Lock-Up (comics)


Lock-Up as seen in Nightwing (vol. 2) #35 (September 1999)
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman: The Animated Series episode "Lock-Up" (TV, Nov. 19, 1994)
Robin #24 (comics, January 1996)
In-story information
Alter ego Lyle Bolton
Team affiliations Arkham Asylum
Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities Expert on incarceration tactics and procedures

Lock-Up (Lyle Bolton) is a DC Comics supervillain and an enemy of Batman. He first appeared in one episode of Batman: The Animated Series and was incorporated into DC's mainstream continuity in Robin (vol. 4) #24 (January 1996).

Fictional character biography

Batman: The Animated Series

Before appearing in the comics, Lock-Up appeared in his self-titled episode of Batman: The Animated Series voiced by Bruce Weitz. Lyle Bolton is a large, muscular man specializing in incarceration and high tech security systems.

When Arkham Asylum was in dire need of a new Head of Security, Bruce Wayne felt Lyle Bolton, a security expert at Wayne Enterprises, was the perfect man for the job. What Bruce and the doctors at Arkham did not know was that Bolton pushed the boundaries of the law and used excessive force to keep his prisoners in line. Bolton proved so malicious that the Scarecrow, the "Master of Fear" himself, managed an escape from Arkham not to resume his life of fear-based crimes, but merely to escape him out of pure fright. Bruce Wayne became suspicious about how Bolton was keeping the Arkham inmates in check so well, and about the complete terror Bolton had instilled in Scarecrow, so he set up a hearing with Mayor Hamilton Hill, Commissioner Gordon, and Dr. Bartholomew, chief of medicine at Arkham. After questioning the uneasy inmates of Arkham, including the Ventriloquist and Scarface, Harley Quinn and the Scarecrow, Bruce Wayne discovered that Bolton had been torturing, threatening, and assaulting the inmates, including holding Scarface (who in this episode resembles Bolton) over a can filled with termites. Following a blowup at the hearing, where he assaulted several Arkham orderlies and attempted to attack his accusers, Bolton was relieved of his post at Arkham. On his way out, Bolton continued his tirade, lambasting the "gutless police, mindless bureaucrats, and coddling doctors" who he feels are at the focal point of the criminals' behavior and the lack of justice being served against them.[1] After his release, Bolton called the city "an open wound" and became convinced that the press was supporting crime by glorifying criminals on television, assisted by a legal system seemingly set up and enforced by both the politicians and police to serve as a revolving door for criminals instead of bringing final justice to them. Bolton then created a costume and tools, and began to seize the people he deemed to be at the root of Gotham's problems. Summer Gleason was his first victim where Batman had his first encounter with Lock-Up. Batman tried to stop Lock-Up, but was repelled. When meeting up with Harvey Bullock, Batman learned from him that Commissioner Gordon and Dr. Bartholomew were also captured. They knew that his next victim is Mayor Hamilton Hill where Harvey had every available police officer put Mayor Hill on heavy guard. Unfortunately, Lock-Up used a smokescreen to make off with Mayor Hill. Lock-Up held his victims hostage aboard USS Halsey F-84, a decommissioned destroyer. The hostages were freed by Robin while Batman defeated Lock-Up. Lock-Up was placed in a cell in Arkham, where he was mocked by the same inmates he once tormented (especially Scarecrow). Bolton wasn't too bothered by this though, because now he could keep an even closer eye on "his" prisoners stating that "they'll never slip past me again".

DC Comic history

Lock-Up's first comic appearance was in Robin #24 (Jan 1996) in which he captured Charaxes. He subsequently appeared in Detective Comics #694 (Feb 96) in which he captured the minor villain Allergent. In both of these stories, he only made a brief appearance at the end, removing the villain before Batman and Robin could return to the scene.

His first full appearance was in Detective Comics #697-699 (June-Aug 1996), which began with him capturing Two-Face and taking him to his private prison alongside Charaxes, Allergent, and several gangsters. He is stopped by the police while targeting a criminal-turned-state evidence and is revealed to be Lyle Bolton, previously discharged from the police academy for being too gung-ho, and dismissed from several security jobs (unlike the animated version, he had not worked at Arkham). Lock-Up escapes, and captures minor street criminal Alvin Draper (actually Tim Drake's undercover identity).

When Nightwing finds his hideout, Lock-Up decides to drown all his prisoners in an underwater death-trap. Batman intervenes and defeats Lock-Up, saving the villains, Nightwing, and Robin.

Lock-Up later appeared during the No Man's Land storyline, having taken control of Blackgate Penitentiary in the aftermath of the earthquake. He had enlisted KGBeast and the Trigger Twins to act as wardens for his prison, and rules with an iron fist; Batman only tolerates his presence because he requires Lock-Up to keep captured criminals in check to prevent Gotham being overrun, although Lock-Up is under strict orders to treat the prisoners well. Towards the end of the storyline, Batman enlists Dick Grayson's help in overthrowing Lock-Up[2][3] so Blackgate could be used for the lawful side once again.[4]

Lock-Up makes a very brief appearance in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special where it seems the Society made use of Lock-Up's prison expertise to break metas and humans out of prisons all over the world, leading to the big fight in the final issue of Infinite Crisis.[5]

More recently, Lock-Up has been affiliated with Ventriloquist II, alongside other Gotham criminals Killer Moth and Firefly. During this association, Lock-Up was badly wounded by Metropolis outfits Intergang and the 100. Recovering, Lock-Up was sent to a prison world alongside other criminals in the Salvation Run limited series.

Other versions


In the Flashpoint reality, Lock-Up appears as an inmate in the Doom prison.[6] Lock-Up is killed by Eel O'Brian.[7]


In the Arrow Season 2.5 comic, Lyle Bolton appears as a mercenary that is a member of the Renegades. Bolton helped the Renegades keep Felicity Smoak hostage for Clinton Hogue, the new Brother Blood and leader of the Church of Blood. When they realize that Hogue is late, Lyle tries to call him, but he doesn't answer. Suddenly, The Arrow, Arsenal, and The Huntress crash in from the ceiling. Bolton though uses his suit to electrocute Arsenal and destroys one of Arrow's arrows. Before anyone could do anything, Bolton electrocuted everyone and took Felicity and Huntress hostage, forcing Arrow to choose one of them. Arrow eventually chose Huntress, much to Felicity's shock. As he lets go of her, Huntress turns around and knocks him unconscious and takes Felicity back. They then took off his equipment and tied everyone else and then gave an anonymous tip to the police before they escaped.

See also


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfjRc5n78DU | Batman: The Animated Series-Lockup
  2. Nightwing (vol. 2) #35 (September 1999)
  3. Nightwing (vol. 2) #36 (October 1999)
  4. Nightwing (vol. 2) #37 (November 1999)
  5. Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United (June 2006)
  6. Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2 (July 2011)
  7. Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #3 (August 2011)
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