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The 28 hidden characters in Batman: Arkham Asylum

Are you finished with Batman: Arkham Asylum? No, you’re not.

You may have reached the ending. You may have solved all the riddles and collected all the items. You may have visited every room and unlocked every character bio. Until you’ve read this article, however, you won’t fully grasp what those things mean. You won’t fully comprehend all of the game’s geeky tributes and intricate connections. You won’t fully appreciate how much loving fan service Arkham Asylum truly has to offer.

We’ll help you. We’ve done the research. We didn’t just scan these characters’ items and move on… we dug into their histories, learned their trivia and discovered why Arkham Asylum’s developers chose to include them. Plus, we’ll reveal the identity of the Spirit of Arkham, “Mad Dog” and the mystery one-armed inmate. Shall we begin?



Ra’s al Ghul


First comic appearance: Batman #232 (June 1971)

Arkham Asylum appearance: Arkham Mansion (Dr. Young’s Office)


The connection: What’s this? A Batman villain that actually stays dead? Don’t be so naive. Ra’s al Ghul is anywhere between 450 and 700 years old, according to the comics, and capable of replenishing his life – as well as decreasing his physical age – through the use of unique chemical pools. A mere body bag and toe tag aren’t going to keep this international terrorist from his goal of decimating the human population.

Sure enough, when you return to this room at the end of the game, his corpse is gone… most likely stolen by his loyal and secretive followers, the League of Assassins. He’ll be alive again in no time.

Bizarro Fun Fact: Batman’s recently revealed son, Damian Wayne, is also Ra’s al Ghul’s grandson. Family reunions are… interesting.


Two-Face


First comic appearance: Detective Comics #66 (August 1942)

Arkham Asylum appearance: Penitentiary (Controlled Access); Arkham North (Guard House)


The connection: Two-Face wasn’t always the bad guy. As anyone who’s ever read a Batman comic or seen a Batman film already knows, he used to be a heroic district attorney to Gotham City, a staunch ally to the Dark Knight and a close personal friend to Bruce Wayne. Until half his visage was horribly scarred and his schizophrenic personality disorder was triggered, he was just Harvey Dent.

In Arkham Asylum, you’ll discover two rooms plastered with “Vote Dent” posters and buttons. One is a cell, which could belong to Two-Face (though the audio at the end of the game confirms he’s since escaped). The other, however, is a guard room. Do the employees here have a twisted sense of humor? Or is Harvey Dent’s election and subsequent downfall still a recent event in this universe? We may find out in a sequel.

Bizarro Fun Fact: “Two-Face” hasn’t always referred to Harvey Dent. At least five other men have temporarily held the mantle, including a small-time criminal, an actor wearing makeup and Batman himself.


The Penguin


First comic appearance: Detective Comics #58 (December 1941)

Arkham Asylum appearance: Intensive Treatment (Transfer Loop); Arkham Mansion (South Corridor)


The connection: The Penguin character is defined by two main traits. First, his use of modified umbrellas as gimmicky weaponry; they can double as anything from guns and knives to lasers and helicopter blades in his pudgy little hands. Who knows what special powers the set in Arkham Mansion hide?

Second, in most storylines, the Penguin is not an insane villain. He’s a wealthy entrepreneur and highbrow society man who runs underground criminal rings through the façade of his Iceberg Lounge… a club that Batman tolerates in order to collect information. Until Danny DeVito’s film portrayal in Batman Returns, the Penguin wasn’t even deformed. If the poster above is any indication, Arkham Asylum’s developers have opted for the classic, gentlemanly, non-monster version as well.

Bizarro Fun Fact: Alfred, loyal butler to the Wayne dynasty, was once a servant of the Cobblepots, Penguin’s family.


Catwoman


First comic appearance: Batman #1 (Spring 1940)

Arkham Asylum appearance: Arkham Mansion (East Wing Corridor)


The connection: Batman inhabits a relatively testosterone-dominated universe, full of male villains, male allies and (young) male sidekicks. So when the rare female character shows up, you know the writers and artists are going to go a little overboard with her.

Such is the case with Catwoman’s ever-changing costume. In her first appearance, she didn’t have one, but since then, she’s worn whiskered cat masks, hoods with cat ears, attached cat tails and skintight catsuits in colors as diverse as purple, green, black and grey. Many iterations have included retractable cat claws like the ones pictured above, and the 2000s Catwoman added infrared goggles to aid in her high-tech, high-stakes thievery. If she appears in a future game, expect this modern interpretation.

Bizarro Fun Fact: Catwoman uses a whip because the weapon requires extensive training. If a random enemy were to knock it from her grip, he would be unable to turn it against her.


Mr. Freeze


First comic appearance: Batman #121 (February 1959)

Arkham Asylum appearance: Penitentiary (Extreme Incarceration)


The connection: That ice is much more than a visual gag. Dr. Victor Fries, a scientist experimenting with cryogenics to save his terminally ill wife, was accidentally exposed to his own chemicals and now, thanks to an abnormally low body temperature, requires refrigeration to survive. Usually, the bubble-headed suit provides this protection, but the police obviously can’t afford to let him keep that in custody. Thus, the custom-made, frozen prison cell.

Bizarro Fun Fact: Mr. Freeze was originally Mr. Zero. His name was changed for the 1960s television series.

75 comments

  • BrickLovesLamp - November 4, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    A lot of these villains ended up in either Arkham City or Arkham Origins. So now I'm convinced that any of the villains who didn't end up in one of those games will be in the next Arkham game, if there is one.
  • Rino98 - March 10, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    For the Ratcatcher- I think you can find the same book in the mad hatter's hideout in arkham city, door side of the table, on the ground.
  • coyoteDUSTER - October 14, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    "You won't send me to da coolah."
  • TheBiggestE - February 20, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    I think the book shown with the rat catcher's effects was "The Pied Piper"
  • Tendorphin - December 13, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    The book in the ratcatcher scene is probably a reference to the pied piper...he got rid of all of the rats in a village by hypnotizing them, and when the town didn't pay him he did the same thing to all of their children
  • nikrusty - August 19, 2010 6:28 a.m.

    woah cool, especially about "Mystery One-Armed Inmate". I was wondering who that was! It would be nice to see his real face and the rendered 3D version
  • Lolspamm0r - August 12, 2010 5:09 a.m.

    Another fun fact: Arkham Asylum is inspired by the asylum that goes by the same name in most of HP Lovecraft's works.
  • Ganonpork - August 10, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    XD that last guy was scarier than anything in Resi
  • Darkhawk - August 10, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    The Creeper had a 12 issue series in 1997, as well. In one of the storylines, he comes to Arkham to interview the Joker, only to have the Creeper persona take over and help Joker let the villains loose and take over the asylum.
  • chris4man - July 14, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    This article was awesome man , could u do the rest of the characters u forgot atleast the main ones in the game like harley , oracle, ivy, croc, crane,nigma, mr j etc , the more the better
  • nikeiden - May 19, 2010 9:21 p.m.

    The collectors edition of this game looks so cool it has the game, a behind the sceans dvd,A 14in colapsable batarang, and a journal of carecters that you find by doing the riddles
  • reaperman22 - April 6, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    i want to know who monty is as i just found the writing on the glass but i guess nobody knows as this is the place google took me
  • nikeiden - February 25, 2010 9:27 p.m.

    This game is the bomb. AvP game looks awsom too
  • GibsonSG - December 30, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    You are absolutely right videogameking, it does look like gordon freeman!
  • Axcleblade - December 17, 2009 12:28 a.m.

    Damn, I missed a lot. And these comments talk about multiple endings? Thank god for Youtube.
  • TheQu - December 7, 2009 4:17 a.m.

    Not that anyone is going to be reading this so far after the fact, but the Ratcatcher's book is likely a reference to Gilbert Ralston's book, The Ratman's Notebook. You may know it as Willard, as its been filmed twice. Willard was probably the inspiration for the Ratcatcher too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratman%27s_Notebooks
  • kidcomic - October 30, 2009 8:18 p.m.

    has anybody found the hidden sevard head?if not i'm not kidding theres a sevard head sitting in a water filled jar in batman arkham asylum.(i'm seriosly not kidding)
  • Blinder - October 22, 2009 3:32 a.m.

    Here's a little fun fact I know of. Burgess Meredith had quit smoking before playing the part of The Penguin for the TV series. When he had to cough he turned the sound into the "Quack, Quack" and it stuck.
  • DryvBy - October 1, 2009 3:06 p.m.

    this is pretty cool stuff.
  • uglynarcissist - September 25, 2009 9:03 a.m.

    I love this article! There's so much I missed, so I'm totally going to have to replay. But the book found with the Ratcatcher's gloves is probably a copy of Ratman's Notebooks, the book that the movie Willard was based off of. Just fyi.

Showing 1-20 of 75 comments

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