Spoilers for Infinite Frontier #0 ahead!
Batman and his allies have experienced a number of changes to their status quo recently, and in Infinite Frontier #0, Arkham Asylum comes under an explosive attack. The explosion is so deadly, it’s likely to have lasting effects for the Bat-Family in the months to come.
Arkham Asylum first appeared in 1974’s Batman #258 and functions as a hospital/detainment facility for the criminally insane in Gotham City. Practically every member of Batman’s rogue’s gallery has been imprisoned at the facility at some point, and Batman himself has been an inmate on occasions. The hospital has been integral to a number of key Batman stories, including Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth and Knightfall. It has appeared on television and cartoons and it inspired a popular series of video games as well. In short, Arkham is a Gotham City institution, and now it has come under attack by an unknown foe, and the attack could lead to deadly consequences for Batman and Gotham as a whole.
In the Batman segment of Infinite Frontier #0 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, and Tomeu Morey, Arkham comes under attack from a mysterious threat, using a silent version of the Joker toxin; Bane is among the first victims. Mahoney, a night guard at Arkham, is one of the few survivors of the initial attack and must work with Batman remotely to save the lives of those left. Batman advises him of a security measure that will superheat the air, which should burn off the excess toxins. Unfortunately, some nurses were using oxygen tanks to avoid the Joker toxin, and the oxygen reacts with the superheated air, causing Arkham Asylum to go up in flames. Gotham Police arrive on the scene and attempt to arrest Batman, telling him capes and vigilantes are no longer welcome in Gotham, under orders from the Mayor.
Whoever is behind the attacks is clearly manipulating the citizens of Gotham. By attacking Arkham, killing heavy-weight villains, and pinning it all on the Joker, it breeds a climate of fear in the city – which is perfect for the Magistrate to swoop in and take over the city. During the Future State event, the Magistrate was in full control of Gotham; the most recent issue of Batman saw the group’s first forays into the city… is it possible they are also behind the attack on Arkham as well?
Arkham Asylum has been a staple of Batman comics since its first appearance and has grown beyond the comics to appear in other media. Now it is no more, continuing the major shake-ups the Bat-family has experienced heading into Infinite Frontier. Infinite Frontier #0, written and drawn by an all-star roster of writers and artists, is available in stores now and on all digital comics platforms.