Batman: Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange proves a point that Batman had a great array of villains. He had villains that challenged him on a intellectual level, as well as physically. A villain of Strange's stature challenged him constantly in a game of chess if you will due to his genius-level intelligence and his ability in psychology. Strange was fascinated with what made Batman tick, and that obsession with him has driven Strange insane. He is famous mostly for the fact that he found out Bat's secret identity, Bruce Wayne. In his psychosis, he used his skills in chemistry and biology to create himself an army that he would go on to call his Monster Men. Strange would frequently use his skills in psychology to emotionally and mentally manipulate people for his own personal gain. To his foe's surprise, his skills in psychology often enough give him an advantage over them as he has a thorough understanding of the human mind and behavior. He frequently is shown to have complete disregard for human life as he often uses them as test subjects for his chemical and psychological experiments.
Hugo's childhood, like many other villains, was scarred by trauma and grief. Which then of course, led him to hone and direct himself where he would make the most out of his ordeals to pursue higher goals. He was raised in an orphanage called Hell's Crucible in the lower east side of Gotham. As he grew up, he was viewed as a well respected mind in the scientific community and he would go on to become a professor at Gotham State University. However, he was suspended eventually for his over increasingly bizarre theories in genetic engineering. Hugo Strange got his start in the Batman universe by appearing to be a mad scientist who used a stolen "concentrated lightning" machine that would be used to generate a dense fog over his thugs as they would rob a bank or what have you. He knew that being in a city that was protected by a vigilante such as Batman, that he would eventually pose a threat to him. Batman was alerted of Strange due to a innocent bystander that stood witness to his crimes only to be murdered by one of Strange's men. Batman, being as diligent as he always is, knew of his presence already and knew that he was a master criminal. Over time, Strange's men are apprehended which sends him into a frenzy where he vows to set a trap for Batman at the next target on his list. When Batman arrives to the scene, he finds over a dozen men waiting for him and despite the valiant fight he puts up, he eventually is overrun as he takes a hit on the back of the head with a blackjack. When he wakes up, he finds himself in Strange's lair strung up from the ceiling and hung from his wrists. Strange, in his frenzied state, lashes Batman constantly with a whip untill he eventually breaks out with his pure strength. He then gassed the room to take out the other guards while he tackled Strange, which led to Strange being arrested. Strange vowed to escape from his prison and get his revenge on good ol' Batman, just like every other villain always does.
Upon his escape he met a man who would become his assistant named Sanjay. Strange and Sanjay began with experimenting with genetic manipulation in an attempt to cure disease and imperfection, but instead they created what would later be dubbed as his Monster Men. The Monster Men required constant feeding, but the disturbing part of it was that they were cannibalistic. The scientific community as a result never managed to take him seriously which led to Strange turning to crime boss, Sal Maroni. Maroni gave him funds for his research as he used inmates from Arkham Asylum to experiment on. However, he was eventually forced to pay up his end of the bargain to the mob bosses, and he did ten fold. He paid up by sending his creatures to massacre a mob gambling house and stole several hundred thousands of dollars. The carnage makes Strange's mafia connections seem suspicious, which then catches Batman's eye once again. Batman tracks them down after several grisly murders but is ultimately subdued by Sanjay and locked in a cage with the beasts. Batman, of course, fights his way out of the cage and escapes. This leads Strange to believe that Batman is the perfect specimen for his experiments. The last monster Strange makes, turns out to be his best as he used Batman's DNA. Strange used it to create four in total and sent them to assault Carmine Falcone's mansion compound on the countryside. The Monster Men begin killing everything in sight, but Batman appears to control the situation. A midst the chaos, Sanjay gets shot forcing Strange to flee the scene. Strange appears on a television broadcast using his psychological credentials as an anti-Batman commentator.
Strange would go on to appear on a television talk show from time to time talking about Batman's psychology with Captain Jim Gordon and Mayor Klass. On the show, Gordon was also announced as the head of the new Gotham City Police Department anti-vigilante task force with the professor as their professional consultant. Strange, due to his psychosis, begins to become increasingly obsessed with the Batman to the point that he creates his own Batman suit to help himself get further inside the head of his enemy. His obsession with Batman ultimately is what brings about his downfall. Strange's obsession begins to show to the Task Force as he grows increasingly monomaniacal. It becomes apparent that his desire is to become Batman himself. So much so that he has tried to kill the Dark Knight just to take his place as the Caped Crusader. Through his intelligence he begins to piece together who exactly the Batman is, and decides that it is most likely Bruce Wayne. Thus, Strange brainwashes the Task Force into becoming something similar to a vigilante in hopes of turning public sentiment against Batman while he kidnaps the Mayor's daughter. A midst the chaos that Strange had once again caused he gets caught, shot twice only to then be dumped into a river where he was presumed to be dead. Of course, the bullets didn't take though right? Of course, you can't seem to kill a Batman villain by simple bullets. (In most cases) Strange's return was a theatrical one as he had faked his death and to mark his return, he murdered an old millionaire Sebastian Cole and painted a bat on the wall with the victim's blood. He would then vow to destroy Batman completely, first in mind, then in body.
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