Visually, Doctor Hurt is based on an unnamed scientist who first appeared in Batman #156 (June 1963), in a story titled "Robin Dies at Dawn". In that story Batman participated in an experiment for NASA that caused him to hallucinate that Robin (Dick Grayson) was in constant danger; the story itself is referenced many times in Morrison's run on Batman. The character made behind-the-scenes appearances throughout Morrison's run before actually appearing fully in the first chapter of Batman R.I.P.
The character was first called "Doctor Simon Hurt" in Batman #674. He is a brilliant psychologist whose true identity and nature is an enigma; over the course of Morrison's run he has been strongly implied at times to be the Devil, the demon Barbatos, a supernaturally-empowered ancestor of Bruce Wayne, Bruce Wayne's long-lost evil twin, Bruce Wayne's father, an instrument of Darkseid, and perhaps even Darkseid himself. Hurt is dedicated to completely destroying Batman in body, mind, and soul, and replacing him with a corrupted, evil counterpart
Doctor Hurt led both the Black Glove and the Club of Villains against Batman in "Batman R.I.P." Hurt was the main antagonist of Morrison's run on Batman titles from 2007 to 2011, appearing in Batman, The Return of Bruce Wayne, and Batman and Robin, as well as behind-the-scenes in Final Crisis.
Born in the 1700s, Thomas Wayne (not to be confused with Bruce Wayne's father Thomas Wayne) eventually grew up to be the "black sheep" of the Wayne family, as he began to lead a demonic cult worshiping the demon Barbatos, in search of eternal life.
One night, he and a number of other cult members, including prominent figures in history like Benjamin Franklin, successfully summoned what they believed to be Barbatos. While the other members of the cult ran in horror, Thomas stayed behind to receive the gifts he believed his god would bestow on him.
What Thomas didn't know was that "Barbatos" was actually an alien weapon, the Hyper-Adapter sent out by the evil god Darkseid to chase Batman through out time, a result of the events of Final Crisis. The weapon gave Thomas what he was looking for, eternal life.
Approximately 100 years later, Thomas Wayne teamed up with Vandal Savage and the two conspired to resurrect Barbatos, hoping to gain further blessings from the creature. They sent their flunkies to harrass a family that had inherited a wooden container believed to be the vessel of the beast. Wayne drugged the daughter and had a shaman try to coax the secret of the box out of her, but to no avail. At that moment, Bruce Wayne appeared-having been sent back though time-and chased both Thomas and Vandal Savage. The two were incapacitated and presumably arrested.
Thomas Wayne lived through until the present day, when he was taken in by Batman's parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Wishing to help him, the Waynes send him to Willowood Asylum claiming that he was their son Thomas Wayne Jr. After the deaths of both Thomas and Martha, he renamed himself Simon Hurt, who soon became a doctor connected in some way with the American military, eventually seeking out the destruction of his descendant, Bruce Wayne caused by the influence of the weapon.
When Bruce Wayne arrived in the 20th century, he assumed the guise of an anonymous detective hired to investigate the murders of the Wayne family. When he stumbled upon Hurt and his sect of devil-worshipers he realized the awful truth: he was to be their sacrifice to Barbatos. Hurt had Bruce pinned to an altar, wearing the masquerade costume of his father, then set him aflame in the hopes of summoning Barbatos. Bruce, however, was sent forward though time, once again stalling his plans.
Over 20 years later, Batman would encounter Dr Hurt, mistakenly believing him to be someone he could trust with his sanity. Batman, under Hurt's influence, was held in an isolation chamber for several days and forced to confront his worst nightmares, all under the assumption that he was training his mind. In truth, Hurt was using this opportunity to get under Batman's psyche and find a way to secretly manipulate him later on...
The Black Glove
Hurt formed a criminal cult known as The Black Glove, the members consisting of various rich and corrupt figureheads. Among his enforcers were twisted Batman replicas, The Joker, an international club of villains and Bruce Wayne's current girlfriend Jezebel Jet.
The Black Glove stalked Batman whilst leaving him cryptic clues that led him to believe that the ultimate criminal was coming after him.
Dr. Hurt finally reveals himself to Bruce immediately after Jezebel Jet triggered a mental breakdown in him. Hurt drugged Bruce and left him in the streets, where Bruce put together a makeshift costume and called himself "The Batman of Zur En Arrh". Hurt then sets up base within Arkham Asylum and awaits Batman's retribution. Once Batman arrives, he is confronted by the Joker, Jezebel and Hurt. His Zur En Arrh personality blacks out and he is buried in his old Batsuit. Batman breaks out, however, and goes after Hurt, who tells him that he is his father, the late Thomas Wayne. When Batman dismisses this, Hurt then goes on to say that he is "The hole in things. The piece that can never fit. There since the beginning". As Hurt is about to escape via helicopter, Batman chases after him and causes his helicopter to crash into the ocean. Since Hurt's body was never found, Bruce could not help but fear that the worst was yet to come.
Dr. Hurt was revealed as alive and well in "Batman and Robin", having taken the alias of "El Penitente" and hiding in a Mexican town. Hurt sends various thugs and criminals such as Professor Pyg and 99 fiends to take care of the new Batman and Robin, but to no avail. When Hurt decides to confront them himself, he comes face-to-face with the original Batman. Batman chases Hurt throughout the Batcave, but Hurt makes his escape when Batman finds out that he kidnapped Alfred and left him in an underwater chamber to drown.
Before Hurt can gloat, however, he sees the Joker eyeing him down. The Joker trips Hurt with a banana peel and infects him with Joker venom. Hurt was then buried by the Joker in the Wayne graveyard with an unnaturally wide smile on his terrified face.
It's eventually revealed that Dr. Hurt survived the Joker's attempt on his life, and he leads an army of Batman villains to kill the Earth-2 Batman. Batman blows himself up, apparently taking Hurt with him.
He has Professor Pyg create Dollotrons of Robin and Nightwing. However, the Nightwing Dollotron Deathwing turns on Hurt and both villains seemingly stab each other to death.
He makes a notable appearance in an alternate future where Damian Wayne became Batman. In Batman Incorporated #5 (vol.2), Damian fails to stop a "Joker Virus" from devastating Gotham City. Dr. Hurt, having become personal adviser to the President of the United States, convinces the President to destroy Gotham with a nuclear weapon.
Powers and Abilities
Doctor Hurt is an expert in psychiatry and hypnosis. Having lived for many years, his wisdom and intelligence surpass that of the average human. He also has acting and theatrical capabilities.
- Immortality: Doctor Hurt is considered immortal in the sense that he does not age. However, he can be injured like an average human.
- Gun: Doctor Hurt carries a hand gun.
- Influence and Connections: Despite not being physically strong, Hurt has a wide enough network that extends throughout both the criminal underworld and several governments. He has been known to have murder victims' details revised so that they appear to be mentally unstable suicide cases. He threatened Batman by saying that he would expose his parents as perverts and drug addicts if Batman refused to join him.