By Theresa Bane
There have been all kinds of gangsters and mob bosses who have appeared in pop-culture over the years, but I don’t think anyone has bothered to compare and contrast “Gentleman” Johnny Marcone and HBO’s Tony Soprano.
In Jim Butcher’s series, “The Dresden Files,” there is a recurring character who is a mob boss in the city of Chicago. In the short story “Even Hand,” which takes place between “Turn Coat” and “Changes,” the narrator begins the story saying, “My name is something I rarely trouble to remember, but for most of my adult life, I have been called John Marcone.” The newspapers have dubbed him with the nickname “Gentleman” because no matter the situation, he is always calm, collected, and polite.
Apart from being a powerful criminal element in the city of Chicago, Marcone has also gathered a great deal of information about the supernatural. He personally met with Dresden to see if he was “the real deal” and after exchanging a soul gaze, never doubted Harry’s magical capabilities or commitment again. Marcone has even called upon and tried to hire the private detective to combat the supernatural forces reducing his profit margin or causing undo attention to be turned in the direction of his criminal enterprise. As the novels go on, Marcone becomes more and more entrenched in the magical realm, utilizing this knowledgeable asset to his best advantage.