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Iron Heights Penitentiary
Iron Heights Penitentiary as seen in Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)
First appearanceFlash: Iron Heights (August 2001)
In-universe information
LocationsKeystone City
PublisherDC Comics

Iron Heights Penitentiary is a fictional setting in the DC Comics Universe, a maximum-security prison which houses the many Flash rogues and superhuman criminals of Keystone City and Central City when captured. Iron Heights first appeared in Flash: Iron Heights (2001).

Fictional history

Located about three miles north of Keystone City, Iron Heights Penitentiary is known for its vicious and brutal treatment of its prisoners. Under the ruthless authority of the current Warden, Gregory Wolfe, a former prosecutor of St. Louis, Iron Heights has become a living "hell-hole" to those in the prison. Possessing a personal hatred for the supervillains, Wolfe instituted a lockdown system in the building, and guards were ordered to shoot any prisoner on sight if they were trying to escape or caught outside the prison. Also, the prisoners were beaten on a daily basis. Wolfe has the superhuman ability to tense up others' muscles, which he uses on the prisoners, guards, and even the Flash, making them suffer cramps or discomfort that force them to halt until his power dissipates.

The supervillain prisoners are jailed in an area known as "the Pipeline." The Pipeline is the dark, dank basement of Iron Heights where the prisoners are treated under awful living conditions with little food or water. The prisoners are kept in their costumes so the guards can identify them immediately. Guards have orders to shoot any "mask" spotted outside the Pipeline.

Despite these harsh conditions and the ruthless warden, breakouts have occurred in Iron Heights. A riot occurred when a virus was released in the prison by Murmur, with Blacksmith's help. The viral outbreak ended up killing guards and prisoners. Murmur and Pipeline prisoners Weather Wizard and Girder escaped.[1]

Gorilla Grodd also escaped when he controlled gorillas to break him loose from his confinement, the subsequent attack triggering a mass breakout as all the other cells in the Pipeline were opened as well.

The Outsiders once broke into Iron Heights in order to rescue Black Lightning.[2] Everything did not go as planned, and eventually the prisoners were able to use their abilities again. Massive riots broke out and Wolfe led the riot squad in trying to round everyone up. As Wolfe tried to apprehend the Outsiders using his powers, Shift released gases into the air to counteract it. As a result, Wolfe had a breakdown and increased the intensity of his power. In doing so, he killed 44 people, not including the Outsiders, who were protected by Shift.

During the "Blackest Night" event, Iron Heights becomes a battleground between the Rogues and their deceased members, who are reanimated as undead members of the Black Lantern Corps.[3]


Known inmates

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2017)

Here are the known inmates of Iron Heights:

In other media



Iron Heights Penitentiary appears in the DC Extended Universe. It is first shown on screen in Justice League, when Barry Allen visits his incarcerated father. A sign inside Iron Heights indicates it is located within Central City, Ohio.

Video game

Iron Heights Penitentiary appears in the Season of Infamy DLC from Batman: Arkham Knight. This version of Iron Heights is still a prison, but in a form of an airship that crashed down in the bay of Bleake Island near Panessa Studios. It is here that Batman fights Killer Croc and learns that Warden Ranken did experiments on him. Gorilla Grodd's name was seen on one of the cells.

See also


  1. ^ The Flash: Iron Heights (2001). DC Comics.
  2. ^ Outsiders (vol. 3) Annual #1 (2007). DC Comics.
  3. ^ Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3 (February – April 2010). DC Comics.