This is it. The big one.
It arrives at a moment where's it's suddenly relevant and topical to fan interests.With the release of the awesome new Arkham City trailer
, the internet is ablaze with the question, "Who the hell is Hugo Strange?"
Hopefully, some people looking for answers will stumble upon these posts. It seems I've coincidentally been ahead of the game with these posts, perhaps even more so if the (unlikely) rumors turn out to be true, and The Dark Knight Rises
will be based upon Batman: Prey
Which, in either case, is the story I bring you today. In some ways, my entire Hugo Strange project has been building up to this: one of his two stories which defined his character for their generations. But while it's a different interpretation for a rebooted continuity, the threads to the original Hugo can be seen throughout. This Hugo is more perverse, more deranged, but just as brilliant and dangerous.
But like the best Hugo stories, Prey
is ultimately about the heart and soul of Batman himself. What makes Hugo so great is how he pushes Bruce to the limits of what he can overcome, and by the end, Batman's triumph is always more than a physical one. Maybe that's why Hugo's the villain of choice for a handful of discerning, hardcore, old-school Batman comic fans.
If you can, I urge you to track down Prey
either as a trade paperback or in the original issues of Legends of the Dark Knight
#11-15, which I've seen in dollar bins. While Prey
is a beloved story and a hot rumor du jour, it's also out of print. Again, WTF, DC?( Until then, I present this inadequate edit of a great, rich Batman tale behind the cut... )
And with that last line, my thoughts once again turn to how perfectly this story would fit in the Nolanverse for The Dark Knight Rises
. I still don't see it happening because most people just don't think of Hugo Strange as main villain material. Obviously, I disagree, but I don't represent your average film goer, nor even your average comic fan.
But either way, hey, maybe this'll finally encourage DC to put Prey
back into print, along with Strange Apparitions
. If I were an editor of collected editions at DC, I'd even throw in a bonus to the Prey
TPB and include Moench's own Down to the Bone
, because that one too deserves to be read and treasured.
This is Hugo's last appearance for about ten years, until Devin Grayson and Doug Monech decided to write their own sequels to Prey
. Weirdly, I greatly prefer the former version to the latter, wherein Moench and Gulacy fail to recapture the lighting in a bottle. But we'll certainly be looking at both in the next couple posts.