- "...listen to me... make this city yours, or you burn it to the ground!"
- —Fish to Oswald Cobblepot before she died.
Maria Mercedes "Fish" Mooney was a former member of the Falcone crime family and the owner of Mooney's Nightclub. Working for Don Falcone she plotted against him, attempting to take him down, so she could in turn take over his criminal empire, though she was eventually defeated by her former umbrella man Oswald Cobblepot. Her body was later stored at the Indian Hill facility underneath Arkham Asylum, where she was later revived from the dead by Professor Hugo Strange. She later formed an alliance with Oswald Cobblepot, whom she had gained respect for as her actions turned him into the ruthless kingpin "The Penguin". However, during their plot to takeover Gotham City she was accidentally killed by an infected Jim Gordon.
Mooney started from nothing and rose up to become the right hand of one of the most powerful men in Gotham, Carmine Falcone. She and Falcone used to be close for some time since she tried to take advantage of the information acquired during this relationship to take Falcone's place in the family. 
Working under Don Falcone
- "Falcone is getting old and soft, it's time, somebody has to take over, it might as well be me."
- —Fish Mooney to Oswald Cobblepot[src]
Years after the murder of her mother, she came to work for Don Falcone, eventually becoming one of his high-ranking members. Two months before the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Gotham City Police Department detectives Harvey Bullock and his new partner Amanda Wong looked up a lead regarding the background of a thief that was killed while robbing the Wayne Manor. Fish helped identify an associate from the thief's Blackgate days, which ultimately culminated in the death of the Martha and Thomas Wayne. While investigating Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder, detectives Harvey Bullock and his new partner, James Gordon, come to her nightclub to ask if she had heard anything as the crime had happened in her area. When they arrive, Mooney is in the middle of beating a man who had been stealing from her. Upon meeting, she warmly greets Harvey, they being good friends. After initially denying any knowledge on the identity of the Waynes' murderer, she promises to help in any way she can, while showing a cold interest in Gordon due to his straightforwardness and interest in the case. Later, she calls Bullock to tell him one of her men had received a pearl necklace, whose description matched to the one Martha Wayne had stolen from her, from a career criminal named Mario Pepper. Bullock and Gordon visit Pepper at his home, who denies any involvement in the Waynes' case. After Pepper is shot to death by Bullock while saving Gordon when the former flees, the pearl necklace is indeed found in his apartment, seemingly proving Pepper's guilt. However, Mooney is soon visited by Gordon alone, who alleges her of framing Pepper by planting a replica of Martha Wayne's necklace on him. He also questions Bullock's involvement in this frame-up with Mooney. As Gordon is about to leave after trading words, Mooney has her men attack him, and then she herself strikes the telling blow from behind, knocking him unconscious.
Mooney then auditions comedian for her club, finding him very amusing for his dark humor. She receives a call from, Butch, informing her of Bullock coming to save Gordon at her plant. Bullock attempts to persuade Mooney to let Gordon go, going so far as to threaten to "go after her" if she kills his partner. Seeing this as disrespect and insult to her, she orders Gilzean on the phone to hang and kill Bullock along with Gordon too. But the two detectives are saved by Mooney's superior, Carmine Falcone and his men's timely intervention. Keeping Bullock's words in mind of how "somebody talked" from her gang to the GCPD Major Crimes Unit leading to Gordon blaming her, Mooney asks her lackey, Oswald Cobblepot, to massage her foot as she voices her ambitions to take over Gotham from Falcone, whom she now considers has gotten "old and soft". After verbally comforting Cobblepot, she confidently blames him for tipping off the Major Crimes Unit, as only he had seen with the fake pearl necklace. When he protests, stating that he would "open a vein" for her as a show of loyalty, she immediately suggests he do so while handing him a knife. When Cobblepot tries to back out, she turns her back, while mockingly calling him "[my] little penguin". Despised by this name-calling and seeing this as his chance, Cobblepot tries to attack Mooney with the knife, only to be brutally beaten by her with a chair, whilst breaking his leg, and giving him a limp.
Falcone visits Mooney her nightclub for a chat and tells her that Cobblepot had revealed to him of her plans to take him out soon. After Mooney squarely denies it, Falcone gives the impression of believing her and starts asking about her lover. When Mooney denies having one, only a "boy [she keeps] around for exercise" named Lazlo, Falcone implacably has the latter beaten by his men as a show of Mooney's place in his mob. He kisses Fish's hand and thanks her for being honest. She aggressively orders everyone to leave her club soon after Falcone exits. Later, Fish's head thug Butch is telling her it was too early now to make a move on Falcone. She knows and voices her desire to amass more money and men to Gilzean, so that one day, she can personally kill Falcone with her "bare hands and [her] teeth". Butch offers to hold her shoes. She also sadistically wishes for Cobblepot to still have been alive so that she could have made him suffer more for talking to Falcone about her plans against him. When Gordon and Bullock return to her nightclub to ask her of the disappearance of street children from around her locality, Mooney shows little interest in the case, only revealing that there's an unknown "international buyer" who has able and healthy children kidnapped from Gotham's streets and shipped to him.
Fish tells Lazlo to take a rest when Detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen entered the establishment. The two Major Crimes Unit Detectives questioned Mooney concerning Cobblepot, and Mooney told the two that the rumor on the street was that Jim Gordon pulled the trigger against Cobblepot, turning their investigation to Don Carmine Falcone as the one who had ordered Gordon to kill Cobblepot. She later consoles Lazlo, who is worried about her, seeing as should put Montoya and Allen onto Falcone ordering Gordon to kill Cobblepot. Afterward, she calls one of her henchmen to get rid of Lazlo, as he's "lost his spine" and tells the henchmen to tell Butch Gilzean to make Falcone's latest lover Natalia undergo an unfortunate accident. Falcone later visits Mooney, making sure there were no hard feelings from the previous night, with Fish telling him "never". The conversation then goes on, focusing on Falcone's lover Natalia being mugged, with Fish telling Falcone that she hoped whoever had done it had paid with their life, and Falcone saying that the person responsible would when they found him or her, along with anyone that helped them.
Fish began to train Liza in singing an aria to become her personal weapon, having to reprimand Liza after she began to complain. Later, the Falcone crime family gathered, and Nikolai spoke out about Maroni thinking he won by getting a piece of Arkham, suggesting that they push back against Maroni. However, Falcone told Nikolai that they wouldn't do so yet, and an argument between Fish and Nikolai began. Falcone reminded the two that they all needed each other and that they were family. Later, Fish and Nikolai shared a night of passion while reviewing their plan to bring down Falcone.
When Fish Mooney discovers that Cobblepot was still alive, after overcoming a fit of rage, she sends Butch looking for Gordon so she could talk to him. Later, Fish met with Falcone and Nikolai. Fish and Nikolai try and convince him the importance of killing Gordon, Bullock, and Penguin, though to no avail. However, he gave Fish permission to go to see Maroni to ask him to hand over Cobblepot and he'd send Victor to find Gordon. At Bamonte's Fish met with Maroni to ask for Cobblepot, as Falcone had instructed her to do. Maroni calls for Cobblepot to offer a sincere apology to Mooney for offending her, but Mooney isn't satisfied, citing that there'd be "bloodshed" instead. Fish was later present when Falcone proposed a peace agreement which allowed Maroni to keep Cobblepot in exchange for Maroni's warehouse by the river.
Liza grows to care about Falcone and asks Mooney to be released from the plan. Mooney tells Liza about a fictional story her mother was a prostitute and was eventually murdered by one of Falcone's men. Mooney tells Liza it taught her to never be weak and Liza agrees to stay committed to the plan.
Fish later receives a visit from Oswald, who smells her. Later that night, Fish Mooney and Butch Gilzean met with Kasyanov and his people to give them a pickup truck and the location of the secret vault where Falcone kept much of his money.
At her nightclub, Butch confessed to Fish that he was worried that Falcone would discover their part in the robbery of his vault, but Fish convinces him that this was the time to deliver their blow to Falcone. A few minutes later, Alfred and Bullock reach the club asking to speak to Fish, however, she only arrives after seeing Alfred subdue, then holds a knife to Butch's throat. Under the opinion that helping find Selina would counterproductive to her own personal interests Mooney initially refuses to help, however, Alfred appeals to her honorable side to convince her to get them the name of Selina's fence.
At Mooney's nightclub, Fish Mooney meets with Jimmy Saviano and Janacek, two other underlings of Don Falcone to find out how they felt after Falcone had raised their tariffs. Saviano stated that he wished something would happen to Falcone before any of them ended up like Bannion, and he asserted that he'd take over if Falcone fell as if he was next in line, to Fish's dismay. Later, Fish begins to make plans to deal with Saviano knowing that he would present an obstacle. However, Butch offers to handle the situation as him and Saviano had known each other since childhood.
Fish has Liza brought to her as part of a move on Carmine Falcone. Later, Falcone strangles Liza to death in front of Mooney, scolding Fish for using a girl with the likeness of his mother to destroy him. Falcone calls for Oswald, who relishes having the upper hand against Fish. Before Falcone has Mooney and Butch Gilzean led away to their undetermined fates, Cobblepot takes the opportunity to mockingly say goodbye to Fish.
Fish is strapped to a stretcher where Falcone's interrogator Bob will be in charge of torturing her. Butch Gilzean manages to free himself and knocks Bob unconscious, then frees Fish Mooney. Mooney tells Butch that she plans to go after Oswald Cobblepot and get her revenge by cutting his throat. Mooney and Butch Gilzean arrive at the nightclub in order to exact revenge on Cobblepot as he negotiates a plan to combine forces. When Zsasz arrives with three associates, there is a gunfight, and Mooney and Gilzean flee. Gilzean sends Mooney out the window to escape while he buys Mooney some time which ends with Gilzean getting wounded by Zsasz. At Gotham's ports, Bullock meets with Mooney where she tells Bullock that she will lay low for awhile as Bullock advises Mooney not to return to Gotham City. She declares that she will return to kill Penguin.
Trapped on Dulmacher's island
Fish calls Don Maroni, informing him that the Penguin was actually Falcone's man, and had played them both in the end run. Later at sea, Fish is attended to by the ship's' captain. The boat is later overtaken by pirates, with Mooney engaging one of them in battle when he arrived in her room.
Fish woke up in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by men fighting. She is soon approached by two men, who she gets to leave after threatening both of their lives. Fish later discovers from Kelly, that the boss of the underground prison she was being held at was run by a prisoner named Mace. She later questions Mace as to why he was the leader of the underground prison, as there were a lot of tough guys around. Fish uses her wits to bypass the security of Mace and finally get close enough to take his knife from him, assassinating him and taking his place as the head of the prison. She later announces to her fellow prisoners that there'd be order from then on, though soon after their captors entered bringing in a woman who's eyes had been removed, to everyone's horror.
Fish continued her strategically organizing of the prison. Later, having been confirmed that their captors were them for body parts Fish manages to convince the rest of the prisoners to carry out a survival strategy together acting as a real family, and if they did so, she'd get some of out of there in the end run. When the captors returned seeking out a particular prisoner and using the situation to her advantage, Fish offered to surrender the prisoner in exchange for crates of water, blankets, and fruit, but when they refuse to give them. she orders the rest of the prisoners to kill the prisoner that they had come for, as their captors needed them alive for their purposes. After being ordered by the leader of the group to come with him, Fish offered to go on the term that while she talked to the manager of the facility, he stay there, though he refused. However, the leader of the captor group returned, telling Fish that the manager agreed to her terms and that he had to stay in the basement while she went upstairs. Though before she left she asked his name, with him telling her it was Thomas Schimdt.
Fish is brought to the upper-level of the facility where she had been held captive, and after seeing various atrocities, the Manager corroborated her theory they were selling people's organs. However, when Fish discovered that the true person who ran the place Dr. Dulmacher would not meet with her because he was handling other commitments, she wanted top returned to the basement though the manager ends up offering her a bath and clean set of clothes. After her bath and changing her clothes, Fish is brought back to the manager who in an unexpected turn of events ordered his men hold to her, intending to extract her eyes and send her back to the prison to die. However, Fish not intending to let anyone take anything from her quickly used a spoon to scoop out her own left eye and crushes it to ruin the manager's plan.
Fish later meets Dr. Dulmacher who had heard about her recent actions. Mooney tells Dulmacher about her history with Falcone and wants Dulmacher to let her become his right hand. Dulmacher then tells her they couldn't find her a color match for her old eye, and tells her to rest up. After he leaves the room, Mooney gets up and to her surprise discovers a new blue eye, in her old one's place. The prolonged absence of Fish arouses the suspicion of the prisoners she promised to help, but once she returns she reveals that as a show of good faith they had to return Thomas Schmidt, and Fish motioned for several prisoners to be taken away on Dulmacher's orders. Despite the prisoners protesting, Fish reminded them that she had told them that not everyone would survive. After Fish had proved herself to him, Dr. Dulmacher welcomed her to upper management, and then showed her the view out of the window, telling her that it was the reason he wasn't worried about her escaping or betraying him. To Fish's surprise, she discovered that the facility was on a remote island.
As Dulmacher's assistant, Fish acts normal, talking to the patients, pretending to do her job. However, she then moves on to her real task, breaking a lock on a door to go outside. While doing so, the alarm goes off and she is stopped by The Catcher who warns her that the next time she made the mistake of coming outside, she'd regret it. Later in the prison, Fish informs Kelly, that she was devising a plan to escape. After she meets with the toughest prisoners, telling them of her plan to escape, and though they questioned her as to why she didn't want her friends, the injured prisoners, by her side, Fish explained that she wanted stone cold killers backing her. Fish takes advantage of Dulmacher leaving his office, to go in and steal a set of keys to the boat outside, however, before she could leave Dulmacher returned unexpectedly. Believing that she was trying to escape, he got his gun and aimed it at her. After preparing to shoot her, Fish lied revealing that she was there looking for a knife to end her life, as she would rather die than end up one of the monsters created by the Doctor, like the former office manager, who tormented her in her dreams. Putting the gun away, Dulmacher told her that if she ever tried anything like that again, he would bring her back to life and make her into something that the world had never seen before. Later, Fish quietly leads the thugs quietly to the exit. There, she commanded them to take control of the boat, while she went back for Kelly. After leaving out, the alarm is activated, but they ignore it. Back in the basement, Dulmacher appears with a metal electric rod, attending to punish her for trying to flee, but the remaining prisoners are freed and begin to beat the doctor before fleeing with Fish to the helicopter. Outside, the thugs realize that the gate is padlocked, and to their horror they are unable to open it with keys that Fish gave them, realizing that Fish betrayed them. Soon after they are gunned down by The Catcher. At the helicopter, Fish tells everyone to get in, and begins to start the helicopter up, though The Catcher manages to shoot her in the side from the ground.
Fish and her men sail back to Gotham where she attempts to outrank crime boss Salvatore Maroni and her mirror competitor Oswald Cobblepot to become the new queen of the city. Upon her return, she meets Selina Kyle and gets her and those present with her into her gang. Fish even gave Selina a new outfit and a makeover. Fish Mooney and her gang were at a warehouse that served as Carmine Falcone's safe house at the time when James Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Carmine Falcone, Oswald Cobblepot, and Butch Gilzean arrive which led to the former four being tied up. While waiting for the Maroni Crime Family to show up, Mooney was seen near Butch while asking what was done to him. When the Maroni Crime Family arrives at the safe house Maroni calls her "babes" repeatedly, which angers Fish, resulting in her shooting him in the head. A riot forms directly after. Selina Kyle makes a run for it as well as Cobblepot. After a few minutes where everyone hides and are found by Selina and those on Fish Mooney's side, Cobblepot arrives with a machine gun and ruthlessly kills Fish Mooney's gang while Selina escapes. Knowing she was outnumbered, Fish makes a run for the top of the warehouse. Cobblepot chases her and the two engage in a fight. Butch Gilzean arrives and threatens to shoot one of them. After being ordered by Oswald and Fish to shoot the other, Butch shoots them both. However, he regrets it and apologizes to Fish who accepts. Cobblepot then recovers and knocks out Butch, and pushes Fish off the warehouse into the water below.
Mooney, Indian Hill patient 13, was later revived and infused with cuttlefish DNA by Strange. Mooney seemingly had all of her memories intact, prompting Strange to deliver this news to the Court when they contacted him asking about his progress reanimating the dead. They then ordered him to move everything to a facility upstate and destroy Indian Hill. When served her food by an orderly, Mooney grabbed him and demanded that the orderly bring her a grilled cheese sandwich. As she made physical contact with him, she somehow influenced him into doing as she asked with a mysterious new power, seemingly unbeknownst to either of them. When he does, Mooney was surprised at how the orderly obeyed her.
After this, Mooney fully turns her attention towards escaping from the facility. To this end, she commandeers a bus containing several unknown Indian Hill inmates and escapes. The bus is later derailed in the street by Butch and Oswald. Fish surprises Oswald, who is mortified at the revelation that Mooney is alive. Fish renders Oswald unconscious, and Butch retreats with their men at the sight of her. She then moves off from the scene, leaving a homeless woman to unwittingly unleash the monstrosities the bus contains onto the world
After her escape Fish went into hiding for six months. She reconciled with Selina and created a third incarnation of her gang, this time using the experiments from Indian Hill. The experiments soon realised that using their powers drained their life force, and began to seek a drug hoping to help them. They went to raid a drug factory, in which Gordon (now operating as a bounty hunter) attempted to arrest Fish in order to bring her into custody, but ended up being attacked the other experiments which allowed her time to escape. Wanting to collect a bounty of Fish's head, Gordon tracked down the location of Strange's assistant Ethel Peabody to lure Fish there, knowing she would be seeking her, and also used journalist Valerie Vale knowing Fish would be watching her. Indeed Fish's crew arrived at Peabody's location and managed to capture her, with Gordon losing sight, although he managed to capture one of the monsters. Ethel was brought before Fish, who demanded that she gives her the location of Strange in hopes he can fix the side effects of her revival, as well as creating an army like her to help takeover Gotham. When Ethel is unable to provide information where Strange got incarcerated after his arrest, Fish ordered one of her gang members Marv who used his ability to drain people's youth and age them until death to kill Peabody. A young girl named Ivy Pepper (a friend of Selina's) was brought to Fish after being caught snooping around. Selina tried to assure Fish that Ivy is with her, but Ivy started threatening that she would tell on Fish. Fish ordered the girl to be killed, in which Ivy escaped only to be briefly grabbed by Marv and fall down a drain, which to the distress of Selina.
Following a fight with the Gotham City Police Department, Fish Mooney rides in a van as Nancy and Sid load Harvey Bullock into the van. After Harvey mentions that a lot of people are after her, Fish kisses Bullock to control him so that they can find Hugo Strange. Upon arriving at the location, Fish Mooney speaks to Hugo Strange. She tells Hugo Strange that she wants him to fix her and make an army. When the police are approaching, Fish suggests that Hugo Strange rethinks his answer. When calling up Nathaniel Barnes, Mooney states that he will kill Harvey if anyone comes within 20 ft. of her, turning this into a hostage crisis. The news of this is seen by Oswald Cobblepot and Butch Gilzean. Fish is then told by Hugo Strange that she is the first of a new generation. Their discussion is interrupted when Oswald and Butch lead an angry mob to the hostage crisis. When Gordon is caught by Nancy and Sid, Fish Mooney tells them to bring Gordon in. Gordon states he only came for Harvey as Fish states that she has two hostages. When Gordon states that he can get her out, Mooney states that he has two minutes.
When the angry mob breaks through, Fish and Marv escape out the back with Strange while Nancy and Sid hold off the angry mob. Cobblepot then confronts Mooney and Strange while sending Marv on his way. When asked by Cobblepot why she didn't kill him when he was vulnerable and within reach, Mooney states that he is her creation, since he was her umbrella boy and that she turned Cobblepot into Penguin, which she considered the best thing she has ever done with her life and took great pride in Penguin's creation, thus could not bring herself to kill him, since he is a part of her forever. Cobblepot gets emotional decides not to shoot Mooney and sends the two of them on their way while telling Mooney not to come back.
Professor Strange spends some time playing Fish Mooney's "nurse maid" and is eventually able to find a way of stabilizing Fish's degenerating cell structure. When Hugo's former employer's the Court of Owls summons him back to Gotham he is forced leave Fish.
Return to Gotham and Final Death
Fish returned to Gotham at an unknown time and through informants found one of Oswald's safe houses while he was being hunted by Edward Nygma and Barbara Kean. She interrupted them as they were about to take Oswald into their custody, realizing who she was they backed off from the Penguin and she dragged him off herself to a yet unknown location and with an unknown purpose. Fish joins forces with Cobblepot and Strange to create an antidote and hold the city to ransom. An infected Gordon shows up and attacks Mooney, accidentally impaling her with a sword and destroying the antidote. With her dying breath, Fish tells a grieving Cobblepot that she had died too many times already and to either take Gotham for his own or burn it to the ground.
Fish Mooney, for the most part, is a calm woman with a level-headed attitude and nurturing, almost motherly aura which she treats with her loyal henchmen, such as Butch Gilzean and close friends, allowing them to call her by her first name. However, Fish has demonstrated a vicious and uncontrollable temper when provoked. In these instances she is even more violent and sadistic, like a mother whose children betrays her, Fish becomes deeply hurt to the point of screaming towards Cobblepot that "[he] broke [her] heart" after discovering of his deceit. Using her cunning, ruthlessness and feminine wiles, Fish is an ambitious climber who wants all power for herself, whether it be Falcone's position in the criminal or the leader of the Dollmaker's victims in captivity by killing her opponents, systematically and efficiently.
Although intelligent, Fish is highly impulsive which, combined with a volatile temper can also affect the headway of her plans or position. She could be spiteful to those in her disfavour, prone to holding grudges and was known to never let any insult or slight pass. Namely, Fish hated being belittled for being a woman crime lord, especially by a man due to her hatred of men in general as she reacted with even more fury when she was demeaned by the prisoner leader, Mace and Sal Maroni, killing both immediately when they referred to her in sexist and objectifying names.
The incident with Dollmaker also demonstrates Fish as a determined and strong-willed woman, without her crime empire and men to help her, she began relying her wit and will to survive, eventually return to Gotham and rebuild her crime empire with Sal Maroni and defend what is hers to her final breath in a fight to the death with Penguin. Despite her original rivalry with Oswald, she takes great pride in transforming Oswald Cobblepot into the Penguin, his could not bring herself to kill him, as she valued creating him and considers it the best thing she has ever done in her life.
Fish is a short woman, with a spiky pixie cut black hair and hot pink-dyed tips at the front. She wears very high heels or boots that make her appear taller, along with dangling earrings and expensive clothing and glittery/shiny eyeshadow, usually golden in color, and has very long and thick eyelashes. After gouging out her left eyeball, it was replaced with a blue one by Francis Dulmacher, giving her two distinctive eye colors.
Powers and abilities
- Mind control: After her resurrection, Fish developed the ability to order someone what to do against their will with a touch of her hand. (cured by Hugo Strange)
- Cellular degeneration: Every time Mooney uses her power, her DNA deteriorates due to her body rejecting the new cells. However, the damage can be undone by not using her powers. Hugo Strange later cured her of this disability through unknown methods.
- Fish Mooney was created exclusively for the TV series as a character to further The Penguin's story and doesn't originate from the comics in any form. She is the first original Gotham character and it is currently unknown if she will be implemented into mainstream comics.
- Pinkett-Smith drew inspiration from various different individuals; the fictional character, Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star from the 1950's film, Sunset Boulevard, played by Gloria Swanson, and Griselda Blanco, a real-life drug lord of the Medellín Cartel.