Arkham Wiki
Arkham Wiki

The Arkham Gang War was a conflict between crime-bosses that started shortly after the inception of Hugo Strange's Arkham City project. Strange escalated the war to initiate his plan for Protocol 10.


The Falcone Crime Family once ruled the Gotham City underworld. However, with the insurrection of Strange's TYGER forces to assist with the building of Arkham City and the possibility of being incarcerated there, it caused the entire Family to uproot and flee the city en masse to avoid being trapped there.

The absence of the Falcones created a power vacuum in Gotham, one that was eager to be filled especially by the various criminal groups that now occupied the slums that became Arkham City.

The primary contenders in the Gang War were:

On the sidelines, however, several super-villains opted to avoid the gang war and focus on more personal pursuits:

  • Poison Ivy fled the fighting and took refuge in a vine-covered stronghold at the Amusement Mile. She instead opted to keep humanity away rather than participating in the gang wars of Arkham City. For the most part, her presence went unnoticed even as she gathered minions from the gangs and even the TYGER guards.
  • The Riddler had no stake in the war, and no real control over the city. However, he did manage to secretly create his own gang by hiring numerous moles to infiltrate the three main gangs.
  • Mad Hatter tried to access his old hat shop, but was prevented from doing so by the Penguin's men occupying the Bowery. For an alternate hideout, he picked out an apartment under an old strip club in Park Row near the TYGER Confiscated Goods Vault. Hatter then systematically "recruited" members of the gangs and unaffiliated inmates to suit his purposes.
  • Victor Zsasz created a small hideout in the Industrial District to engage in his homicidal methods without interruption.

Behind the Scenes[]

Hugo Strange also had his role in the upcoming fighting, and manipulated the top inmates of Arkham City, though none seemed to be aware of the others' involvement with him. The gangs' "territory" still maintained a sense of chaotic anarchy, with the Professor working to make sure their control was in constant fluctuation and prone to loopholes for exploitation. For example, Strange oversaw the kidnapping of Holly Robinson, one of Catwoman's closest friends, to ensure her cooperation before setting her and Two-Face against each other. Strange also formed an alliance with both Two-Face and the Joker respectively and in secret from the other while supplying weapons to the Penguin. He sought to play all three against each other thus escalating the violence even further and leave them all vulnerable upon the instigation of Protocol Ten.

It's also hinted that the Falcones were still secretly pulling the strings in the Gotham Underworld in absentia. A boat owned by Falcone Shipping was located in the city prison harbor and contained the remains of a hidden Scarecrow Lab along with receipts that suggested that the Falcones were bankrolling his research for reasons unknown.

Gang War[]

Initial Situation[]

Two-Face had the least powerful gang of the main three, only controlling Solomon Wayne Courthouse and the surrounding streets. His forces mostly consisted of convicts at the bottom of the pecking order. He also had the least equipment, with little to no armed thugs at all. Once Two-Face had captured Catwoman, he hoped to use her public execution to gain greater respect for his gang. His plan was thwarted when Batman intervened to save Catwoman. After that, Two-Face went into a secret hiding, not even letting his thugs know where he was.

Joker’s gang consisted of some of the most violent and psychotic criminals in Arkham City. He spread his forces throughout a wide area including the Industrial District, Amusement Mile, and the Old Gotham Freeway. Joker deployed his armed thugs inside of Sionis Steel Mill, keeping his stronghold defended. In the rest of his wide territory, Joker used a combination lookout towers and patrols to maintain control. The control of the Freeway may have come in handy for transportation, as Harley Quinn may have made use of the Freeway to make a quick getaway after luring Batman to the Church and Medical Center, although her exact route is unknown.

Penguin arguably had the best chances of winning the war. Due to his wealth he owned the best weapons and equipment giving him an edge over both his opponents. His men were disciplined and battle tested in his gladiator arena. Controlling the relatively smaller area of the Bowery, Penguin went for the opposite approach of Joker, concentrating his forces in the dense area, deploying landmines and armed thugs in choke points to defend his territory. Penguin also defended his stronghold of the Natural History Museum with a variety of defense systems as well as armed thugs. This did not mean Penguin focused entirely on defense, as he had sent a squadron of thugs to capture Mr. Freeze from the old GCPD Precinct. They were able to complete their mission, perhaps owing their success to Joker's men being spread thin.

Increased Conflict[]

After Batman made it to the old precinct, Penguin destroyed the Old Gotham Freeway to cut off the Joker's forces from advancing out of the Industrial District. Despite the bombing, some of Joker's men still made it into Park Row and interrogated inmates there for a variety of information including the location of Mr. Freeze. Joker's gang also launched an assault into Two-Face's territory hoping to locate the whereabouts of Two-Face. They only managed to capture a few of Two-Face's thugs for interrogation, as the rest of Two-Face's gang had retreated to the rooftops knowing that they did not have enough forces to win the battle.

Once Batman had torn through the Museum, rescued Freeze, and disabled Solomon Grundy and the Penguin, Penguin's gang scattered with a significant amount joining up with either of their former rivals. Meanwhile, Two-Face's gang recovered and took back their territory. They took advantage of Penguin's disappearance to storm the Bowery, occupying the now-abandoned Museum and furthering Two-Face's control in the prison. At the same time, Joker's crew marched into the Subway tunnels while killing or recruiting the rest of Penguin's crew.

As part of the plan of Protocol 10, Hugo Strange sent down high-tech weapons and equipment to Joker's men in the tunnels. Two-Face's gang also gained a large amount of guns, but it is unclear whether they were given by Strange or just seized from Penguin's stash.

Coming to a Head[]

With massive amounts of guns distributed across Arkham City and intense warfare breaking out between the gangs, the pieces of Strange's plan fell into place. He initiated Protocol 10, launching missiles to kill the inmates of the prison. All sides, both the gangs and the inmates suffered heavy losses with the catastrophe orchestrated by Hugo Strange. The total losses of Protocol 10 came out to around a quarter or so of the prison's population, and it is likely that those numbers included many members of the three gangs.

Once Batman had stopped Protocol 10 and defeated Clayface, the war came to its conclusion. The end result was that the Joker died from his Titan Illness and Penguin remained a prisoner in his own Museum, leaving Two-Face indisputably the victor of the Gang War, though not completely in control of the prison.


After Protocol 10 ended, Two-Face at long last re-emerged at the Museum to lead his gang. However, Two-Face's control did not last long; his attempt to exact final revenge on Catwoman backfired and led her to infiltrate the Museum. Catwoman made her way to Two-Face, dispatching a majority of Two-Face's men both loyal and recruited from Penguin's gang until finally defeating the fallen DA and sending him scurrying away once again.

With Joker's death, his men were scattered, but largely retained control of the Industrial District, switching their loyalty to freshly widowed Harley Quinn, despite earlier assertions by the prisoners that Harley didn't have the ability to run the gang without Joker. Given that Quinn was not the most competent leader and her deteriorating sanity due to mourning, this was likely more due to the "cult-like" loyalty/fear the goons had Joker.

Harley Quinn herself was later defeated by Batman and Robin when she tried to take out the heroes and perhaps herself in the Shipyard in revenge for the death of the Joker.

Having been largely left alone in her stronghold, Ivy communicated to Catwoman during their interactions over the course of the Gang War that she fully intended to emerge after the chaos and exact revenge on humanity as a whole.

All three factions, along with the lesser contenders would later form an uneasy alliance under Scarecrow a year later when a mysterious figure arrived in Gotham with his own forces. Two-Face and his men are shown to be significantly more skilled and supplied, possibly due to the riches earned from their victory in the Arkham City conflict. However Penguins men were still the most heavily armed and equipped of the three, even supplying weapons to the militia. Harleys gang seems to have undergone a decline in power since the prison, however they still remained dangerous.



  • It was rather odd how news traveled through the mega-prison, with an example being that minutes after the player defeated the Penguin, who was in the Bowery, all the way across Arkham City in Joker's territory (the Industrial District), Joker's thugs were already talking of the Penguin's defeat while the Penguin's own forces don't even know what was going on.
  • It was worth noting that the only reason that Two-Face won the war was because of Batman's intervention in Arkham City as a whole. His subsequent defeat after Protocol 10 at Catwoman's hands cut his reign as victor short.
  • It was rather odd how the Riddler's traps were completely left alone by the various gangs in Arkham City, even when it was obvious that the thugs could technically solve them using their numbers. Perhaps they were left alone because the Riddler had a reputation for fatal deathtraps. Plus, the Riddler's traps were rather miniscule in comparison to the ongoing war, so the thugs likely did not care about them.
    • However, at the entrance to several of Riddler's traps, dead thugs can be seen lying on the ground. This may imply that they either attempted to solve the traps or happened to walk too close and were killed by the booby traps placed there.
  • It was unknown what Scarecrow's role was, or if he was even actively involved in the war in any way or form, as thugs dressed in his attire could be seen lying dead during Protocol 10, and the mysterious boat in the Docks contained an order of chemicals and insects for him.
  • It was interesting to study the integrity of each gang: the Penguin's gang fell apart almost instantly after Penguin's defeat, which signalled a rather weak hierarchy (most common failing of empires is a lack of a clear line of succession). Two-Face's gang, on the other hand, survived two disappearances of their leader, a vicious assault by the Joker's gang, being practically demolished by both Batman and Catwoman, and Protocol 10. Joker's gang also survived a bridge being blown beneath them, Protocol 10, Batman, and the death of their leader, Joker, the most likely reason was that Harley succeeded him as the leader despite the general consensus being she'd never have the same level of control.
  • Two-Face had the smallest territory, which was barely more than two city blocks, before Protocol 10. Penguin had a larger one, which was Jezebel Center, but not the entire Bowery since the eastern half housed the Processing Center that lead into Wonder Tower controlled by TYGER. Joker, and later Harley Quinn, possessed the largest territory, the whole Industrial District.