Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rupert Thorne

Rupert Thorne is a fictional character, a crime boss and enemy of Batman in the DC Comics universe. Created by Steve Englehart and Walter Simonson, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #469.

Thorne is introduced as a corrupt politician being blackmailed by Doctor Phosphorus into turning the city against Batman. After Phosphorus is defeated, Thorne persuades his fellow city councilors to declare Batman an outlaw. He attempts to gain complete control of Gotham City by becoming Mayor.

Thorne is one of three criminals who makes a bid at a secret auction for Batman's identity held by Professor Hugo Strange. He captures and tortures Strange to make him divulge it. Strange resists, however, and apparently dies in the process. Even though he has the body disposed of, Thorne is literally haunted by strange visions and sounds of Strange.

After failing in his campaign against Batman and spending some time in hiding, he secretly returns to Gotham. (Detective Comics #507, October 1981) He gets the corrupt Hamilton Hill elected as Mayor, and then has his puppet fire Police Commissioner James Gordon in favor of Peter Pauling, who is on Thorne's payroll. Thorne finally identifies Bruce Wayne as Batman after acquiring photos of him changing costume from reporter Vicki Vale. Thorne then hires Deadshot to kill Wayne. Deadshot is unsuccessful, however. Meanwhile, Thorne is still haunted by the ghost of Hugo Strange, who is revealed to have faked his death and tormented Thorne with experiments designed to simulate ghostly experiences. Thorne becomes convinced that Hill and Pauling are plotting against him and trying to drive him insane. Thorne kills Pauling but is eventually apprehended by Batman.

Thorne makes a return appearance in Detective Comics #825 (cover-dated January 2007, released November 2006). This was his first major comics appearance in decades, and his first appearance in the Post-Crisis DC universe. He is shown incarcerated in Blackgate Penitentiary when Doctor Phosphorus makes an attempt on his life, one that Batman prevents.

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