Arkham AsylumBack to Places Main > Arkham Asylum
Real Identity: Not Applicable
Appearances (BTAS): Christmas With The Joker, Heart Of Ice, Fear Of Victory, Dreams In Darkness, Joker's Wild, Harley And Ivy, Fire From Olympus, Read My Lips, The Worry Men, Trial, Harlequinade, Riddler's Reform, Second Chance, Harley's Holiday, Lockup, Make'Em Laugh, Double Talk, Joker's Millions, Love Is A Croc, Mad Love, and Judgment Day
Appearances (GG): Ms'ing In Action and Cold Hands, Cold Heart
Appearances (BB): Return Of The Joker
Appearances (JL): A Better World Part Two
Powers: Not Applicable
Voiced By: Not Applicable
Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is named after the late Elizabeth Arkham and houses the legally declared criminal insane of Gotham City. After the appearance of Batman, Arkham also became the favored institution for super villains to carry out their sentence. Through come clever legal moves, some villains opt to plead insanity and serve a lesser sentence at the Asylum at the risk of being driven insane. It quickly earned the animosity of some who accused it of becoming a revolving door for those who faked rehabilitation and soon returned to crime, only to be recaptured by Batman. Nonetheless, Arkham is far away on the outskirts of northern Gotham City in the Somerset District. Right beneath the building foundation lies an underground river that feeds right into the Gotham City Reservoir.
The Chief Administrator of Arkham is currently Dr. Bartholomew, who some believe to be an out of touch bureaucrat. He is part of a board that presides over the asylum and makes the decisions. It includes Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hill, and Bruce Wayne. Other members of the staff are Dr. Steven Carlyle, Dr. Joan Leland, Dr. Marilyn Crane, and formerly Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Eager to write a tell-all book, Quinzel interned at Arkham and was able to persuade Leland to allow her to have a session with the Joker. The Joker easily manipulated her into thinking they were meant to be together. After becoming unhinged, Quinzel transformed into Harley Quinn, stormed Arkham, and broke the Joker out. Over the years, many have likewise escaped with ease such as Scarecrow with a simple fake dummy and rocking chair set up. He didn't stray far and planned to contaminate the underground river with his fear toxin. The vulnerability of Arkham was most felt when every major super villain was caught and imprisoned. They then instigated a mass riot, took over the asylum, and kidnapped Batman.
The lack of security was solved by the hire of Lyle Bolton but it soon became evident that his methods were cruel and unorthodox. He was fired and tried to get revenge six months later only to be defeated and imprisoned in Arkham. In addition to these prevalent issues, Arkham also lacked the ability to house psychopaths with enhanced abilities for the long term. Killer Croc was locked away in a special tank enclosure until he could be transferred upstate and Dora Smithy, in a refrigerated padded cell.
In a parallel universe, the problems of Gotham were solved with a morally gray solution. The Justice Lord Superman used his Heat Vision to lobotomize every single psychopath into a non-violent state. They were so docile that the normal staff was laid off and the patients handled day to day affairs on their own. The Joker handled simple administrative duties, Two-Face was a janitor, and Poison Ivy was the resident gardener. The Justice Lords also supplied the Joker with constant passwords as a safeguard. When the Justice League arrived in search of an injured Hawkgirl, they failed to have Wonder Woman utter the password, "Applesauce." The Joker then activated a small unit of Superman robots while the police arrived. Both Batmen arrived to safely extract the League and get back to their universe.
In the early 21st century, Arkham was moved to a higher security facility while the former was partially demolished and left to languish. The Joker and Harley Quinn took the former Arkham on as their new hideout and used it to torture and brainwash Robin for three weeks, utilizing Arkham's Operating Theatre. The Joker revealed his location and a final showdown between Batman, Batgirl, the Joker, and Harley Quinn took place. While Quinn fell into a chasm and survived, the Joker was shot and died by Robin's hands. The Joker was buried beneath Arkham and only Commissioner Gordon was privy to this until Terry McGinnis learned this decades later from Batgirl, now Commissioner Gordon. Arkham Asylum is still in operation in the 2050's.