From the question: All the Batman villains who are caught end up in Arkham Asylum*. They rarely, if ever, go to prison to serve life or death.
Superhero comic logic aside, what would be some good explanations for this? I am personally inclined to believe that Arkham is a Guantanamo Bay-of-sorts, where the villains are put, because they have been thwarted by Batman without proper legal procedure such as warrants, reasonable doubt, and so forth. This would also explain why people like sane villains like Catwoman have been thrown in Arkham.
What are your theories?
*As I remember; Harley Quinn and Selina Kyle were sent to a rehabilitation clinic at one point, though.
Taking the issue at it’s face, I’d say it’s likely a NIMBY problem – while dividing up the tough mental cases throughout whatever state Gotham is in might seem to be a good way to keep them from possibly colluding on an escape together, it’s just as likely that this would mean that less corrupt cities and towns would subsequently be threatened with potential reprisals during a villains inevitable escape.
Supervillains, in a sense, are the toxic waste created by superheroes – no one wants to address the natural byproduct of a “mostly good thing”, and where possible they pool the waste and store it in locations and communities that don’t have the political clout to prevent such outcomes.
Actually, taken in that light, it’s possible Gotham as a whole is somehow a functional internment camp for the worst of society in the DC Universe… Perhaps Batman’s secret mission is more about keeping everyone from escaping Gotham, a prison in the shape of a city…?
This answer originally appeared on Quora: Why do all the villains always go to Arkham Asylum?