This article is about a fictional subject in the Wild Cards universe that has a non-fiction inspiration. For an article on Wikipedia about the real world subject, see Wikipedia:Five Families.
Biographical Information
Official NameMafia
AliasesThe Five Families
TypeCrime syndicate
Operational Information
Place of FormationNew York City
First AppearanceWild Cards

The Mafia are a fictional group of criminal families in the Wild Cards series of books.


The Mafia of New York City established themselves as a leading criminal conspiracy more than a decade before the events of Wild Card Day. Originating from Italian Mafia gangs, they quickly assumed control of most of the higher gang-related criminal activities, running everything from extortion rackets, to gambling and prostitution. Five families emerged as the primary component parts of the New York Mafia, with the Gambione Family leading the other four.

In the years following Wild Card Day, the Five Families largely ignored the advent of the wild card virus and continued their operation as they had traditionally done for years. While gangs outside of Mafia control occasionally made use of ace powers, the manpower of the Mafia remained firmly entrenched in nats.

In 1972, the young heiress to the leadership of the Mafia Rosa Maria Gambione, changed her name to Rosemary Muldoon in a bid to break away from the criminal thugs who she had no taste for. Having studied law, she gained a job as an intern for the New York City Social Services Department, and by 1986 had become an assistant district attorney. It was at this time she seized control of the Gambione Family and embarked on a daring double-life as a lawyer publicly, and as an unseen crime boss secretly. Her intent was to steer the Mafia to more benign pursuits, but ultimately this dream failed due to the inherent nature of thuggery of many of the Mafiosi.

The Mafia's reign in New York came to an end with the rising power of the Shadow Fist Society. By 1987 the Shadow Fists had long been the dominant criminal power in Jokertown and Chinatown, and had further expanded their power on the strength of the numerous wild carders at their disposal. A gang war lasting for months erupted between the Shadow Fists and the Mafia, and even with Rosemary's government and law connections drawing in aces of own and from SCARE, the Mafia were behind from the outset. By mid-1987, the Shadow Fists had successfully assassinated four of the five Dons, and Muldoon had been publicly outed as having Mafia connections. She accepted their offer of $200,000 and went into exile in Cuba where the Gambione Family still had a powerful stake, effectively ending all Mafia activity in New York City.

Five FamiliesEdit

The Five Families and their known leaders:

Selected ReadingEdit

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