Not many people outside of longtime Batman fans will recognize the name of Dr. Hugo Strange. He was rarely seen in the cartoons, and he never once appeared in the old TV show or movies. And yet Strange is not only one of Batman’s oldest foes, he is quickly becoming one of his most utilized following a recent revival.
This weekend at the VGAs, Rocksteady showed off a new trailer for the upcoming Batman: Arkham City. Besides just looking cool, the most important aspect of the clip is that we now know that Strange will play a major role, and will most likely be the main villain. Details are still scarce on the game, but it takes place one year after the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and focuses on a section of Gotham City that has been turned into a prison when both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison are in no shape to hold prisoners.
The area, known as “Arkham City”, houses the worst of Gotham. The prison is a no-mans land, where the inmates are allowed free reign as long as they don’t escape. The story begins when Catwoman is captured and is facing a public execution at the hands of Two-Face in Arkham City.
Although it isn’t immediately clear how Strange fits into the picture, in the comics, Strange has undergone a number of transformations. Originally debuting in the 40s, before even the Joker, Strange began as scientist with powers he used to rob banks. Over the years, he has changed significantly, and most recently the character has been reinvented as a doctor of psychology who has an obsession with Batman. Strange is a genius, and he uses that intelligence to deduce that Batman is Bruce Wayne. He keeps that knowledge to himself, and goes about slowly trying to erode Bruce Wayne’s life in a twisted attempt to replace him as Batman.
Some rumors are suggesting that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises will also feature Strange as the primary villain, to be played by Tom Hardy. At this point, that is just rumor and speculation, but it is gaining steam.
Batman: Arkham City be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in Q3 2011.