Friday, September 21, 2012

Professor Arnold Hugo versus Professor Hugo Strange

Professor Arnold Hugo
Debut: 1962
Nemesis: Martian Manhunter
Other Major Foes: Batman, Robin, Zook
Appearances: 6 original comics
Powers: Superhuman intellect (gadgetry)

An unremarkable local professor, Arnold Hugo became so enraged that an ancestor was overlooked by the Gotham City Historical Society that he subjected himself to a "Brain-Stimulator" that expanded his mind to a superhuman degree. Hugo's enhanced intellect allowed him to create lightning cannons, giant cats, flying invisible robots and an artificial celestial body before being defeated by the Dynamic Duo. Hugo moved to Middletown to attempt to steal the powers of the Martian Manhunter, whom he would continue to quarrel with using his wizardry over technological menaces.

Vile Menagerie Stats
Win: Professor Ivo (9-6,) Bette Noir (9-4,) Dr. Trap (11-6,) Alex Dunster (9-8,) Vulture crime organization (10-3,) Porto (all but 1 vote)
Lose: Mister V (5-6)
Draw: Vandal Savage (5-5)

Professor Hugo Strange
Debut: 1940
Nemesis: Batman
Other Major Foes: Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin
Appearances: 100+ comics, as well as cartoons & video games
Powers: None

Doctor Hugo Strange worked as a professor of psychology at Gotham State University before getting tossed out for being a weirdo. Strange then began working with the mob to conduct genetic experiments. The results were giant cannibalistic "monster men" that Strange used to commit crimes until they were destroyed by Batman. Strange became obsessed with the Dark Knight as a perfect physical specimen, investigating his secret identity and attempting to replace Batman himself. Strange has occasionally uncovered Bruce Wayne's alter ego, but has repeatedly forgotten after having gone around the bend or been convinced that his deduction was erroneous. Most of Strange's modern appearances have revolved around manipulation of subjects through hypnosis, hallucinogenics, and other bad medicine.

Vile Menagerie Stats:
Win: 0
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

Idol Speculation: The Golden Age Hugo Strange would have been a serious challenge, since he was very much of the broad mad scientist school that Professor Hugo teaches at. However, when Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers revived the character in the 1970s after decades in limbo, he became the Dark Knight's answer to Doctor Faustus. That is to say, Strange specializes in playing those mind games, screwing with Batman's head instead of trying to blast it off with a laser cannon. I think there's potential for Professor Strange to toy with Professor Hugo's ego, but that requires time and care Given Name Hugo would be unlikely to be given by Family Name Hugo. More probably, Arnold Hugo would whip out his mind-control doohickey from House of Mystery #157 to make Hugo Strange pirouette in his boxer shorts. The Wizard of a Thousand Menaces is like the honey badger of experi-mental crime. "He got beat by the Dynamic Duo when he was trying to throw a moon at Gotham City, but he just went out and started trying to kill J'onn J'onzz right after, over and over again. Professor Hugo is crazy. He just doesn't give a care."


mathematicscore said...

"The Honey Badger of Experi-mental Crime" Heck yes.

Tom Hartley said...

Does Hugo Strange have invisible flying robots? No. Does Hugo Strange have The Big Head? No. Did Hugo Strange ever attempt anything as audacious as knocking the Moon out of its proper orbit? No. On the other hand, if Batman asked to borrow a pencil from Hugo Strange, promising that he was not going to somehow use the pencil to help him escape from Strange's deathtrap, but insisting that he wanted to write a tribute to Strange's criminal genius, would Hugo Strange give Batman the pencil?

Diabolu Frank said...

Hugo Strange? Yes, he would totally give Batman the pencil. And in defeat, he would keep the pencil and use it in prison. Not for writing, either.

Tom Hartley said...

Was that last sentence really necessary?

Diabolu Frank said...

Hugo v. Hugo:

Professor Arnold Hugo laid the mindflip on Professor Hugo Strange by 65% of 20 votes.