HUGO STRANGE CHARACTER PROFILE
Hugo Strange, a notorious supervillain, has been a constant thorn in Batman‘s side since his first appearance in Detective Comics #36 in February 1940. As one of Batman’s earliest recurring villains, Strange has proven to be a formidable adversary with his brilliant mind and twisted obsession with the Dark Knight. Over the years, he has evolved from a simple criminal mastermind to a complex character with a dark past and a deep understanding of Batman’s psyche.
|REAL NAME||Professor Hugo Strange|
|CREATED BY||Bill Finger (Writer)|
Bob Kane (Artist)
|FIRST APPEARANCE||Detective Comics #36 – 1940|
Expertise in psychiatry, chemistry and biology
ORIGINS OF HUGO STRANGE
Hugo Strange first appeared in Detective Comics #36, created by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane. Initially, Strange was portrayed as a brilliant scientist and criminal mastermind who utilized his stolen “concentrated lightning” machine to create a dense fog, allowing his gang to rob banks undetected. However, Batman, already aware of Strange’s experiments, began investigating him after one of his henchmen committed a murder. Strange’s first encounter with Batman resulted in his capture and imprisonment, but he quickly began planning his escape and subsequent revenge.
THE GREAT ESCAPE
In Batman #1 (spring 1940), Strange escaped from prison and continued his criminal endeavours. This time, he experimented with a powerful artificial growth hormone that transformed his test subjects into hulking 15 ft. tall monsters with superhuman strength and cannibalistic instincts. Strange used these “Monster Men” to commit crimes and distract the police, with Batman ultimately foiling his plans and seemingly causing Strange’s death in the process.
HUGO STRANGE MAKES HIS RETURN
Despite his apparent death, Hugo Strange would return to plague Batman in the 1970s with the “Strange Apparitions” story arc in Detective Comics #469-479. Having survived his earlier “death,” Strange left Gotham City and found success as a criminal in Europe, unhindered by Batman‘s presence. Eventually, Strange returned to Gotham to challenge Batman once more, this time as a licensed psychiatrist with a twisted obsession for the Dark Knight.
YOU ARE BRUCE WAYNE
During this arc, Strange discovered Batman’s secret identity as Bruce Wayne, setting in motion a series of events that would forever change the dynamic between the two characters. Strange used his knowledge of Batman’s identity to torment Bruce Wayne and attempted to destroy the Batman persona entirely, only to be thwarted by Batman and seemingly killed once more.
THE NEW 52
In The New 52 continuity, Hugo Strange is shown to be a eugenicist, attempting to improve the human gene pool by eliminating those he deems “unclean.” His efforts lead him to create a new generation of “Monster Men,” as well as a serum that can turn ordinary humans into Bane-like creatures.
BATMAN ARKHAM CITY
Due to other key areas such as the Arkham Asylum and Blackgate being declared as being unfit to contain criminals. Strange decided to put Gotham City into martial law, with the help of the TYGER, a private military company. He was also attempting to manipulate the current Mayor Sharp. Which was, originally, met with a rather strong resolve.
During a live press conference with both Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder, Strange ordered an attack of TYGER guard to storm the conference. This would end up capturing Bruce Wayne.
Wayne was then sent to Hugo Strange, who would torture and threaten him. Mentioning that if he interfered with Strange’s new ‘Protocol 10’ plan, then he would reveal the Knight’s true identity. It was now clear that the professor knew who he actually was. The man behind the mask. Bruce Wayne.
Protocol 10 was the latest plan that both Hugo Strange and Ra’s al Ghul were involved with. The plan itself was to completely wipe out all criminal involvement within Arkham City. This also included anyone who would reveal their secrets. Many of these individuals included the Political Prisoners. Who were once arrested by Hugo Strange for often knowing too much about the city and the Protocol 10 project.
Strange would also continue to inform the various inmates that they should not attempt to leave the city. Otherwise strict force would be used. The city itself was basically one big prison and Strange was now in charge. Should anyone go against him then this would trigger Protocol 10. Causing a barrage of missile strikes upon the city, eliminating thousands of victims and criminals trapped inside.
Eventually Bruce Wayne was able to break free after finding himself at the mercy of Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin). Who had failed to keep the Knight under control. The caped crusader then caught wind of Catwoman undergoing a potential execution at the hands of Two-Face.
Once Mayor Sharp had fulfilled his usefulness, Strange then had him arrested in order to remove him and keep him out of the picture. He was then later saved by the Bat himself.
Strange then called an emergency meeting of the Gotham City Council, where he informed them of a dangerous arms race within the city. Due to this the only available option was to activate Protocol 10. In reality the whole ‘arms race’ was essentially planned by Strange. Who was secretly delivering weapons to both Joker and Penguin.
Protocol 10 was now underway and missiles soured throughout the city, targeting many of the key facilities and locations such as the Museum, Steel Mill, and the Solomon Wayne Courthouse.
As Batman arrived at Wonder Tower he was confronted by Professor Hugo Strange over on the big screen. He also threatened the Knight not to do anything reckless despite, now, being swarmed by a number of TYGER guard. If he did then the hostage that Strange had now captured would be injected with a syringe.
Hugo Strange then announced his future plans, that Protocol 10 was simply the first phase. Whilst the second phase would see other large cities and locations such as Keystone and Metropolis, see a similar fate to Arkham City. All in order to further eliminate crime altogether. He also often referred to Ra’s al Ghul as his ‘Master’ and that the two of them would rule the world together.
THE FINAL CONFRONTATION
Eventually Batman managed to confront Hugo at the Command Centre of Wonder Tower. Protocol 10 was then brought to an end as the Knight successfully managed to deactivate it. Strange felt sadistic satisfactory with his work. Whilst the city below was burning and destroyed.
As Strange continued to gloat about what he had done, what he had planned to do. It ended up being short lived as he was stabbed in the back by Ra’s al Ghul. Who was adamant that the professor was no longer useful. That he had essentially failed.
Mortally wounded Professor Hugo Strange then ordered the computer to activate Protocol 11. Which would destroy the Wonder Tower. The codename to this was ‘Wayne’.
Several months later there were mentions of Mayor Sharp seeing hallucinations of the now deceased Hugo Strange. Who had ordered him to remove his bed sheet and hang himself with it. To which Sharp complied. This would remove all available evidence of Strange’s behaviour and past.
In the 2014 television series, Gotham, Professor Hugo Strange was portrayed by actor BD Wong.
Hugo Strange’s obsession with the Dark Knight began when almost all of his patients were either brought in by Batman or where, themselves, obsessed with him.