Rupert Thorne was a crime boss in Gotham City.
Rupert Thorne appeared at several points to virtually control Gotham's criminal underworld. Thorne first appeared 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 blackmailed Dent with his psychological records, and threatened to tell the press that the young DA suffered from multiple personality disorder unless he stopped prosecuting his henchmen. Enraged, Dent "switched" into his alternate, and violent personality and chased Thorne into a nearby chemical processing plant, where an explosion permanently disfigures half of Dent's face and left his evil personality in permanent control. Dent, called himself "Two-Face", later sought revenge on Thorne, and with the help of a reluctant Batman, succeeded in capturing him, although both Thorne and Two-Face were sent to prison, as Two-Face was just barely stopped from killing Thorne. In that story, Thorne replaced mafia boss Sal Maroni as the mechanism for Dent's disfigurement and transformation into a criminal.
Thorne's next appearance was in the episode It's Never Too Late, where he was at war with a rival mob boss, Arnold Stromwell, whom he plotted to ambush and kill. Batman saved Stromwell in time, and after persuading Stromwell to give up his life of crime, they worked together to bring Thorne down and restore Stromwell's legitimate life. Thorne cornered Stromwell and his estranged brother, Michael, and almost machine-gunned them to death before he was knocked out by Batman and left for the police. Another reference to Sal Maroni was made in that episode: Thorne, the one responsible for the scarring of Harvey Dent, participated in a mob war against Arnold Stromwell, whose appearance partially resembled 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 revealed that Rupert's younger brother, Dr. Matthew Thorne, lost his license when he failed to file a police report on a gunshot wound that he treated, and that he probably worked for Rupert. While Matthew reluctantly performed medicine on gangsters without a license as "The Crime Doctor," he surgically removed 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 his medical license. Matthew turned on Rupert, however, when Thorne's men plotted to kill Dr. Thompkins, and turned himself in to the police in the aftermath, and left Thorne's fate in the episode unknown.
Thorne was also notable in the series for introducing Bane into the DC Animated Universe. In the episode "Bane", Thorne hired Bane to assassinate Batman. Unbeknownst to Thorne, however, his moll, Candice, conspired with Bane to kill him as well as Batman so that they could both run Gotham's Underworld. After Batman defeated Bane by severing the tubing that pumped the "Venom" steroids into his body, he sent the hired killer to Thorne, trussed-up and noticeably shrunken, with an audio recording of his treasonous conversations with Candice. It was not revealed what Thorne did to Candice after that, as she was not seen again in the series. Thorne's final appearance in the show was the episode Second Chance, where he was one of the primary suspects for kidnapping Two-Face just before his operation to restore his face. Robin was sent to interrogate him, but was captured by Thorne's men and brought to Thorne himself. While Thorne denied any involvement, he sent his men to take Robin somewhere and kill him, and was unaware that Robin had escaped with his life.
Thorne's final major appearance in the DC Animated Universe continuity was the direct-to-DVD movie, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, that was based on The New Batman Adventures, in which he worked with The Penguin and Carlton Duquesne in an arms deal. The three were also allied with Bane, although there was no mention of Bane's previous allegiance with Thorne.
- Two-Face Part I
- Two-Face Part II
- It's Never Too Late
- The Man Who Killed Batman
- Paging the Crime Doctor
- Shadow of the Bat Part I
- Second Chance