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"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."
—Paul Cicero to his son Jerome Valeska[src]

Paul Cicero was a Fortune Teller at Haly's Circus, and the biological father of Jeremiah and Jerome Valeska.

Biography

Background

He had an affair with Lila Valeska resulting in a pregnancy. The babies were identical twins named Jerome and Jeremiah. Years later when the circus visited Kansas City, Cicero approached a crying nine-year-old Jerome Valeska (who had just been beaten by his mother and her boyfriend). Cicero asked Jerome what was wrong and Jerome revealed he was being beaten, so Cicero told him the world didn't care for him and it was better that he realized that now.[1]

Lila Valeska's death

After Jerome Valeska murdered his mother, Lila Valeska, Cicero allowed the use of his truck to discard the murder weapon and rework it to appear as if a satanic cult had performed it. Not long after, Lila's body was found and the entirety of Haly's Circus were arrested and taken to the Gotham City Police Department. Cicero approached Detective James Gordon and Leslie Thompkins. He claimed to have contacted Lila from beyond the grave, giving the message that the "servant of the Devil [lay] in the garden of the Iron Sisters". This led Thompkins and Gordon to Gotham Bridge, where they found the hatchet inscribed with markings of the Hellfire Club on it. Suspicious of numerous people, Gordon had Cicero, among others, brought to the precinct. Jim was able to determine that Paul was covering for someone, eventually determined to be Jerome, and the boy was brought in. In doing this, the detective also determined that Jerome was in fact, his biological son, which he initially denied, but quickly admitted to it to save himself a needle for a blood test to prove he was the father. This leads to Jerome doubting it at first, until Cicero asked him if he ever wondered why he helped. Having a mental breakdown, Jerome starts to laugh maniacally at this fact while Cicero watches on with a worried expression on his face.[2]

Cicero left the circus and remained in Gotham City, where he began to send letters to his son, who was imprisoned at Arkham Asylum.[1]

Death

After the breakout at Arkham that caused the escape of Jerome and several other inmates, Jerome and Tabitha Galavan hunted Cicero down. Cicero's house was located by Jerome and he was killed and stabbed in the eye.[1]

Legacy

Prior to his death, Paul made a prophecy that Jerome would be a curse upon Gotham. Though Jerome was killed by Theo Galavan that same night, Paul’s prophecy came true as his actions inspired others to become as crazy as him and the Cult of Jerome was formed. However, the true meaning of the prophecy could have referred to the resurrected Jerome turning his own twin brother, Jeremiah Valeska insane, so that even though Jerome died a second time; his curse still remained upon Gotham due to his brother being his sucesssor.

Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Season 4

Notes

  • Mark Margolis played Felix Faust on Constantine, another DC-Comics-produced show.
  • Paul seemed to genuinely be psychic as he forsaw the legacy of madness that would form the Cult of Jerome.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stephens, John (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (October 5, 2015). "Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 3. FOX.
  2. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Hunter, Jeffrey (director) (February 16, 2015). "The Blind Fortune Teller". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 16. FOX.