fields purchase acid from a chemical supply warehouse, which the D.A.’s Assistant hid within a container of antacid.
Smuggling the acid into the courtroom, Maroni took the stand and freely admitted to his crimes, before feigning an upset stomach. Opening the container, Maroni doused the D.A., who hit the ground screaming. Maroni then threatened the bailiffs, successfully goading them into shooting him dead right there in the courtroom.
However, a later story either ignored Maroni's death, or decided that he survived his attack, as the mobster was eventually released from prison and proceeded to murder the chief witness from his trial. In a move reminiscent of the Pre-Crisis Dave David storyline, Commissioner Gordon teamed up with Two-Face to scour through Moroni’s old hideouts, hangouts, businesses, and safe-houses. They tracked him down at a secluded cabin in the woods, where Two-Face attempted to scar Moroni with a red-hot poker. Gordon talked Dent out his actions, and Moroni was arrested.
Renamed “Salvatore” by Jeph Loeb in Batman: The Long Halloween, Maroni was no reinvisioned as being rivals for Gotham’s underworld--and sometimes allies--with Carmine “The Roman” Falcone, the chief mobster from Batman: Year One. He inherited the Maroni crime organization from his father, Luigi “Big Lou” Maroni, and had two children of his own, Pino and Umberto. At some point, he had an affair with the Roman’s daughter, Sofia Falcone, shortly before she was incarcerated.
Under Falcone’s orders, Maroni funded the experiments of Hugo Strange, even as he vied for power against the Roman. He found himself constantly thwarted by Batman and an upstart District Attorney named Harvey Dent, who stressed Maroni out so greatly that he developed an ulcer. To keep tabs on Dent, Maroni paid off the D.A.’s Assistant, Vernon (formerly Adrian) Fields.
Soon, a serial killer known as “Holiday” began killing Falcone’s men, and Maroni himself was a chief suspect until his own men started to get wiped out by the mystery killer. When Holiday eventually took “Big Lou’s” life, Sal believed that Falcone was responsible. He approached Dent, offering to testify against the Roman.
In holding, Maroni was visited by Sofia Falcone, who persuaded Maroni that the Roman was blameless and that Dent was the true enemy who needed to be taken out. Having Fields hide acid within an antacid bottle, Maroni burned Dent in the courtroom, and was shot repeatedly by bailiffs. However, he survived, until a month later when he was again shot repeatedly by Holiday (revealed to be Alberto Falcone), whereupon he finally died. He was succeeded as Maroni crime family head by his sons.
One scene in Batman Forever (1995) shows a news report of Boss Maroni scarring Harvey Dent. Played by Dennis Paladino.
DC Animated Universe
Sal Maroni does not appear in Batman: The Animated Series, but his role in Two-Face's origin is replaced with Rupert Thorne.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
In the segments "Crossfire" and "Field Test" Sal Maroni is at war with the russian mob boss known as the Chechen.
The continuity is the same as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, however both Maroni and the Chechen have each others facial appearances reversed in The Dark Knight. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Eric Roberts plays Sal Maroni. In the film, Maroni has taken over Carmine Falcone's position after his capture in Batman Begins. After the Joker steals from his Bank, he makes a truce with the Chechen and partners with the Joker in the hope of Batman's murder. Part of the deal involves kidnapping Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes for the Joker. The Batman interogates him but he is more affraid of the Joker, he however does tell the police of the Joker's where abouts after Harvey's accident and realising he's become in too deep. Harvey, now calling himself Two-Face, causes a car accident that implies Maroni's death.
Before the film's release, Roberts appeared as Maroni in the "Gotham Tonight" series of promotional videos, featuring Anthony Michael Hall in character as TV personality Mike Engel. In the segment, Maroni was interviewed alongside Commissioner Loeb and defended his reputation as an "honest businessman."
David Zayas portrays Sal Maroni in FOX's TV drama Gotham.
He's described as Gotham's number two crime boss, hoping to usurp Falcone as the head of Gotham's underworld and making plays on his established territories, including Arkham. A young Oswald Cobblepot joins Maroni's ranks, initially as a dishwasher but is eventually brought into his inner circle after Oswald rescued money from a robbery on Maroni's restaurant (which Oswald had secretly orchestrated himself). Maroni eventually learns the truth regarding Cobblepot and his former ties to Falcone as well as his faked death at the hands of Jim Gordon.