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"Death is not an ending. It's just a new beginning."
—Hugo Strange to Victor Fries[src]


Dr. Hugo Strange is the former Chief of Psychiatry and director of Arkham Asylum who was involved in experimentation on human beings at Indian Hill. He was an employee of former school mate Thomas Wayne at Pinewood Farms, after his experiments led to the program being shut down he looked into reopening the program, which he deemed impossible without Thomas out of the picture. As a result, he hired the hit that resulted in the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne and therefore was responsible for the orphaning of Bruce Wayne.


Biography

Background

Hugo Strange reportedly grew up with an abusive father who would beat his mother every night. On the night that his father finally died at the hands of his mother, his father told Hugo that he was the biggest mistake of his life and that he was destined for a life of failure. About two months before the death of the Waynes, Hugo hired a crew of thieves through a contact, to burglarize the Wayne Manor and get access to the secrets behind Wayne's files. They were only able to get as far as stealing one of the Manor's paintings, a Picasso, before they were interrupted by Thomas Wayne who shot and killed one of the burglars. While the investigation into the robbery was ongoing, an additional man was sent to follow Thomas and managed to trail him as far as the hideout where Karen Jennings lived. A fight ensued in which Karen managed to kill the man trailing Thomas, a man named Scott Wallace. Thomas would later confront Hugo, spurning Hugo to fast-track his plans to take Thomas out of the picture permanently. [1]

In his high-school years, Hugo and Thomas Wayne were on the same Cricket team along with Anu Schwarts, Kyle Davis, Andrew Weininger, Travis Quegan, Paul Weathered, and Grant Gardner. Strange earned the nickname "the philosopher" while at school. The two remained friends until adulthood when Thomas placed him in-charge of Pinewood Farms. At the facility they looked into fixing human ailments, which including disease and even death. But soon Strange began experimenting on people to "push the boundaries of human evolution" creating monsters, with one of the subjects Karen Jennings being given a reptilian arm to replace her damaged one. Thomas shut down the project and put Karen into protection.[2]

Hugo looked to reopen the project, but with Thomas in the way this wouldn't be possible. Hugo turned to a casino owner and gun hirer named The Lady, who then in turn hired a hitman named Matches Malone to kill Thomas and his wife Martha. Malone confronted the couple and their son Bruce in an alleyway after they had gone out to see a movie, and gunned the couple down. Malone then fled the scene, leaving Bruce to scream in anguish over his parent's brutal killing. At that point Strange wasn't even suspected, as no link could be found at that moment with Thomas and the corruption at Wayne Enterprises. Hugo would feel regret for this but asserted that he did what he had to do and that Thomas should have just walked away. A man named Mario Pepper ended up being set up for the crime, and others suspected by leading detective of the case Jim Gordon ranged from the mob (who helped set up Pepper) to corrupt billionaire Dick Lovecraft, the latter whom ended up getting assassinated for knowing something about the Wayne murders.

Employed by the Court

Hugo Strange scientist

Professor Strange has been employed by the Court of Owls and League of Shadows to carry out freakish experiments, contributing to the rise of super-criminals in Gotham City.

With Thomas dead and out of the way, Strange was hired by a mysterious society known as The Court, who were the true runners of Wayne Enterprises and working above the Board of Directors. Strange's primary task was to find the means to bring the dead back to life. The Pinewood project was reopened, with it taking place at a secret underground facility known as Indian Hill, located under Arkham Asylum. To avoid attention, a toxic waste dump was used as a cover for Indian Hill's more sinister activities. At some point Hugo Strange was employed as the chief of psychiatry at Arkham Asylum, leaving him to carry out the day-to-day running of the asylum (in which he appeared to look for a way to rehabilitate patients) as well as gaining access to the underground lab via a secret elevator to check on the progress. He worked alongside another doctor at the asylum named Ethel Peabody.

Badly injured individuals were delivered to the asylum, one of them being Bridgit Pike who had been badly burned all over her body. Declared dead, Pike got transferred to Indian Hill where she witnessed other people being horrifically experimented upon by the scientists of the facility. Corpses of individuals were also brought to Indian Hill for Strange, with a few notable being Fish Mooney, Jerome Valeska and controversial mayor Theo Galavan, the third whom Strange had a great interest in.[3]

Rehabilitation Techniques

When Oswald Cobblepot is sent to Arkham Asylum after confessing to killing Theo Galavan, Strange meets him for a session and says he will cure him of his sickness. After meeting Oswald, Strange takes a secret elevator down to the Indian Hill facility and is informed about Mr. Freeze and his ability to reanimate a corpse, something that Strange was looking to perfect with the bodies that he has in Indian Hill's possession.[4]

After Barbara Kean awakens from her coma, a nurse tells someone to inform Strange.[5]

Strange oversaw the group therapy sessions which Barbara Kean was a part of. He later released her from Arkham Asylum, telling Ethel that he is going to study her.[6]

Resurrecting the Dead

Strange then focuses solely on his experiments reanimating the dead, starting with Indian Hill Patient 44. While overseeing the reanimation process, he was notified by Peabody that someone from Wayne Enterprises looked into the identity of Karen Jennings. Strange was later notified that Jennings was captured and sent back to Blackgate Penitentiary. He then sends Victor Fries after the transport carrying her. Fries successfully kills her. Strange is later present to witness the premature resurrection of Patient 44, also known as Theo Galavan, who brutally murders the staff in the room and screams out the name of Azrael.[7]

After resurrecting Theo Galavan, Strange watches Galavan suffer from his shattered mental state and recites fragments from the sacred book of The Will and Order of St. Dumas. Afterward, Strange met with Jim Gordon at Arkham Asylum questioning him about the death of Karen Jennings and his participation in the Pinewood Farms program. However, Strange denies involvement in the atrocities of the program which, according to him, were the work of Thomas Wayne. After that, Gordon gives Strange an envelope with a court order to exhume the body of Victor Fries, but Strange is quick to tell him that Victor's body was cremated. Gordon then reveals that he only did so to get confirmation that he was the one behind it all, and afterward Strange realizes that Gordon gave him an empty envelope. Strange refuses Edward Nygma's offer to take Gordon down, though Nygma unintentionally gives him an idea of how to solve his problem with Theo Galavan. Using The Will and Order of St. Dumas which told the story of the immortal warrior Azrael, Strange goes into the reanimation lab to speak to Galavan, but the resurrected Galavan quickly attacks him. However, after Hugo presents himself as Dumas, the founder of the Order, Strange convinces him that he's the immortal warrior Azrael, under his service. Professor Strange later equips Galavan with a sword and armor and orders Theo to kill James Gordon.[8]

Strange later brings back former crime boss Fish Mooney, infusing her with cuttlefish DNA. Mooney is brought back seemingly with all her memories intact, prompting Strange to relay this new development to his employers: the Court of Owls. Around that time, Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox come to Arkham seeking a tour, in reality being there to find out the location of Indian Hill. Strange knows this, and has Bruce, Lucius, and Jim Gordon, who has been investigating the Wayne murders and stowed away with Bruce and Lucius, apprehended. The Court then orders Strange to move all his research and test subjects to the facility upstate and to destroy Indian Hill. Strange has Bruce and Lucius locked away where Edward Nygma attempts to find out what they know about Indian Hill and who they have told about it, and Jim Gordon brought down to Indian Hill, where a cast is made of his face, allowing Basil, a revived Indian Hill subject able to stretch his skin, to impersonate Jim Gordon.[9]

Activities Exposed

Under orders from the white-haired female member of the Court, Hugo Strange has most of his patients loaded onto a bus bound for facility upstate while having a bomb set to blow up the Indian Hill facility. Upon finding that Fish Mooney has the power to put anyone she touches into her thrall, Hugo manages to escape her and plans to have Victor Fries slay the remaining inhabitants starting with him killing Selina Kyle. Bridgit Pike came to Selina's defense and dueled Victor Fries until Hugo Strange was accidentally caught in the crossfire upon seeing Gordon, Fox, and Wayne escaping. Gordon resuscitated Strange who states that the bomb will go off any minute. After Gordon and Fox deactivated the bomb and the police arrived at Arkham Asylum, Hugo Strange was arrested by the police who claims that the "monsters" that the Indian Hill facility made are still out there.[10]

Strange was put on trial where Peabody testified against him in exchange for her being put under house arrest and not going to prison. Strange was sent to an undisclosed location. Apart from Peabody, no one else that worked at the Indian Hill facility was exposed for the atrocities committed there. Six months following the escape of his experiments, Fish Mooney began leading the remaining escaped monsters to find Strange so he can prevent them from dying as the use of their powers causes them to weaken due to her body rejecting the new cells that her abilities are creating. Peabody ends up being captured by Nancy and Sid of Fish Mooney's gang to see if she knows of Strange's whereabouts. When she doesn't prove to be useful upon not knowing where Strange is being held, she gets her life force drained from her by Marv and is killed.[11]

It was revealed that Strange was incarcerated in an old mansion that conceals a high-tech laboratory where the scientists there are trying to get information about Indian Hill from them. Under the control of Fish Mooney, Bullock leads her, Marv, Nancy, and Sid to Strange. After taking out the guards, Fish, Nancy, and Sid make their way to Strange's cell as Fish confronts him. She tells Strange that she wants him to fix her and make her an army. Strange initially declines her request, but changes his mind when Fish reminds him that the police are approaching. When the angry mob breaks through, Fish and Marv escape out the back with Strange while Nancy and Sid hold off the mob. Cobblepot then confronts Mooney and Strange while sending Marv on his way. When asked by Cobblepot why she didn't kill him, Mooney states that she was his umbrella boy and that she turned Cobblepot into Penguin. Cobblepot decides to spare Mooney and sends the two of them on their way while telling Mooney not to come back to Gotham.[12]

Experiments Following Indian Hill

Not much is known about these events but after saving Fish Mooney's life he was taken once again to work for the Court and had the Alice Tetch virus weaponized. He extracted the blood from Nathaniel Barnes as he and Kathryn Monroe test it on an unknown person. When Gordon and Bullock find where the Alice Tetch virus was being developed, Hugo Strange saves them from the test subject. Gordon and Bullock don't arrest him in order to keep the Court of Owls from finding out what happened. Though Hugo Strange does give them a sample of the blood and some of his research.[13]

Hugo Strange later brings the bomb containing the weaponized Alice Tetch virus to the Sensei. When the police and Alfred raid the building, Sensei and the remaining Talons escape with Bruce Wayne and the bomb while Hugo Strange is arrested. After being interrogated by Alfred Pennyworth on where Bruce Wayne is being held, Hugo Strange is let go by Alfred who advises him to leave town.[14]

Taking Alfred's advise during the chaos caused by the bomb's explosion, Hugo Strange makes his way to a train station and was able to get a ticket out of town only for him to be intercepted by Fish Mooney's men. Victor Fries and Bridgit Pike buy Fish Mooney time to get away with Hugo Strange. At Oswald Cobblepot's Mansion, Fish Mooney still wants Hugo Strange to make her an army of monsters. In order to get the info on where the cure for the Alice Tetch virus is, Oswald Cobblepot and Victor Fries use the same machine that Strange once used on Cobblepot. After the machine does it's work on him, Strange takes Fish Mooney, Oswald Cobblepot, Victor Fries, Bridgit Pike, and Fish Mooney's henchmen to a slaughterhouse where Hugo Strange had the cure. They are attacked by ninjas working for the League of Shadows. Gordon arrives to help fight the ninjas which resulted in Fish Mooney getting accidentally stabbed by Gordon. After Fish Mooney dies a second time, Gordon and Bullock get Hugo Strange to cooperate with the GCPD into helping to recreate the cure for the Alice Tetch virus.[15]

When Oswald Cobblepot shows the Indian Hill barrel he pulled out of Slaughter Swamp to Solomon Grundy, he swayed him to his side while stating that they will find Hugo Strange and see if he can restore him to normal.[16]

Upon being found, Hugo Strange begins to work on Solomon Grundy where it involved him harvesting blood from some people he obtained. When Gotham City becomes a no man's land, Tabitha Galavan learns from Hugo Strange that his plan to restore Solomon Grundy back to Butch Gilzean worked. Later on, Penguin has Hugo Strange work on the corpses of Lee Thompkins and Edward Nygma. He begins to wonder what he can do to them.[17]

Conflict with Edward Nygma

After saving being asked by Oswald Cobblepot to save Edward Nygma, Hugo Strange decides to save both Edward and Lee Thompkins, however, a contract comes along which leads to him placing chips inside of their brains before saving them. Once Edward Nygma begins to find himself in places he doesn't remember going to, he assumes that it's his dual-personality before beginning his journey in discovering what happened to him before No Man's Land. As a result, he begins to gain some of his old memories back, bringing him to Oswald Cobblepot. When Oswald explains what happened with Hugo Strange, Edward starts to search for Hugo Strange while having Jim Gordon and Eduardo Dorrance on his trail for the destruction of Haven. Later, Hugo Strange throws away a corpse in his lab while some people bring him a bodybag, stating that they were late and the last body they procured for him was gangrenous and unsuitable. When Strange unzips the bodybag, Edward sits up and aims a gun at him which causes him to put his
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After opening up a bodybag, Hugo Strange is faced with an angered Edward Nygma, who points a gun at him.

hands up. Edward asks how Strange took control of his alter-ego but Strange claims that he can't follow and that Edward is the alter-ego. An angered Nygma asks why Strange controlled and made him kill all of the people in Haven while Strange is surprised by the fact that Edward Nygma was the one who destroyed Haven. Strange claims that he doesn't know about Nygma's alter-ego but reveals that he had put a chip in his brain in order for Nygma to be controlled remotely. Strange also reveals that he wasn't the one controlling Nygma and that he gave control to someone else who he is willing to reveal before tricking Nygma and spraying him, telling him that he is experiencing a neural cutout and that he is mystified as to how Nygma had became aware that he's being controlled. As a result, he begins to cut his head open and examine his brain, apologizing for the discomfort and telling him that a simple reboot of the chip should be all that's required. After stitching Nygma's head back closed, Strange reveals that a powerful electrical charge overloaded the chip but that everything else is updated. 

When Jim and Eduardo manage to find Nygma and Strange, Strange tells Gordon that he was just helping Nygma because he needed medical attention which Gordon doesn't believe. When Gordon looks at Nygma who has his eyes open, Strange reveals that he used a bio-medical anethesia on Nygma but Gordon orders him to wake him up which Strange does. Nygma then tells Gordon that it wasn't him who destroyed Haven and that Strange actually put a mind-controlling chip in his brain but Strange claims that a contract came along and he developed a tool using Nygma. Eduardo reveals himself to be the one controlling Nygma and tells the Delta Force soldiers to escort Strange out.

Creating Bane

After Eduardo and Jim get into a fight, Eduardo is kicked into a pole within debris by Gordon, where he is impaled and found by Nyssa al Ghul after a couple of hours. Nyssa puts a defibrillator mask on Eduardo in order to save his life and tells him that she'll bring him to Hugo Strange, who will be able to patch him up and save his life. Sometime after, a patched up Eduardo finds himself in Strange's lab with tubes attached to him, where Hugo Strange tells him that the process of saving his life will cause him immense physical and mental pain as well as be a little bit of a long process. As a result, Strange apologizes in advance before beginning the process and injecting an unidentified green chemical into Eduardo's veins, causing them to turn green and his eyes to become bloodshot. Hugo Strange and Nyssa al Ghul watch as Eduardo is transformed into Bane before Eduardo lets out a cry in agony.

Helping Nyssa With Her Mission

After taking part in the creation of Bane, he continues to work with Nyssa al Ghul and helps her with her mission to get revenge for her Ra's al Ghul's death. After Bane manages to capture Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne for Nyssa, Nyssa orders Bane to find Barbara Kean, who took part in her father's death and tells Gordon that Bane wants him to join their mission in eliminating all criminal elements in Gotham, however, Gordon rejects as Strange tells him to never say never before injecting in the neck with an object that leaves Gordon unconscious.

Later, Gordon is brought to a lab where he finds himself strapped to a medical table and in the presence of Hugo Strange, who covers up a tied up General Wade. Hugo is satisfied with Gordon finally waking up but Gordon states that Strange picked the losing side since the military army is coming to Gotham. Gordon tells Strange that if he helps him then Strange can survive, however, he believes that Nyssa is more likely to be successful than Gordon because of his current position. Gordon asks if Strange if he really thinks that Nyssa can fight off the entire army while Strange believes that she is able to with his help. Strange tells Gordon that he is a few modifications from being a mighty soldier in Nyssa's force not unlike Eduardo. He also tells Gordon that he will help him reach his full potential and give him true strength but Gordon rejects the offer which Strange replies by telling him that his consent is hardly required. Strange begins to inject Gordon in the neck and tells him that he will begin the process with a physical modification and end with certain mental modifications. Strange tells Gordon that he will feel slight discomfort during the process and begins
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Hugo Strange prepares to start the process of injecting Jim Gordon with the unidentified green chemical.

the process by injecting him with a little it of the unidentified green chemical that he used on Eduardo, leading to Gordon gaining enough strength to break out of one of the straps and kick Strange. This leads to Strange hitting the device he used to inject Gordon and causing it to inject too much into Gordon, helping him break out of the straps. Strange tells that he admires his fighting spirit before escaping the lab. After Gordon frees General Wade, Bruce meets up with them and tells them that Nyssa is planning on using the military to destroy Gotham but General Wade tells them that he can order the military to stand down. However, it is revealed that Hugo Strange has put a mind-controlling chip in General Wade's brain, causing him to be controlled by Nyssa and for him to allow the military to destroy Gotham.

Though, Hugo Strange had an important part in helping Nyssa with her mission to destroy Gotham, he was never searched for after his escape and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Abilities

  • Genius-level intellect/Expert psychologist/Master tactician: Hugo's brilliance knows no bounds and he is a highly skilled tactician as well as a professional psychiatrist. He was able to resurrect the dead, create "monster" like creatures, and give several of his subjects special abilities.
  • Expert Chemist: Strange is highly trained in chemistry, as he was able to create a cure for the Tetch virus.

Master of Persuasion: He has managed to persuade personas into each of his resurrected monsters. As well as weasel his way out of danger in his hostage situations.

Appearances

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Novels


Behind the scenes

  • In DC Comics, Hugo Strange was introduced in Detective Comics #36 in February 1940 and was one of the first recurring enemies of Batman. He was also responsible for discovering Batman's true identity as Bruce Wayne, being one of the few villains on his intellectual level. In addition, he also created the Monster Men where the original story had them killed by Batman and a later retelling had the Monster Men killed in battle against Sal Maroni's men.
    • Strange is the third Batman villain ever introduced, following Doctor Death and Mad Monk consecutively. He is followed by Tony Zucco, the Joker, and the Cat (later known as Catwoman).
    • In the 2014 storyline Batman: Endgame, it was revealed that before Bruce Wayne became Batman, Hugo Strange, Doctor Death, and another villain Crazy Quilt were members of a scientific group within Wayne Enterprises known as the "Doctors Three". Strange worked in regenerative neural matter, Death worked in bone research, and Quilt worked in regenerating soft tissue, with the three members being described as "bone, brain, and body" respectively.
  • This is the first live-action incarnation of the character Hugo Strange, 76 years after the character's comic introduction.
  • He is the main antagonist of the Wrath of the Villains arc of Season 2, a minor antagonist in the first part of the Mad City arc of Season 3 and a major antagonist in the Heroes Rise arc.
  • Hugo Strange is inadvertently one of the catalysts for the events of the whole show as he contracted Patrick Malone to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne, which resulted in Penguin snitching on Fish Mooney. Carmine Falcone then ordered Jim Gordon to kill Penguin, but instead spared him, and Penguin returned to Gotham and eventually became a kingpin, thus setting in motion the rest of the series' events.
    • Strange is responsible for the creation of a majority of Batman's future villains, whether directly or indirectly. During his work at Indian Hill he was tied to the creation of Mr. Freeze, Firefly and Clayface, as well as brainwashing Theo Galavan into believing he was Azrael. He also experimented on Alice Tetch, who was the sister of The Mad Hatter, who was fueled to come to Gotham City to look for her. And also granted Jane Cartwright superpowered abilities at the asylum, which transformed her into "Jane Doe". Strange also seemed to have a clone of Jerome Valeska which escaped with the other monsters and may or may not become the feared supervillain "The Joker", and his experiments led to Butch Gilzean mutating and becoming Solomon Grundy. In season 5, he is also has a part in Eduardo Dorrance's transformation into Bane.
  • Hugo Strange acts as the mastermind and main antagonist of the tie-in novel Gotham: Dawn of Darkness, which chronicles the struggle between him and Thomas Wayne shortly before the events of the pilot episode. 

References

  1. Gotham: Dawn of Darkness
  2. Strange Bedfellows - Gotham Chronicle
  3. Cutter, Rebecca Perry (writer) & Scott, T.J. (director) (October 26, 2015). "Rise of the Villains: By Fire". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 6. FOX.
  4. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (February 29, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Mr. Freeze". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 12. FOX.
  5. Hull, Robert (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (March 21, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Mad Grey Dawn". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 15. FOX.
  6. Cutter, Perry Rebecca (writer) & Scott, Oz (director) (April 11, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Into the Woods". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 17. FOX.
  7. Hull, Robert & Brown-Mostyn, Megan (writers) & Stephens, John (director) (April 18, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Pinewood". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 18. FOX.
  8. Barnes, Jim & Woodruff, Ken (writers) & Kondracki, Larysa (director) (May 2, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Azrael". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 19. FOX.
  9. Harper, Jordan (writer) & Bailey, Rob (director) (May 16, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: A Legion of Horribles". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 21. FOX.
  10. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (May 23, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Transference". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 22. FOX.
  11. Stephens, John (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (September 19, 2016). "Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell...". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 1. FOX.
  12. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (September 26, 2016). "Mad City: Burn the Witch...". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 2. FOX.
  13. Chun, Tze (writer) & Tonderai, Mark (director) (May 15, 2017) "Heroes Rise: Light The Wick". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 18. FOX.
  14. Lilien, Steven & Wynbrandt, Bryan (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (May 29, 2017) "Heroes Rise: Pretty Hate Machine" Gotham. Season 3. Episode 20. FOX.
  15. Cannon, Danny (writer) & Hope, Nathan (director) (June 5, 2017) "Heroes Rise: Destiny Calling" Gotham. Season 3. Episode 21. FOX.
  16. Lilien, Steven & Wynbrandt, Bryan (writer) & Vrvilo, Maja (director) (April 5, 2018) "A Dark Knight: Mandatory Brunch Meeting" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 17.
  17. Stephens, John & Boston, Seth (writer) & Hope, Nathan (director) (May 17, 2018) "A Dark Knight: No Man's Land" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 22.
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