Rupert Thorne was a criminal overlord who resided in Gotham City.
Rupert Thorne muscled his way into Gotham City and quickly took control over the majority of the crime syndicate. Though his criminal deeds were well known to the populace, the corruption within the Gotham justice system kept Thorne in his penthouse and the police off of his back. His brother, Matthew Thorne, lost his medical license after he removed a bullet from Rupert without reporting it to the police. As a result, Matthew was given a position in his brother's organization as a crime doctor.
Rupert's intrusion in the city caused problems for Arnold Stromwell, the aging leader of a rival organization. Though he fought diligently to protect what he'd made, Stromwell eventually lost out to Thorne. The conflict between the two finally erupted when Arnold's son, Joey went missing. Upon confrontation, Thorne attempted to kill Stromwell by means of an explosive-trapped restaurant, but he was saved by Batman. Thorne later ambushed a meeting between Stromwell and his brother Michael, but was stopped by Batman. Michael and Batman both convinced Stromwell to retire from his life of crime, turn himself into the police, and cooperate with the authorities to incriminate Thorne.
Difficulty arose for Thorne, however, when District Attorney, Harvey Dent began pressuring the system to arrest him. Fueled by his desire to get re-elected, Dent aggressively pursued Thorne's case. However, Thorne acquired the District Attorney's psychiatric medical files and learned that Dent was seriously mentally ill with a barely controlled case of multiple personality disorder. He used this information on the Dent's moment of reelection victory to blackmail the D.A. The overflowing anger at Thorne's threats and his gang's taunts brought Dent's alter ego, "Big Bad Harv", to the surface, and he attacked Thorne. As Thorne fled the scene with Dent in pursuit, a henchman shot and destroyed a vat of chemicals, which scarred the left half of Dent's body. The accident hit on multiple levels: scarred physically and emotionally, Dent became Two-Face, a villain who was driven by chance and luck.
His public career lost, Two-Face set out to destroy everything that Thorne had made, before finally ruining the mobster himself. After Two-Face had destroyed various clubs, Thorne put a $2 million hit on the man—one million for each face. Though Two-Face had acquired Thorne's criminal file in an attempt to blackmail Thorne the same way that he had blackmailed Two-Face, Thorne was one step ahead and his henchmen outnumbered Two-Face who was forced to surrender. Fortunately, Batman intervened and a struggle ensued. Thorne was trapped by a falling chandelier and almost executed but Batman talked Two-Face out of it, and both Thorne and Two-Face were arrested.
When Spider Conway was transferred to Gotham to testify in court, Thorne became a prime suspect in the bombing of the holding-boat and abduction of Conway. Thorne revealed to Batman, however, that Conway did not have substantial evidence to imprison him and wasn't concerned about the small time crook. Thorne hadn't lied: the true culprit behind the kidnapping was Killer Croc, who harbored a vendetta against Conway, Joey the Snail, and Detective Harvey Bullock.
When Sidney Debris supposedly killed Batman, Gotham's seedy underside turned against the helpless man. Debris turned to Thorne for help, but Thorne believed the crook was trying to set him up and muscle him out of Gotham. In a way, he suspected correctly, for Batman had actually survived and used Debris to find the leader of the drug ring.
Months later, a tumor in his heart began aggravating him. Thorne's brother, Matthew couldn't handle the operation alone and Thorne refused to visit a hospital, fearing that he would never leave alive, so he had Leslie Thompkins kidnapped to assist. The operation was successful, but Thorne planned to kill Thompkins afterward. Matt forsook his brother's assistance, and he and Leslie escape with some help from Batman.
Thorne was eventually arrested at a contraband warehouse and his cover blown by Batman and corrupt officer, Gil Mason, whose informant was Throne's old nemesis Two-Face.
Once out of prison, Thorne brought Bane to Gotham, and hired the hit-man to take out Batman. While Bane was effective at his job, he also became interested in Gotham's crime syndicate, and some of Thorne's accomplices began providing the information to proceed. However, Bane was unable to finish the job: he was arrested, and Thorne found himself re-evaluating his "friends".
Thorne was later suspected of kidnapping Harvey Dent, who was hoping to restore his face, from the hospital. When Robin questioned him, Thorne just laughed and ordered his men to remove him.
Abilities and Equipment
Rupert Thorne had no unnatural abilities to speak of. He was a successful criminal kingpin, and very adept at keeping his public image clean enough to alleviate most evidence that could incriminate him. As a crime overlord, he had several bodyguards frequently at his disposal, as well as numerous henchmen.
Like most criminals, Thorne typically sported some type of firearm, usually a pistol.
In the DC comics, Rupert Thorne was a corrupt city councilor who used Hamilton Hill as a puppet, and used him to remove James Gordon and replace him with Pete Pauling. He also learned that Hugo Strange had discovered Batman's identity, and believed that he had accidentally killed him while torturing Strange for the information. In reality, Strange faked his death and used chemicals to make Thorne believe that Batman was trying to kill him. After he learned of Batman's identity, Thorne hired Deadshot to kill Bruce Wayne (without telling him that Wayne was Batman). Thorne was eventually arrested when he killed Pauling in a delirium induced by Strange.
Thorne's image received a relatively minor revamp from Batman: The Animated Series to Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. The character looked more-or-less the same, apart from losing weight. However, his character frequently sported a deck of cards that he shuffled and handled during his meetings, negotiations, and such.
- "It's Never Too Late"
- "The Man Who Killed Batman"
- "Paging the Crime Doctor"
- "Shadow of the Bat, Part I"
- "Shadow of the Bat, Part II" (Mentioned Only)
- "Second Chance"