"I've killed all kind of folks just about every way you can. Rich, poor, guilty, innocent. By hand, by blade, by gun. Burn just one guy to death, they call you Matches for the rest of your days. Life's funny, isn't it?"
—Matches Malone to Bruce Wayne[src]

Patrick "Matches" Malone was a criminal in Gotham City who was responsible for the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents Thomas and Martha Wayne.


Early life

Malone committed his first murder at the age of 15.[1] At some point in his "career" he burned a man to death, which earned him the nickname "Matches".[2]

Hired to kill the Waynes

Malone was contracted by The Lady, who put out the hit for Thomas and Martha Wayne when asked to by Hugo Strange under the alias "The Philosopher."[3]

Matches Malone about to kill the Waynes

While the Waynes were leaving a movie, a masked Malone murdered them after taking Thomas' wallet and Martha's pearl necklace; however, he left Bruce alive.[4] Due to not watching the news or paying attention to anything in the media, Malone remained ignorant at the importance of the people he had killed, and what consequences it had for the city of Gotham.[2]

Arriving at Patrick's apartment, Bruce knocks on the door of Apartment 9B where he meets Patrick claiming that he wants to hire him to kill someone. When Bruce inquires about Malone's proficiency in killing, Patrick states that he's killed several people in just about every way you can kill someone, be they rich, poor, guilty, or innocent. He also states that he doesn't kill babies. Bruce then introduces himself to Patrick and claims that he was the one who killed his parents, brandishing the gun he brought with him and aiming it at Patrick. Patrick doesn't remember the murder of the Waynes at first, at last remembering the murder when Bruce mentions Martha's necklace. At this point, Patrick starts calling Bruce 'son,' which Bruce takes issue with. Patrick justifies it by stating that he made Bruce into who he is, saying he might as well call him son. Bruce then asks him who hired him to kill his parents, to which Malone replies that maybe no one did, but if someone did, Bruce would never know their name. As Bruce prepares to kill Patrick, Patrick proposes a toast to his 'son,' saying his death has been a long time coming. He even instructs Bruce where to aim. However, Bruce backs down. Patrick demands that Bruce end his life, saying he's a monster and that he needs to die. He also states that he's tired with his life, of doing wrong and going unpunished. Bruce decides to spare Patrick, stating that he wishes he were a monster. However, he is just a man. Bruce then takes his leave. Using the gun that Bruce left behind, Patrick committed suicide by the time Jim Gordon caught up with Bruce.[2]


Years following the Wayne murders, and Malone's own suicide, Jeremiah Valeska attempted to recreate the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in an attempt to bond with Bruce Wayne through hatred, feeling that he was closer to the random mugger that killed his parents than Jeremiah himself.[5]


"I'm a monster. You need to kill me."
"I wish you were a monster. But you're just a man.
—Matches Malone and Bruce Wayne[src]

Matches Malone is the textbook example of a cold-blooded killer. A notorious assassin with a high employment rate and deadly kill rate, Malone states nonchalantly of how many people he kills per year, at times having difficulty even remembering when he kills an individual. As such, Malone is a complete psychopath but states he only became this way because Gotham molded him to be like this and had to adapt to survive in the cutthroat city by becoming a hitman. Even though Malone displays an utter lack of conscience or thereof, he is not entirely without morality. For example he doubles his fee for when the job is women or children and utterly refuses to kill babies. He also adheres to a code of honor, or more specifically a killer's code in which he refuses to segregate his employer's identity even at the risk of death or torture. Finally when confronted by Bruce Wayne at gunpoint, Malone, tired of doing wicked deeds and being unpunished, begs to be killed and when Bruce refuses, shoots himself in the head. This shows that despite having killed a young man's parents before his eyes, Malone did not commit such an act out of enjoyment, but only to get by, as he was another victim made out of Gotham.

Physical appearance

"Don't you know a killer when you see one?"
"Actually, you look very ordinary.
—Matches Malone and Bruce Wayne[src]

During his murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Malone appeared to be heavy built and full faced. When Bruce confronted him he was thinner in appearance, middle-aged with grey hair and brown eyes.


"Well, Matches has killed dozens of people. Men, women, children. He's a professional."

  • Expert assassin: Matches was a proficient killer, having killed dozens of people in various ways, including barehanded, with blades or with guns. He infamously murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne and stayed below the Gotham City Police Department's radar and used a pistol not known by their database, and used gloves to not leave any fingerprints on the grip.
  • Expert marksman: Matches was skilled in the use of firearms, particularly pistols and revolvers. He quickly killed Thomas and Martha Wayne with his sidearm, and later instructed Bruce Wayne on where to properly aim in order to ensure he killed him.


  • Colt M1911A1: Matches used this pistol to kill the Waynes in front of their son, Bruce Wayne. He pointed the gun at a young Wayne, but did not kill him. According to Edward Nygma, Matches' gun was loaded with high-end ammunition (.45 caliber 300 grain cupronickel wadcutters, described by Jim Gordon as "a six dollar bullet") and is a pistol not known by the GCPD database.
  • Charter Arms Bulldog: Matches used Bruce Wayne's revolver to kill himself.



  • Matches Malone was a New Jersey gangster and arsonist whose identity was taken by Batman after his death where Batman uses it to infiltrate Gotham City's criminal underworld. His first appearance in the comics was Detective Comics #242 in 1972. Some stories have suggested that Batman does enough in morally gray areas to maintain Malone's rep in the underworld, so as to keep the persona viable.
  • In the DC Comics Universe Joe Chill is responsible for the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents.
  • He was initially credited as Masked Man in the "Pilot".
    • Two different actors played Matches and Masked Man.
  • This is the first live-action incarnation of the character Matches Malone.


  1. Boston, Seth (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (March 7, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: A Dead Man Feels No Cold". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 13. FOX.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Behring, John (writer) & Harper, Jordan (director) (March 14, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 14. FOX.
  3. Hull, Robert & Brown-Mostyn, Megan (writers) & Stephens, John (director) (April 18, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Pinewood". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 18. FOX.
  4. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) ( September 22, 2014). "Pilot". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 1. FOX.
  5. Chun, Tze (writer) & Stephens, John (director) (Febuary 21, 2019) "Legend of the Dark Knight: Ace Chemicals" Gotham. Season 5. Episode 7.
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