- I'm a doctor! I love surgery... yet crime excites me! It's like a drug inside my body! I can't help it... but I enjoy acting criminally!
- — Crime Doctor src
The Crime Doctor is a criminal who operates in Gotham City. Using his medical knowledge, he provides assistance for the criminal underworld of the city, often providing medical care but sometimes acting as the master mind behind great criminal plots.
Matthew Thorne was a renowned doctor in Gotham, who turned himself criminal because it provided him with joy. He established a crime clinic where he provided his medical services and also gave advise on crimes and their performance. He was eventually involved in one of these many crimes and thus, he was confronted by the local vigilantes, Batman and Robin, and the crime doctor was subsequently arrested and sent to prison.
Shortly after this, Thorne escaped prison and once again opened his crime clinic, but this time he traveled across the country. Batman and Robin learned of his escape and they chased Thorne all the way to California, where Thorne saved Robin's life after he was shot by one of the doctor's henchmen. In the end, Thorne was betrayed by one of his own men, who shot him in the back, killing the doctor almost instantly.
Bradford Thorne was a notorious physician who provided criminal services as the Crime Doctor. Thorne assisted criminals using his medical knowledge in return for a small percentage of the stolen loot. His modus operandi stumped the authorities of Gotham City and caused Batman to turn his attention on his crimes.
Thorne eventually learned Batman's secret identity when Bruce Wayne went to see him, seeking his medical support. When the underworld learned that Thorne knew Batman's secret, Thorne was kidnapped by Sterling Silversmith, who poisoned Thorne to make him reveal the truth. Batman stopped Silversmith, but Thorne's body had been damaged by the poison and the diagnosis given to him was not positive, as he was most likely to remain in a comatose state for life and in the case of an eventual recovery, his memory would be completely wiped out.
A prosperous Gotham City physician, Dr. Bradford Thorne turned to crime for the thrills and adventure. Although he truly loved medicine, crime was like a narcotic which Thorne could not resist.
Establishing his "Crime Clinic" in the Cone Hills Region outside of Gotham, Thorne offered Gotham's underworld a variety of services from hospitalization to criminal consultations. He was sought by some of the biggest names in Gotham's underworld, but Thorne suffered a great setback when Batman stopped his illegal activities and Thorne's hands were seriously injured in the confrontation, preventing him from continuing his crime career for a while. His last successful work prior to this incident was the disfiguring of Paul Sloan's face under Two-Face's instructions.
- Surgical Clothing: The cap and mask protected the Crime Doctor's true identity; the smock was to prevent tell-tale stains and dust from soiling his clothes; and the rubber gloves prevented him from leaving fingerprints. The Crime Doctor also wore a physician's head-mounted reflector which, apart from its normal function of reflecting light, could also be used to dazzle an opponent.
- Injector Gun: Vapor-emitting gun capable of rendering others unconscious.
- Medical Equipment: That typically used by a doctor of medicine, carried in a black Gladstone bag as normally used by a physician on a house call.
- Ambulance: The Crime Doctor drove what appeared to be a normal everyday ambulance, but the vehicle was actually a fake which bore bogus Gotham General Hospital insignia and phony emergency vehicle license plates. The vehicle was also useful for making a fast getaway, as no police officer would stop an ambulance.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Golden Age era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- The Crime Doctor would never kill, as he was heard to explain to the boss of a gang of warehouse looters he was consulting on one of his "house calls": "The canon of medical ethics forbids a physician ever to take a human life!" At the same time, Thorne discovered that one of the security guards he had rendered unconscious with his injector gun had a weaker than normal heartbeat and dangerously high blood pressure, and left a prescription sheet on the guard's body advising the man to see his own physician first thing the next morning.
- The Crime Doctor's fee amounted to 25% of the profits for crimes he had planned from the very beginning, while that for "house calls" (crimes planned by others) was 50%.
- 17 Appearances of Bradford Thorne (New Earth)
- 4 Images featuring Bradford Thorne (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Bradford Thorne (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Bradford Thorne (New Earth)
Secret Society of Super-Villains member