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Iron Heights Penitentiary
Iron Heights

Owner: Public
Designation: Government Incarceration Center
Affiliation: American Government
First Appearance:
Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)

Iron Heights Penitentiary is a maximum-security prison for Central City and Keystone City. Equipped specifically to deal with threats of a super-powered nature, the penitentiary is frequently populated by members of the Flash's Rogues Gallery.

The penitentiary is infamous for the vicious and brutal treatment of its prisoners. Four years after the Pied Piper (Hartley Rathaway) escaped the facility, the prison underwent major remodelling under the ruthless authority of the new Warden Gregory Wolfe; a former prosecutor of St. Louis who possesses a personal hatred for supervillains. Equipped with state-of-the-art lockdown systems.
As the prison also holds average criminals, metahuman prisoners are jailed in a separate area known as "The Pipeline", a rotting basement area of Iron Heights where the prisoners are held with little food or water. The prisoners are kept in their costumes so that the guards, who are under orders to shoot to kill if they see one out of their cell, can identify them immediately.

The penitentiary first came to the Flash (Wally West)'s attention when the villain Murmur (Michael Amar) released a flesh destroying virus known as the "Frenzy" into the prison populace, resulting in his escape and the escape of Weather Wizard (Mark Mardon) and Girder (Anthony Woodward), both of whom would be recruited into Blacksmith (Amunet Black)'s New Rogues army. During this incident, Flash discovered the prison's illegal treatment of it's prisoners; including the using Fallout (Neil Borman)'s irradiated body to power the facility.

When the Flash instigated an inspection of the prison's facilities to determine any wrong-doing, Wolfe had Fallout temporarily removed, and the existing prisoners drugged, to hide the prison's true living standards.
After Fallout escaped during this and was re-incarcerated, the Flash ensured that his cell was of a better living standard while still being able to provide power to the facility.

While preparing cells to contain Gorilla Grodd, the facility was targeted by a Jokerized Deadshot, Deadline and Warp during the Joker's Last Laugh incident. While Captain Boomerang was freed and temporarily Jokerized, Wolfe and his guards managed to fight off the villains before the facility was destroyed.
After the facility also received the Pied Piper (Hartley Rathaway), who was convicted of killing his parents, the penitentiary came under attack by Gorilla Grodd's soldiers; resulting in a large amount of destruction and the release of many of the Pipeline's prisoners; including Grodd, who crippled crime analyst Hunter Zolomon during his escape.
Driven to insanity through despair, Hunter Zolomon later became the speedster known as "Zoom" and would himself become a prisoner of the facility. During his incarceration he would be frequently visited by his ex-wife, Ashley Zolomon.

When Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce)'s niece, Joanna Pierce, was killed after becoming involved as a lawyer in one of Oliver Queen's cases, Jefferson tracked down her killer, corporate CEO Martin Somers, and attempted to shock him with his powers only to inadvertently kill him. In truth, the mercenary Deathstroke had made the killing blow but allowed Jefferson to believe he'd caused the death.
Guilty over his believed murder, Following the Infinite Crisis incident, Jefferson turned himself in for killing Martin Somers. Surrendering himself to Checkmate, the organization put him in Iron Heights Penitentiary under the identity of "Derek Cooper" for his own protection. Shortly thereafter, Jason Todd discovered the truth while eavesdropping on a conversation between Deathstroke and Alexander Luthor Jr. and contacted Nightwing. When Nightwing and Anissa Pierce told Jefferson of this in prison, he did not believe them and intended to stay in prison. Upon learning from Todd that other inmates were about to carry out a contract hit on Pierce, with Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer) being the intended assassin, the Outsiders resolved to free Jefferson. While the mission was a success, 44 people were killed thanks to Warden Wolfe's overzealous usage of his metahuman power to stop them.

During the Blackest Night incident,the penitentiary became a battleground between the living Rogues and their deceased members, who were reanimated as undead members of the Black Lantern Corps.
As the Black Lanterns were distracted by the resurrected Professor Zoom, Captain Cold used a freeze grenade that encapsulated the entire facility in ice.


  • Warden 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 facility's mobile containment units are built by the Cage Factory which operates from Keystone City.
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