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RUPERT THORNE

BATMAN TAS RUPERT THORNE

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Rupert Thorne muscled his way into Gotham City and quickly took control over the majority of the crime syndicate. Though his criminal deeds were well known to the populace, the corruption within the Gotham justice system kept Thorne in his penthouse and the police off his back. His brother, Matthew Thorne lost his medical license after removing a bullet from Rupert without reporting to the police. As a result, Matthew was given a position in the organization as a crime doctor. Rupert's intrusion in the city caused problems for Arnold Stromwell, the aging leader of a rival organization. Though he fought diligently to protect what he'd made, Stromwell eventually lost out to Thorne.

Difficulty arose for Thorne, however, when District Attorney Harvey Dent began pressuring the system to arrest Thorne. Fueled by his desire to get re-elected, Dent aggressively pursued Thorne's case. However, Thorne acquired the District Attorney's psychiatric medical files and learned that Dent was seriously mentally ill with a barely controlled case of multiple personality disorder. The gangster used this information on the Dent's moment of reelection victory to blackmail the DA. The overflowing anger at Thorne's threats and his gang's taunts brought Dent's alter ego, "Big Bad Harv", to the surface, and Dent attacked Thorne. As Thorne fled the scene with Dent in pursuit, a henchman shot and destroyed a vat of chemicals, scarring the left half of Dent's body. The accident hit on multiple levels: scarred physically and emotionally, Dent became Two-Face, a villain driven by chance and luck.

His public career lost, Two-Face set out to destroy everything Thorne had made, before finally ruining the mobster himself. After Two-Face destroyed various clubs, Thorne put a $2 million hit on the man—one million for each face. Though Two-Face acquired Thorne's criminal file in an attempt to blackmail Thorne the same way he had blackmailed Two-Face, Thorne was one step ahead, and blackmailed the villain. A struggle ensued but in the end, both Thorne and Two-Face were arrested.

When Spider Conway was transferred to Gotham to testify in court, Thorne became a prime suspect in the bombing of the holding-boat and abduction of Conway. Thorne revealed to Batman, however, that Conway did not have substantial evidence to imprison him and wasn't concerned about the small time crook. Thorne hadn't lied: the true culprit behind the kidnapping was Killer Croc, harboring a vendetta against Conway, Joey the Snail, and Detective Harvey Bullock.

When Sidney Debris supposedly killed Batman, Gotham's seedy underside turned against the helpless man. Debris turned to Thorne for help, but Thorne believed the crook was trying to set him up and muscle him out of Gotham. In a way, he suspected correctly, for Batman had actually survived and used Debris to find the leader of the drug ring.

Months later, a tumor in his heart began aggravating him. His brother Matthew couldn't handle the operation alone and Thorne refused to visit a hospital (fearing he would never leave alive), so he had Leslie Thompkins kidnapped to assist. The operation was successful, but Thorne planned to kill Thompkins afterward. Matt forsook his brother's assistance, and he and Leslie escaped (with some help from Batman).

Rupert Thorne was eventually arrested at a contraband warehouse and his cover blown by Batman and corrupt officer Gil Mason.

Some time later, Thorne (out of prison) brought Bane to Gotham, hiring the hit-man to take out Batman. While Bane was effective at his job, he also became interested in Gotham's crime syndicate, and some of Thorne's accomplices began providing the information to proceed. However, Bane was unable to finish the job; he was arrested, and Thorne found himself re-evaluating his "friends".

Thorne entered a munitions-smuggling racket with the Penguin and Carlton Duquesne. He was arrested, however, due to interference by Batman and the three Batwomen.

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