Arkham's Oddest Inmates

by Jeff Cork on Aug 20, 2010 at 06:22 AM

Batman owes his enemies a debt of gratitude. His criminal counterparts are often so outlandishly ridiculous that a grown man who wears a cap and cowl seems almost normal in comparison. Aside from obvious offenders like Two-Face, The Joker, and Catwoman, Batman’s rogues gallery is filled with some of the weirdest, craziest, and just plain strange folks this side of Dick Tracy.

Here are some of Batman’s most bizarre enemies.

Before being committed at Arkham Asylum, Warren White was a shady investor. While at the asylum, White was beaten up and thrown into a freezer, where frostbite destroyed his face and turned his skin white. The Great White Shark was born.
He looks nothing like a shark, great, white, or otherwise.

Rocksteady has their own interpretation of the character. Here's their version from Batman: Arkham Asylum's character-bio section, along with the asylum's psychological profile:
A crooked financier who stole millions of dollars, Warren White thought he'd scored a legal victory when his insanity plea went through. But when he got to Arkham Asylum, he realized his mistake; driven insane by the other inmates, he was also disfigured by an encounter with Mr. Freeze that left him without hair, a nose, ears, or lips. Calling himself the Great White Shark, he filed his teeth into fangs to more perfectly resemble his new namesake. Putting his financial skills to use, he has become a major player in Gotham's underground crime scene, in running a number of rackets from his cell in Arkham.

From the files of Dr. Penelope Young
The Great White Shark
Real Name: Warren White

Psychological Profile
At best a mild psychopath upon admittance to the asylum, White has graduated into a full-blown case of antisocial personality disorder, partly due to maltreatment at the hands of his fellow inmates. After severe facial disfigurements by Mr. Freeze left him without lips, nose, ears, or hair,* White filed down his teeth in an attempt to further differentiate himself from others. His sense of self is now completely dependent upon his identity as a dangerous criminal.

Some of the guards are convinced that he is running criminal rackets out of the asylum. This has no bearing on his treatment and could provide valuable data regarding his condition.

Karl Courtney was shunned by his family, so he wore a pirate outfit and caused trouble with a cutlass. He didn’t have any powers, and the most interesting things about him could fit on a coathanger. He died.

Jervis Tetch was obsessed with Lewis Carroll, dressing like the Mad Hatter and creating a variety of hat-based mind-control devices. In his first appearance, he tried to steal a trophy from a yacht club. That’s probably the most dignified thing that he has ever done.

Rocksteady has their own interpretation of the character. Here's their version from Batman: Arkham Asylum's character-bio section, along with the asylum's psychological profile:
Obsessed from a young age with Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Jervis Tetch, an expert hypnotist, embraced a delusion that he was in the incarnation of a character in the story, the Mad Hatter. Using his skills for mesmerism, the Mad Hatter has committed many crimes, often themed around the book that inspired him and his love of hats and headgear, going so far as to implant his hats with mind-control chips to amplify his hypnosis skills. Above all other headwear, however, he covets Batman's distinctive cowl, and will stop at nothing to acquire it.

From the files of Dr. Penelope Young
The Mad Hatter
Real Name: Jervis Tetch

Psychological Profile
Tetch is a classic delusional who also displays an obsessive ideation based on hats. He believes that he is the true-life incarnation of the Mad Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Tetch's skills as a hypnotist and his frankly inexplicable talent for inventions involving mind control make him at times a dangerous patient to treat, or they would for a less stable and insightful doctor than myself.

Tetch is completely unmanageable when forced to bare his head, so the regulation of Arkham patient uniform rules have been relaxed in this area to facilitate his treatment.

Superman has Bizarro, so it only makes sense that Batman has Batzarro. Wayne Bruce, the world’s worst detective, is first seen shooting couples walking down Crime Alley. Later, it’s revealed that Batzarro was created by the Joker. It figures.

Arnold Wesker’s parents were killed by a truck carrying department-store dummies in front of young Wesker’s eyes. After being incarcerate for killing a man in a bar fight, the meek Wesker created a dummy named Scarface. The pair became powerful Gotham drug bosses who ran their operation from a nightclub called…The Ventriloquist Club. Eventually someone shot Wesker in the head and killed him, though he’s since been resurrected. Comics.

Rocksteady has their own interpretation of the character. Here's their version from Batman: Arkham Asylum's character-bio section, along with the asylum's psychological profile:
Arnold Wesker was a timid orphan whose deep repression erupted in a barroom brawl, resulting in him being sent to Blackgate Prison. There he encountered the puppet Scarface, and promptly murdered the man who'd carved the puppet. The two are now inseparable, with Scarface directing a series of criminal activities. While most believe that Wesker is simply acting out a second personality through the puppet, Wesker sees himself as a reluctant lackey who merely does his puppet's bidding.

From the files of Dr. Penelope Young
The Ventriloquist
Real Name: Arnold Wesker

Psychological Profile
Wesker is a very special case; previously he was a classic example of avoidant personality disorder, which intensified into a violent outbreak that led to his incarceration at Blackgate Prison. While there, he graduated into a fully realized delusion that his ventriloquist dummy, "Scarface", is an independent personality exerting control over him. It is possible that Wesker is a legitimate example of multiple personality disorder. To probe this further, I've requested that he no longer be separated from his dummy during the treatment sessions.

It can be very difficult to question Wesker due to constant interruptions from "Scarface".

Weskers delusion has led him to create a complicated backstory for "Scarface", whose personality Wesker seems to have created from poorly written, old-fashioned gangster films.

Roscoe Chiara was an artist commissioned to paint a portrait of a chemical-plant owner. The newly developed paints used rendered Chiara colorblind. As revenge, Chiara stole art from his patron. Batman caught him.

Accidents happen in Gotham City, particularly those that leave their victims able to take on the form of others. Several people have suffered from various maladies that left their features malleable and taken on the name of Clayface.

Rocksteady has their own interpretation of the character. Here's their version from Batman: Arkham Asylum's character-bio section, along with the asylum's psychological profile:
Initially an actor in horror films, Karlo went mad when he learned a classic film of his was to be remade with a different actor in the lead role. He took on the mask of the film's villain, Clayface, and killed several of the remake's cast and crew before being stopped by Batman and Robin. Later, Karlo joined the Mud Pack, an alliance of shape-changing, mutated villains who had subsequently used the name Clayface. While that group was defeated, Karlo tricked his allies and injected himself with the essences of several of them, becoming a superhuman imbued with the abilities to change shape, melt others into protoplasm with a touch, and mimic the powers of heroes or villains he copies.

From the files of Dr. Penelope Young

Real Name: Basil Karlo

Psychological Profile
While his bizarre ability to shape-change opens him up to the obvious-if controversial-diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, Karlo seems instead to be suffering from borderline personality disorder, with a special emphasis on identity disturbance. He is difficult to pin down on any subject, and defends his wild changes in affect as evidence of his dramatic abilities, which he considers to be wildly underrated. Rarely does he take his own shape, but frequently mimics me when I attempt to interview him.

His identity is at risk of splintering, due to the growing frequency of his adopting the identities of others to the exclusion of taking on his own.

I find his imitation of me to be especially unflattering; I am most certainly not the bitter, calculating academic he attempts to portray me as.

As a kid, Charles Brown was obsessed with kites, and he took that obsession with him in his criminal career. He dazzled his enemies with swarms of tiny kites. Yeah.

With a name like Humphry Dumpler, it’s easy to say that this guy’s fate was sealed. Dumpler was obsessed with figuring out how things worked, though his attempts at repairs usually left things worse off than before. He was sentenced to Arkham Asylum after police discovered that he had torn his abusive grandmother to pieces and was trying to put her back together.

Rocksteady has their own interpretation of the character. Here's their version from Batman: Arkham Asylum's character-bio section, along with the asylum's psychological profile:
An obese, bald man, nicknamed "Humpty Dumpty" for his egg-like form, Humphry Dumpler is obsessed with taking things apart and putting them back together. His crimes at first were minor break-ins, leading to small mechanical items to no longer functioning due to Dumpler's inability to adequately reassemble them after taking them apart. But soon his obsession grew to the point that major disasters occurred in Gotham, and Dumpler's crimes also extended to a gruesome attempt to "fix" his abusive grandmother by dismembering her and then attempting a Frankenstein-like reassembly. At Arkham he is a model inmate, his quiet nature and imposing physique inuring him to the madness surrounding him.

From the files of Dr. Penelope Young
Humpty Dumpty
Real Name: Humphry Dumpler

Psychological Profile
Developmentally disabled, with an IQ of just under 70 and symptoms of emotional retardation and regression, Dumpler is also extremely obese. Dumpler's most intriguing mental disorder is his obsessive-compulsive fixation on fixing broken items. This manifested itself most notably in a fascinating (albeit horrific) attempt to "fix" an abusive relative through dismemberment and reassembly.

His imposing physique intimidates many orderlies, guards, and inmates, but his simple mental state makes him easy to manipulate and control, so I find no reason to be afraid of him.

Peter Merkel wasn’t just double jointed, he was triple jointed. This allowed him to sneak into small spaces and rob stores and banks while they were closed. Eventually he disguised himself as a large doll and pushed the Flash into an aquarium with an octopus. This really happened.