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Quote1 You know the sort of people I've gone up against, so you know I don't say this lightly... but the Joker? Riddler? Croc, Scarecrow and the others? He's in their league. Only without the crippling psychoses to cloud his judgment. Quote2
Batman src

Hugo Strange is a brilliant but insane psychologist and scientist who is driven by obsession to fight against Batman. Strange is famous for having discovered Batman's secret identity independently through deduction and striking at him emotionally, while using genetically engineered Monster Men as his own private army.


Strange's childhood was scarred by trauma and grief, leading him to hone and direct himself, making the most of his ordeals to pursue higher goals.[1] He was raised in an orphanage on Gotham City's Lower East Side, in the neighborhood called Hell's Crucible. Growing up to be a well-respected mind in the scientific community, he became professor of psychiatry at Gotham State University until his tenure was suspended over increasingly bizarre theories in genetic engineering.[2]

Monster Men

 Main article: Batman and the Monster Men

Strange and his assistant Sanjay begin experimenting with genetic manipulation in an attempt to cure disease and imperfection, although this results in a terrible race of cannibalistic Monster Men who require regular feeding. Not taken seriously by the scientific community, he turns to crime boss Sal Maroni for his funding.[1]

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First encounter with Batman

His patients are Arkham Asylum inmates who will not be missed. Eventually he is forced to pay off his debts by sending his creatures to massacre a mob gambling house, stealing several hundred thousand dollars in the process.[3]

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Monster Men

The carnage makes his Mafia connections extremely suspicious. Batman tracks them down after several grisly murders, although he is subdued by Sanjay and locked in the den of the beasts.[2] Batman is able to fight his way out of the cage and escape, which leads the professor to believe he has found a genetically perfect specimen. Maroni's men physically threaten him in response to the gambling house slaughter, which makes him decide to wipe all of them out.[4] The last monster he makes is the most perfect one, using the Batman's DNA, and he gathers all four of them for an assault on Carmine Falcone's mansion compound in the countryside.[5] They are unleashed and begin killing all the mobsters in sight, although Batman arrives to control the situation. Sanjay is shot dead in the chaos, and Strange is forced to flee the scene. He then uses his psychological credentials to go on television as an anti-Batman commentator.[6]


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Hugo Strange as Batman

 Main article: Batman: Prey

Strange appears on a talk show to discuss Batman's psychology with Captain Gordon and Mayor Klass, where Gordon is announced as the head of a new GCPD anti-vigilante task force with the professor as their professional consultant. He begins to develop obsessive behavior, making his own Batman costume to get inside his enemy's head.[7] As the investigation continues, Strange grows increasingly monomaniacal in his obsession with Batman. His greatest desire is to become Batman. To that end, he has attempts to kill the Caped Crusader, and then take his place. Strange eventually concludes that Bruce Wayne is most likely Batman, brainwashes the head of the police task force into becoming a lethal vigilante to turn public sentiment against Batman, and kidnaps the mayor's daughter. He is ultimately caught, shot twice and falls into a river; it was then assumed he had died.


 Main article: Batman: Terror

Having only faked his death, Strange announces his return by murdering an old millionaire named Sebastian Cole and painting a bat on the wall with his victim's blood. He vows to destroy Batman completely, first in mind and then in body. Taking the alias Victor Absonus, he becomes a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and begins rehabilitating the mentally broken Scarecrow.[8] Hypnotizing a guard, Hugo smuggles his new partner out of the asylum and they take up residence in Cole's oceanside manor. His plan is to combine the Scarecrow's fear gas with a powerful hallucinogen to get deeper into Batman's psyche; delivering his second threat, he breaks into Wayne Manor and overpowers Alfred Pennyworth to leave behind a taunting mannequin of himself. The Scarecrow refuses to be anyone's pawn and betrays Strange, giving him a powerful dose of their concoction.[9] Running through the house in delirious terror, he falls into a trap in the floor where he is impaled through the chest in the basement, seemingly dead.[10] The manor is converted into a house of terror and death for the Scarecrow's high school bullies, eventually attracting Batman's attention.[11] In their climactic fight, Hugo reveals that he has been barely surviving for days in agony on rats, and strangles the Scarecrow as the house burns down around them. The three men fall into the ocean, and Strange escapes again in the chaos.[12]


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Arkham Asylum

 Main article: Batman: Transference

Returning to Gotham while believed dead, Strange decides that he will kill Bruce Wayne and take over the Batman identity for himself. Disguised in the costume, he captures Catwoman and briefly interrogates her about their relationship using sodium pentothal. Now working as a psychologist providing evaluations for Wayne Enterprises' employees, he confronts Bruce directly during a session.[13] Maintaining his ignorance, Wayne escapes from the gun-wielding maniac in the locked room and returns as Batman. They fight on the rooftop and Strange is defeated, tied up for the police while swearing he will tell everyone what he knows. Batman leaves the scene and the Batmobile explodes, seemingly killing him, while Strange escapes.[14] Breaking into Wayne Manor while wearing his Batsuit, Strange fights Nightwing and Robin but escapes.[15] Bruce is revealed to be still alive, but has no memory of being Batman. Strange captures all three of them and interrogates them in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Threatening to execute them, Strange becomes convinced that his assumptions about Wayne were wrong and has a psychotic breakdown, then voluntarily checking himself into Arkham Asylum as a patient.[16] His former student Dr. Charles Nigaff personally took him under his care.[17]

The One You Love

 Main article: Catwoman: The One You Love

Hush spreads word that Gotham's East End is protected only by Catwoman as revenge for a slight, leading to a migration of villains who believe they can take over the territory. Hugo Strange acts as the leader of a gang including the Angle Man, Captain Cold, the Cheetah, and Hammer and Sickle.[18] Catwoman joins Strange's gang, then allows its members to "find out" that she intends to betray them, faking her death when they attempt to eliminate her. Although she defeats and imprisons most of the gang, and even convinces Strange to leave the East Side alone, Strange still mocks her by pointing out that he had faked his own death far more often than she had.

Salvation Run

 Main article: Salvation Run

When villains start mysteriously disappearing, Strange seeks refuge with the Penguin alongside the Mad Hatter, the Scarecrow and Two-Face. They are ambushed by the Suicide Squad underneath the Iceberg Lounge, and taken into custody.[19] This is part of massive supervillain deportations to another planet organized by Checkmate during Salvation Run, and Strange is stranded with many others until they can escape.[20]

Battle for the Cowl

 Main article: Batman: Battle for the Cowl

Upon returning to Earth, Strange was once again locked in Arkham until his release during the destruction of the asylum at the hands of Black Mask. Once free, Strange organized a gambling rake in Gotham's underground to challenge the man who seemed to be Batman's successor. In doing so, he attracted the attention of the Oracle and The Network, who were responsible of stopping Strange's plan, but failed to capture Strange himself.[21]


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Strange demonstrates a flying kick on Norman Madison

  • Gymnastics
  • Martial Arts
  • Peak Human Condition: Strange exercises intensively and extensively - he has been shown training with weights and performing cardiovascular and gymnastics routines on a regular basis to keep himself in peak condition.

Other Characteristics

  • Obsession: Strange has an obsession with Batman that borders on the delusional.
  • Genetic Limitation: Strange, despite his best efforts, can never be as physically toned as Batman. He himself admitted during his workout that he is "limited by [his] genetics."


External Links


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This character, team or organization, has been primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."