|First appearance||Detective Comics #469 (May 1977)|
|Created by||Steve Englehart (writer)|
Walter Simonson (artist)
Rupert Thorne is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a crime boss and enemy of Batman.
Created by Steve Englehart and Walter Simonson, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #469.
Thorne is introduced as a corrupt politician involved in organized crime, 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 running for Mayor, but fails.
Thorne is one of three criminals (the other two being the Penguin and the Joker) who make a bid at Hugo Strange's secret auction for Batman's secret identity. He kidnaps and tortures Strange to force him to divulge it rather than lose the auction. Strange resists, however, and apparently dies in the process. Even though he has the body disposed of, Thorne is haunted by eerie sounds and visions of Strange.
After failing in his campaign against Batman and spending some time in hiding, he secretly returns to Gotham. He gets the corrupt Hamilton Hill elected as mayor and orders him to 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 into his costume from reporter Vicki Vale. Thorne then hires Deadshot to kill Wayne. Deadshot is unsuccessful, however, but before Thorne can deal with his enemy, he begins to succumb to Strange's manipulations; the professor is revealed to have faked his death and tormented Thorne with devices designed to simulate ghostly experiences. Thorne becomes paranoid, convinced that Hill and Pauling are plotting against him and trying to drive him insane. He shoots Pauling dead but is eventually apprehended by Batman and brought to justice.
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 a vengeful Doctor Phosphorus makes an attempt on his life, one that Batman prevents.
In the pages of Batman: Three Jokers, Rupert Thorne is shown to be incarcerated at Blackgate Penitentiary at the time when Batman goes to visit Joe Chill.
In the year 1891 of Gotham by Gaslight, a Gotham City Council member named Thorne is selected as the new Mayor of Gotham City following the death of Mayor Tolliver.
In the comic prequel Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Rupert Thorne appears when mobster Lew Moxon attends a meeting of the other crime lords in Gotham. During the meeting, it is revealed that Thorne and Moxon have been friends since childhood and that they started their criminal careers together. Moxon reveals that he knows Thorne betrayed him by stealing money from his prostitution business and, following an unwritten code of conduct, Thorne atones for his crime by taking out his gun and shooting himself.