''All men have something to hide.
The brighter the picture,
the darker the negative''.
-Rupert Thorn (Batman episode Two-Face: Part 1, 1992).
Rupert Thorne was created by Steve Englehart and Walter Simonson, first appearing in Detective Comics #469 dated May 1977. Thorne's appearance was based on the actor Carroll O'Connor.
Thorne is a corrupt politician that is being pressured by Doctor Phosphorus into turning the city against Batman. When Batman defeats Phosphorus, Thorne shows his gratitude by convincing his fellow city councilors to declaring Batman a vigilante. Thorne attempts to run for mayor in order to control Gotham as a legitimate elected official while running Gotham's criminal underworld but he lost so he finances Hamilton Hill, another corrupt city official, in his candidacy for the mayor of Gotham. Hamilton wins the race and fires Commissioner James Gordon for his insufficiency in capturing the Batman. Hamilton appoints Peter Pauling, a corrupt cop that is on Thorne’s payroll.
Later on, Thorne is one of three criminals who made a bid at a secret auction held by Hugo Strange. Strange intends to divulge the secret identity of the Batman to the highest bidder but Thorne decides to kidnap and torture Strange in order to learn Batman’s identity for free. Strange apparently dies from being tortured and even though his body was disposed of, Thorne claims that he is haunted by spirit of Strange. As it turns out, Strange survived (like he always does) and used chemical hallucinations or holographic imagery to mentally torment Thorne. With Thorne’s mental state starting to unhinge, he becomes convinced that Hill and Pauling are plotting against him and trying to drive him insane. Thorne kills Pauling and is captured by Batman shortly after.
Thorne is imprisoned at Blackgate Penitentiary but shortly after his incarceration; Doctor Phosphorus makes an attempt on Thorne’s life and yet again the Batman comes to save Thorne’s ungrateful hide. Eventually, Thorne figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman after acquiring photos from the spiteful reporter Vicki Vale. Thorne then hires Deadshot to kill Wayne but he fails.
Batman: The Animated Series
Rupert Thorne appears frequently in Batman: The Animated Series voiced by John Vernon (Vernon has voiced many other comic book characters like Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom, General Ross, Iron Man, Namor and Major Glenn Talbot). Thorne was the one responsible for Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face in this series.
Rupert Thorne is the first criminal appearing in The Batman. He is voiced by Victor Brandt. Thorne appears in the episodes ''The Bat in the Belfry'', ''A matter of Family'' and ''Rumors'' as well as The Batman Strikes! comic.
Thorne was a villain in the original script written by Tom Mankiewicz.
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
Thorne appears in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman with John Vernon reprising his role.