- This article is about the super-prison located in Gotham City. You may be looking for the eponymous video game.
- "If I find out all this is for a crazy TV show, I'm gonna find the person that stuck me in this freezer, and kill him!"
- ―An unidentified Arkham City inmate, after Protocol 10[src]
Arkham City was the name given to a super-prison constructed in the heart of Gotham City. After both Blackgate Prison and Arkham Asylum were rendered defunct by the Joker's schemes, Hugo Strange and Mayor Quincy Sharp lobbied for a new prison to be built instead.
The prison itself was merely a small island in the Gotham Bay, cut off from the rest of the city by a huge wall mounted with machine guns and searchlights. When inside, the prisoners were permitted to do anything they wished, other than escape. Prisoners caught escaping were either killed or captured and ruthlessly experimented on.
Only three individuals have proven capable of escaping Arkham City: Batman, Black Mask, and Robin. Within the prison's walls, three main gangs were set up, led by the Joker, the Penguin, and Two-Face, and participated in a violent gang-war. After the Joker's death and Penguin's incapacitation, Two-Face emerged the victor, and took control of half the prison's turf.
Arkham City was first conceptualized several years prior to its construction by Hugo Strange. After he had deduced Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne, he approached the global terrorist Rā's al Ghūl with a plan to not only destroy crime across the world, but to eliminate Batman and provide Rā's with a worthy successor. Intrigued, Rā's agreed to provide Strange with the resources he would need.
Hugo Strange then became employed at Arkham Asylum, run by then-warden Quincy Sharp. Using mind-controlling drugs adapted from the patient known as Mad Hatter, Strange was able to get close to Sharp and make him much more open to suggestion. Under Strange's guidance, Sharp envisioned running for mayor and setting up an all-new prison to house all of Gotham's criminals.
After the Joker's takeover of the asylum left the facility ruined, and an earlier fire at Blackgate rendered it defunct, Sharp used the opportunity to announce his plans for Arkham City: a walled-off section of Gotham that would contain criminals of any kind. With this announcement, Sharp's popularity sky-rocketed, and he won the election.
The idea of Arkham City divided citizens and officials alike. While Commissioner James Gordon was staunchly opposed, he was being undermined by Sharp and his newly-instituted TYGER security force, led by Strange. While Gordon considered resigning, Batman urged him to remain in his position. Batman reasoned that a political campaign led by a wealthy public figure was the only chance they had, and used his alter-ego of Bruce Wayne to advantage.