Talk Nerdy to Me BD Wong is Hugo Strange on Gotham
Jack and Troy from ZiaComics.com geek out over the new villains on the Fox TV show, Gotham. Hugo Strange is a fictional super-villain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #36 (February 1940), and is one of Batman’s first recurring villains, preceding the Joker and Catwoman by several months. Hugo Strange is also the first Batman villain to deduce the hero’s secret identity.
Hugo Strange first appearances
Hugo Strange first appears as a scientist who uses a stolen “concentrated lightning” machine to generate a dense fog every night. This allows his gang to rob banks unseen.
Batman already knows of Strange’s experiments. He begins investigating him after one of his henchmen kills a man. When his henchmen are apprehended Strange vows to set a trap for Batman. When Batman arrives over a dozen of Strange’s men are waiting for him. One of them knocks him out with a blackjack.
He wakes up in Strange’s lair. Strange hangs him from his wrists and lashes him with a whip. Batman breaks the ropes, gasses the room, and tackles Strange.
In Hugo’s second appearance he escapes from the “city asylum” with a gang of criminals. He then breaks out “five insane patients” and uses them as test subjects. He turns them into hulking 15 ft zombies by administering a powerful artificial growth hormone that acts on the pituitary gland.
He releases them to wreak havoc in Gotham City while his men commit robberies. Strange administers the serum to Batman after the giants capture him. He says it will work in 18 hours. Batman tricks two of the monsters into killing each other. He saves himself by creating a drug that prevents any abnormal secretions from the pituitary gland. He kills all the other monsters and sends Strange to his apparent demise.
In Detective Comics #46 Strange starts spreading a fear-inducing powder around the city until a punch from Batman sends him falling to his apparent death again.
Discovering Batman’s identity
He returned in the 1970s during the “Strange Apparitions” story arc. Having survived his earlier “deaths” Strange is running a private hospital for Gotham’s wealthiest citizens. He holds them for ransom and changes them into monsters. Bruce Wayne checks into the hospital to recover discreetly from radiation burns he sustained while fighting Doctor Phosphorus. Strange finds out that Wayne is Batman and proceeds to wreak havoc on his personal life. Strange attempts to auction the identity of Batman to City Council Boss Rupert Thorne, Penguin, and Joker.
Thorne has Strange kidnapped and beaten to reveal Batman’s identity. Strange apparently dies before he can divulge the identity. Strange’s ghost comes back to haunt Thorne driving the council boss insane. Thorne confesses his long career of corruption and is sent to prison.
As revealed in Batman #356 (Feb. 1983) Strange had indeed survived the beating from Thorne’s men. He used yoga to slow his heartbeat to an undetectable level. Strange created the ‘ghost’ that haunted Thorne and drove him to confess to the authorities.
Subsequently Strange attempts to weaken Bruce Wayne through the use of drugs and robots. His ultimate goal of usurping the mantle of Batman. The plan fails and Strange apparently dies once more when he blows up a replica of Wayne Manor.