Arkham AsylumArkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane
is a fictional mental hospital
near Gotham City
in the DC Universe
, where many of Batman
's foes (most famously the Joker
) wind up after they are captured--and recaptured; those who are 'cured' and released tend to re-offend. Arkham Asylum does not have a good record, at least with regard to the high profile cases. (Furthermore, several staff members, including at least one director, have ended up as residents. See also Harley Quinn
In the world of the Batman stories, the Asylum is named after its founder; but in real life, it is thought to have been named in honour of Arkham, one of the settings of H. P. Lovecraft's horror stories.
H.P. Lovecraft met Bob Kane, Batman's creator, in 1935 on a train. The young Kane told Lovecraft that he loved how he wrote his stories and told him about a vigilante that had literally gone insane with vengeance over something that cannot be destroyed; the essence of evil itself. Kane was so grateful for being able to meet Lovecraft only two years before his death that he created Arkham Asylum as a means of paying tribute to his hero.
Known Inmates of Arkham Asylum:
is also the name of of an acclaimed Batman graphic novel
written by Grant Morrison
and painted by Dave McKean
. It was at one point the biggest-selling original graphic novel (as opposed to collection or trade paperback) of all time.