Rupert Thorne was an influential city councilman from Gotham City. During an incident involving the disfigured scientist "Alex Sartorius" (Doctor Phosphorus), Thorne turned his attention on Batman. He vocally decried the efforts of the Dark Knight Detective, as well as lobbied to have his vigilante tactics outlawed. His efforts brought him to the attention of criminal scientist Professor Hugo Strange. Strange had long ago divulged the Batman's secret identity - a crucial piece of information, which Thorne believed would aid him in apprehending him. To this end, he captured Hugo Strange, subjectecting him to torturous interrogation, ultimately resulting in the latter's death. For several weeks following Strange’s apparent demise, Thorne was haunted by the Professor's spectral apparition.
During this time, Thorne was approached by the Joker who terrorized Thorne in a public restroom, hoping to determine whether or not Thorne had learned Batman's secret identity. Satisfied that Thorne knew nothing, the Joker let him be.
In the hopes of escaping the strange apparition, Thorne decided to travel west through Ohio. Along the way, he picked up the hitchiking Silver St. Cloud, but kicked her out of his vehicle when he learned that Silver was a Batman sympathizer.
His failure to expose Batman and his experiences with Strange forced Thorne to abandon the political arena and go into hiding. He resurfaced several months later, but continued to manipulate Gotham City's political climate. He managed to negotiate one of his cronies, Hamilton Hill, into the position of Gotham City Mayor. Through Hill, Thorne was able to fire Commissioner James Gordon – one of the few elected officials who openly supported the Batman. Gordon was replaced with another Thorne "yes-man", Peter Pauling.
Rupert later came into contact with Gotham Gazette reporter Vicki Vale. Through Vicki, Thorne was able to acquire photographs proving that Batman is in fact millionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne. Determined to take down Batman once and for all, Thorne hired Deadshot to murder Wayne. However, he never revealed to him that Wayne was actually Batman. Deadshot attempted to fulfill the contract, but was soundly defeated by the Dark Knight.
A short time later, Professor Hugo Strange resurfaced alive and well. He had apparently faked his demise and had turned towards using psychotropic drugs to convince Thorne that it was his ghost that had been haunting him. Strange continued to torment Rupert, driving him nearly to the brink of insanity. In a haze of paranoia, Thorne mistakenly believed that Mayor Hill and Commissioner Pauling were attempting to kill him. He murdered Peter Pauling and was summarily apprehended by the Batman. Following his arrest, Thorne began serving a sentence at Blackgate Penitentiary.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 34 Appearances of Rupert Thorne (New Earth)
- 3 Images featuring Rupert Thorne (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Rupert Thorne (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Rupert Thorne (New Earth)
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