All men have something to hide. The brighter the picture, the darker the negative.
~ Thorne directing his men to spy on Harvey Dent

Rupert Thorne is 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's appearance was based on the likeness of the actor Carroll O'Connor.


He is a recurring antagonist, along with his assistant Candace, in the TV series Batman: The Animated Series, a supporting antagonist in the 2003 movie Batman: Mystery of Batwoman, and a recurring antagonist in the TV series The Batman.


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.

In other media

DC Animated Universe

Rupert Thorne DCAU 001.jpg

Rupert Thorne appears as a recurring villain in Batman: The Animated Series voiced by the late John Vernon. He appears at several points throughout the series to virtually control Gotham's criminal underworld. Thorne first appears in the two-part episode "Two-Face", in which he was responsible for district attorney Harvey Dent's transformation into the arch-criminal Two-Face (replacing Sal Maroni). Thorne blackmails Dent with his psychological records, threatening to tell the press that the young DA suffers from multiple personality disorder unless he stops prosecuting his henchmen. Enraged, Dent "switches" into his alternate, violent personality and chases Thorne into a nearby chemical processing plant, where an explosion permanently disfigures the left side of Dent's body and leaves his evil personality in permanent control. Dent (now calling himself "Two-Face") later seeks revenge on Thorne. He first attacks fronts for Thorne's criminal activities with his gang, then steals a file with enough information to ruin the crime boss. With the help of a reluctant Batman, Two-Face succeeds in capturing Thorne, although both Thorne and Two-Face are arrested as the former DA is just barely stopped from killing Thorne.

Thorne's next appearance is in the following episode "It's Never Too Late" (which was the first episode featuring Thorne in the series' original broadcast order on Fox Kids) in which he is at war with a rival mob boss Arnold Stromwell (whom he plots to ambush and kill in a bar explosion during a parley). Batman saves Stromwell in time and persuades Stromwell to give up his life of crime and help to bring Thorne down. Thorne corners Stromwell and his estranged brother Michael and almost kills them before being knocked out by Batman and left for the police.

In "Vendetta", Batman suspects Thorne of abducting "Spider" Conway and interrogates him in his greenhouse.

In the episode "The Man who Killed Batman", the titular character Sidney Debris begs Thorne to smuggle him out of Gotham to escape from many people on both sides of the law. Sidney recounts his story which started with his role in Thorne's failed drug racket and ended with a near-fatal encounter with Joker. Thorne refuses to believe that Sidney is a victim of mere circumstance (or that stupid) and believes that he is trying to move his way into his business. Thorne prepares to kill him when Batman (who was alive all along) appears and knocks him out.

The episode "Paging The Crime Doctor" reveals that Rupert Thorne's younger brother Dr. Matthew Thorne who lost his license when he failed to file a police report on a gunshot wound he treated. While reluctantly performing medicine on gangsters without a license as the "Crime Doctor," he surgically removes a benign tumor with the help of his colleague Dr. Leslie Thompkins from Rupert's heart on the promise that his brother would use his connections to reinstate Matthew's medical license. After the surgery however, Matthew turns on Rupert when Thorne's men plot to kill Thompkins, and turns himself in to the police in the aftermath, leaving Thorne's fate in the episode unknown.

In the episode "Bane", Thorne hires Bane to assassinate Batman. Unbeknownst to Thorne, his moll Candice is conspiring with Bane to kill him as well so they can run the city's underworld. After Batman defeats Bane by severing the tubing that pumps the Venom steroids into his body, he sends the hired killer to Thorne beaten and noticeably shrunken complete with an audio recording of his treasonous conversations with Candice.

In "Second Chance," Rupert Thorne is one of the primary suspects for kidnapping Two-Face just before his operation to restore his face. Robin plans to interrogate him when trying to infiltrate his house, but is captured by Thorne's men and brought to the mob boss himself. While Thorne denies any involvement in Two-Face's capture, he sends his men to drop Robin off the bridge (though Robin breaks free and knocks the gangsters into the river).

The Batman

Rupert Thorne in The Batman.

Rupert Thorne is featured in The Batman voiced by Victor Brandt. He appears in "The Bat in the Belfry" as one of Gotham's most powerful gangsters. Batman foils one of his scams, however, and corners him on a rooftop. Thorne nearly falls to his death off the roof, but Batman saves his life before turning him and his henchmen over to the police. His criminal empire falls apart, leaving a power vacuum that is soon filled by Batman's traditional rogues gallery. He also makes a cameo in the episode "A Matter of Family". In "Rumors", he is shown to be one of the titular character's captives.



In the original script for the 1989 film Batman, written by Tom Mankiewicz, Rupert Thorne hires Joe Chill to murder Bruce Wayne's father Thomas (who is running against Thorne for city council). He was replaced by Carl Grissom.

Rupert Thorne's most major appearance in the DC animated universe continuity outside Batman: The Animated Series is the direct-to-DVD movie, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (based on The New Batman Adventures) with John Vernon reprising his role. He works with Penguin and Carlton Duquesne in an illegal arms deal with the President of Kasnia. The three are also allied with Bane, although there is no mention of Bane's previous allegiance with Thorne in "Bane". Of the three Batwomen, Thorne shares a personal history with Sonia


Alcana whose life he ruined when he ordered her parents' shop burned down when she was still a child. Thorne had escaped punishment due to lack of evidence, although everyone knew he was the one behind it. In the end, Thorne is proven guilty for his role in the arms deal and sent to prison, most likely with a life sentence.

Video games

Rupert Thorne appears in the video game The Adventures of Batman & Robin (video game) for the Sega CD voiced by John Vernon. Clayface takes on Thorne's shape while the real Thorne is on vacation using the gangster's money to hire other supervillains in a plot to kill Batman.

Rupert Thorne exists in the 'Arkham' universe, as he is referenced in 'Batman: Arkham Origins' (2013). One of Engima's Datapacks is a phone conversation between Anarky and Commissioner Gordon, in which Anarky bemoans the fact that Gotham is owned by people 'like Rubert Thorne'.


Rupert Thorne plays a larger role in The Batman Strikes!, a comic book based in the continuity of the show. In one issue, he works with Bruno Mannheim to create an army of supervillains based on Bane, Man-Bat, and Firefly. Rupert Thorn, Bruno Mannheim, and their creations are defeated by Batman and Superman.


           TheBatman.png Villains

Alfred Stryker | Alice | Amanda Waller | Amygdala | Anarky | An Innocent Guy | Arkham Knight | Arnold John Flass | Azrael | Baby Doll | Bane | Barbatos | The Batman Who Laughs | Black Glove | Black Mask | Blockbuster I | Blockbuster II | Brain | Broker | Brother EYE | Calculator | Calendar Man | Captain Fear | Carmine Falcone | Catman | Catwoman | Circus of Strange | Clayface | Claything | Clock King | Clownface | Club of Villains | Cluemaster | Commissioner Loeb | Composite Superman | Condiment King | Copperhead | Cornelius Stirk | Court of Owls | Crazy Quilt | Crime Doctor | Curtis Base | Dark Archer | David Cain | Dark Knights | Deacon Blackfire | Deadshot | Dealer | Deathstroke | The Dawnbreaker | The Devastator | Doctor Death | Doctor Dedalus | Doctor Double X | Doctor Hurt | Doctor Phosphorus | Doctor Randolph Porter | Dr. Silversmith | The Drowned | Electrocutioner | Emperor Penguin | Enigma | Ernie Chubb | Faceless | Film Freak | Firebug | Firefly | Flamingo | Floronic Man | Gearhead | General Ulysses Armstrong | Gorilla Boss | Gotham City Police Department | Great White Shark | The Grim Knight | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Harley Quinn | Holiday | Holly Robinson | Humpty Dumpty | Hugo Strange | Hush | Jack the Ripper | James Gordon, Jr. | Jason Todd | Joe Chill | Joker | Judge of Owls | Joker's Daughter | Key | KGBeast | King of Cats | King Snake | King Tut | Killer Croc | Killer Moth | Kite Man | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Leviathan | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Lloyd Ventrix | Mad Hatter | Mad Monk | Magpie | Malochia | Man-Bat | Maxie Zeus | The Merciless | Merrymaker | Mister Bloom | Monk | Mr. Freeze | Mrs. Freeze | Mr. Toad | Mutants | Nightslayer | Nocturna | Nyssa Raatko | Onomatopoeia | Orca | Outsider | Owlman | Penguin | Penny Plunderer | Phosphorus Rex | Planet Master | Poison Ivy | Polka Dot Man | Professor Arnold Hugo | Professor Pyg | Prometheus | Punchline | Ra's al Ghul | Ragdoll | Ratcatcher | Reaper | Red Claw | Red Death | Reverse-Flash | Riddler | Roland Daggett | Roxy Rocket | Royal Flush Gang | Rupert Thorne | Sal Maroni | Scarecrow | Sensei | Sewer King | Signalman | Sinestro | Snowman | Solomon Grundy | Spellbinder | Squid | Steeljacket | Suicide Squad | Talia al Ghul | Tally Man | Ten Eyed Man | Terrible Trio | Thomas Wayne | Tiger Shark | Timecode | Tony Zucco | Tweedledum and Tweedledee | Two-Face | Ubu | Vandal Savage | Ventriloquist | Ventriloquist II | Ventriloquist III | Vertigo | Victim Syndicate | Victor Zsasz | Whisper A'Daire | White Rabbit | Wrath | The Wonderland Gang | Zebra-Man

Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Phantasm | Joker | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins) | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler
Joker: Clowns (Joker, Clown & Ambulance Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul, Woof & Bonk) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
Batman: Year One: Batman | Commissioner Loeb | Carmine Falcone | Arnold John Flass | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Vinnie & Joe | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Black Manta, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Knockout | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Thomas Elliot

Batman 60s show
Joker | Penguin | Catwoman | Riddler | Mr. Freeze | Egghead | Queenie Goldstein | The Sandman | Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft | False Face | The Siren | Undine | Chandell | King Tut | Cornelia | Marsha, Queen of Diamonds | Baby Jane Towser

1970s filmation seris
Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler | Clayface | Mr Freese | Sweet Tooth

Batman: The Animated Series
Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge | Grant Walker

The Batman
Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Ethan Bennit | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface | Gearhead | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro | Joker 2.0 | Prank | Killgore Steed | Team Penguin | Julie | Spellbinder | The Joining | Cosmo Krank | Marty Slacker | Scorn

Beware the Batman
Anarky | Ra's al Ghul | Deathstroke | Two-Face | Killer Croc | Simon Stagg | Professor Pyg | Mr. Toad | Man-Bat | Cypher | Magpie | Lady Shiva | Tobias Whale | Phosphorus Rex | Lunkhead | Humpty Dumpty | Silver Monkey | Key

Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Joker | Music Meister | Catwoman | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Clayface | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Lex Luthor | Harley Quinn | Morgaine Le Fey | Sweet Tooth | Queenie Goldstein | Bane | Black Manta | Gentleman Ghost

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Joker | Scarecrow | Queen of Fables | Darkseid | Parademons | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Lex Luthor | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Riddler | Kite Man | Doctor Psycho | Clayface | King Shark | Sy Borgman | Doctor Trap | Frank the Plant | Two-Face | Catwoman | Nick Quinzel | Sharon Quinzel

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