In pre-crisis, Doctor Hurt was an unnamed scientist who worked for the U.S. military. Here, Hurt headed an isolation experiment to study the human brain with Batman having been a willing test-subject. The isolation experiments caused Batman to hallucinate about witnessing the death of his ward Robin however, striking him with intense PTSD.
The hallucinations persisted and prevented Batman from fighting crime until Robin's life was actually put in danger by the Gorilla Gang.
Thomas Wayne was born at some point prior or during the 18th century into the wealthy Wayne family. Thomas was a devil-worshiper who attempted to summon the bat-god Barbatos but instead was confronted by the being known as the Hyper-Adapter.
The Hyper-Adapter was a cosmic being released by Darkseid after the New God was mortally shot by Batman. When Batman shot Darkseid, Darkseid fired his omega beams at the vigilante, seemingly killing him but in-reality dislodging him in time. The Hyper-Adapter had the purpose of hunting down Batman and killing him.
When the Hyper-Adapter was summoned by Thomas Wayne, the being's omega-energies bonded with Thomas and caused him to become immortal. In addition to this, he became in a sense bound to his descendant Bruce Wayne with the purpose of destroying him left by the Hyper-Adapter.
In the 18th century, Thomas first encountered Bruce while teamed up with fellow-immortal Vandal Savage as they tried to steal a precious relic. By modern times, Thomas had taken up the identity of Dr. Simon Hurt and became the head-doctor of the Willowood Asylum on the outskirts of Gotham; an institution which the Wayne family built. He also became the leader of a violently hedonistic group of evil billionaires called the Black Glove which was active at-least before the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne.
A psychiatrist, Doctor Hurt was involved in a program which created three "replacement Batmen" with the participation of the GCPD Sometime after the three replacements had been trained, Simon Doctor Hurt was hired by the Pentagon to oversee an isolation experiment. During this process, he gave Batman a post-hypnotic trigger connected to the phrase "Zur-En-Arrh". He also arranged for the replacements to fight the dazed Batman, but they were defeated. Batman suspected nothing of this.
Going over his notes on Batman's psychology, he realized that Batman was "powered by tragedy" and set about traumatizing the three replacements, ostensibly to make them better crime-fighters.
Many years later, Doctor Hurt was working with the Black Glove when they decided to target Batman and his allies. Their first attack consisted of character assassination on the Wayne family, by spreading information to suggest that Batman's father somehow survived his murder by Joe Chill (to the point that he had arranged for the 'attack' himself in order to conceal his own debauchery). Doctor Hurt then, using the Zur-En-Arrh trigger in conjunction with drugs, sent a dazed and confused Bruce Wayne onto the streets of Gotham City with no memory of his life. Furthering this attack, he claimed to Alfred Pennyworth that he was actually Thomas Wayne himself, although Alfred denied this claim had any weight in reality.
However, Batman survived thanks to years of preparation, culminating in him confronting Doctor Hurt on the roof of Arkham Asylum. He accused Doctor Hurt of being Mangrove Pierce, an actor, acquaintance and occasional impersonator of Thomas Wayne, but Hurt claimed that he had actually "skinned Mangrove Pierce alive and wore him to Mayhew's party", which likely refers to the events of the "Club of Heroes" arc.
Doctor Hurt was believed to be dead after a helicopter explosion, but somehow survived and reappeared approximately six months later in Mexico, disguised as the drug lord El Penitente, but left to return to Gotham City. With the Joker working as an unreliable ally, Doctor Hurt used the Circus of Crime to release a drug into Gotham City's air with the intention of driving the city mad, subsequently making a public return as Thomas Wayne with the intention of setting up his headquarters in the Batcave. Doctor Hurt shot Dick Grayson in the back of the head and attempted to force Damian Wayne to swear allegiance to him in order to save Grayson's life. However, Grayson and Damian had already anticipated his attack, Grayson surviving Doctor Hurt's attack relatively unharmed while Doctor Hurt's attempts to open the box that Bruce Wayne left in the past revealing nothing but a Batarang and a note saying "Gotcha!", the room subsequently filling with smoke as another Batman appears, marking Bruce Wayne's return to the fold. In the subsequent confrontation, Doctor Hurt attempts — and fails — to trap Bruce Wayne in a prison in the Batcave, but nevertheless escapes through the cave's water access while Bruce is busy rescuing Alfred. Having escaped to a graveyard, Hurt is confronted and defeated by the Joker. The Joker doses Doctor Hurt with Joker venom and buries him alive, claiming that he proved to be a disappointment as a "new" archenemy. The Joker claims that he has "taken care" of Doctor Hurt, but Bruce Wayne is not quite willing to believe that the Doctor is truly dead.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Possessed by the demonic Hyper-Adapter, Simon Hurt cannot die from old age and has not aged for hundreds of years.
- Acting: He also has acting and theatrical capabilities.
- Psychiatry: Doctor Hurt is an expert in psychiatry and hypnosis. Having lived for many years, his wisdom and intelligence surpass that of the average human.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One 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.
- Hurt's costume is modelled after the bat costume of Dr. Thomas Wayne from the pre-crisis continuity. In that universe, Thomas had a bat costume for a costume party he attended which Bruce loved and as an adult put on display in the Batcave.
- It should be noted that on several occasions Simon Hurt is described as the Devil by Michael Lane, James Gordon, The Joker, and Batman himself. This alludes to the fact that the Black Glove movie was cursed and how Hurt knew Batman would die on his next mission.
- Simon Hurt was an adult human male in 1765. This would make him a contemporary of Batman ancestors Darius Wayne and Anthony Wayne, but whether he was a parent, uncle, or brother to them is unclear.
- Hurt's alias among Thomas and Martha Wayne's friends, Mangrove Pierce, may be a reference to the author Ambrose Bierce.
- Like many members of the Black Glove, Doctor Hurt travels around in a black limousine, but also occasionally travels by helicopter.
- Many weapons Doctor Hurt uses cause more psychological than physical damage, such as his Thomas Wayne operatic mask and cape or the words 'Zur-En-Arrh'. He may also occasionally carry a handgun as a last resort.