The 10 Best Batman Comics Featuring Hugo Strange

When looking at his vast array of top-tier villains, it’s hard to deny that Batman has the best rogues gallery in all comics. With numerous A-list comic villains like the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, the Riddler, and more, it can be easy for some of Batman’s best villains to get overlooked. Among those overlooked villains is the twisted and influential psychologist, Professor Hugo Strange.

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Not only has Hugo Strange appeared in Batman comics more than a dozen times, but he was also one of the first villains to deduce Batman’s secret identity, causing plenty of problems for Bruce Wayne.

10 Hugo Strange First Appeared In Detective Comics #36

In 1940, Hugo Strange made his comic debut in Detective Comics #36 as a direct adversary to Batman. In the comic, Strange kidnaps an electrical engineer and forces him to design a device that will create thick fog clouds wherever Strange needs it. Using the fog, Strange’s hired criminals commit crimes and easily avoid police capture. After getting a hint from a drive-by shooting victim, Batman eventually tracks down Strange and fights off his men from him. Before being sent to jail, Strange vows to get revenge on Batman.

9 Hugo Strange Haunted Rupert Thorne

Hugo Strange In Batman Costume

In Detective Comics #472, Hugo Strange is tortured and killed by the ruthless mob boss, Rupert Thorne. However, one issue later in Detective Comics #473, Thorne experiences a vivid vision of Strange, threatening to kill him in revenge for what he’s done. Realizing he’s the only one in the room who saw it, Thorne keeps the vision to himself.

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Not ending there, Strange appears before Thorne once again in Detective Comics #474. Terrified of the haunting, Thorne flees Gotham in Detective Comics #476, only to be attacked by Strange’s ghost while driving his car.

8 Hugo Strange Returned In Batman #356

batman fighting himself

In Batman #356, after days of haunting Rupert Thorne, Hugo Strange reveals to Batman that he faked his death. After months of planning, Strange sets a massive plan in motion that involves creating a fake version of Wayne Manor, a robotic double of Dick Grayson, and a fake recreation of the Batcave. After unveiling his plan from him to Batman, Strange, dawning a replica of Batman’s costume, fights Batman in an attempt to kill him. Robin arrives shortly after, confused as to why two Batmans are fighting in front of him. Moments later, Strange orders Robin to kill Batman, instantly revealing himself to be the fake Batman.

7 Hugo Strange Made Batman Question His Sanity

Batman In Red

When it comes to mentally torturing Batman, few are better than Hugo Strange, as he proved in Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight issues #11-15. In the storyline, with the assistance of a vigilante-hating cop and the mayor, Strange influences the creation of a vigilante task force.

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Finding new friends among Gotham’s elite after working with the mayor, Strange goes on a campaign to inform anyone who will listen that Batman is a mentally-disturbed egomaniac. Following this, Strange goes to extreme lengths to frame Batman for heinous crimes with hopes of destroying his reputation among all citizens of Gotham. Eventually, Strange makes even Batman question whether he is a good person or not.

6 Hugo Joined Forces With Scarecrow To Terrorize Batman

Hugo Strange and Scarecrow

If you’re looking for a duo of villains capable of extreme mental terror, look no further than the duo of Hugo Strange and Scarecrow, who teamed up in Legends Of The Dark Knight issues #137-141. In the storyline, Strange again attempts to frame Batman by going around Gotham and committing crimes donning the replica costume he wore previously. Shortly after, Strange disguises himself as an Arkham doctor to help Jonathan Crane purge all his psychological fears of Batman. Over their sessions, Strange quickly influences Crane to become the Scarecrow once again and join him on a mission to terrorize Batman.

5 Strange Ruined Bruce Wayne’s Life In Batman Annual #10

Batman Annual 10 Cover

Further establishing himself as one of Batman’s most ruthless villains, Hugo Strange devised a master plan to ruin Bruce Wayne’s life in batman annual #10. In the story, the Wayne Foundation and Wayne Enterprises shareholders sell all their stock to one unknown man. Following this, Bruce loses his company and is immediately sent into debt.

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After being forced to sell Wayne Manor to settle his debts, the Child Welfare Bureau takes Jason Todd away from Bruce, officially putting Bruce at rock-bottom. Soon after, Batman takes action and discovers that all of the shareholders were intimidated into selling their shares to Hugo Strange.

4 Strange Reentered The DC Universe In Strange Apparitions

Batman Looking Over Shoulder

For years following the Silver Age reboot of the DC Universe, Hugo Strange did not appear. It wasn’t until 1977 that Hugo returned in Detective Comics #469. In a storyline in Detective Comics issues #469-472, Strange discovers Batman’s identity and uses it to take control of the Wayne Foundation. The story is very similar to the aforementioned batman annual #10, only this time, instead of intimidating Wayne’s colleagues, Strange goes to great lengths to disguise himself as Bruce Wayne. Strange eventually kidnaps Bruce and Alfred, keeping them in a cell in Graytowers.

3 Hugo Strange Seemingly Killed Batman In Transference

Hugo Strange Smiling

Hugo Strange continued his twisted crusade to ruin Batman’s reputation in the four-issue arc, Batman Transferencewhich occurred in Batman: Gotham Knights issues #8-11. The storyline begins six months in the past with Catwoman being captured by a fake Batman and Catwoman duo. In the present, Burce is attending a mandatory psych evaluation when the doctor conducting the session suddenly reveals himself to be Hugo Strange.

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Moments later, Bruce realizes that he’s been drugged and flees for the door, only for Strange to chase him from behind. Meeting again on the roof of the building, Strange tells Bruce, if Batman puts him in jail, he will reveal his secret identity to the world.

two Hugo Strange’s First Encounter With Batman Was Retold

Batman Cape Waving

Based on Hugo Strange’s first few appearances in DC Comics, Batman and the Monster Men tells the story of Batman’s first encounter with Professor Strange. In the storyline, Hugo Strange, who uses funds from Sal Maroni to perform dangerous experiments on patients in Arkham Asylum, creates a group of violent giants. The story is intended to show the first time Hugo Strange made giants out of human patients, something he’s done more than once. The story canonically takes place shortly after the events of the classic Batman comic, Batman: Year One.

1 Hugo Strange Came Back For Revenge

Hugo Strange Disguise Reveal

When noting the numerous times he has done it, it’s easy to see that Hugo Strange coming back from the dead is common in Batman comics. But perhaps no other Batman comic has done it better than Detective Comics #471, The Dead Yet Live. In the storyline, Batman is considering retirement after his battle with Doctor Phosphorous left him injured from radiation. Going to see a doctor for help, Bruce is introduced to Dr. Todhunter and his nurse, Magda. Soon realizing that he’s been led into a trap, Bruce uses Batman’s utility belt tools to free himself. Upon investigating the mysterious doctor’s office, Todhunter pulls off a skin-tight mask, revealing himself to be Hugo Strange, seemingly back from the dead.

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