'Suicide Squad': Will We See Doctor Hugo Strange?

A recent 'Suicide Squad' rumor hints at the appearance of evil psychiatrist Dr. Hugo Strange. How would it affect DC's shared movie universe?

Hugo Strange in Batman Gotham Knight Vol. 1

The more recent rumors and stories surrounding hotly-anticipated continuation of Warner Bros. and DC's newly established cinematic universe Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice have really focused on that film's immediate follow-up: writer-director David Ayer's supervillain team-up Suicide Squad.

The news that a mid-budget villain team-up movie full of some of the more B-List DC characters was a bit of a puzzler when officially announced as part of the studio's long-term plan for their own movie universe, but expectations quickly ramped up with the hiring of Fury helmer Ayer and the confirmation that we'd be seeing a newly cast Joker (Jared Leto) and inaugural big screen versions of villains like Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).

Jared Leto's Joker has been the focus of most of the recent rumors, and the newest - courtesy of Latino Review’s El Mayimbe - has centered on which incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime Suicide Squad will take its cue from. In this case - surprising almost no one - the report claims that Frank Miller's celebrated The Dark Knight Returns will serve as the main inspiration. One big rumor, however, had to do with a different Batman villain: Dr. Hugo Strange.

According to Mayimbe, Strange is a psychiatrist at "the prison," which we're assuming is Amanda Waller's (Viola Davis) Belle Reve.  He evidently is a large part of the story, but there are no casting rumors floating around just yet. Strange has several scenes with both the Joker and Harley Quinn, with no formal security present during these exchanges.

The dynamic between Harley and the Joker has taken center stage when presented with Suicide Squad rumors, but if Hugo Strange really is involved, it could be a big clue toward what kind of stories will appear when Ben Affleck's Batman gets his solo adventure.

Hugo Strange as Batman

Dr. Hugo Strange first appeared in Detective Comics #36 in 1940 as a genius scientist who creates a dense fog to hide his gang's bank robberies, and toward the end of his first run in the comics he creates hulking monsters out of criminals and sends them out to terrorize Gotham City. After an apparent death, Strange reappeared in the 1970s, again as a monster-maker, and eventually discovered Bruce Wayne's dual identity as Batman.

The acclaimed early-'90s Prey comic book story arc established Hugo Strange as a brilliant psychiatrist whose insight into Batman's psyche not only shakes up Bruce Wayne but leads to Strange's own twisted obsession with the Caped Crusader. Strange eventually creates his own makeshift Batman costume to live out his monomaniacal desire to take the hero's place as Gotham's savior.

This particular aspect of Strange's pathology was included in his highly effective role as the main antagonist of the Batman: Arkham City video game, which showcased his genius-level intellect and his skill at manipulating the minds of others. While Suicide Squad finds the Joker already established as Batman's nemesis, it could serve as something as an origin story for Hugo Strange.

Hugo Strange in Batman Arkham City

There is no confirmation that Strange will actually appear, but including him in scenes with an incarcerated, Hannibal Lecter-esque Joker (or so the rumor goes) would not only serve as a conduit for the Joker's backstory and history as a mass-murderer, but the mad clown's influence on Strange could help set up future storylines based on arcs like Prey. Strange is a character who could appear across multiple titles within DC's shared universe, his megalomania developing all the while.

Still, all we have is a rumor... and while El Mayimbe has at times hit the mark (mostly with his Marvel scoops), he has also been duped in the past. Take it with some salt, but the Joker will have to talk to someone, and there are few other Batman villains who could fit into the role in Suicide Squad and have a larger relevance in future films.

Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5, 2016.

Source: Latino Review

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