58 years ago - Rupert Thorne is born to a wealthy Gotham family.
40 years ago - 18-year-old Rupert Thorne attends college thanks to his family connections.
36 years ago - 22-year-old Rupert Thorne graduates and is ellected to Gotham's City Counsel thanks to his families connections with the Falcone family.
33 years ago - 25-year-old Rupert Thorne, elevated to City Counsel chairperson, works within the City Counsel to defend Falcone family interests as they go to war with the Maronis.
24 years ago - 34-year-old Rupert Thorne's daughter is born.
20 years ago - 38-year-old Rupert Thorne is rewarded by Carmine Falcone for his effort to protect the families interests in the City Counsel, becoming Gotham's new Mayor.
14 years ago - 44-year-old Rupert Thorne has his position threatened when Batman begins to dissasemble Falcone's infrastructure & Sal Maroni reignites the war with Carmine Falcone.
11 years ago - 47-year-old Thorne's daughter is kidnapped by Hugo Strange, who frames Batman. Thorne comes down on Gordan to find and capture Batman, eventually leading to the shooting death of Strange who is wearing a replica Batsuit. When Oswald Cobblepot takes over the city, Thorne resigns as the Mayor, knowing that he does not have the support of the Falcone family anymore.
5 years ago - 53-year-old Rupert Thorne is propped up as a new crime boss by Oswald Cobblepot, essentially just a figurehead after the death of Roman Sionis.
Rupert Thorne is a name that is familiar to a lot of Batman fans, but not everyone knows exactly why. He's been used a lot of different ways to a lot of different purposes, and we immediately could see why... we did the same thing. He just happened to fit into a series of roles that just happened to needs a character exactly like this.
Rupert Thorne's Comic History
Thorne first appeared in 1977, the creation of comic Steve Engleheart and comic legend Walt Simonson. It was an era when the storytelling landscape around Batman was reaching a certain maturity after the weird adolescence of the 60's era Adam West circus. The relationships between characters had a more robust and human structure to them, and Gotham itself was beginning to behave more like an actual city. Thorne was a corrupt city politician being blackmailed into turning the city against Batman, but even as that storyarc ended he continued to be an figurhead of political corruption within the city. He was tied heavily into the storys involving Hugo Strange, and later on even when he had fallen from political grace he would continue to appear as a commonly used crime boss.
Thorne gained further notariety when he was used in the Animated Series. Here he was actually often the go-to crime boss character, often taking the place of characters like Carmine Falcone or Sal Maroni, even being depicted as the crime boss responsible for the creation of Two-Face (these characters would all return to prominence later when they were featured in stories by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale like the Long Halloween.) This is very likely why the Throne of the comics would go on to morph from a political character to a criminal one.
Our Rupert Thorne Story
We've chosen to use both versions of the character, letting him be a political figure and then later a criminal one. While in the comics he only ran for mayor of Gotham we've decided to go ahead and make him the actual mayor during the beginning of Batman's career, exemplifying the depth of corruption in the city. It's in this position that he can become a player in the storyarc featuring Hugo Strange, and also be heavily responsible for the increased police pressure on Batman during that time.
Later on, when crafting the timeline of the Penguin and seeing that he would really need someone to take over as the defacto of organized crime in Gotham after the death of Black Mask, Thorne immediately presented as a great option. He's not someone who would be able to earn that positition of power himself; he operates by associating himself with the right people, and at that time there is practically no one as powerful as the Penguin. This also put him in position to be the person killed by Jean Paul Valley when he takes his tenure as Batman too far, which also worked out nicely. This is a character that fufills a lot of specific nitches and winds up enhancing the overall story.