"We have hospitals who treat the mentally ill with compassion... but that's not where you're going. I've arranged for you to get a transfer to Arkham Asylum in Gotham. I still have some friends there. They're expecting you."
Batman to Lex Luthor[src]

The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane,[1] or simply Arkham Asylum, is a psychiatric hospital located in the outskirts of Gotham City. It was founded by Amadeus Arkham in the early 20th Century, transforming it from a family estate to a treatment center.[1]

It is dedicated to rehabilitating those considered too dangerous for normal prisons such as Blackgate Penitentiary.



The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane was founded by Amadeus Arkham at some point in the early 20th Century, converting it from a family estate to a treatment center.

Assault on Arkham Asylum

"Talk about a workplace romance gone wrong."
Amanda Waller, while discussing the Task Force X pitch[src]At some point after being captured by Batman, the Joker was imprisoned in Arkham, where he would eventually become the patient of the then Doctor Harleen Quinzel. The psychopath would successfully manipulate her into supposedly falling in love with him and then had her give him a machine gun, thereby allowing Joker to start a riot.

Around the same time, his gang overran the asylum, killing the guards and setting himself free, leaving the facility in disarray.[2]

Lex Luthor's Imprisonment

Arkham was later restored from the damage caused by the Joker's riot sometime before 2016.

After Lex Luthor was found guilty of committing mass murder (in both Nairomi and Washington, D.C.) as well as the framing and death of Superman, he was found to be mentally unfit to stand trial for his unspeakable crimes and was sent to Belle Reve to await his final sentence.

Batman, furious that Lex had manipulated him into almost killing Superman (and had still gotten Superman killed despite that), and also wanting to keep a close eye on the criminal mastermind, took the law into his own hands and had him transferred to Arkham Asylum where he could make sure that Luthor wouldn't cause any more trouble.[3]

After he spent a year imprisoned in Arkham, Lex learned of the Justice League's formation and the resurrection of Superman and hence decided that it was finally time to enact his breakout plan. After successfully doing so without anyone noticing, Lex met up with Deathstroke to pitch his idea for a league to counter the newly formed Justice League.[4]


Current staff

Former staff


Originally, Arkham Asylum was used only to house genuinely mentally ill patients, having no connection to Batman or his allies, but in more recent years, it has become infamous for holding the majority of the Dark Knight's adversaries, with almost every one of them ending up within Arkham at least once.

Current inmates

Former inmates

  • Joker – An immensely formidable criminal psychopath, top crime boss of Gotham City's criminal underworld, imprisoned by Batman for committing numerous crimes, later released in a breakout organized by Joker's Gang.
  • Harley Quinn – Once a psychiatrist at the Asylum, Doctor Harleen Quinzel would later become a patient at the institution herself, imprisoned by Batman for her numerous crimes, later transferred to Belle Reve.
  • Killer Croc – Formidable villainous metahuman, imprisoned for his many crimes in Gotham City, most notably cannibalism. He was transferred to Belle Reve.
  • Lex Luthor – An immensely formidable supergenius psychopath, formerly imprisoned for committing unspeakable crimes against peace and humanity, orchestrating the Nairomi Incident and the US Capitol bombing (killing numerous people in both instances), as well as unleashing Doomsday, a monster that killed Superman and nearly brought about a global apocalypse. Lex is transferred to Arkham from Belle Reve supermax through the influence of Batman, since Lex had been declared insane, and therefore and unfit for trial. Following Steppenwolf's defeat by the Justice League, Lex manages to break out of Arkham, to meet up with Deathstroke.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wallace, Daniel (February 16, 2016). Time Out Shortlist Gotham and Metropolis (Gotham City). United States: Time Out. p. 33. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "p33" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Ayer, David (writer and director) (August 5, 2016). Suicide Squad.
  3. Goyer, David S., Terrio, Chris (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (March 25, 2016). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  4. Terrio, Chris, Whedon, Joss (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (November 17, 2017). Justice League.

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