DC Animated Universe
Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum under Gotham's blood red sky.

Arkham Asylum was a dark and gloomy facility for the criminally insane in the Somerset District of Gotham City.


The asylum resembled a prison more than a sanatorium. In addition to the insane, Arkham was also specially equipped to house prisoners with unique medical or environmental needs, who could not be otherwise incarcerated in Stonegate Penitentiary. For instance, Victor Fries, who could not survive outside of a sub-zero environment, was housed in a special freezer cell that allowed him to survive without his special cold suit.

Arkham was notorious as the "home" of many of Batman's greatest foes, and was reputed to have both airtight security and some of the world's best psychological experts on staff. However, over time, both of these claims have proven to be false. In addition to few improvements in patients' conditions, inmates were constantly escaping, and at least two staff members—Dr. Harleen Quinzel[1] and Lyle Bolton[2]—are known to have been driven insane and later became inmates themselves.

The structure was built on top of a large underground cavern, and took its water from a river flowing beneath it.[3]

On one occasion, the inmates of Arkham staged a takeover of the asylum and used one of the operating theatres as a mock-courtroom, to hold a "trial" of a captured Batman.[4]

According to Barbara Gordon, the asylum's inmates, staff and facilities were relocated to a newer, more modern facility elsewhere sometime before the 2010s-2030s. While the old asylum was partially demolished, the rest was allowed to decay. The ruins of the old asylum were the site of the last, worst confrontation between Batman and the Joker, which the latter did not survive after being killed by the disfigured and brainwashed Robin, whom he kidnapped, tortured and operated on for three weeks. His remains were buried, secretly, under Arkham. Harley Quinn was also thought to have possibly died from a fall in the ruins, but as her body was never recovered the heroes believed years later that she could still be alive as they were, but harmless. Unknown to them, this hypothesis was correct.[5]

Alternate Universe[]

In the Justice Lords' alternate universe, the asylum was run by a lobotomized version of the Joker and was protected by robotic copies of Superman. The entire inmate population was lobotomized by their world's Superman's heat vision.

Staff Members[]

Known Inmates[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dini, Paul (writer) & Dini, Paul, Timm, Bruce (story) & Lukic, Butch (director) (January 16, 1999). "Mad Love". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 11 (airdate). Episode 21 (production). Season 2. Kids WB!.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dini, Paul (story) & Isenberg, Marty, Skir, Robert N. (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (November 19, 1994). "Lock-Up". The Adventures of Batman & Robin. Season 3. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 82 (production). FOX Kids.
  3. Reeves-Stevens, Judith, Reeves-Stevens, Garfield (writers) & Sebast, Dick (director) (November 3, 1992). "Dreams in Darkness". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 31 (airdate). Episode 28 (production). FOX Kids.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dini, Paul, Timm, Bruce W. (story) & Dini, Paul (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (May 16, 1994). "Trial". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 68 (production). FOX Kids.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Burnett, A., Dini, P., Timm, B., Murakami, G. (Producers), & Geda, C. (Director). (2000). Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. United States: Warner Bros. Animation.
  6. Dini, Paul (writer) & Kirkland, Boyd (director) & November 19, 1992). "Joker's Wild". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 42 (airdate). Episode 41 (production). FOX Kids.
  7. Bader, Hilary J., Burnett, Alan (writers) & Geda, Curt (director) (February 14, 1999). "Meltdown". Batman Beyond. Season 1. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 7 (production). Kids WB!.