- "You're a smart monkey, but you're a monkey, and I'm the zookeeper."
- —Salvatore Maroni to Oswald Cobblepot[src]
Maroni is the don or boss of the Maroni crime family, and, despite being considerably feared and powerful, is known as the second to Falcone at the beginning of the series.
War with Falcone
Maroni makes a power play for the new development at the Arkham Asylum site, and even contracts Richard Gladwell to take out the Mayor, Aubrey James. Maroni catches Cobblepot snooping on the job and tells him to mind his own business. Maroni's restaurant is raided by masked attackers, who try to rob it. Cobblepot saves most of the money, and Maroni promotes him to manager - unaware that Cobblepot himself had instigated the robbery. The upshot is that, in an attempt to appease both sides in the power struggle, Mayor James puts forward a hybrid plan, giving Don Falcone a low-income housing area to build, but granting Maroni the rights he wanted to waste disposal.
Sal Maroni makes plans to rob a casino owned by Carmine Falcone. Carmine Falcone meets with the mob leaders on his side to detail about what to do with Sal Maroni. Sal Maroni later watches the news of the "Viper" drug when he thinks that they might be of good use. Oswald tells Sal Maroni that he knows the janitor there that might be of help to them. Sal Maroni claims that "Penguin" is a good name for him. Oswald later tells Sal Maroni that his real name and how he used to work for Fish Mooney until Carmine Falcone's men tried to kill him. Sal Maroni then pins Oswald's head to the table. Sal Maroni later sends his right-hand man to pick up James Gordon at the police station where Sal Maroni wants to see him about Oswald Cobblepot. James Gordon is brought to Sal Maroni at his restaurant where he wants to get confirmation about Oswald's story about Carmine Falcone to determine who is telling the truth. Sal Maroni hears from Jim Gordon about his investigation on Thomas and Martha Wayne and how he covered up Oswald's death to fool Carmine Falcone, Fish Mooney, and the Gotham City Police Department. Sal Maroni sees that Oswald is right and spares his life while letting James Gordon go. Sal Maroni instructs James Gordon to keep their meeting private and that he might call on him again. After James Gordon leaves, Sal Maroni plans to use Oswald Cobblepot in his fight against Carmine Falcone. Later that night, Oswald and Sal await their men to come back from their heist at the casino. Upon the heist being complete, Sal has Frankie drive off.
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. Later, Maroni was given an idea by Penguin on a blow that could be carried out against Falcone. After the several deaths, Falcone and Maroni decided to meet at the port to iron out their differences. They offered each other condolences for the deaths on each other's side. Falcone proposed a peace agreement which allowed Maroni to keep Cobblepot in exchange for Maroni's warehouse by the river. After receiving the advice of Penguin, Maroni decided to give Falcone the Indian Hill waste disposal site.
Maroni arrives at the GCPD, revealing he had Penguin locked up in order to teach him a lesson in humility, after trying to raise the Fisherman's taxes without asking him first.
At Bamonte's, Oswald persuades Don Maroni to let him leave so that he can visit Falcone only for the restaurant to be attacked by the Electrocutioner. Later, Gordon and Bullock speak to Maroni about Buchinsky and want to use him as bait for the Electrocutioner. Penguin temporarily wakes up and cites that he has business with Falcone. At the GCPD, Maroni later asks Penguin about what he said, though Penguin swears he has no business with Falcone. Maroni is later saved from Buchinsky by Gordon, who defeats the latter.
Don Maroni and the Penguin celebrate after the latter tells Maroni about the defeat of Fish Mooney at the hands of Falcone. However, Maroni receives a surprise call from Fish informing him that the Penguin was actually Falcone's man, and had played them both in the end run. That information, coupled with Maroni's doubts incited Maroni to take Cobblepot with him on a trip with him to the country. Maroni takes Penguin to a cabin in the country, and during breakfast, he shares his suspicions about the death of Frankie Carbone, and how Falcone snatched up Indian Hill which he had traded for Penguin's life, despite it being worthless. When Maroni finally exposes his distrust of Penguin after being called by Fish Mooney, Penguin, takes the gun out to shoot him. Unfortunately for Cobblepot the gun was full of blanks, and Maroni then proceeded to knock him unconscious. Maroni goes to see Penguin crushed in a car compactor at Duffy's Salvage and dismisses Penguin's begging, citing that listening to Penguin is what got him in that predicament in the first place. Penguin telephones Maroni to beg for his life and tells him whoever controls Indian Hill and Arkham controlled Gotham. However, Maroni once again ignores Penguin's pleas, and Cobblepot is forced to call the Duffy, the operator of the crusher and warns him that Falcone knew of his current predicament and that if he didn't stop the compactor Falcone would be sending a team to skin him alive, and slaughter his family. Effectively frightened, Duffy stops the machine and escapes before the astonished gaze of Maroni, while the Penguin uses the opportunity to flee the salvage yard.
Maroni visits Falcone to address the issue of Penguin. Despite wanting revenge against him, he decides to leave him alive after Falcone gives shows him Judge Stanley Turnball who Falcone had abducted when he had been out with a younger man. Having the Judge whipped, while his torturer took pictures, much to Maroni's amusement. Later at Oswalds', Maroni Visits Penguin much to his surprise, there the Don makes his intentions clear to not hurt Penguin, due to a deal he made with Falcone. However he warns him that the second Falcone was out of the picture, so was he.
Maroni and his men visited Oswalds'. Maroni sat next to Ms. Kapelput and, to the chagrin of her son, he continues flirting with her. After a few drinks, Don Maroni takes Gertrud's face in his hands and questions her to whether she acted as if she didn't really know about Cobblepot's true nature, or whether she was really that stupid. He then tells her of all the horrible acts Penguin had committed, and soon after left, paying his bill and remarking that the place was looking good.
Maroni forms an alliance with former crime boss Fish Mooney upon her return to Gotham, with the plan to kill Carmine Falcone and for them to rule Gotham. During the mob war Maroni forms an alliance with police commissioner Gillian Loeb and sends his men to kill Falcone who is in hospital. However this plan is stopped by Jim Gordon, who saves Falcone and escapes the hospital with him, Harvey Bullock, Oswald Cobblepot and Butch Gilzean in an ambulance. But later they are captured by Fish and her gang at Falcone's warehouse and are tied up. Maroni arrives with his men and is pleased. But things go wary when Maroni begins to foolishly make sexist remarks towards Fish, and although insisting he is only joking he continues to jibe her and refer to her as "babes". Having had enough, Fish shoots Maroni in the head, killing him instantly and causing a firefight to break out between the two factions.
Though Maroni treated his men well and paid loyalty in kindness, he had no concerns exerting dominance over minions by reminding them of their rank; even though he respected Penguin for his cunning, Maroni still put him in his place by claiming he was "a monkey" nonetheless and that he was "the zookeeper". He treated the members of his criminal organisations like family, becoming deeply enraged when Penguin was revealed as a traitor and attempting to avenge Frankie Carbarone, another member whom Cobblepot had killed. Jim Gordon described Maroni as a "young hot-head" who was not a suitable replacement for Falcone. Despite the arrogance he displayed occasionally, Maroni seemed to respect the chain of command within Gotham and perhaps, Falcone himself as on Falcone's orders he spared Penguin but vowed to kill him the second that Falcone died. Unfortunately, Maroni's arrogance did eventually get the better of him, as when he repeatedly made mysogonistic comments towards Fish Mooney she shot him in the head.
Despite being a criminal, he seems to have a sense of morals as he has Oswald locked up for the night for raising taxes on fishermen, and acknowledges that they risk their lives out on the ocean, a fact that he berates Oswald over.
- The character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. He first appeared in Detective Comics #66 (August 1942). Sal Maroni is a rival of Carmine Falcone and known for disfiguring Harvey Dent with acid during Sal Maroni's trial.