Dragos Ibanescu

There’s still one (identified) member of The Quadrant who comes directly from the comics, in the last episode of Arrow. The four leaders of the country’s most powerful cartel include also Dragos Ibanescu, a Romanian gangster comics readers know. Portrayed by Peter Ciuffa, Ibanescu doesn’t do anything, but considering his new business relationship with Ricardo Diaz it’s more than likely that we’ll see more of him and of his colleagues. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look to this secondary villain, who operates in a very known city in the DC Universe

Dragos Ibanescu was born somewhere in Romania, the heir of a powerful criminal family. He moved to the United States as a young man wanting to expand his family business, and he settled in Gotham City, the national capital of crime. He held the facade of a sophisticated and respectable businessman, all the while running his true job: in a city full of competition like Gotham, he managed to find a niche market in organizing illegal dog fights, but he also imported prostitutes from East Europe and managed a human trafficking racket. Along with his right-hand man Curt Harris, Ibanescu earned a fortune from the dog fights, but not all his subordinates were as trustworthy as Curt: one of the latest addition to his team, Guillermo Duran, hired to train the dogs and make them constantly angry by torturing them, was reckless and brutal, something that inevitably obtained unwanted attention. As one of Ibanescu’s girls, Virna, was killed by Guillermo after she tried to escape, her death brought to the crime lord’s lair in the East End three unwanted guests: private eye Slam Bradley, who had been investigating on him, and the duo formed by Catwoman and Holly Robinson, who had been warned of Virna’s death by the Alleytown Kids. While Ibanescu sent his men to deal with Slam, Catwoman confronted Guillermo, and when Ibanescu saw that he was about to lose the fight, he shot him, having him torn to pieces by his own dogs. Believing to have satisfied Catwoman by killing the murderer she was after, Ibanescu told her to leave, but the vigilante hit him with her whip, making him stay still until the GCPD arrived and arrested him. Not exactly the brilliant future he had in mind.

Dragos Ibanescu resurfaced years later, having managed to get out of prison (most likely not in a legal way). Quite paradoxically, Batman‘s crusade against crime had been so efficient that now most super-freaks were behind bars either in Arkahm Asylum or in Blackgate Prison, so the old crime families had room enough to claim back the power that used to be theirs. Ibanescu took advantage of the situation like everyone else, and took back the East End as his territory. He also gained a new partner in the pirate Tiger Shark, albeit their relationship didn’t last long due to some disagreement. Of course, as the families had come to power once again, Batman targeted them as well, and Ibanescu’s business weren’t immune: both the Dark Knight and Catwoman had attacked his men in the East Side, and at top of irony, they weren’t even looking for him, they were actually hunting Hush, who they believed was using Ibanescu as a pawn. On top of that, Ibanescu was summoned by Gotham Child Services, who delivered him a girl, his niece: Jade McKillen, a former subordinate of Killer Croc‘s, and the legitimate heir of the McKillen crime family. Trying to solve one problem at the time, Ibanescu first investigated on Hush, and managed at least to divert Batman’s attention by proving that the weapons the criminal had been using to fund a gang war didn’t come from his business. When he learnt that Jade was actually a friend of Catwoman, who he still held a grudge against, he tried to give the girl to his former business partner Louis “Bone” Ferryman, using her family name as currency, and pointing out that she knew where to find Catwoman (also Ferryman wanted her dead). Bone accepted the offer, and he and Ibanescu forced the girl to reveal the location of Catwoman, which they reached…without knowing that Killer Croc was on the run, looking for Jade, whom he wanted back. The scenario promised to escalate rapidly…

Dragos Ibanescu is a ruthless and greedy man, devoid of the most basic human empathy. He sees everything and anyone as a possible source for profit, and doesn’t care if someone dies in the process of making money for him. He doesn’t get his own hands dirty, and prefers to have others do everything for him, but he likes to think of himself as a great boss and an efficient businessman. Arrogance, however, is a sin that eventually punishes itself…

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