Rupert Thorne was a criminal overlord residing 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 his back. His brother, Matt Thorne lost his medical license after removing a bullet from Rupert without reporting to the police. His 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.
Difficulty arose for Thorne, however, when District Attorney Harvey Dent began pressuring the system to arrest Thorne. 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 is seriously mentally ill with a barely controlled case of multiple personality disorder. The gangster used this information on the Dent's moment of reelection victory to blackmail Dent. The overflowing anger at Thorne's threats and his gang's taunts brought Dent's alter ego, "Big Bad Harv," to the surface, and Dent attacked Thorne. As Thorne fled the scene with Harv in tow, a henchman shot and destroyed a vat of chemicals, scarring the left half of Harvey Dent's body. The accident hit on multiple levels: scarred physically and emotionally, Harvey Dent became Two-Face, a villain driven by chance and luck.
His public career lost, Two-Face set out to destroy everything Thorne had made, before finally ruining the mobster himself. After Two-Face destroyed various clubs, Thorne put a $2 million hit on the man - one million for each face. Though Two-Face acquired Thorne's criminal file in an attempt to blackmail Thorne the same way he had blackmailed Two-Face, Thorne was one step ahead, and blackmailed the villain. A struggle ensued, but in the end Two-Face was 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, harboring 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. His brother Matthew (who had become an underground doctor) couldn't handle the operation alone and Thorne refused to visit a hospital (fearing he wouldn't leave), 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 escaped (with some help from Batman).
Rupert Thorne was eventually arrested at a contraband warehouse, his cover blown by corrupt officer Gil Mason.
Some time later, Thorne (out of prison) brought Bane to Gotham, hiring 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".
Abilities and Equipment
Rupert Thorne has no unnatural abilities to speak of. He's a successful crime kingpin, and very adept at keeping his public image clean enough to alleviate most evidence that could incriminate him. As a crime overlord, he has several bodyguards frequently at his disposal, as well as numerous henchmen.
Like most criminals, Thorne typically sports some type of firearm, usually a pistol.
In the DC comics, Rupert Thorne was a corrupt city councillor who used Hamilton Hill as a puppet, using him to remove James Gordon and replace him with Pete Gulling. He also learned that Hugo Strange had discovered Batman's identity, and believed he accidently 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. Learning of Batman's identiy, Thorne hired Deadshot to kill Bruce Wayne (without telling him that Wayne was Batman). Thorne was eventually arrested when he killed Gulling in a delirium induced by Strange.
Although DC comics Thorne was connected with the Mob, he was never as powerful as DCAU Thorne. This character is more in line with Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and Salvatore "The Boss" Maroni, the two major Mob bosses in Gotham City (Maroni was also the one responsible for throwing acid into Harvey Dent's face, in open court).
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; however, the 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"
- "Second Chance"