Batman Wiki
Batman Wiki

Blackgate Penitentiary is a fictional prison depicted in the DC Universe, traditionally located on a small island in the Gotham Bay, Gotham City. Batman: The Long Halloween suggests that it was preceded by Gotham State Penitentiary, which appeared often in pre-Crisis comics.


Gotham State Penitentiary is also known as Gotham Prison, especially when referenced after the Crisis. It is later officially renamed "Blackgate Prison". In the late 1980s, Blackgate Prison is condemned by Amnesty International and forced to shut down. When the prison eventually re-opens, it is officially known as "Blackgate Penitentiary".

Unlike Arkham Asylum, Blackgate is where non-insane criminals such as Catman, David Cain, Monsoon, Ernie Chubb, KGBeast and various henchmen, mobsters, and mafia bosses are incarcerated when captured. The Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, Clayface II (Matt Hagen), the Ventriloquist, Mr. Zsasz, Firefly, Calendar Man, Rupert Thorne, Jason Todd and Bane are the only criminals that have done time in both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary.

There are instances where inmates from Arkham Asylum are temporarily moved to Blackgate, like when Bane destroys the original Arkham building in Batman #491. All of the Arkham inmates are incarcerated in Blackgate until the new Arkham structure is built and opened in Batman #521.

There is a one-shot about a breakout happening in the prison entitled Batman: Blackgate. The prisoners in the story are Cluemaster, Steeljacket, Ratcatcher, The Trigger Twins, Dragoncat, Gunhawk, Czonka (The Baffler), Actuary, and others. Several of these villains are also featured in the Cataclysm storyline when an earthquake and the resulting tidal waves damage the prison and open up a land bridge to Gotham. This allows the majority of the inmates of Blackgate to escape.

Known Inmates

A riot of inmates including: Bane, The Reaper, Ragdoll, White Rabbit, Professor Ivo, Emperor Blackgate, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Mister Combustible and Hypnotic.


Plainclothes criminals

  • Billy: One of The Ventriloquist's henchmen, seen in Detective Comics #610.
  • Bonaventure Strake:
  • Bruce Wayne: Bruce was convicted to Blackgate when he was falsely convicted of murdering Vesper Fairchild.
  • Carmine Falcone: In original continuity, Falcone never went to prison and died by the time his empire ended. He wen't to Blackgate in Prime Earth continuity.
  • Dalton Perry:
  • David Cain:
  • Ernie Chubb:
  • Eustace Marker:
  • Dean "Hungry" Fahy:
  • Frederick Rhino:
  • Henry Etchison: A mayoral candidate who covered up for his nephew, the serial-killer Abattoir.
  • Hsui Cheung:
  • Jan Brodie:
  • Jared Manx: A serial killer.
  • Jim Gordon: After being brainwashed into committing murder.
  • John McCone:
  • Matches Malone: An undercover alias of Batman which he sometimes uses to infiltrate Blackgate circles.
  • Mugsy:
  • Rupert Thorne: Thorne was moved to Blackgate after an initial incarceration in Arkham due to madness induced by Hugo Strange.
  • Sal "The Boss" Maroni: Maroni was imprisoned after scarring Harvey Dent only to be murdered within by Alberto Falcone.
  • Tony Zucco:
  • Vincent Morelli:
  • Vincent "The Shark" Starkey:
  • Weasel (Chet Grimes):
  • William Guillory:

Arkham inmates

Oftentimes, it is inconsistent which criminals go to Arkham Asylum and which go to Blackgate prison while some have shared histories. Characters more traditionally affiliated with Arkham include:

In other media



Video Games

Batman: Arkham series

Batman: The Telltale Series

Blackgate Penitentiary is mentioned several times in Batman: The Telltale Series and Batman: The Enemy Within. The Penguin is convicted to the prison following his defeat at Batman's hands. Two-Face can also be sent to Blackgate if the player confronts him in Guardian of Gotham. During The Enemy Within, Harleen Quinzel is mentioned to have been a psychiatrist at the penitentiary. After the being defeated by Batman, she can be committed to Blackgate, either due to a request made by the vigilante to Amanda Waller or after she is defeated with Joker. Should the former occur, Bane will also be sent to the prison.


  • In the novel Batman: The Ultimate Evil, author Andrew Vachss refers to a "Hellgate Prison".
  1. The Joker: Devil's Advocate