Ernest Ray first appeared in Rocksteady Games' Batman: Arkham City in October 2011.
Ernest Ray is a political prisoner in Arkham City. He was contracted by the Gotham municipal authorities to construct the perimeter wall around the detention zone.
When Arkham City was under construction, Mayor Quincy Sharp and the Gotham city council solicited bids from the private sector to carry out the necessary demolition, construction, and architectural planning measures for the new facility. Ray was the head of a construction firm which secured the contract to build the perimeter wall. The project took six months to complete. Arkham director Hugo Strange subsequently ordered Ray's imprisonment under the state of martial law then in effect. Ray's home was raided by TYGER Security personnel and he was committed to the prison city as one of its first inmates. He survived by hiding out with other Political Prisoners in a fortified shantytown, making only occasional inroads into the city streets in search of food.
Batman: Arkham City
Ray was searching for food with another political prisoner, Dave, in Park Row when they witnessed Jack Ryder being assaulted by several inmates. Ray and Dave took cover in an alley. They expressed sympathy for Ryder's position but recognized the futility of attempting to aid him. The duo were later confronted and interrogated by Batman, who had recently arrived in Arkham City. Ray begged Batman not to hurt him before claiming that he hadn't done anything wrong. He maintained that his only involvement with Arkham prior to his arrest was supervising work on the prison walls. Batman expressed surprise Ray had survived so long, to which the latter responded that he stayed out of sight and didn't bother the other inmates. Batman assured Ray that he would be closing Arkham City for good before leaving.
If interrogated further, Ray mentions that he has been in Arkham City for over three months. He and the other political prisoners had resorted to scavenging and eating stray animals to survive. The Arkham administration carried out routine food drops, but most of these supplies landed in gang turf and were claimed by the Joker, Penguin, or Two-Face, respectively.
- "I'm Ernest, Ernest Ray. This here's Dave. We didn't do anything wrong. My door was kicked down and I was dragged here on Hugo Strange's orders."
- "All I did was head up the crew that built the wall around this place. Worked six months, day and night, and look where it got me."
- "We stay out of sight. We don't bother anyone and they don't kill us."
- "It's been a nightmare. We'd be dead if these animals got their hands on us."
- "Last hot meal we had was three months ago. We found a cat near the courthouse. We didn't want to do it, but we were so hungry."
- "Thank God you're here, Batman."
- Ray's arrest and imprisonment without trial or even formal charges was likely justified under the state of martial law in force in Gotham following a terrorist attack by two Titan-infected criminals on city hall. TYGER Security, the same firm contracted to police Arkham City, was given arbitrary powers of arrest and detention by the city council. This in effect allowed Hugo Strange to arrest and imprison anybody he wished, for any reason.
- In the tie-in Arkham Unhinged comic book, it is revealed that Ray cut corners during the construction of the perimeter wall to meet the rushed building schedule and the city council's over-optimistic timeline. This left vulnerable spots in the wall, which Black Mask exploited to escape Arkham City. It is possible that Strange held Ray at least partly responsible for Black Mask's escape, which may have prompted his own imprisonment.