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    Jerome Valeska 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8dfdc53c_bf86_4e73_87b4_1eb6e9.jpg
"You ain't seen nothing yet!"
Click here to see Jerome pre-scars 

Played By: Cameron Monaghan

"You’re all prisoners. What you call sanity, it’s just a prison in your minds that stops you from seeing that you’re just tiny little cogs in a giant absurd machine. Wake up! Why be a cog? Be free like us. Just remember, smile."

A male teenager who lives in the circus and is responsible for his mother's death. He seems innocent, kind, and timid... until he starts laughing. Following a breakout with other inmates by Theo Galavan, Jerome became the leader of The Maniax, was betrayed and killed by Galavan only to return and create more chaos upon the city of Gotham.


  • Arc Villain: Due to fact the character was regularly Commuting on a Bus due to the actor's commitments, this meant that Jerome tended to be this, showing up as the main villain of a 3-4 episode arc from season 2 onward before making way for other villains like Theo Galavan, the Court of Owls or (by his own design) his brother Jeremiah.
  • Arch-Enemy: Not surprising, considering whom he's based on, he ends up as this to Bruce Wayne, trying to kill him in season 2 as part of Galavan's plan, then becoming obsessed with finishing the job once he comes Back from the Dead in season 3. Tellingly, he's the one that solidifies Bruce's Thou Shalt Not Kill rule after Bruce almost goes too far in giving the clownish psycho a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. After his death he ensures the role passes to his brother Jeremiah, who takes the trope in a different direction through his warped obsession with Bruce as his best friend.
  • Attention Whore: He loves gaining Gotham's attention and only holds back on killing Bruce Wayne because Bruce makes him realise he needs an audience to watch him kill Gotham's innocent son. Tellingly in that instance, he admits he knows Bruce is stalling for time for Gordon to come rescue him - but goes with his suggestion anyway because of his compulsive need to show off.
  • Ax-Crazy: The show's outstanding example - none of the other villains display such a lack of scruples or brutal penchant for killing on a whim. He even used one during the murder of his mother.
  • Back from the Dead: Perhaps not surprisingly, he comes back in Season 3 after being killed at the start of Season 2.
  • Bad Boss: After gaining a cult following him, Jerome doesn't hesitate to casually kill his loyalists for a cheap laugh. In season 4 he straight-up kills one for the sole purpose of making him feel better after one of his schemes goes to pot.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Sports a natty white ensemble for his final appearances in the latter half of season 4.
  • Bait-and-Switch: His psychosis, mannerisms and background indicate he will become the Joker. But then he died on-screen in his fourth appearance making it look he wasn't the Joker after all ...until he comes back from the dead. He manages to make a good run of it before he dies for good a second time - but thanks to him his twin brother Jeremiah inherits the role!
  • Bastard Bastard: He was conceived when Lila the snake dancer had an affair with Paul the blind soothsayer.
  • Beard of Evil: Wears one as part of his disguise during "The Last Laugh".
  • Berserk Button: He does not forgive Dwight for stealing and skinning his face.
  • Big Bad: Upon revival, he's the lead villain in the final episodes of Mad City in Season 3, replacing the Mad Hatter, as well as the latter half of Dark Knight in Season 4 when he creates the Legion of Horribles - although he dies before season's end, he ensures that Jeremiah will become a Superior Successor.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When we first meet him, he seems like an innocent young boy mourning the recent death of his mother. However, once it's revealed that he killed his mother and that Paul Circeo is his father, he reveals his true nature as a psychopathic, maniacal monster.
  • Black And Black Morality: He tells Bruce that there are no such things as heroes in Gotham City and mocks him for trying to act above everyone else. He argues that deep down, everyone's as ugly as he is.
  • Body Horror: His face becomes a huge deformity after getting it slashed off by Dwight. Now Jerome has to work hard at making sure his face doesn't fall off.
  • Boring, but Practical: He'd probably flip out if described as this, but it's worth noting that to plunge Gotham into madness the Court of Owls have to recruit Hugo Strange, steal Alice Tetch's body and build a bomb to infect hundreds (if not thousands) of people with a weaponised form of her insanity-causing blood. Jerome is able to cause equal, if not greater, chaos earlier in the season simply by going on TV and appealing to people to unleash their inner craziness and kill whoever they want.
  • Breakout Character: Originally intended as a one-off Joker Red Herring, Cameron Monaghan's charisma combined with his popularity in the fanbase rocketed Jerome to a recurring Arc Villain in his own right for multiple seasons.
  • Cain and Abel: Jerome wants to kill his brother, though not before driving him insane. While the former never comes to pass, the latter does, leaving Jeremiah as a worse threat to the city than his brother ever was.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Jerome doesn't kill Jeremiah when he has his brother at his mercy. At the time it looks to be so he can follow through on his threat of driving Jeremiah mad before killing him - but later episodes show that as he wasn't planning on surviving, he had something much worse in mind...
  • Combat Sadomasochist: He enjoys it a little too much when Bruce beats him up and prepares to kill him. And he's delighted when Penguin's "joke" in Arkham results in Oswald giving him a pretty severe beatdown.
    Jerome: That's it! Let it out!
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Cameron Monaghan seems to be channeling Mark Hamill while using the voice of Heath Ledger for his portrayal of Jerome.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Due to the fact Cameron Monaghan was juggling his appearances on Gotham with his role on Shameless (US) at the same time, Jerome tended to get this a lot. He's put in Arkham after his only season 1 appearance, killed after his appearances in early season 2, caught and put in Arkham again after his season 3 resurrection and only appears in the latter half of season 4 after escaping Arkham once more.
  • Composite Character: He shares traits and elements with different incarnations of the Joker in past media such as Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill's animated counterpart and Heath Ledger's. His actor has described the character as a tribute to past Jokers.
  • Cop Killer: He becomes this as of "Knock, Knock," partaking in the massacre at GCPD headquarters and killing Essen. Kills numerous more over the following seasons.
  • The Corrupter: During both of his lives, he influenced many people into evil and madness, most notably his brother Jeremiah, who gets a face full of Joker gas that alters him into a bleach-skinned maniac who eventually ends up becoming The Joker.
  • Crocodile Tears: He can turn on the waterworks at the drop of a hat. He's very convincing too.
  • The Cynic: Behind his wide grin lies a depressed doomsayer.
  • Dark Messiah: Downplayed. According to his father's last vision, he will influence Gotham with evil and madness, eventually creating the worst curse upon Gotham. Played straight in Mad City. He even goes so far as referring to himself as one to his followers. He finally unleashes said worse curse... by turning his brother Jeremiah into a Superior Successor - a bleach-skinned maniac with all of Jerome's insanity and considerably more intelligence and potential for destruction.
  • Decomposite Character: As the show isn't allowed to use the Joker name (at least initially), this is how the show handled the Clown Prince.
  • Didn't See That Coming: It never occurred to him that Galavan would dispose of him eventually.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Of the second half of Season 4. He breaks out of Arkham Asylum and plans to drive Gotham insane with laughing gas, but once this plan fails, he willingly falls to his death and posthumously gives Jeremiah, his brother, special laughing gas that transforms him into something far, far worse than he ever was.
  • Disney Villain Death: His self-inflicted second death.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Well, he is based on the Joker after all. He's killed members of his own gang several times for jumping on his line, offed his mother for nagging him to do the dishes and killed one of the Legion of Horribles for serving food with the wrong implements.
  • The Dreaded: His Fortune Teller father's final prophecy describes him as this, with most of Gotham fearing him. It comes to pass, with Gordon listing Jerome as being on the same level as Fish Mooney in terms of "staying power" in regards to being remembered by Gotham's citizens. At one point his identical brother Jeremiah walking into the GCPD HQ with Gordon is enough to render everyone in the building totally silent.
  • Due to the Dead: After Jerome is buried, his followers perform some sort of twisted ritual over his grave - as it turns out, at the behest of his brother.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Two in different seasons.
    • The Reveal of him being his mother's killer, with him suddenly displaying the Laughing Mad tendencies and evil grin that instantly established him as a fan-favourite choice for the future-Joker.
    • The russian roulette scene in season 2, where he demonstrates Nerves of Steel in taking three tries in a row with the one-bullet gun, intimidating his rival Greenwood into backing away from leadership of the Maniax - establishing that underneath the boyish exterior he's way more than just another garden-variety psycho and actually has the Villainous Virtues he claims he does.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce Wayne. Both were orphaned late into their lives, both were associated with shady organizations, and both are on opposing sides of the law. While Bruce's parents were gunned down by a hired thug, traumatizing him, Jerome happily murdered his parents with no ill effect on him. Contrasting Bruce's great working relationship with Gordon, Jerome has tried to kill him on several occasions. Taken to larger levels after Jerome's resurrection, and their eventual confrontation. While Jerome has a vast cult at his beck and call, Bruce only has Alfred and Gordon at that point to rely on. In the funhouse of mirrors, Jerome uses a gun and some underhanded tactics such as a Blade Below the Shoulder while Bruce uses Good Old Fisticuffs. Before said confrontation, Jerome had given Bruce a rough "sad clown" design on his face, while Jerome's face remained ever-grinning due to the way his face was, reflecting their ideologies of order (Bruce) and anarchy (Jerome). After the whole ordeal, Bruce began to adopt his iconic Thou Shalt Not Kill way of thinking while Jerome presumably remains a murderous psychopath.
  • Evil Laugh: Well, look who he's based on. His actor has mentioned in interviews he's subscribed to the Hamill method of having different laughs for Jerome's different moods - just look at the results.
    Theo Galavan: The laugh is fabulous. Use that.
  • Evil Redhead: A natural redhead, and one of the show's most out-and-out evil characters.
  • Evil Twin: Played with. Jerome is certainly evil to the core, but if Jeremiah's post-transformation belief that he was always as dangerous and murderous as he proves in the last few episodes of season 4 is true, there may never have been a good twin in this relationship.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Dignity might be the wrong word, but when he finally dies for good there's no pleading or begging as he willingly lets himself plummet to his death, as he's come around to the idea of what he represents as a symbol to the downtrodden and insane of Gotham. There's also the fact he knows his backup plan to turn his brother into something worse than he ever was is in motion regardless...
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Looks like a handsome, innocent young boy, but is actually a psychotic madman who commits horrific crimes just for a laugh. Subverted in Season 3 onward, where he's just as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside, thanks to having his face cut off and stitched back on.
  • Facial Horror: After one of his followers, Dwight, fails to resurrect him from the dead, he decides to slice his face off and wear it like a mask to morbidly symbolize Jerome's legacy living on through the maniacs he inspired. When it turns out that the resurrection was a success, Jerome not only gets his face back, he staples it back onnote . Needless to say, the results aren't pretty. Even less so when Gordon actually punches it off.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can act quite chummy sometimes, as with his "chat" with Essen in series 2 - but it's clear the murderous Ax-Crazy psychopath is never too far away.
  • For the Evulz: While Jerome might claim some petty reasons for some of his murders, for the most part he's shown killing people without any needed excuses at all, and cackling madly while doing so.
  • Foreshadowing: Shortly before he kills a Defiant to the End Commissioner Essen, she tells him he'll be dead soon and that no-one will remember his name. The former comes to pass an episode later at the hands of Theo Galavan (though it doesn't stick), while by the finale the latter also happens by his own design, in favour of a far worse monster - his twin brother Jeremiah, aka the Joker.
  • Freudian Excuse: He had a fairly abusive childhood even before Jeremiah managed to turn the rest of his family against him, as Jeremiah was only sent away when the twins were ten, and Jerome reminisces about their mother and her lovers beating him on his ninth birthday, being frequently beaten by his mother and her various lovers as well as his uncle, who once shoved Jerome's hand in a deep fat fryer, but it's made perfectly clear that he was always off his rocker.
  • Glasgow Grin: The surgery performed to re-attach his face leaves him with a long rent on each side of his mouth.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In "The Last Laugh", Theo stabs him in the neck and Jerome manages to die with a smile on his face. All the while laughing. Then he does it again plus laughing his head off in "Now That's Entertainment".
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: There are a number of times where we're treated to a grisly close-up of Jerome's deformed face, and an even more disturbing one when Gordon nails him with a right cross that actually tears his stapled face clean off.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice is noticeably deeper and harsher after his resurrection (reminiscent of Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker), due to Theo Galavan stabbing him in the throat during his first death.
  • The Heavy: Of the opening three episodes of Season 2. He personally carries out the first part of Theo Galavan's evil plan.
  • Horned Hairdo: It's subtle, but in many of his more violent scenes, the tips of his red hair are sticking up, making him look even more like the devil incarnate.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: Before his death and subsequent resurrection, Jerome was rather boyishly handsome, despite being quite evil. Then he died, was resurrected, and a cult member removed Jerome's face, which Jerome himself later stapled back on. The results aren't pretty. He even lampshades that he used to be the handsome one when he meets Jeremiah again.
  • Interim Villain: Unlike the other Big Bads of season 3 Jerome is the only one to not use the Tetch virus for his crimes. He appears right in the middle of the season after the GCPD finally arrest Jervis Tetch and cure the city of his virus but before the Court of Owls use said virus for their own nefarious plans.
  • Joker Immunity: In this universe, thanks to Hugo Strange, Death Is Cheap. Guess who's back...? Doesn't stick the second time though.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He kills Robert Greenwood for stepping on his line. Considering that Greenwood was a cannibal who had murdered dozens of women, it's hard to feel any sympathy for him.
  • Knife Nut: He always seems to have a blade handy somewhere, particularly after he comes back from the dead.
  • Kubrick Stare: Once the jig is up, gone is the timid, innocent look of a sad teenager and in is the cold, bitter stare of a maniac.
  • Large Ham: As per the character he's based on, Jerome tends to dominate any scene he's in.
  • Laughably Evil: He cracks jokes all the time, usually while doing something terrible.
  • Laughing Mad: After The Reveal.
  • Legacy Character: Even after his death, his horrific actions have still left quite a mark on Gotham City. All the chaos and death that he spread had turned several citizens into laughing homicidal maniacs, who eventually band together to form an entire cult worshiping their Dark Messiah. Even if he doesn't end up being the Clown Prince of Crime, there's no doubt that he's at least responsible for creating him. Confirmed: Post-humously, he turns his own twin brother, Jeremiah, into his legacy - a far, far worse monster who ends up destroying half the city and turning it into No Man's Land.
    Cicero: You will be a curse upon Gotham. Children will wake from sleep, screaming at the thought of you. Your legacy will be death and madness.
  • Mad Artist: By his own admission in "Mandatory Brunch Meeting". He describes himself as an artist who "wants to paint the town crazy."
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of "The Last Laugh" after Jerome's death, several people across Gotham start to become as maniacal and homicidal as he was. Is his spirit affecting people? Did Cicero actually cast a curse instead of prophesying one? Or did something in these people just snap upon seeing Jerome's horrific acts on television?
  • Master Actor: Very good at pretending to be innocent in his first appearance, despite being extremely unhinged. He not only fools Gordon with his act for most of the episode, but no one else in the circus even thinks of him as a suspect in his mother's murder, despite the fact that later episodes make clear that at least some of them witnessed the abuse his mother and uncle put him through, but did nothing to prevent it. This indicates that he might have put up a front around them, as well.
  • Matricide: Murdered his mother after her physical abuse and nagging went a bit too far.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His name is just a "K" shy of having the word Joker hidden in it. His surname, Valeska, is a couple letters off from Valestra.
    • "Valeska" is Slavic for "Glorious Ruler". Fitting, isn't it?
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: As Penguin discovers in season 4, he's got almost total control over the prisoner population of Arkham, as well as many of the guards.
  • Monster Clown: Invoked fully during his circus torment of Bruce in season 3.
  • Mythology Gag: Tons of jokes he makes reference the Joker:
    • After his delivery of "My father," just try not to mentally add "was a drinker and a fiend."
    • During the attack on the GCPD, Jerome makes a disturbing video very similar to one the Joker made in The Dark Knight.
    • The cult of psychos that worship Jerome in Season 3 sport white face paint and red lips, a clear reference to the Joker's iconic look.
    • The Season 3 episode "Smile Like You Mean It" opens with Jerome's cult breaking into a warehouse to retrieve their "savior's" body, killing a security guard (who was playing cards during his shift) in the process. The camera then zooms in on the guard's deck to reveal a Joker card.
    • According to his actor, his whole portrayal is a "love letter" to the character of The Joker over the years. While he channels other Joker actors - namely Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger - Monaghan says he was especially inspired by Mark Hamill.
    • Jerome inspires a future gang of clown anarchists exactly like the Jokerz.
    • Jerome gets his face hacked off and after getting it back he crudely attempts to reattach it while doing all he can to prevent it from falling off entirely, exactly like The New 52 Joker, especially during Death of the Family.
    • And a rather odd and subtle one in a completely different direction; Jerome was a young boy in a traveling circus until the death of his parents, after which he was taken in and trained by a wealthy but brooding and shadowy man who has a vision of improving Gotham City... have we heard this before?
    • Even his identical twin brother can be an obscure Joker reference: in Batman: Arkham City, the Joker, who was sick, had Clayface act as his body double. As of Episode 18 of Season 4, Jerome is dead, but Jeremiah might be keeping his legacy alive after all...
    • Jerome's death is almost a mirror image of the scene Heath Ledger's Joker went through, falling off a building while cackling madly. The only difference is, unlike Christian Bale, Jim Gordon didn't have a grappling hook gadget to pull the psychopath back up and keep him from falling to his death. And much like Jack Nicholson's Joker, the camera focuses on Jerome's corpse afterwards, mainly his lifeless smiling face.
  • Nerves of Steel: Displays them in season 2's Russian roulette scene, deliberately taking three tries in a row with the gun to intimidate Greenwood into dropping his claim to leadership of the Maniax, despite the risk of blowing his own head off. He doesn't even flinch as he pulls the trigger each time.
  • Nightmare Face: After getting it cut off, Jerome goes to disturbing lengths to reattach his skinned face, resulting in a gruesome appearance.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He loves killing people and laughs whenever it happens.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Especially when he admitted to murdering his mother.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: He's clearly a lot smarter than his Laughably Evil tendencies would suggest, as shown when he engineers the Arkham breakout in season 4.
  • Pet the Dog: Played with. When Bruce saves him from being killed by his uncle, he actually looks set to save Bruce's life in turn by shooting his uncle's strongman henchman as he throttles Bruce. But then he decides it'd be funnier if the guy Bruce saved him from ends up killing Bruce. Jerome then just sits back and gleefully watches as Bruce struggles for his life.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: His identical brother Jeremiah is a soft-spoken, reclusive architectural genius, Jerome is a Large Ham psycho. Even as villains Jerome is random and chaotic even when following his plans, with a penchant for theatricality. Jeremiah is a No-Nonsense Nemesis - methodical and precise even when destroying half the city.
  • Practically Joker: A very deliberate example due to it being done by a DC-sanctioned take on Batman, so the show was constrained by Warner Brothers' insistence that the Joker be used specifically in their DCU films. Jerome ends up being the Joker in all but name, having his characterization derived from several different versions of the Joker and being explicitly said to be a tribute to the Clown Prince of Crime. Though originally created as a one-off possible identity of the Jokernote . However, Monaghan's performance proved so popular that Jerome promoted to this, becoming essentially the show's take on the Joker for the first four seasons and, as mentioned in the Decomposite Character section, taking on many of the iconic Joker traits. Fittingly, he's was responsible for giving rise to the real Joker of Gotham.
  • Predecessor Villain: If he isn't the Joker, then he definitely had a hand in inspiring him. Confirmed in Season 4, where he transforms his twin brother Jeremiah into the show's take on the Joker.
  • Rage Breaking Point: He claimed that his mom kept "pushing" and that he killed her because she told him to do the dishes.
  • Red Herring: Though his character was pretty heavily based on the Joker, it turns out he wasn't "Joker before he was Joker" in keeping with the general theme of the series, rather someone who will later inspire the Joker in-universe. Hilariously for a red herring, he has red hair. A possibly Subverted Trope, once he got resurrected. Losing his face and trying to stick it back on further solidifies the possibility.
    • The show just LOVES to play with his fans. He's dead for real this time... Luckily for him, he had a twin brother to inherit his villainous legacy!
  • The Reveal: He was the one who murdered his mother after all.
  • Self-Made Orphan: We meet him after he kills his mother. A ways into season two, he kills his father.
  • Shipper on Deck: Insanely, is one for Gordon and Lee: upon his resurrection he enquires about the state of their relationship and seems genuinely disappointed it didn't work out, telling Lee "I really liked you guys."
  • Slashed Throat: How he dies. It doesn't last. The first time, anyway.
  • Slasher Smile: Jerome's got a nasty one.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Even though he met his demise, his chaotic crimes influence many others to follow in his footsteps. And then he returns from the dead, still making him a prime candidate for being the Joker after all... Only to die again, but not before leaving a little gift for his twin brother...
  • The Sociopath: He shows shades of being one, including no empathy and being a good liar that can emotionally manipulate others.
  • Son of a Whore: Jerome told Jim Gordon that his mother had many "lovers". After the reveal that he killed her, he said she was "nagging, drunken whore".
  • Spanner in the Works: His season 3 return and subsequent rampage are this for the Court of Owls, as his nearly killing Bruce appears to be what goads at least some of them into deciding Gotham has fallen ill and trying to destroy it with the Tetch virus.
  • Surprise Creepy: When he finally reveals his true nature, by God it's disturbing.
  • Teens Are Monsters: He's so monstrous that Gordon has no qualms about beating him into unconsciousness.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Jerome and Jeremiah.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Claims that he embraced this as a result of Jeremiah telling lies to make him look unstable as a child.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: A very creepy version. Jerome looked like a normal everyday young man, working the circus with his mother. His confession of his murder of her makes it all the more nightmarish.
    • Somewhat subverted by Season Two, where Jerome has visibly embraced his madness, and has wilder hair and paler skin.
    • By Season 3, he most certainly does not look normal anymore; losing your face then stapling it back on will do that to you. By season 4 the surgery to reattach his face his left him with a permanent Glasgow grin and scarring round the outline of the cuts, making him look even more nightmarish.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Tends to break into gleeful laughter every time he manages to make someone snap enough to give him a no holds barred beatdown. Seems to go hand in hand with his need to corrupt people to prove that anyone can become as insane as him if they have one bad day.
  • Trailers Always Lie: With the mass advertising for the show, you'd think that he was the real Joker. Unfortunately he's not, as evidenced by his death, but then he comes back. This further supports the idea that he might become the Joker after all. And then he dies again, permanently this time, but posthumously transforms his twin brother Jeremiah into the true Clown Prince Of Crime.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers for his debut episode made absolutely no secret of the fact he was the villain of the episode, or that he had some sort of connection to the Joker.
  • The Unfavorite: His mother definitely favored his identical twin brother Jeremiah.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He naturally "thanks" Dwight for bringing him Back from the Dead by killing him in an enormous explosion. To be totally fair, it's made clear he was pretty pissed at Dwight for cutting off his face and wearing it.
  • Unreliable Narrator: A very subtle example, but we really have no indication other than his word that his mother was as bad as he claimed.
  • Villainous Legacy:
    • It's he who transforms Jeremiah into first a monster who almost destroys the city - with Jeremiah's descent into evil eventually turning him into the Joker.
    • In season 2 he also hits on the idea of using Russian Roulette to prove himself worthy of Maniax leadership - something Jeremiah later uses to see who gets into his cult, meaning Jerome is indirectly responsible for Ecco becoming the warped Harley Quinn figure we see in season 5 after she tries it.
  • Villainous Virtues: Claims in his "pitch" to originally lead the Maniax to have vision, ambition and brains - all of which prove to be true over the following episodes and seasons.
  • Visionary Villain: By the end of season 4 he's grasped it doesn't matter whether he lives on or dies. What he represents - the chaos, anarchy and disregard for life's rules - will live on in the shadows and discontent of Gotham. Particularly if he has a much more brilliant twin brother he can corrupt into helping things along...
  • Walking Spoiler: Jerome's practically taken care of by Galavan after the third episode of the second season, but it is his lasting repercussions AND him being resurrected in mid-season 3 where he becomes this trope. And there's really no getting round the fact that his death in the fourth season leads to the creation of the real Joker in his brother Jeremiah.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Immediately after coming back from the dead, Jerome's first order of business is to murder Bruce Wayne, mainly because that was his mission given to him by Galavan beforehand, and Jerome wants to see the job done (with his usual theatrical flair).
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: Before his second death, he uses his Famous Last Words to declare this of himself. As for how true this is, see all of the above tropes.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: His employer kills him when he's no longer required for his future plans for Gotham. Unlike most deaths, it doesn't stick for more than a year.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: A rare villain example. Jerome tries to hold his brother Jeremiah at hostage to get Gordon to back off. But Gordon calls his bluff, knowing Jerome wouldn't kill Jeremiah as if he wanted to he would have done so already. Jerome admits Gordon is right, then turns the gun back on Gordon before fleeing.
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    Jack Gruber/The Electrocutioner 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jack_buchinsky_gotham12.JPG
Played By: Christopher Heyerdahl

An Arkham inmate on the lam, who uses electric shocks to the brain to condition patients, using them as guinea pigs to perfect the process — with the right amounts, they become his obedient minions that do whatever he says. The Gothamverse version of the Electrocutioner.


  • Arc Villain: For Gordon's brief assignment at Arkham.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed but present: he has absolutely no problems casually killing anyone in his way. When he electrocutes the entire GCPD, he expresses dismay it "only" knocked them unconscious.
  • Canon Character All Along: While he initially seemed like to be a new character using an established villain identity like Temple Fugate or Kyle Griffin, "Jack Gruber" is is ultimately revealed to be an alias and his real name is Jack Buchinsky", which means he's either the original Electrocutioner undergoing Named by the Adaptationnote  or the third undergoing Adaptation Name Changenote .
  • Cold Ham: When he's on-stage he's a shouting rip-roaring ham, but off-stage he's quiet and unassuming.
  • Composite Character: The use of electricity on criminals is reminiscent of the Electrocutioner, while also bearing similarities with Maxie Zeus in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison as well as the Earth-One Dr. Hugo Strange, who not only wears glasses but also escaped Arkham with inmates he uses as test subjects.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Comes with being played by the 6ft 5in Christopher Heyerdahl - he's even taller than his brainwashed muscle (who's apparently 6ft 4in) and towers over Gordon.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Once he escapes Arkham, his targets are other criminals who betrayed him and got him locked up. He just doesn't care about the innocents that get in the way of his pursuit, making him a villainous Knight Templar.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's pretty friendly and polite, even when congratulating one of his victims on snapping a guard's neck as ordered. He also leaves Gordon an eloquent goodbye letter telling him what he's done and that he's going to keep doing it.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A glasses-wearing rapist and murderer.
  • Graceful Loser: Surprisingly, given Gordon foils his entire scheme, his response is to more or less accept it. He doesn't even look that upset when posing for the pictures after being caught.
  • Mad Scientist: He really loves exploring electricity's more dangerous applications from using behavioural modification shocks to practice brainwashing, to murdering people. His own partner even kept all his kit serviceable for years, because he knew how important his "experiments" were to him.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: His entire psychological profile is based on a persona he made up to be admitted to Arkham so that he could experiment on patients and lay low waiting for vengeance on his compatriots.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: On top of being a sadistic murderer, he is mentioned to also be a rapist.
  • Shock and Awe: He certainly has a way with electricity. He manages to rig a trap that electrocutes and incapacitates the entire GCPD.
  • Shout-Out: Possibly to Batman: Arkham Origins, which also saw the Electrocutioner being defeated very easily, although the characters themselves are very different.
  • The Sociopath: Directly identified as one in his Arkham file. He definitely meets the Consummate Liar and Lack of Empathy requirements.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's very calm and even-toned always.
  • Spanner in the Works: He throws a wrench into the Falcone-Maroni war when he electrocutes Cobblepot, and in a fit of shock he lets slip to Maroni he was going to meet Falcone.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: He's foiled and captured by a cup of water; Gordon uses it to short out his equipment and render him helpless.
  • Wicked Cultured: Is introduced performing in a classic playnote , which is revealed to be of his own choosing.

    Mario Pepper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mario_pepper.png
Played by: Daniel Stewart Sherman

A small-time crook blamed for the Wayne murders. Father of Ivy Pepper.


  • Abusive Parents: Ivy is not happy in her home.
  • Domestic Abuse: Neither is her mother.
  • Fall Guy: Gordon finds evidence fingering him as the Wayne killer at his house, but the evidence was planted by Falcone to shut the case down. And then Bullock shoots him dead when he attacks Gordon.

    Stan Potolsky 

Stan Potolsky

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stan_potolsky.png
Played By: Daniel London

A former employee for Wellzyn, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that deals in biogenics research. After a falling out with Wellzyn over the research Stan is doing for them, he took to the streets to distribute a dangerous drug, Viper, to strangers. His ear is scarred as a result of self-mutilation done at the lab.


  • Anti-Villain: He's trying to raise public awareness of the amoral research being done at Wellzyn, namely the fatal side-effects and human experimentation.
  • Call-Forward: It's mentioned in passing that Viper was just an early prototype formula, but the labs are already working on an improved version without the fatal side-effects, code-named "Venom" - the super-serum that Bane will eventually use.
  • Evil Genius: He's a brilliant chemist who can manufacture weapons-grade biochemical weapons in a personal lab he's put together.
  • Expy: A criminal who kills people with a green toxin, spreads it to the people of Gotham with seeming no goal except to cause chaos, and was disfigured in a biogenics lab? Sounds a lot like The Joker doesn't he? Subverted when it turns out he's not all that evil after all.
  • Not Afraid to Die: He just wants Gotham to hear his message: when Gordon corners him and holds him at gunpoint, he shows no fear because his work is done.
  • Power Degeneration: Viper gives you incredible strength and endurance, but will eventually kill you, no more than one day after you take it.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's just a Villain of the Week in Season 1, but he also created the drug that would be used by Bane, the Big Bad of Season 5.
  • Super Serum: The Viper he created was intended to be one, but had unfortunate fatal side-effects.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He was spreading Viper to the public to try and bring light to the amoral research Wellzyn was doing, and resorts to increasingly drastic acts when his initial efforts fail.

    Richard Sionis/Black Mask 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_mask__gotham.jpg
Played By: Todd Stashwick

A businessman wearing a black oni mask who makes people fight to the death for a job at his investments firm.


  • Adaptation Name Change: In the comics, his name is Roman not Richard. Then again, it's possible, given his age, that he is comic!Black Mask's father or relative.
  • Asshole Victim: Being a criminal and all he really did deserve to die.
  • Back for the Dead/Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: His first episode back in Season 2 has him killed off for real.
  • Bad Boss: He forces his employees to fight to the death for a job in his company. This trait follows him again when he's locked up in Arkham. It leads to his former "team mates" immediately joining the new Big Bad.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He assumes that he is the prison kingpin while locked up in Arkham Asylum. However, once outside prison he's killed quickly for upsetting a real criminal leader.
  • Canon Immigrant: Richard was created for Gotham, but he was incorporated into the main DCU as the father of Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask and the original founder of the False Face Society in the New 52 Catwoman comics.
  • Cool Mask: Collects several of them and wears one when staging fights.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Makes prospecting employees fight to the death.
  • Deadly Game: The fights are transmitted in closed-circuit TV for the amusement of his employees.
  • Dirty Old Man: While in Arkham, he comes onto Barbara, intending to make her his prison wife.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: His manner of death was him being stabbed multiple times in the face, with the effects not shown.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He's stabbed to death multiple times through his face.
  • It Amused Me: Primary did his underground deathmatches just for his own personal amusement.
  • Jerkass: He's a very horrible man.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Wields a katana when he attacks Gordon.
  • Mythology Gag: This isn't the first time Sionis was unceremoniously deposed to establish a new villain as the new threat.
  • Noodle Incident: Mentions an amusing one that happened while he was in college, involving his varsity polo team and a group of ponies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the Season 2 premiere, Theo Galavan offers him and some of the other Arkham inmates a chance to join in on the fun. Sionis declines, and is killed to make an example out of him.
  • The Sociopath: Slick and charming, he cares nothing for anybody, and enjoys watching his employee's fight to the death to work for him. He never shows any remorse, or motivation other than sadism.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When at the mercy of a criminal leader who's offering him a chance to join an elite team of criminals, demonstrating his influence earlier by breaching a prison and leading an army of elite soldiers, Sionis obnoxiously blows his captor off, refuses his offer, and even insults him. Needless to say, he's brutally dispatched for his troubles.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Wears one during his entire appearance.

    Ian Hargrove 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ian_hargrove.png
Played By: Leslie Odom, Jr.

A bomb specialist who was convicted for bombing twelve buildings in Gotham. He's broken out of prison by the late Nikolai's surviving men to make bombs for them as part of Fish's moves against Falcone.


  • Anti-Villain: He only bombs munitions plants and never meant to actually kill anyone. Hargrove has a mental illness and was convinced he was making a heroic protest by blowing up weapons used to hurt other people. He always bombed at night when no one was supposed to be in the factories. When his last bombing accidentally got two janitors killed, his brother claims he was guilt-stricken and practically turned himself in, and readily plead guilty. While officially not guilty by reason of mental illness, he wasn't put in a mental institution to get help due to Gotham's lack of funding, and was simply shoved into the general population at Blackgate prison. spoiler:He also betrays his employers with his Batman Gambit.
  • Bald of Evil: Is entirely bald, subverted as he's not really evil.
  • Batman Gambit: He plants a nameplate from the factory he's kept in among the shrapnel in his bomb, banking on the cops retrieving it and finding him.
  • Canon Foreigner: Is not based on a character from the comics.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Subverted as it turns out. He may have a mental illness and he did kill people, but only by accident. He makes bombs for shady people because they threatened his brother and is only too happy when the police come to stop him.
  • Mad Bomber: He's not fully insane, but clearly has mental problems. He was just blowing up empty buildings, though, as a protest. He never wanted to harm anyone.
  • Evil Genius: Invoked when the guard describes him as a "genius bomber". Apparently, one of his explosives was made with nothing more than match-heads and apple cider vinegar. Subverted in that he really isn't very "evil".
  • Scary Black Man: He's tall, muscular, and African American. Subverted when he turns out to be a tortured and sympathetic Anti-Villain.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He took care to never kill people in his bombings. When he eventually took victims by accident, he was horrified by what he'd done.

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    Dick Lovecraft 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dick_lovecraft.png
Played By: Al Sapienza

A billionaire and entrepreneur, who had a longstanding feud with Thomas Wayne about Gotham City.


  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He was a corrupt CEO and billionaire, and Harvey Dent had been trying to get charges against to no avail.
  • He Knows Too Much: According to him, he knew vital information regarding the Waynes murder.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: He is choked out by Copperhead, but is later killed with Gordon's pistol, making it look like he was killed by the cop.
  • Red Herring: He is set up as the main POI to the Waynes murder with a connection to Thomas Wayne, only to be killed by Copperhead.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Mayor makes him seem like an upstanding citizen who cracked under the pressure from an "over-zealous" officer (Gordon) and then killed himself.

    Mace 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6a9a5927_669f_4ce2_a9de_cfa7b66171c8.png
Played By: Babs Olusanmokun

A prisoner in Dullmacher's facility. Rules over the other prisoners.


  • Character Death: He's literally shivved in the neck by Fish.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: He drops his guard when Fish flirts with him and pays the price when she kills him.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a knife.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: He's unmistakably the absolute ruler of the prisoners. At least until Fish shivs him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fish clearly warned him not to call her 'baby', and dies for his stubbornness. There's also him at least not bothering to have his henchman armed, as he's the only one with a weapon. This easily allowed Fish to kill him and assume rulership.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Attempts this with Fish, but she clearly had other plans.

    Miriam Loeb 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/75fb93ac_01ba_4b48_91b9_ef843ff9a7e8.jpeg
Played By: Nicholle Tom

Loeb's daughter.


    Jeri 

Jeri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gotham1.jpg
Played By: Lori Petty

A rock musician to Gotham's criminal underground, and another contender for the future Joker.


    Maria Kyle 

Maria Kyle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1b3e1ec5_6e70_4e44_8dc2_a704ec8e1e0f.png
Played By: Ivana Milicevic

Selina's long-lost mother, who returns briefly in season 3.


  • Adaptational Badass: Comic!Maria was not the badass thief that she is in the show.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Defends Bruce and Selina from one of the Talons in her debut appearance.
  • Broken Pedestal: Selina ultimately learns that her mother didn't come back to Gotham to reconnect with her, but to pull off a cheap con to use Selina to sucker money out of Bruce Wayne, then skip town.
  • Missing Mom: Hasn't been in contact with Selina for a good six years at the start of the series.
  • Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: Claims to Selina that she left her behind because she was in trouble, and couldn't go on the run with a five-year-old.
  • Put on a Bus: After her scam is discovered by Selina, Maria leaves town again without a look back.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: She commits suicide in the comics, but is alive and well here.
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    Dwight Pollard 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dwight_pollard.png

Dwight Pollard is a former Indian Hill employee and part of a movement who are fanatic followers of Jerome Valeska.


  • Asshole Victim: He gets killed by Jerome.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted Jerome back and he succeeded. Too bad he gets killed by him soon after their first meeting.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He tries to fill in Jerome's shoes by leading his followers, but as Gordon points out he doesn't have the same strong presence as the old maniac did.
  • Cult: Dwight leads one filled with clownish figures who pattern after Jerome Valeska.
  • Dr. Jerk: He's a doctor at Indian Hill and a total lunatic.
  • Jack the Ripoff: His cult and himself all pattern after Jerome.
  • Karmic Death: Gets killed by his own hero after resurrecting him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Jerome blows him up with a bomb.
  • Large Ham: While he can be hammy, Dwight doesn't have the right amount pizzazz that Jerome had once he starts wearing Jerome's face.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-Universe. Jerome sees him as a poser.
  • Role Reprisal: Like with Paul Reubens, being cast as the Penguin's father, David Dastmalchian has played a follower of the Joker's before, in The Dark Knight, as Arkham patient Thomas Schiff, who took part in the Joker's attempted assassination of the mayor; and apparent death of James Gordon; and was also part of the plot which signaled that the Joker was targeting Rachel Dawes, Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne's love interest, which led to her eventual death and Harvey's scarring into Two-Face.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: You can thank this guy for bringing Jerome back into the fray. Hell, if he hadn't resurrected him, the latter would've never gotten the chance to turn his twin brother into the Joker!

    Cherry 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cherry__gotham__0001.jpg
Played By: Marina Benedict

Proprietor of a Narrows Fight Club, who employs Grundy and Nygma after their return. De facto ruler of the Narrows until being killed by Barbara Kean and replaced by Lee Thompkins.


  • Bad-Guy Bar: Owns one and runs the underground fights out of it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Barbara takes her out.
  • Expy: Of Roulette, a character from the DC universe who hosts prize fights between superpowered individuals.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: All this violence is a clear turn-on for her.
  • Pet the Dog: Unscrupulous she may be, but she does let Lee maintain a free clinic in exchange for her services.
  • The Fashionista: She's decked out in outlandish clothing and makeup.
  • The Quisling: She sells out Grundy and Nygma as soon as Penguin starts looking for them.
  • Large Ham: She's a Gotham criminal. It comes with the territory.

    Wendell/Headhunter 

Headhunter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/headhunter.jpg
"The second one is my trademark."
Played By: Kyle Vincent Terry

A low-level hitman who is recommended to Penguin by Zsasz as a security consultant during Penguin's Crime Licensing.


  • Affably Evil: Is a ruthless assassin willing to threaten a wounded and innocent old man for information but is otherwise jovially friendly and treats Gordon as if they were in a Buddy Picture.
  • Badass Bandolier: Wears two, though never uses either.
  • Catchphrase: "The second one is my signature." It refers to his trademark of killing his targets by shooting them once in the head, then expending another bullet... just because. Repeated mockingly by Penguin when he stabs Wendell twice.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After recovering from being stabbed by Penguin, works with Zsasz to hunt down Penguin for Sofia Falcone.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Has one in his second appearance after losing his eye.
  • Eye Scream: Loses an eye as a result of Professor Pyg's trap.
  • Informed Attribute: Despite claiming to never need more than one shot to kill someone, constantly invokes A-Team Firing and never actually hits anyone onscreen.
  • Laser Sight: Notably, the only character in the show to use them. Seems to be for Rule of Cool only, as it doesn't seem to actually help his aim.
  • Race Lift: Is white in the comics.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After one failure too many in "The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause", leaves with Zsasz in the middle of a mob hit to get milkshakes.
  • Skunk Stripe: Has a white mohawk along an otherwise bald head, on an African-American actor.
  • Those Two Guys: With Zsasz in "The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause."

    Secretary Theresa Walker 

Theresa Walker/Nyssa al Ghul

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theresa_walker_9.png
Played By: Jaime Murray

The US Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as Eduardo Dorrance's commanding officer.


  • Adaptational Name Change: The comics version of Nyssa uses her Nom de Mom Raatko.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The comic version of Nyssa hated her father, Ra's, and even killed him without remorse. This Nyssa clearly loved Ra's, and is looking to avenge his death.
  • Batman Gambit: Impressive considering who she does it to: she lets Bruce and Gordon escape and free General Wade - knowing they'll take him to his HQ where (under her control) he'll enact the protocol that will destroy Gotham for good.
  • Big Bad: She's behind all of Bane/Eduardo Dorrance's actions, and turns out to have orchestrated most of the major events of season 5 to destroy Gotham as revenge for the death of her father - Ra's al Ghul.
  • Canon Character All Along: Many speculated she was the Gotham take on Amanda Waller due to their similar methods and surnames. Instead, it turns out she's actually another character from the comics - Nyssa al Ghul.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gordon and Barbara have her on the ropes and are ready to get General Wade to call off the attack on Gotham - lucky she implanted a failsafe command in his mind control device that has him shoot himself instead...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thrashes Gordon with ease in "They Did What?" It takes some trickery and teaming with Barbara to take her down.
  • Evil Gloating: Cannot stop during her battle with Gordon. He even lampshades that she never shuts up.
  • Expy: Initially seemed to be one for Amanda Waller, due to their similar names, government positions, and methods. Subverted in that she's actually Nyssa al Ghul.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite instigating the main conflict of season 5 Nyssa ultimately evades justice by escaping in the submarine that Penguin and Riddler made. The only consolation is that her plans are in ruins and the government is likely hunting her down.
  • The Man Behind the Man: For Bane, Hugo Strange, and the mind-controlled Ed Nygma.
  • Mind-Control Device: Has Hugo Strange implant mind-control chips in the skulls of Ed Nygma, Lee Thompkins, and later General Wade, turning them into her sleeper agents.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: She wipes out Barbara's League of Assassins followers singlehandedly, with Barbara and Lee discovering the aftermath when they get to her club.
  • Revenge: Everything she does is to gain this on Bruce and Barbara for killing her father, Ra's al Ghul.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She's only in the series for a few episodes, but her actions have a big impact on the Time Skip finale.
    • Targeting Bruce is one of the main things that makes him leave Gotham to keep his loved ones safe - leading him to abandon Selina and setting her on the path to becoming Catwoman.
    • Battling her solidifies Barbara's Heel–Face Turn, putting her firmly on Jim's side.
    • Her stealing Penguin and Riddler's submarine - and loot - is one of the contributing factors to the Heel–Face Door-Slam that solidifies their descent into villainy.
  • Truer to the Text: Zig-Zagged. This portrayal of Nyssa is a straight-up villain, lacking the Adaptational Heroism of the Arrowverse and Arkhamverse versions. However, unlike those incarnations who hated Ra's, which is true of the comic version, this Nyssa is seeking to avenge his death.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In the penultimate episode after being stabbed by the very same knife that killed her father, and with her revenge scheme in ruins, Nyssa is forced to escape from Gotham in Penguin and the Riddler's submarine with her tail between her legs.
  • You Killed My Father: She wants revenge on Bruce and Barbara for killing Ra's al Ghul.

    Magpie 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gotham_5x06_10_1156438.jpeg
Played By: Sarah Schenkkan

A cunning thief who steals precious treasures and leaves explosive dummy copies in their place. Penguin enlists Selina's help to take her down after she robs his secret treasury.


  • Adapted Out: She does not sport her famous Wolverine Claws in this continuity.
  • Age Lift: She's already a fully-grown supervillain before Bruce dons the cowl.
  • Animal Motifs: She's visually based on the magpie bird.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She's incredibly eccentric, has a deep love for shiny jewelry, and even gives them names.
  • Dark Action Girl: A skilled jewel thief and acrobat who dresses in black and white attire.
  • Death by Adaptation: A frequent B-list Batman villain in the comics, she's unceremoniously gunned down by the Penguin here.
  • Karmic Death: She loves leaving booby traps behind to blow up her victims. When she goes back to Penguin's vault to steal some more stuff, she herself gets taken down by a booby trap that he set up, leaving her vulnerable enough for him to shoot her dead. Penguin even shoots her "Bang bang!" line right at her before pulling the trigger.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She's killed in the same episode she's introduced in.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: She's a white-haired robber with a knack for explosives.

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