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"Matches" Malone is an alter ego sometimes used by Batman.
Batman adopted the guise of Malone early in his career as a way to infiltrate the criminal underworld of Gotham City and gather information. His extensive training at disguise and acting allows him to adopt an entirely different persona when he appears as Malone, with mannerisms and vocal characteristics completely different from those he displays either as Batman or as his billionaire secret identity Bruce Wayne.
Malone usually wears a red suit and dark glasses, often in conjunction with a fedora, giving him the look of a Golden Age gangster with a thin mustache and a Boston accent. His nickname comes from his tendency to behave as something of a pyromaniac; he continually lights matches and cigarette lighters even though there is no evidence of him ever smoking. Batman adopted this quirk because he felt it would lend credibility to his criminal nature.
Although there are some rumors among Gotham's criminals that Malone is a turncoat, and may even be working for Batman, his secret is maintained and his reputation is solid enough to allow him to infiltrate almost any gang, "serving" under some of his own greatest enemies. He has done this in order to gather information, to get close to his foes, or to protect someone in danger.
It has been revealed that Malone was actually a real person, whom Batman believed to be dead. In a 2000 storyline, he resurfaced as alive (He left a badly-burned corpse at a fire scene, and Batman, seeking a criminal identity to get into the underworld, never took the time to make sure it was Matches), only to die again at the hands of Scarface and the Ventriloquist, who thought him to be a traitor due to Batman's actions.
One of Batman's most ambitious plans involved Malone: he felt that if the crime situation in Gotham ever got completely out of hand, he would need to resort to drastic measures to contain it. Thus he developed a plan that would unite all of Gotham's underworld under a single crime boss: Matches Malone. Unfortunately, this plan was discovered by Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler, who was serving as Robin at the time and who was unware that Malone and her boss were one and the same; she simply believed that he was an "employee" of Batman. When she attempted to implement this plan without Batman's knowledge and participation, the resulting chaos caused a massive gang war (told in the "War Games" storyline) and resulted in Stephanie's brutal death at the hands of Black Mask, a tragedy for which Batman holds himself responsible.
Matches Malone was adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, used occasionally for Batman to go undercover. In TAS, however, he generally dressed in shabby clothes, played himself as a small-time thug, and tended to keep a match between his teeth.
First Appearance: Batman (1940) #242
Batman (DC)(03 - Post-Crisis)
Batman (DC)(Earth-1 - Pre Crisis)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Absolute Batman Incorporated (2015)
HC Batman (1940)
- 'Absolute Batman Incorporated'
Batman 80-Page Giant (1998)
#3 Batman and the Outsiders (1983)
- 'All the Deadly Days'
Batman Black and White (1996)
Batman Confidential (2007)
TPB vol. 06 Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams (2003)
- 'Dead To Rights'#24
- 'Do You Understand These Rights? Part Three: ...Can And Will...'
Batman Incorporated (2012)
Batman War Drums (2004)
TPB Batman Zero Hour (2017)
- 'Batman: War Drums'
Batman-Spawn: War Devil (1994)
Batman: Arkham Unhinged (2011)
#14 Batman: Arkham Unhinged (2012)
- 'Chapter 14: Theatre of Violence (Part 1)'
Batman: Bullock's Law (1999)
Batman: Cacophony (2009)
HC Batman: Contagion (1996)
- 'Batman: Cacophony'TPB
- 'Batman: Cacophony'#3
- 'Part Three: Baffles'
Batman: False Faces (2008)
Batman: Family (2002)
#6 Batman: GCPD (1996)
- 'Chapter Six: Machinery'
#3 Batman: Gordon of Gotham (2014)
- 'This Year's Murder'
TPB Batman: Gotham Knights (2000)
- 'Batman: Gordon of Gotham'
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (1989)
TPB Batman: No Man's Land (1999)
- 'Batman: Monsters'#90
- 'Clay, Part Two'#124
- 'No Man's Land: Captain of Industry'#177
- 'Lost Cargo'#178
- 'Lost Cargo, Part Two of Two'#182
- 'War Games: Act 1, Part 2 of 8: Behind Enemy Lines'#183
- 'War Games: Act 2, Part 2 of 8: Philosophical Differences'
Batman: Tales of the Demon (1991)
Batman: The Demon Awakes (1989)
Batman: Unseen (2009)
TPB Batman: War Games (2005)
- 'Batman: Unseen'#2
Batman: War Games (2015)
#1 Crossover Classics (1991)
- 'Lights, Cameras, Death'
DC Comics Presents: Batman: Urban Legends (2012)
#1 DC Crossover (1998)
- 'DC Comics Presents: Batman: Urban Legends'
#17 Detective Comics (1937)
- 'Batman / Spawn'
Gotham Underground (2007)
#1 Harley Quinn (2000)
- 'Book One: Kidnappings!'#2
- 'Book Two: Gangs of Gotham'#3
- 'Book Three: "Fancy Meeting You Here..."'#4
- 'Book Four: Scars'#5
- 'Book Five: Pieces of the Puzzle'#6
- 'Book Six: Breaking Out'
#11 Legends of the Dark Knight [I] (2012)
- 'Rock Of Ages, Part Two: Hostile Takeover'
#62 Legends of the Dark Knight 100-Page Super Spectacular (2014)
- 'Break The Mold Part 2 of 2'
Legends of the Dark Knight: Alan Davis (2012)
Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years (2015)
HC Marvel/DC Crossover (1997)
- 'Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years'
#5 Nightwing (1996)
- 'Punisher - Batman'#6
- 'Silver Surfer & Superman'#7
- 'Daredevil & Batman'
#50 Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights (1994)
- 'You Killed the Outsiders!!!'
Suicide Squad (1987)
#10 Superman/Batman (2003)
- 'Up Against the Wall'
#86 Tales of the Batman: Don Newton (2011)
- 'The Secret, Part 2 of 3'
The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul (1988)
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