I am aware of the Batman as a Inmate of Arkham fan theory, sometimes called the Villain fan theory or Bruce Wayne crazy theory, has been around for around 10 years.

This theory states than Bruce Wayne is a patient of Arkham Asylum and all of Batman's enemies are other patients or doctors and are all a part of Bruce Wayne's psychosis.

Has this fan theory or a similar concept with the Batman character ever been made into an official or unofficial comic book, novel, web comic or other type of media, which fleshes out the story.

I'm looking for something that is more than just a Reddit or Blog post about the theory and has a narrative story around the idea.


2 Answers 2


There was a two-part story Mask in Legends Of The Dark Knight issues 39-40 (Nov/ Dec 1992). One of my all time favourite Batman stories.

Alcoholic vagrant Bruce Wayne wakes up in Gotham hospital. He's being treated by doctors for his mental illness and hallucinations. They help him realize that his Batman persona is a delusion

A hoax? A dream? An imaginary tale?

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    Just to be totally clear to anyone skimming this answer: The full story is much longer than these three pages. It's well worth the read.
    – J. Mini
    Sep 26, 2022 at 20:24
  • I've removed an infringing link
    – Valorum
    Sep 27, 2022 at 16:57

I'm certainly not an expert on this, but I remember watching such intrigue on a video game — Batman: Arkham VR. It was a VR demo, pretty short, so you can watch the whole video if you have 40 minutes to spare.

Here, I found a playthrough, the link will take you to the apex, so spoiler alert:

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    -1 As this is a hallucination batman experiences. To quote wikipedia "Throughout the game, there are several clues the events depicted are merely a nightmare likely caused by the Joker's infected blood in Batman's system. The sound of an alarm clock can be heard on multiple occasions, a music station playing a lullaby, a decoded message saying "Wake up Bruce", and Alfred trying to wake Bruce up. This is further confirmed by the game taking place before the events of Batman: Arkham Knight, where both Nightwing and Robin are alive. (cont.) Sep 27, 2022 at 11:20
  • Batman is also dealing with the effects of the Joker's infected blood in that game which include severe and constant hallucinations." Sep 27, 2022 at 11:20
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    The OP asks for a story in which Bruce is an inmate of Arkham. Does that happen in this story? If so it counts. I don't agree that "it's a dream" discounts it.
    – Pete
    Sep 27, 2022 at 17:25

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