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Rupert Thorne (Batman: The Animated Series)

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Rupert Thorne
General Information
Real name: Rupert Thorne
Portrayed by: John Vernon
Appearances: Batman: The Animated Series

Rupert Thorne was a crime boss in Gotham City.


Rupert Thorne appears at several points to virtually control Gotham's criminal underworld. Thorne first appears in the 2-part episode "Two-Face", in which he was indirectly responsible for district attorney Harvey Dent's transformation into the arch-criminal Two-Face. 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 half of Dent's face and leaves his evil personality in permanent control. Dent, now calling himself "Two-Face", later seeks revenge on Thorne, and with the help of a reluctant Batman, succeeds in capturing him, although both Thorne and Two-Face are sent to prison, as Two-Face was just barely stopped from killing Thorne. In this story, Thorne replaces mafia boss Sal Maroni as the mechanism for Dent's disfigurement and transformation into a criminal.

Thorne's next appearance is in the episode It's Never Too Late, where he is at war with a rival mob boss, Arnold Stromwell, whom he plots to ambush and kill. Batman saves Stromwell in time, and after persuading Stromwell to give up his life of crime, they work together to bring Thorne down and restore Stromwell's legitimate life. Thorne corners Stromwell and his estranged brother, Michael, and almost machine-guns them to death before being knocked out by Batman and left for the police. Another reference to Sal Maroni is made in this episode: Rupert Thorne, the one responsible for the scarring of Harvey Dent, participates in a mob war against Arnold Stromwell, whose appearance partially resembles that of Carmine Falcone, who was once involved in a mob war with Maroni in the original comics.

In the episode "Paging The Crime Doctor" it reveals that Rupert Thorne's younger brother, Dr. Matthew Thorne, lost his license when he failed to file a police report on a gunshot wound he treated, probably working for Rupert. 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. Matthew turns on Rupert, however, 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.

Thorne is also notable in the series for introducing Bane into the DC Animated Universe. In the episode "Bane", Thorne hires him to assassinate the Dark Knight. Unbeknownst to Thorne, however, his moll, Candice, is conspiring with Bane to kill him as well as Batman so they can both 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, trussed-up and noticeably shrunken, complete with an audio recording of his treasonous conversations with Candice. It is not revealed what Rupert does to Candice after that, as she is not seen again in the series. His final appearance in the show is the episode Second Chance, where he is one of the primary suspects for kidnapping Two-Face just before his operation to restore his face. Robin is sent to interrogate him, but is captured by Thorne's men and brought to Thorne himself. While Thorne denies any involvement, he sends his men to take Robin somewhere and kill him, unaware that Robin escapes with his life.

Thorne's final major appearance in the DC Animated Universe continuity is the direct-to-DVD movie, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, based on The New Batman Adventures, in which he works with The Penguin and Carlton Duquesne in an arms deal. The three are also allied with Bane, although there is no mention of Bane's previous allegiance with Thorne in Bane.


Batman: The Animated SeriesEdit


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