- "You are a truly extraordinary specimen. I look forward to breaking you."
- ―Hugo Strange in an Interview Tape to Batman as Batman pays his respects to his parents in Crime Alley[src]
A brilliant psychiatrist and skilled manipulator who operated out of both Blackgate Prison and Arkham Asylum, Professor Hugo Strange spent years studying the Dark Knight, eventually accomplishing a feat that few ever did; deducing Batman's identity. Armed with that knowledge and a great deal of cunning, Strange formed an alliance with Ra's al Ghul and his secret organization, the League of Assassins. Outlining his plans with Ra's to assume complete control over Gotham City and purge its population, Strange also lusted to claim the League and the secrets of immortality that they possessed for himself by proving to be a worthy successor to his new master.
Manipulating political activist and Warden of Arkham Asylum, Quincy Sharp, via mind control drugs, Strange enabled Sharp into becoming Mayor and authorized the construction and opening of Arkham City, an anarchist prison that was built in the heart of Gotham, to hold thousands of inmates and even innocent people. Forming connections throughout Gotham's criminal underworld, Strange eventually targeted Bruce Wayne in order to complete his plans to implement Protocol 10, an operation that would murder thousands and pave the way for Ra's and himself to conquer the world.
During Bruce's second year as Batman, Professor Strange treated various people with psychological issues and often used his treatment sessions with his patients as a front to further his own agenda through experimentation. One of those patients was Alberto Falcone, the heir to the Falcone Crime Family. Strange operated out of Blackgate Prison with Harleen Quinzel as his intern and established a residence and secondary office at Park Row in Old Gotham. Behind the scenes, Strange lusted to achieve dominance and control over the human mind through inhumane experiments to further his own lusts for power, fame, and fortune and hosted 'Self Help Seminars' to find unknowing victims to use in those experiments. With the arrival of the vigilante known as Batman, Strange became immensely intrigued with the hero and dedicated large portions of his research into learning more about him and his secret identity.
The Seeds of Planning
- "I intend to create a new Arkham, an Arkham that will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of this one."
- ―Hugo Strange to Jervis Tetch during his interview sessions. [src]
Hugo Strange was an unknown and relatively new player to Gotham City's criminal underworld. A licensed psychiatrist, Strange worked within the dingy halls of Arkham Asylum after it was reopened by political activist and Warden, Quincy Sharp, after he previously worked at Blackgate Prison, for years as a reputable psychiatrist on the surface. Strange's responsibility at Arkham Asylum was to interview and evaluate new patients in order to gain a better understanding of his or her psychosis and how they could best be treated in the most appropriate manner at the asylum by the staff. However, Strange did well to cover his true face as he was a power-hungry madman with delusions of godhood who exploited his trusted position, facility, and resources to perform experiments on everyone residing there; patients, nurses, professors, and security personnel in order to capitalize on his longing to unlock the inner workings of the human mind and ultimately control it.
Early on in his career, Strange became obsessed with Batman after he learned that almost every one of his patients at Arkham was either brought in by Batman or were obsessed with him themselves, and Strange dedicated his life to finding out more about Gotham's greatest protector. The more Strange researched Batman, the more that he believed that the Dark Knight was a plague on the city rather than a savior, and believed that his very presence was the cause of all the criminal escalation over the years. Strange began to believe that he himself could be a more worthy mantle to the legend that Batman acquired over the years and eliminate all the criminals that plagued the city to obtain absolute fame and prestige.
After spending years intensifying his studies on Batman, Strange also became intrigued with Batman's perfect code of justice-no one died by his hand. Strange's longing to become the Dark Knight became an obsession, who desired to inherit the legend of such a crime-fighter and use it to obtain his own lusts and desires. To that end, Strange worked alone and used a series of complicated psychological profiling techniques to identify the man behind the cowl of Gotham's Dark Knight; billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne.
After he successfully deduced the identity of Batman, Strange planned to become both rich and famous from his deduction by selling the secret identity to the highest bidder in the criminal underworld. While word spread throughout the criminal underworld about that "auction", Strange eventually saw a much bigger opportunity that awaited him, one that could promise him ultimate power, control, and immortality itself. Strange then had the auction canceled and disappeared from the criminal underworld spotlight before anyone could act on his proposition.
Rather than simply use his secret deduction for money and fame, Strange planned to exploit that knowledge by slowly setting the stage in Gotham for the ultimate challenge: To first destroy Batman in a one-on-one chess game with his city as the board along with friends and foes as pawns, then to take over as the Caped Crusader himself and use the identity for his own purposes. The first item on Strange's agenda was to find benefactors for his plans and the person who holds all of the treasures and luxuries that he desired. He found both in one man; Ra's al Ghul, one of Batman's oldest and greatest enemies who also knew of his identity.
Through extensive research, Strange was able to get in contact with Ra's and set up a meeting with the ancient warlord, where he told him all that he knew of Batman and how he wished to help in his plans and operations to rid the world of those that they both saw as undesirable. Ra's, highly impressed with Strange's brilliant mind and fortitude, gave him the chance to prove himself a worthy successor to his mantle, and agreed to fund his operations: If Strange could find the means to eliminate all crime in Gotham and defeat Batman, then Ra's would make him his successor, and give him complete control over the League of Assassins, his wealth, his business empires, and even the powers of immortality itself through the unlimited use of the Lazarus Pit.
Strange gleefully agreed and immediately began to make his plans to wipe out all crime in Gotham by staging an insidious conspiracy that would not only wipe out all criminals in Gotham but hundreds and thousands of innocents as well. That conspiracy was known as Arkham City, an anarchistic prison that was built in the heart of Gotham to hold all criminals for eventual extermination, which lay out the foundations of Strange's ultimate desire for power and authority.
One of Strange's most pivotal pawns that were eventually chosen as none other than Warden Quincy Sharp, administrator of Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, where most of Batman's Rogues Gallery were kept. Having access to multiple medical files, Strange learned that Sharp had a troubled history of being plagued by schizophrenic episodes that were personified in a multiple personality disorder that he had tried hard to keep a secret.
Sharp's intense hatred of the asylum's inmates and his desire to cure them through any means necessary were derived from his own self-loathing due to his mental illness. With that information in his possession, Strange soon found Sharp to be the best kind of puppet: Established, old-fashioned, affluent, completely hollow, a blank easel fit for someone else to manipulate due to his disorder, and, perhaps best of all, planned on running for Mayor of Gotham City, the perfect position that held the political power that Strange needed at his disposal to carry out his schemes.
Knowing of his aspirations to become Mayor, Strange approached Sharp and informed him that he had friends in high places who could benefit his mayoral campaign for years on end and ensure of his victory in the elections. After Strange showed proof of his claims, Sharp, blinded by his own political desires, accepted Strange's bribes and allowed the mad professor to carry out inhuman experiments on the patients of Arkham Asylum. While Sharp allowed Strange to do as he pleased, the professor knew that the warden needed to come around to his way of thinking completely to serve as the perfect pawn and, over the next several months, Strange saw to it that he would.
If Strange's plans and operations for power were to succeed, he knew that he needed Sharp under his complete control to carry out his grand designs through the political arena. While he used the resources in behavioral control and he looked through all the patient files, Strange became fascinated by Jervis Tetch's, aka The Mad Hatter's, mind-altering experiments, and concluded that Tetch's brilliant mind was the perfect component that was needed to find the means to control Sharp's feeble mind. Unknown to the Warden, Strange eventually held therapy sessions with Jervis, commencing with an offer of the man's favorite tea, which was later revealed to be laced with Hatter's own mind-altering compound, in order to make the villain more malleable during these sessions.
After he manipulated security procedures behind Sharp's back to continue his conversations with Jervis, Strange enlisted his help through deception and manipulation, preying on Jervis's love of hats, tea, and Alice to have him perform mind control experiments on the oldest and most forgettable patients of Arkham. Eventually, Jervis succeeded in preparing an amazing mind control drug, much stronger than his previous invented compounds, which made anyone who ingested it much more malleable to suggestion and over a much longer period of time. In order to cover his tracks, Sharp had all of the victims in the experiments lobotomized, locked away in extreme isolation, and never allowed them to the see the light of day again.
Using the completed formula, Strange mass-produced large quantities of the drug and immediately invited Warden Sharp to his office at the Arkham Mansion for some tea. Unknown to the blissful Sharp, Strange also had Jervis in the office and used him and his unique hat to put Sharp in a deep trance when he arrived. Sharp then drank the tea that was given to him by Strange, which was drugged with his new mind-control serums, which completed the hypnosis, and was immediately programmed by Strange to be his puppet.
With his part over in Strange's schemes, Jervis was locked back up by Strange and was given another "Alice", who was actually just a female assistant to Strange, who then convinced Jervis that she was Alice to keep him quiet. Strange then began "suggesting" to Warden Sharp that he should begin to murder several of the more uncontrollable patients at Arkham for the benefit of Gotham and humanity just as the former founder and owner of Arkham Asylum, Amadeus Arkham, did prior to his own institutionalization.
Sharp's unstable mental state then snapped completely as his multiple personality disorder personified itself as a diluted Sharp who believed that he was The Spirit of Arkham and murdered countless patients under Strange's influence. Strange eventually used those atrocities of murder to blackmail Sharp to ensure that he remained loyal to him and him alone.
Sharp, shocked at his unstable personality, agreed and let Strange become his private psychiatrist to become better, though Strange did nothing of the sort and continued to supply him with his mind control drugs, that were disguised as medical pills, to ensure that Sharp remained in his strangled hold. With Sharp nothing more than one of his pawns, Strange had the warden hire him as his secret collaborator during his mayoral campaign, which allowed him to easily twist and turn Sharp's actions and influence throughout Arkham and Gotham to serve his own ends.
However, word soon got out that Strange was both involved with patient abuse and unethical experiments (most likely from a former patient of Strange that was fortunate enough to withstand his experiments), which forced Strange to put in a transfer request and disappear from society altogether. With the help of Ra's agents throughout Gotham's infrastructure, Strange's record and all information that was related to his crimes was completely wiped clean and allowed the professor to continue in his plans from the shadows without the worry of the authorities.
Over a period of three years, Warden Sharp found himself programmed into becoming Strange's "face", and was used to set the stage for a showdown with the Masked Man-Hunter. Over those three years, Strange also had Sharp implement numerous security and research measures at the asylum to boost his approval ratings to ensure that he won the election, while he also influenced him to murder several more patients who knew too much about Strange or might have served as an obstacle in his plans. However, one of Strange's most critical moves made Sharp present the City Council with the "Arkham City" plan; to wall off an entire district of Gotham and fill with it with every criminal as a fail-safe should Gotham's criminals became too chaotic to control.
The City Council approved of the plan and were impressed with Sharp's layouts, but they also never thought that such a plan would have to be put into effect. Those plans were of the creation of Strange, however, who would see to it that Sharp became Mayor and made his Arkham City Project a reality. Strange had Sharp store their most valuable plans, files, and layouts for their grand projects and operations within a room at his office that would eventually be sealed off so that no one knew of Arkham City's existence, especially Batman, until the appropriate moment.
In the meantime, Strange's manipulation allowed Sharp's cowardly and weak-minded nature to be covered up with a layer of authority and sternness as Sharp became the self-proclaimed voice of Arkham Asylum. Statues, portraits, and even banners of Sharp decorated the dingy halls of the facility to remind all of the inmates and security personnel just who was in control. The Super-villains' equipment and weapons were placed in exhibit cases throughout the Arkham Mansion and served as trophies and mementos of Sharp's exploits over the criminal mind that further fed his massive ego.
As Strange used Sharp to remove any possible hindrances to his plans, he saw the Joker as a major, potential obstacle in his designs, as his murderous breakouts from Arkham and exploits throughout Gotham may have cost Sharp's approval ratings. Strange then had Sharp attempt to kill the Joker in his cell with a knife, but Joker was able to easily gain control of the situation and escaped the asylum. The Joker later revealed his own plans, which included the manipulation of the research staff at the asylum to create a chemical known as Titan, to build a Massive and Twisted Force to destroy Gotham.
To that end, Joker destroyed Blackgate Prison to have hundreds of his henchmen moved to Arkham Asylum in order to orchestrate a massive riot at the institution that took the lives of hundreds of security personnel, doctors, and inmates alike as he released the most Deranged Criminals and attempted to create his army through the use of Titan. However, thanks to Batman, the Joker's plans were spoiled at the last moment, all of the inmates and super-criminals were recaptured, and the GCPD retook control of the asylum.
With his security systems disabled, his private security force completely routed by the rampaging patients, and chaos spreading across the locked-down Arkham, Sharp's public image was nearly derailed for allowing such an incident to happen. However, the quick-witted Strange soon exploited such an opportunity, declared that once the riot had been suppressed that the Warden was the one who was solely responsible for stopping the Joker and thereby gave him enough public support to make his successful bid for mayor. Strange was able to further exploit the situation by having Sharp use the event as evidence that both Arkham and Blackgate were unfit facilities to hold Gotham's criminal element and that a new institution should be built. Most of City Hall agreed but were still hesitant to put the Arkham City Project into effect.
Regardless that the City Council members were coming around to his way of thinking, all Strange had to do was push that mindset further in the appropriate direction and Arkham City would become a reality. With such a madman finally in control of the "board" and all of the pawns lined up, the pieces of an ingenious plan to destroy the Dark Knight began to fall into place.
The Approval and Construction of Arkham City
Strange retreated further into the shadows once the new Mayor Sharp was introduced to the public spotlight. Strange stayed in contact with his pawn mainly through the occasional phone counseling session and directed his every word in public through a radio receiver that was implanted in Sharp's ear.
Sharp was able to keep a strong resolve with Strange's manipulation guiding him into constructing a new City Hall after the previous one's destruction at Joker's hands six months ago. That was nothing more than another item on Strange's agenda, however, in order to serve as part of the final event to get his Arkham City Project approved. After he recruited two twin thugs from Two-Face's Gang, known collectively as T&T, Strange had them retrieve shipments of Titan that Dent had acquired for his own ends from his cellar to make themselves stronger and then slaughter half of Two-Face's Gang.
After he kept in contact with the pair through communication devices that he had surgically implanted into their brains, Strange had T&T commit heinous crimes throughout Gotham until, finally, their ultimate moment came when Strange had Sharp initiate an official opening at the new City Hall.
While Sharp addressed the people of Gotham at that opening ceremony, Strange had T&T attack the ceremony, and wipe out all of Commissioner James Gordon's men. Before they caused any further damage, however, Batman arrived and subdued the pair with tranquilizers, at which point Strange informed T&T that they must resort to their contingency plan. After T&T gladly accepted Strange's orders, the mad professor bid farewell to his pawns as he pressed a detonation button that activated explosives that were placed inside the pair's body.
While Batman was able to escape, the resulting explosion completely destroyed the newly rebuilt City Hall, killed more than three hundred citizens, caused billions in damage, and, thereby, set up the perfect pretext for Strange and Sharp to put Gotham City under martial law and begin running it like their own police state. With Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison unfit to house criminals after Joker's brutal attack on both and Gotham's crime rate skyrocketing, a drastic new project was introduced with the broad mayoral powers at a villain's disposal: Arkham City.
Arkham City, in fact, was a hellish anarchic nightmare: Hundreds of the worst criminals were simply thrown into a walled-off lawless district where they were free to do whatever that they needed to in order to survive and the only rule was no attempts of escape. In addition to repeat-offenders and the criminally insane mental patients, hundreds of innocent people were also rounded up and locked in the prison city, even those with only minor records. Strange became obsessed with tracking down and arresting all types of lawbreakers, regardless of how minor their offenses were and if they had already served their sentences.
Even the more dubious upper-class criminals could no longer hide behind their fronts and lawyers for protection as Sharp's martial law made his word absolute and his alone. Mafia families such as the Maronis' were completely gunned down and taken away while the Falcones were forced to flee the city to avoid capture after all of their operations were shut down and their men were slaughtered. To prevent the Arkham City denizens from escaping, a new security force was formed out of professional mercenaries. The team was made up of well-paid former military and police operatives, was code-named TYGER, that was inspired and named after William Blake's poem, The Tyger, and was subsequently turned into Strange's personal squad of trained assassins.
Unknown to all but Strange himself, each TYGER operative was profiled and evaluated extensively by Strange personally and, during their interview sessions, Strange placed hypnotic suggestions into their minds through his mind control serums. That made TYGER unquestionably loyal to Strange and him alone, while they appeared loyal to the Mayor on the outside. When the time was right, Strange used TYGER to seize complete control over Gotham City and disposed of the mayor once his usefulness had run its course. With all of TYGER under his complete control, Strange next had Sharp sell Arkham Island as revenue for the city since the island was no longer in any condition to hold the inmates. Many companies bid for the land, but Sharp, under Strange's influence, ultimately rewarded it to TYGER, who immediately converted it as their main base of operations as well as planned the construction of Arkham City and prepared their fleet of helicopters and weapons.
With Sharp little more than an extension of Strange's own plans, ideas, and values, Strange instilled within the puppet Mayor that Batman was the true cause of all of Gotham's crimes as his very presence was what motivated criminals to become much more violent and chaotic. With those thoughts taking root in Sharp's simple mind, it didn't take long before the Mayor had full research conducted on the Dark Knight, sought to end his crime-fighting career, and blamed him for everything. With Sharp authorizing full research into Gotham's hero, it wouldn't be long before Strange figured out the means to defeat Batman once and for all.
In addition, Strange purposely had Sharp transfer his security at his own mansion, where he directed his affairs from after the destruction of City Hall, lax as part of another test for Batman in order to study his techniques. True to his prediction, Batman eventually broke into Sharp's mansion to obtain the plans for Arkham City, at which point Strange made his presence known through a laptop computer. After he activated machine guns that simply shot rubber bullets, Strange cared only about observing the Dark Knight's abilities rather than kill him. Batman was able to escape shortly after, but only after Strange got a glimpse of his fighting abilities.
Holding multiple City Council meetings, Sharp chose areas of social decay to build Arkham City, only to be met with opposition from Bruce Wayne himself. Defending his decision, Sharp reminded Mr. Wayne that this very location was the same area where he had lost his parents, Thomas and Martha, all those years ago. While Wayne remained unconvinced, the rest of the City Council agreed to Sharp's plans and immediately sent out eviction notices to all residents within the chosen location, and allowed Sharp full access to all the land that he needed to build his new prison compound.
However, that area was not only chosen due to its social decay, but because it also resided over Wonder City, a city fair that was created by Ra's centuries ago that ended in disaster, where Ra's and his forces were stationed, and who perfected the Lazarus Pit. Using that location, Strange not only stayed in close contact with his benefactors, but also converted Wonder Tower, formally a mechanism that electrified the Lazarus Pit from lightning strikes on the tower, into his main base of operations, where he saw all of Arkham City from hundreds of feet in the air. However, with all of the underclass and poor that were cast out from their homes to make room for Arkham City, many criminals from the areas began to commit petty crimes to support themselves. Crime began to skyrocket as it became known that even minor offenders were arrested and sent into Arkham City, and enticed criminals to believe that they had nothing to lose while protesters crowded the streets in and around City Hall and Arkham City.
Strange and Sharp began to make Gotham more and more into a police state with increased surveillance systems around the city and even implemented a harsh curfew. They also began to utilize the corruption within the GCPD to hire bent cops and used them to arrest all of the protestors based off manufactured evidence and handed them over to TYGER to be thrown into Arkham City and suffer the same and eventual fate as every inmate within the coming months. With unlimited resources and funding from Ra's business empires, countless hours were spent on constructing Arkham City, including the perimeter walls, communication systems, surveillance systems, and the import of the latest military-grade weaponry for TYGER to use in their patrols. As Arkham City was constructed, walling off Park Row and the other decaying suburbs, anyone who opposed Strange's project was instantly outshouted by the paranoid and the fearful.
Even Commissioner Gordon, who was outraged by Sharp's hiring of TYGER to police Arkham City without his consent, was not listened to as Sharp staged every piece of legal precedent and loophole known to man to make any objection or court order that Gordon had virtually useless. It wasn't long before Strange had Sharp demote Gordon to little more than a desk clerk at the GCPD while TYGER crowded the offices at the police station, and made it nothing more than one of Strange's numerous checkpoints throughout the city.
Arkham City's Completion and Strange's Unveiling
- "So, you know my name. Good, because I know everything about you. Your darkest secret, your ultimate weakness. I know you are Bruce Wayne'"
- ―Hugo Strange in a trailer to Batman: Arkham City[src]
With Arkham City nearly finished, Strange began to have all Blackgate and Arkham Asylum prisoners transferred to his facility, where they were violently thrown onto the streets to survive the hellish environment with minimum food, clothing, and medical supplies. Super-criminals, such as the Joker and Penguin, quickly became the ruling elites on the streets, formed massive gangs to carve up the city for themselves, and caused massive chaos and destruction as they attempted to eliminate each other.
A majority of the inmates were forced to join either of those gangs for their own protection or risk living to fend for themselves with no protection, equipment, or shelter in the hellish domain. However, that was exactly as Strange had envisioned, and knew that putting every criminal in Gotham City in one secluded area with no rules would incite a war for total control over the area. It wouldn't be long before that chaos served Strange's ultimate objectives for fame and glory.
However, one particular prisoner eventually gained Strange's attention; a prisoner by the name of Lester Kurtz, who displayed amazing stamina, martial arts, and was seemingly able to escape from any situation. The thug joined both Joker and Penguin's Gangs in order to weigh the advantages and disadvantages that both had to offer. It wasn't long however before Strange concluded the truth about that inmate; that he was Batman in disguise, who surveyed the environment.
After he deduced his identity a second time, Strange easily pinpoints the location that Batman entered Arkham City through, an abandoned boathouse near the bay. As the Dark Knight left the city, Strange used all of the surveillance footage from his security system to observe every detail of Batman's abilities. Using that to viciously train his TYGER Guards to combat Batman's every move, Strange had a surprise planted for Batman in the boathouse should he return in his inmate disguise; a bomb that was rigged to blow.
As Batman returned once again in his Lester Kurtz disguise, Strange activated the bomb, which completely blew up the boathouse and sent Batman flying through the air. Strange then sent his trained TYGER Guards after him, at which point Batman fled and adorned his iconic attire. Fighting the TYGER Guards, Batman was shocked to learn that they could block nearly every one of his moves as Strange hacked into his communication systems in order to taunt the hero.
Believing he had Batman cornered, Strange prepared to have his guards take him in, when Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, arrived in an armored van that she had stolen from TYGER and rescued Batman. After he departed from Catwoman, Batman got his revenge on the guards and incapacitated nearly all of them, brutally interrogating the remaining conscious guard. It was during this interrogation that Batman finally learned of Strange, much to the mad professor's delight, who brutally tortured and murdered the guard who surrendered his name and began to set up the next phase of his plans.
After he finally learned of the previously secret power behind Sharp and Arkham City, Batman had Alfred and Robin prepare all available information on Strange. They were shocked to learn that Strange's record had been wiped clean and only obtained specific documents that were related to his unethical experiments at Arkham after they used the Batcomputer to dig deep enough. However, Strange had already thought ahead and finally had Sharp announce his collaboration with Strange to the public, and told them that he had entrusted all operations and management of the prison to him.
Bruce Wayne finally decided to come back into the political arena and presented the evidence to the audience at Strange's press conference, though Strange simply refuted the accusations by stating that he merely took the blame for the other professors at the asylum and told the playboy billionaire that no matter what he or anyone else said or did, Arkham City would open as scheduled.
Regardless of Sharp's apparent faith in Strange, most of Gotham was curious as to where that man was for the past four years. Whenever questioned about his mysterious disappearance, Strange simply stated that he was out of the country in order to study new, and radical psychiatric therapy techniques to further help his patients upon his return to the city.
While most of the general public believed Strange, Jack Ryder grew suspicious, dug deeper into Strange's exploits over the years, and eventually came into contact with one his former patients from Arkham Asylum. The man, no longer a patient of the old Asylum, told Ryder about Strange's unstable and even frightening demeanor while he was a professor at Arkham and the inhumane experiments that he conducted on his patients.
The man was one of those patients, and after Strange claimed to have "cured" him, the man couldn't even remember his own name. Ryder soon planned to have that information revealed to the public when the time was right and when he had substantial proof to reveal Strange's crimes to the people of Gotham. However, Strange was well aware of Ryder's attempts to interfere with his plans and grander projects and was prepared to act before Ryder did and ensure that the reporter would become nothing more than another numberless inmate in his prison facility.
However, protesters soon saw one, last chance at shutting Arkham City down just weeks before its official opening, as unexplained seismic activity shook the streets of the compound and caused an entire district of the city to be submerged in water. Protesters of the project immediately used that incident as evidence that the prison was not suited to be opened under basic humanitarian law. Strange, however, vetoed plans to investigate his land, and had his own experts prove that the incident was a one-time affair and that the inmates had given up their rights to any decent standard of living.
Unknown to all but Strange himself however, the truth behind the seismic activity was Ra's and his army mining throughout Wonder City below to further their base of operations and perfect the Lazarus Pit. In addition to that, Strange made use of Wonder City as an execution chamber as he sent down the more insane and uncontrollable patients and victims of his own experiments to be quietly executed by the League of Assassins, and made it the perfect location to cover up any evidence of missing persons within the prison facility.
With all of the protesters blocked from every angle, TYGER was allowed to do whatever they felt was necessary under Sharp's newly installed martial law, including the arrest of innocent people without trial or due process and even resorted to murder and destruction. Countless innocent people were caught in the crossfires of Strange's megalomaniac designs, while anyone with the power or authority to unveil Strange's crimes or shut down Arkham City promptly vanished only to wind up in Arkham City themselves and were torn apart by the rampaging inmates. With dozens of surveillance cameras, automated machine guns at every perimeter, and the TYGER helicopters patrolling every second, Arkham City's reputation as an inescapable facility certainly seemed true.
Strange even made use of Ra's' army to infiltrate interior locations to keep watch over the super-criminals and their ambitions, though one ended up being captured by Penguin and his forces and was put on display inside the Museum. Meanwhile, everyone who worked on Arkham City, from the construction workers on the perimeter walls to the accountants who handled the financial investments, also were abducted in the middle of the night only to wake up in Strange's grasp simply because of their affiliation with the project in any way. From all fronts, Strange seemed to be virtually unstoppable with so much power and authority at his command and Gotham and Arkham City as nothing more than his personal chessboard.
Alliances and Connections
With years of planning and preparation finally meeting fruition, Arkham City was officially completed and opened for business. Firmly in complete control of Arkham City and Gotham's political domain through Sharp, Strange next began to target several high profile prisoners from Arkham to further his plans. To that end, Strange orchestrated a series of events to allow Mr. Freeze, who was previously observed by the City Council as unfit to be held in Arkham City due to his condition, to escape his cell at Arkham Asylum after he had Freeze's wife, Nora, moved into Arkham City.
When Freeze arrives at Nora's previous location, Advanced Cryogenics, Strange was there waiting for him and informed him of his little preposition; if Freeze would use his scientific expertise to create medical serums and chemicals for Strange's plans, Strange would give Freeze everything that he needed to find a cure for both Nora and himself. Freeze begrudgingly agreed, was transferred into Arkham City, and given full access to the GCPD forensic labs by Strange to conduct his research, but Strange had no intention of handing over Nora and only planned to use Freeze as a means to an end to simply create his medical supplies.
In the meantime, Strange staged any event that he could to uphold a good reputation with the people of Gotham, and even went as far as arranging for Victor Zsasz to escape and rampage Gotham for the sole purpose of having TYGER recapture him in order to make TYGER look much more efficient than the GCPD. Gordon, unable to do anything with Strange having the entire political spectrum of Gotham under his complete control and the faith of the city's citizens on his side, did nothing to stop his police forces and himself from being marginalized other than hope that Batman would eventually discover the true depths of Strange's plans and the Arkham City Conspiracy.
Strange also manipulated the Mayor in allowing him to send squads of TYGER operatives to shadow the GCPD with the sole intent of hunting down Batman and study his every move in combat in order to effectively train his TYGER Guards to take down Batman once and for all. Strange then viciously interrogated his captains on their attacks on Batman, and used various torture and truth serum techniques to learn every little detail of Batman's fighting style, and even went as far as kill several of these guards to learn this information.
Strange also continued his love of experimenting with the human mind and, during processing, selected inmates that fit his criteria and took them to his Inmate Analysis Unit, where he continued in his horrendous and inhumane experiments. All those individuals were chosen for a variety of reasons; some had the correct psychological profile to be turned into TYGER Guards to expand Strange's forces, some were simply ideal for experimenting with the human mind and learning other ways to control it and were lobotomized and left to roam the streets to be torn apart by the rampaging inmates, and others were simply chosen to be executed by Strange personally for being too chaotic to control.
Strange eventually made contact with the Joker, who was nearing death due to the Titan Disease, formed an alliance with the villain, and offered to aid in making his final days more comfortable if he cooperates with him in interview sessions and allowed him to study and understand his insanity. Joker agreed and had Strange abduct dozens of medical doctors and brought into Arkham City to aid in his condition, though that was all part of Joker's own elaborate plans that even Strange was unaware of.
In reality, Joker used all of the doctors and nurses that were brought to him to drain large quantities of his poisoned blood and shipped it off to emergency rooms all over Gotham, which infected thousands of people with his lethal illness. Joker then tortured, mutilated, and murdered all of them once they served their purposes to simply add more numbers to his kill count. As Joker recounted his origins to Strange in return for his assistance, Strange concluded that Joker simply told him a series of fabricated events in order to conceal the truth about his condition.
Joker admitted to the deception, but also shocked the professor by revealing that he knew everything about his plans and criminal past, and threatened to have the information leaked to the public if he did not stop trying to uncover his past. Strange complied, continued to supply Joker with doctors, and even kept him up to date on the occurrences in Arkham City. While Strange caved into Joker's demands to ensure that his past was not known to the authorities, he also became cautious of Joker and began to make plans to remove the Clown Prince of Crime as a threat to his schemes.
Meanwhile, Freeze finally reached his breaking point and planned to take down Strange and find Nora, but Strange was already one step ahead of him and had TYGER ambush Freeze and brought him to his office. There, Strange interviewed Freeze to learn more of his psychosis and threatened to murder Nora if he refused to cooperate. After he learned of Freeze's history, Strange taunted Freeze by stating that his life of crime was his own fault and his alone, and ended with a chilling statement that Nora was on her way to being delivered to the Joker, who planned to use Nora as collateral in order to blackmail Freeze into developing a cure to the Titan Disease.
Freeze was horrified, vowed to get Nora back, and kill Strange, who was unshaken by Freeze's threats and sent him back to the forensic labs. Joker then made contact with Freeze and forced him to begin to develop a cure to the Titan Disease, and threatened to have his henchmen rape and murder Nora if he refused to cooperate, though Joker intended the entire time to leave Freeze's wife at the mercy of his henchmen, all of whom began to attempt to thaw her out for their own twisted desires. Freeze, with no other options, compiled, but also began to develop new projectile weapons with the use of his cryogenic equipment in preparation for attacking Joker's base of operations, the Steel Mill, and rescuing Nora through force.
However, intending to both remove Freeze and Joker as obstacles from his more grand plans, Strange had the TYGER guards capture Freeze again, lock him up in one of his holding cells, having obtained everything that he needed from the tragic villain. Strange later formed an alliance with the Penguin, handed Freeze over to him to be locked up in the Museum to tie up another loose end, and to additionally impede Joker's progress on developing a cure to the Titan Disease, hoping this would cement Joker's death and no longer serve as a threat to his position, though Joker later proved to not be so easily outsmarted.
Strange, remaining in contact with both Joker and Penguin, also gave both gang-lords military-grade weapons as part of a much larger plot and even handed over victims of his inhuman experiments to Penguin to use as target practice to further cover up his tracks. As one last string to pull, Strange informed the Penguin that ten inmates that were in his gang were actually inside agents for the GCPD, trusting him to dispose of them and telling the gang lord that he did not appreciate being spied on by Commissioner Gordon.
As Strange continued with his day to day affairs, he received a shocking visit from Edward Nigma, better known as the Riddler, through a broadcast. Riddler, much like the Joker, had learned quite a bit of Strange's criminal activities and began to taunt him for his own amusement and satisfaction in that he could ridicule the Warden of Arkham City himself without any consequences. However, Strange eventually turned the tables on Nigma by revealing to him that he knew who Batman really was, and taunted the narcissist that he used no childless puzzles or traps to deduce his identity and had simply relied on his own genius intellect. Riddler, incredibly disturbed and humiliated at the fact that Strange had figured it out while he still hadn't the slightest clue, never contacted Strange again after the discussion and became dead set on humiliating and killing Batman through his deathtraps.
With all his connections established throughout Batman's Rogues' Gallery and his most grand operations put into effect, all that was left in Strange's preparations was the arrest of the last criminals on Gotham's streets and the capture and incarceration of Batman in his prison facility, where he would challenge the Dark Knight to the ultimate extremes of life and death and take everything that he lusted away from the hero.
Final Preparations and Tying Up Loose Ends
As Strange was unveiled as Sharp's secret collaborator on Arkham City to the public, Strange appeared on television shows and press conferences to give Gotham citizens a false sense of security. During those appearances, Strange presented himself as a confident, quick-witted, and brilliant psychiatrist with an unshakable demeanor who was never at a loss for words to any questions or accusations.
The Warden of Arkham City continuously reassured the people of Gotham that Arkham City would see to it that every criminal that threatened the welfare of the city would be captured and locked up, while also hinting that Batman may be an aspect of particular concern as Strange believed that his presence had created the very criminals that he fought. With no evidence coming to light of Strange's true intentions and crimes, many people in Gotham soon came to respect Strange for seemingly cleaning up the streets while others were still not convinced with such a controversial project as Arkham City.
Eventually, Strange shut down all criminal operations throughout Gotham, forced many criminals and innocent civilians to flee the city, and captured every one of his targets except for three; Two-Face, Catwoman, and Batman. Working off a tip that came from none other than Two-Face, who desired to become the ruling elite on Gotham's streets, Strange located one of Selina Kyle's apartments where she resided. Attacking the apartment, the TYGER Guards were unable to capture Catwoman but were able to locate her safe that was full of stolen loot and goods. Under Strange's orders, the guards took the loot and goods to the TYGER Confiscated Goods Vault and hoped that would draw out Catwoman for capture. True to Strange's prediction, Catwoman set her sights on Arkham Island to obtain the blueprints for Arkham City that allowed her to locate the perfect entry level into the vault.
Unfortunately for Selina, Dent and his gang had the same idea and attacked the facility first, but Strange saw that as the perfect opportunity to capture the last two criminals on Gotham's streets. As Catwoman and Dent brawled for the plans, which Two-Face photographed with his camera, the TYGER Guards were sent in to apprehend them both. Batman, however, intervened and saved Catwoman just as she stole Dent's camera and Dent was arrested. Before Batman could get Selina to safety, the feline learned that Two-Face had removed the SD card from the camera, looked down, and saw him swallow it.
Infuriated, Catwoman broke free of Batman's hold and attacked Dent, but was only arrested as well, while Batman escaped the facility and knew that there was nothing further that he could do. While Strange was satisfied with Dent and Selina's capture, he was nonetheless disappointed that Batman had escaped him yet again. Strange has his guards bring in Two-Face so that he could interrogate him personally while he increased TYGER patrols throughout the city to locate Batman. As Dent was brought to him, Strange informed Mayor Sharp that every criminal was in their hands and they could now focus their full attention on capturing Batman. Once Dent was brought to him, Strange saw him as a great, and potential ally as his past public admiration and political prowess could serve his plans and strengthen his hold over the city, though he needed to be cured first.
Seeking to break Dent's addiction to his coin, Strange had his guards take it off his person while Strange replaced it with a coin of his own to ensure that Dent cooperated and answered his questions that regarded his past. When Dent learned of Strange's deception, Strange had him released into Arkham City without his coin in the hopes that he would learn to become independent of his iconic item. At first, Dent seemed to function well enough, formed his own gang and obtained his headquarters within the Solomon Wayne Courthouse, which encouraged Strange into thinking that Dent may have been able to be cured after all.
Just as Strange was about to give the order to have Dent brought back in for a further examination, Catwoman was found trying to break into his office. Strange had her brought in for a session as well and interrogated her about her life, what she knew about Batman and threatened to have Holly Robinson killed if she did not cooperate. After he learned everything that he wanted to from Selina, Strange informed her that Holly was safe, that Batman would soon be broken, and revealed to her that Two-Face had placed the SD card with the Arkham City Plans on it in his safe in his old campaign office, as part of a fail-safe plan should Dent not cooperate with his designs.
Once Dent was brought back to him, Strange put one final contingency manipulation into effect and began to add fuel to Dent's hatred of Bruce Wayne, whom Dent saw as nothing more than a spoiled rich boy, in preparation towards Wayne's inevitable incarceration in his facility. Strange then legitimately reached out to Dent and gave him a choice; he would throw his coin in the air and if Dent did not catch it, then Strange would do all that he could in his power to cure him and make him the man that he once was. However, if Dent did catch it, then Strange would let him loose in Arkham City and inform him of what Catwoman was doing that very second. After Strange threw the coin in the air, Dent caught it, much to his disappointment and annoyance, but let him know of Catwoman's impending theft of his safe.
Strange then let Two-Face go, knowing that he was too far gone to be cured and serve as a useful ally, to catch Catwoman, and hoped to dispose of the cat burglar so that she could no longer interfere with his plans. With Dent's hatred of Wayne made fresh in his mind, the billionaire playboy would soon become a target of his gang once he was captured and processed in Arkham City. Strange would also see to it that Two-Face and his henchmen received TYGER weapons as well to continue the escalation of violence in Arkham City.
With every possible witness to his plans or individual who simply knew too much were rounded up and locked within Arkham City, Strange was free to do as he pleased. Sharp's dictator-like stance soon compelled the public to loathe and fear him. None except Batman knew that Sharp was merely the front man for a much more insidious plot that was orchestrated by an outside power. Strange began to make all preparations to enact his ultimate plan, Protocol 10, which would pave the way to all his goals and allow him the complete authority and power that he craved for most of his life.
After months and months of frequent challenges with confronting Sharp on the issue, Bruce Wayne finally entered into the political arena to challenge the necessity of Arkham City and questioned its existence. After he spent millions of dollars for that campaign, Bruce Wayne was able to rally enough public support to stage a press conference right outside the main gates to Arkham City.
Once there, Wayne officially voiced his plans to start his campaign to shut Arkham City down and make Gotham a safer place again. However, to Strange, that could not have been more perfect as he could finally capture Bruce Wayne once and for all, as capturing him as Batman had proven to be nearly impossible.
During the live press conference, which was attended even by Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder, Strange ordered his TYGER Guards to ambush the event and arrest all attendees with Wayne as the primary target, while he also used that opportunity to capture Ryder and remove him as a threat. TYGER accomplished their mission and delivered Wayne to Strange who taunted and tortured the man with electrical shocks. During that, Strange revealed to Wayne that he knew the truth about his secret identity as Batman and that he would reveal it to the world should he not cooperate with him and his personnel in Arkham City.
With Wayne in his grasp at long last, Strange was mere hours away from enacting Protocol 10 and had Wayne thrown into the prison where he would soon become a target and, theoretically, be quickly killed by the various gangs. Strange personally communicated to Penguin and informed him of Wayne's arrest, and knew of Copplepot's hatred of the Wayne Family, to ensure that Penguin and his forces were waiting at the main gate for Wayne's arrival. As Wayne was sent in with Ryder and another Political Prisoner, Strange watched and announced their new arrival to the citizens of Arkham City, and enticed dozens of bloodthirsty killers to attack him. However, Wayne was able to easily outmaneuver all his attackers and attempted to save Ryder, only to be knocked out by Penguin. Regardless, Wayne defeated all of Penguin's Henchmen, broke Cobblepot's hand in the process, and escaped into the bowels of Arkham City.
With all his pawns and plans in place throughout the entire prison compound, Strange delightfully began the cat and mouse game that he had planned for years between him and Batman. With his TYGER operatives, his immense power and authority over Arkham City, and his countless connections with Batman's most dangerous and violent foes, Strange was confident in his abilities to best Batman and assume his mantle in order to conquer Gotham and pave the way for a glorious future that would be comprised of fame, wealth, power, and immortality.
As Strange watched Bruce escape from the madness of the various gangs, his attention was soon diverted with the news that Catwoman was about to be executed by Two-Face, an event that was also orchestrated by him. While Strange saw that as inconsequential and amusing, Bruce was able to acquire the Batsuit and his equipment again with the help of Alfred and set off to stop the assassination as Batman. With Arkham City as the ultimate experiment to test Batman and observe his abilities, Strange ordered his TYGER Guards to watch Batman's every move during their patrols from their helicopters and study his moves extensively so that they would be prepared to take him down when the time was right.
In the meantime, Strange hired the help of Deadshot, a contract assassin, in targeting and killing the biggest threats to his position and plans and had him smuggled into Arkham City under the guise as another inmate. Strange gave Deadshot full access to all the equipment that he needed as well as a PDA to store his hit list, which included Ryder, who found out about Strange's hypnotic techniques, and Wayne/Batman, both marked as separate individuals, and three other political figures. While Strange doubted that Deadshot could kill Batman, he counted on him to take care of the other Political Prisoners and serve as a further diversion for the Dark Knight as he perfected his plans for Protocol 10.
As he approached the commencement of Protocol 10, Strange allowed violent crime to chaotically erupt in the streets of Arkham City, including Penguin blowing up the highways, Riddler abducts the entire police and medical staff from the Church, and gang warfare consumes the streets. Strange allowed as much chaos to occur in order to obtain authorization to enact Protocol 10, the same reason that he continued to supply Joker, Penguin, and Two-Face with weapons.
After Batman rescued Freeze, put Penguin and his gang out of commission, rescued Ryder, and apprehended Deadshot after the contract killer murdered three Political Prisoners, Strange realized that Batman became much more of a risk while in Arkham City than he anticipated and resolved himself to employ psychological mind games against the Dark Knight. With Crime Alley firmly entrenched in Arkham City, Strange had the murder scene of Bruce's parents redrawn and a bouquet of roses placed next to the chalk outlines of their bodies along with a tape reel that contained a monologue by Strange himself that taunted the deaths of Bruce's parents and insulted his very motivation for becoming a hero.
Meanwhile, Sharp finally began to break out from Strange's hold when he realized just how far Strange had gone, attempted to find out who were his benefactors by examining all the financial accounts that were related to Arkham City and traced them back to its source. However, Strange suspected that Sharp was resisting the hold of his mind control drugs, became a loss canon, and had him arrested under the pretense of committing treason.
With all the power and authority over Arkham City and TYGER under his complete control, Strange concluded that Mayor Sharp had finally outlived his usefulness, ordered for his incarceration in Arkham City, and used the evidence of his crimes at Arkham Asylum as the reason to incarcerate him. That made Strange the de facto leader of Gotham with the entire security force of Gotham under his complete control to bend to his every whim. After he usurped Sharp's power and authority, Strange had Sharp dumped into Arkham City where he quickly became a target of the various gangs because of his affiliation with Arkham City and the rumors of the abused and murdered inmates of the old Asylum at his hands.
To ensure that Sharp became a victim of the lawlessness, Strange announced his location over the announcement system, and encouraged the inmates to "give him the welcome he deserves". However, due to the continued bravery of Batman, Sharp's life was spared, who then recounted to the Dark Knight of how he and Strange formed their alliance and what his role was in the massive conspiracy. Sharp admitted that he had agreed to work for Strange and set up Arkham City once Strange informed him back at the asylum of his powerful connections that would fund his mayoral campaign and ensure his victory.
Over the years, however, Sharp began to see Strange's true nature and had wanted to stop, but was unable to because of a combination of his mind control drugs and the knowledge that Strange possessed of the former warden's heinous actions. Batman, armed with the knowledge that there was another external party who was involved with Arkham City that funded Strange's operations, let the Mayor go and continued in his attempts to stop them.
Two hours later, Strange called an emergency meeting with the City Council where he informed them of a riot deep within Arkham City that might cause a massive breakout that was caused by the military weapons that he had provided to the gangs there over the previous months, and that Protocol 10 was the only option available.
While the City Council members were both shocked and disappointed by Strange's apparent lack of control over the prison, they ultimately gave him permission to enact Protocol 10: finally revealed to be the systematic destruction of Arkham City and the assassination of the entire inmate population. Under Strange's commands, the TYGER assault helicopters broke off from their patrols and started to track all of the prisoners that they could find and began to kill them on sight. Missiles were launched deep into the heart of Arkham City, hitting the Museum, Steel Mill, and Courthouse directly, and killing hundreds of people in mere minutes.
Additionally, Strange also sent several TYGER squadrons to infiltrate Wayne Manor, kill all of Batman's allies, and claim his equipment from the Batcave to deal one last, crippling blow to the Dark Knight, and completely destroy any resolve that he had left. Unfortunately for Strange, he underestimated the abilities of Robin, Nightwing, and Alfred who were able to brutally and effectively dispose of the TYGER Guards until Gordon and the GCPD arrived at the scene to arrest the operatives. Gordon realized that Strange's true ambitions were coming to light and kept all police forces on guard for an order that he knew that he was bound to give in a few short hours; shut down Arkham City and arrest Strange.
As Strange oversaw Protocol 10, Catwoman broke into the TYGER Confiscated Goods Vault in an attempt to retrieve her ill-gotten gains. Strange was further pleased by that turn of events and sent in his troops to kill the feline bugler once and for all just as Batman was caught underneath rubble from the various missile attacks on the Steel Mill. Strange ordered his men to teach Catwoman one final lesson and to send a squad to retrieve Batman's body once Protocol 10 had concluded. However, Catwoman was able to defeat her opponents, rescued Batman from underneath the rumble, and left all of her loot behind. While Batman was set to pursue Talia al Ghul, who was stationed in Arkham City to aid in her father's operations and rescue her from Joker, with whom she formed a pact with, he ultimately decided to go after Strange first at the pleading of both Alfred and Oracle.
- "Have you ever considered that all this is your fault? Your presence creates these animals."
- ―Strange blaming Batman for the cause of Gotham's super-criminals via the monitor in the Arkham City Processing Center.[src]
While the TYGER helicopters attempted to murder all of the inmates in Arkham City, Strange sent ground troops to personally massacre all of the Political Prisoners and inmates that he made contact with, as well as target Bane and retrieve all of the Titan shipments in his possession. However, Batman spoiled those attacks and, while he fought his way through the Arkham City Processing Center to Wonder Tower, was interrupted by Strange through the Arkham City monitors. Holding a Political Prisoner hostage and threatening to inject chemicals into his throat through a syringe that would cause an overdose, Strange forced Batman to stop fighting and listen to his words.
As Strange taunted Batman and blamed everything on him, TYGER surrounded Batman as Strange revealed that he had worked together with another individual who also served as his private backer. After he declared his victory over Batman and his intentions to conquer the world and rule it with his allies, Strange sent the orders to his TYGER troops to kill the Dark Knight once and for all.
Despite their overwhelming numbers, Batman subdued all of the troops and went to the lowest foundations of Wonder Tower: Wonder Tower Foundations. There, Batman found the results of a bloody massacre between TYGER and the new inmates who were killed instead of being processed. In addition, it was discovered through Strange's PA system announcements that his ultimate plans threatened far more than a single city, as Arkham City was only the first of a series of prisons that were planned to be built throughout the world with centers that were scheduled to be opened in both Keystone and Metropolis by the end of the month alone.
- " Can you hear me Mr. Wayne? Of course you can. Understand this, you cannot defeat me, I am untouchable."
- ― Strange taunting Batman after being defeated.[src]
As Batman got closer to reaching the highest foundations of Wonder Tower, Strange augmented security with additional troops in the subway system and ordered them to shoot anyone on sight. Nonetheless, Batman was able to reach the Security Center at the apex of Wonder Tower. Batman subdued all of the TYGER Guards despite their increased strength and shut down Protocol 10 down by disabling all of the technology in Wonder Tower, which rendered all of the TYGER helicopters and weaponry useless. After he received several bone shattering hits from the Dark Knight, Strange revealed the truth to Batman that he intended to replace him as the new Gotham hero and savior and gloated on how he became a much better hero than the Dark Knight could have ever been because he had finally eliminated all crime in Gotham.
After he declared that he would soon have command over forces beyond comprehension, Strange was brutally stabbed and run through by Ra's, who was revealed as the silent benefactor of Arkham City through his empire. It became apparent that Strange's ultimate goal was to replace Ra's and assume control over the League of Assassins and obtain the powers of immortality for himself through the Lazarus Pit.
With Batman out of the way, Strange would be able to seize complete control over Gotham and multiple other cities through his prison facilities, believing that the entire world would see him as the new hero and savior with TYGER and the League serving as his armies with the ultimate intention of utilizing them in exterminating every individual that he saw as unfit in society, and seize complete control over the entire world.
Ra's, however, revealed that he never had any intentions of giving Strange any position of permanent power and simply used him as a pawn to eliminate crime in Gotham, and told him that the only thing that he had proven was that Batman was much better than him. In turn, Strange, who had anticipated a possible betrayal, employed his contingency plan: Protocol 11.
Seconds later, the self-destruct protocols engaged and Wonder Tower exploded, which sent Batman and Ra's plummeting down to the ruined city hundreds of feet below, while Strange was consumed with Wonder Tower and the TYGER Guards, and secured Batman's identity and ended the madness and plans of Strange once and for all. Batman was able to safely land on the ground while Ra's was killed by his own hand after a failed suicide attack on Batman that ended with him impaled by his own sword in his chest and violently landing directly on the "A" on Arkham City logo in his stomach.
With the chaos and deception that was Arkham City no longer a mystery and Strange's criminal status known, Sharp's martial law was overturned and Gordon and GCPD were given back full authority by the City Council. With their full jurisdiction restored, Gordon and the GCPD began to promptly arrest all of TYGER and prepared to transfer all of the inmates to secure locations, rescue all of the falsely imprisoned, claim all of the illegal weapons, and shut down Arkham City once and for all.
Over the following weeks, after much chaos and destruction, TYGER was disbanded and removed from power and Gotham, all political prisoners were rescued, Arkham City was officially shut down for good, and all planned constructions of further mega prisons in other cities were canceled, ending all of Strange's operations and leaving his reputation and legacy in tatters forever.
Ultimately, while Strange believed that his plans would create an honorable legacy for himself, he was only seen as a power-hungry madman, whose megalomaniac and insane desires led to the death of thousands of individuals, and left a large portion of Gotham in ruins. With years of planning and preparation met with betrayal, Strange died a broken man, who was seen as nothing more than another insane criminal on par with the very super-criminals that he tried so hard to eliminate. Instead of becoming the hero and savior of Gotham that he thought he would, Strange ironically became the very aspect of the city that he despised and sought out to destroy.
After Arkham City
- "Arkham City was supposed to be a prison, but Strange turned it into a concentration camp."
- ―A Gotham citizen voicing his disgust towards Strange's plans and legacy
This allowed many villains and criminals, such as Two-Face and his gang, the opportunity to leverage their new-found, lawful freedom and compensation to implement legitimate businesses that were used as a front to cover their criminal activities. Additionally, Strange's previous pawn, Sharp, was impeached as Mayor and eventually arrested by the GCPD once evidence came to light, courtesy of reporter Vicki Vale, of his authorization for requisition orders that allowed weapons to be smuggled into the prison. As Sharp sat alone in his cell, an image of Strange appeared, derived from the last effects of Strange's mind control drugs, which influenced Sharp to commit suicide by hanging himself from the cell's light fixture with his bed sheets.
With the entire prison system of Gotham evaluated and revamped, these events did nothing more than reinforce the public's perception of Strange as simply another madman in a position of power. Protocol 10 was indeed his legacy, but not one of heroism and change for the better, as he had envisioned, but one of megalomania, ruthlessness, evil, and insanity, which made it all the easier for Scarecrow and the rest of Gotham's criminal element to nearly destroy the entire city nine months later on Halloween.
An audiotape within Elliot Memorial Hospital also revealed that, even if Strange had proven himself as a worthy successor, Ra's still would not have granted him immortality and control over the League, and instead intended for Talia to take his place should Batman still refuse to cooperate and agree to become his successor. This cemented Strange's role within the Arkham City Conspiracy as nothing more than another mere pawn on Ra's board to manipulate for his own ends and then dispatch when his usefulness had served its purpose, although Strange did at least have the foresight to anticipate a possible betrayal and take Ra's with him once it happened.
Hugo Strange was one of the most brilliant psychiatrists throughout the entire world, but that fact was disturbed by his unstable ego and maniacal mind. Strange was very dedicated to understanding the workings of the human mind and believed that the only way for him to achieve infamy and power was to use that new-founded knowledge to control the mind. In his quest to learn the full aspects of criminology, Strange was unethical and willing to dispose of anyone to his grand manipulations and treated his patients callously.
Strange dominated Catwoman, Mr. Freeze and the Mad Hatter during their therapy sessions with bribery or blackmail, and forced them to relive their painful past experiences to satisfy his own thirst for knowledge. Strange used that knowledge over criminals who encountered Batman to learn of the Dark Knight's secret identity and employ his growing information over the criminal mind to advance Protocol 10. When he learned that Bruce Wayne was Batman, Strange's mind snapped completely as his ego and obsessions went out of control and he was determined to leave a legacy as a hero and Batman's successor in most regards.
Strange had a vast hated for the criminals and the patients whom he treated, abused them regularly, and use immoral means to abstract information from their dark pasts. Meanwhile, Strange possessed a malignant mind. Strange was dedicated to his work but seemed to perform his experiments with a smile on his face, which was shown by the way that he sadistically watched over the carnage of Protocol 10 atop Wonder Tower, and claimed that it was "glorious" when he was confronted by Batman. Strange had little remorse in his regards as he allowed the Mad Hatter to experiment on the Lunatics and later lobotomized them, but he claimed that they were justified as no one would remember them.
Strange was completely obsessed with Batman, stalked him repeatedly, and used his advanced psychiatric abilities to deduce his identity. That deranged obsession eventually grew to resentment as Batman was everything that he could never be and that created a desire within Strange to accede Batman in every way by proving himself as his better by replicating the Dark Knight's ideals and ultimate goal; bring peace to Gotham. Of course, his methods of doing so were far more of an extreme nature, but Strange nonetheless viewed his way as superior, repeatedly degraded Batman's no-killing-rule as the presence of criminals, believed his unwillingness to end the Joker's life was what required the drastic action of Protocol 10, and effectively placed the blame of the inmates of Arkham City's deaths on Batman.
Ever since he encountered Ra's, and he promised him to succeed him as the Head of the Demon, combined with limitless resources and even the prospect of immortality with rights to the Lazarus Pit, Strange appeared to have accepted the philosophy of the League of Assassins. He truly believed that Protocol 10 in Gotham, Keystone, and Metropolis was for the good of the cities and that this was transparent to Ra's own beliefs. On the other hand, Strange's goals of using the resources of the League of Assassins were extremely self-centered. Every action that Strange made throughout Arkham City was solely to reaffirm his superiority over Batman, even if he did believe in the righteousness of what he did.
The knowledge Strange had learned through Ra's and the League and the fact that he was chosen to be the next Demon's Head in Ra's place made him more arrogant, narcissistic and downright fearless as he constantly bragged that he was "powerful" and "untouchable", while he protected himself in Wonder Tower. Strange gloated that he would focus on Batman's allies after the success in Arkham City, remained defiant even when he was throttled by an enraged Dark Knight, and simply stated that he had "powerful friends". The great irony was that Ra's had no plans to surrender the League to Strange and simply viewed him as a pawn to use and dispose of for his own agendas.
Strange was able to logically anticipate and employ protocols and procedures that were set in place as fail-safes for the failure of his plans through a long period of time that he had the capacity to foresee. In the drastic case that Arkham City would be lost to the inmates, he set in motion Protocol 10 should the need for it arises. Of course, Strange instead controlled the gang war by exacerbating the situation by supplying both sides with military-grade weapons to fulfill Ra's purpose. Strange's arrogance did not distill his scientific mind. Strange was able to anticipate his defeat despite his belief that he was infallible, knew about Batman's superior skill and Ra's treacherous nature, placed Protocol 11 in hiding, and pended the off-chance of his defeat.
Through Arkham City and the failure of Protocol 10, Strange did leave behind a legacy but not one that he wanted, not of a hero or the savior of Gotham, but instead of an insane, fascist madman who only left behind death and depravity. Strange's actions to save Gotham actually ended up furthering its doom as the City Council was eventually forced to free the unlawfully imprisoned crime lords, Penguin and Two-Face and thousands of prisoners, which quickly sped the city into chaos on the night of Scarecrow's terrorist threat until Batman put a stop to the villains' plans once and for all.
Batman's Database Profile
First gaining fame as a psychiatrist who declared that he’d fully analyzed the Dark Knight from afar, Professor Hugo Strange lent credence to his own claims by deducing Batman’s true identity as Bruce Wayne. However, his interest in the Batman turned into a deranged obsession, and he’s used his medical expertise to hatch a series of bizarre plots based around genetics and mind control in order to defeat the Batman and possibly take his place. Strange’s fragile mental state has left him with intermittent knowledge of Batman’s true identity, a fact that hangs over Bruce Wayne’s head – for if Strange ever snaps completely, Batman’s greatest secret might be revealed…
- Trained to physical perfection
- Extensive Knowledge of Genetics
- Obsessed with Batman
- Plagued by schizophrenic episodes that leave him confused and dangerous
Game Over Lines
- "I knew I was better than you, Wayne. Now you have proved it."
- "So you fail to live up to his expectations. How predictable."
- "Arkham City has become your tomb, Wayne."
- "So the great Batman has fallen. Good."
- "Escape from Arkham City is impossible, Catwoman."
- "I will enjoy dissecting your brain, Ms. Kyle."
- "Your thieving ends now."
Rules of Arkham City by Hugo Strange
While in my custody, you will follow the rules of Arkham City to the letter. These rules ensure your continued well being.
Rule 1: Do not approach the security wall surrounding the facility, Any attempt to approach the wall will be considered an act of escape and will be met with extreme force.
Rule 2: All prisoners must surrender themselves for full psychiatric examination when requested. Failure to surrender will be met with extreme force followed by a level 9 and 10 psychiatric profiling.
Rule 3: TYGER operatives have full jurisdiction in Arkham City. If for any reason a TYGER operative approaches or issues an order to you, you must immediately adopt a kneeling position and place both hands on the back of your head. Failure to adopt this position will be considered an aggressive response and will be met with extreme force.
These rules are mandatory and by the power vested in me, by the people of Gotham City, lawful.
- Strange was apparently an admirer of William Blake, as he named his security force after his well-known poem, The Tyger, and even incorporated several stanzas of the poem into the military firm's oath.
- The body of the TYGER Guard Captain that was tortured to death by Strange in the game's second trailer could later be found as a riddle in the actual game.
- During Stranges's discussion with Riddler, Riddler revealed that he knows about Strange's secret panel in his office that revealed what he wanted most and that Strange would sit wearing some kind of "suit" in his office. This implied that, like his comic-book counterpart, Strange wore his own custom designed Batsuit as part of his obsession to become Batman.
- During his interview sessions with Freeze, Strange informed the former scientist that he did not know how it felt to love someone, which showcased just how deep Strange's obsessions and lusts ran.
- The passcode for Protocol 11, Wayne, seemed to implicate that Strange himself knew that Batman could potentially reach him and might even defeat him.
- Strange's old psychiatrist office building could be found within the boundaries of Arkham City and served as a riddle, which shed more light on the mysterious and criminal past of the villain once solved. Ironically, the location of the office was across from the Monarch Theatre and Crime Alley, where Batman's origins took place.
- In the same room where Strange tortured one of his TYGER Captains to death, there was a jar of blood with the label, Drink Me, on it. That was the same label from a jar of Joker's poisoned blood that the Clown Prince of Crime showed to Batman after he poisoned him, though any connection between the two items in terms of plot relevance was unclear.
- Strange cameoed in Injustice: Gods Among Us. He could be seen in the background of the Cell Block Arena in the Arkham Asylum Stage.
- In Arkham Origins, there were several Easter Eggs that pointed towards Strange's activities during the course of events in the game:
- Several posters could be seen in the Diamond District of New Gotham and advertised his services in 'Self Help Seminars,' which implied that Strange already was well into his hobby of experimenting on human test subjects by the events of the game.
- Strange was mentioned within various Extortion Data Tapes that were collected and hidden around Gotham by Enigma and his informants, which revealed that he was a professor at Blackgate Prison before Arkham Asylum's reopening, and who treated patients such as Alberto Falcone, with Harleen Quinzel, who acted as his intern.
- Strange's office and home could be seen at Park Row in Old Gotham, as it was in Arkham City, but appearing much better lit and functional due to Strange living there.