Ace Chemicals

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Ace Chemicals
Ace Chemicals in Justice League vol. 2, #47 (Feb. 2016)
Art by Jason Fabok
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #168 (February 1951)
Created byBill Finger
In-story information
Type of businessConglomerate
Base(s)Gotham City

Ace Chemicals, or Ace Chemical, is a fictional business organization appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with stories featuring the superhero Batman.

It was at the Ace Chemicals plant in Gotham City where Joker (when he was Red Hood) fell into a vat of chemicals, creating his trademark look of green hair, chalk white skin, and red lips.

Fictional history[edit]

Ace Chemicals is based in Gotham City. The plant is connected to Kane Chemicals, a company owned by the parents of Martha Wayne, which was then sold to Apex Chemicals, which then in turn became Ace Chemicals.

The plant is introduced in Detective Comics #168 (Feb. 1951) ("Mystery of the Red Hood") when, on the night of a heist of Ace Chemicals planned by the Red Hood gang, Batman learns of the gang's plan and intercepts them at the chemical plant. Batman confronts the gang's leader, the Red Hood, who dives into a vat of chemicals to escape Batman after the heist fails.

The Red Hood survives, but exposure to the chemicals leaves him with green hair, chalk white skin, and red lips. The Red Hood's disfigurement causes him to suffer a fateful psychotic break and he becomes the Joker. Over the years, the Joker has revisited Ace Chemicals several times, and on occasion has even used it as a temporary hideout.

Revisions to the incident have been introduced over subsequent decades. In "Mystery of the Red Hood" and The Killing Joke #1 (Mar. 1988), the Red Hood intentionally dives into the tank while trying to escape Batman; other depictions, such as the film Batman (1989), have Batman accidentally causing the Red Hood to fall into the vat.

In other media[edit]



  • Ace Chemicals appeared in Batman: The Animated Series. The Ace company ran several establishments in Gotham City, including the Ace Chemical Plant and Ace Waste Disposal Plant. The Gotham chemical plant was the site of the accident that created the Joker, and seven years later to the day, also spawned the Creeper.
  • Ace Chemicals appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Deep Cover for Batman". It is still the place where the Joker is created but on a parallel earth, there was also known to be an Ace Chemical plant where the villain Owlman did exactly the same thing to the hero known as the Red Hood (an alternate Joker) who was using the chemical plant as a hideout; Owlman deliberately dropped the Hood into the vat of chemicals, creating the character's appearance, but keeping his sanity.


  • Ace Chemicals appears in the season 2 episode "A Dead Man Feels No Cold" of Gotham. It is a Wayne Enterprises subsidiary and one of the two places where Victor Fries acquires supercooled liquid helium for his weapons. Ace Chemicals reappears in the season 5 episode of the same name. In it's self-titled episode in season five, Ace Chemicals was used by Mad Hatter and Jeremiah Valeska to manufacture chemicals for biological weapons. With help from Ecco, Mad Hatter hypnotized some members of the Chessmen gang to help with the manufacturing until James Gordon and Leslie Thompkins stumbled onto the operation. Bruce Wayne later chased Jeremiah Valeska to Ace Chemicals where the struggle resulted in Jeremiah falling into one of the chemical vats. While Jeremiah's body was salvaged, the exposure left Jeremiah brain-dead.
  • Ace Chemicals was featured in the season 2 episode "Back to Normal" of The Flash. Barry and his team fought Griffin Grey in one of the warehouses.
  • In the third episode of Powerless, the team at Wayne Security has developed a way to prevent people from falling into chemical vats (a problem resulting in one clown villain roughly every three months) for Ace Chemicals. But due to the incompetence of Wayne Security's CEO Van Wayne, the CEO of Ace Chemicals decides to turn to LexCorp instead.



  • Ace Chemicals is featured in Batman: Under the Red Hood in a flashback. Batman chases the Red Hood to the Ace Chemical Plant, the site of the first Red Hood's transformation into the Joker.
  • Ace Chemicals appears in a flashback of Batman: The Killing Joke.


Tim Burton's Batman[edit]
  • Ace Chemicals featured in 1989's Batman, but was renamed Axis Chemicals. Mob boss Carl Grissom orders his right-hand man Jack Napier to raid Axis Chemicals to remove any evidence of its ties to Grissom's criminal empire. Grissom secretly sets Napier up to be arrested or killed by the police as punishment for Napier's affair with his mistress Alicia. During the robbery, Napier has an encounter with Batman that results in Batman accidentally dropping him into a vat of chemicals, which transforms him into the Joker. Later, Joker uses the plant to manufacture his Smilex toxin before the facility is blown up by Batman.
DC Extended Universe[edit]
  • Ace Chemicals was not mentioned but could be seen in the background during Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman's fight with Doomsday in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It also appeared in a Turkish Airlines advertisement for the film.[1]
  • Ace Chemicals appears in a scene of the 2016 film Suicide Squad.[2]
  • Ace Chemicals appears very briefly in the 2017 film Justice League. The very same facility and logo that appeared in Suicide Squad returns in the background during the scene in which Diana Prince meets Barry Allen for the first time. The scene is also included in the final "Heroes" trailer of the film.

Video games[edit]

  • Ace Chemicals is featured in Batman: The Video Game, although retaining the name of Axis Chemicals from the Burton film.
  • Ace Chemicals is featured in game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu.
  • Ace Chemicals is featured in DC Universe Online located in the Otisburg district of Gotham City. T.O. Morrow is using Ace Chemicals as his hideout while he produces various creations and experiments which were originally intended for the Joker until Morrow betrayed him and began using his creations to create his own army of mutants.

Lego Batman[edit]

  • Ace Chemicals is featured in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.
  • Ace Chemicals is featured in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, level "Big Trouble in Little Gotham".

Batman: Arkham[edit]

  • The condemned Ace Chemicals office building (not the factory itself) is featured in Batman: Arkham City as one of the many buildings that were encased inside the walls of Arkham City when it was constructed, and its roof is the place where Bruce Wayne has the Batwing deliver his Bat-Suit near the beginning of the game.
  • Ace Chemicals is featured in Batman: Arkham Origins where the Joker can be seen walking through the chemical plant in the Red Hood outfit in a twisted flashback as he talks to Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
  • The main facility of Ace Chemicals is featured in Batman: Arkham Knight. Aided by the Arkham Knight's militia, Scarecrow takes over the building in order to mass-produce his fear toxin. Upon learning his location, Batman heads to the facility to capture him and rescue the workers that were taken hostage, coming face to face with the Arkham Knight for the first time. Batman manages to rescue the surviving workers and ultimately confronts Scarecrow; however, the villain distracts him with both his knowledge of Barbara Gordon's whereabouts, threatening her life, and the fact that he has produced enough fear toxin in Ace Chemicals to cover the entire Eastern seabord. Taking advantage of Batman's hesitation, Scarecrow locks him up in the control room and escapes, leaving the building to detonate. Batman manages to reduce the fear toxin cloud's radius with a neutralizing agent and to escape before the facility is destroyed, but is exposed to a concentrated dose of fear toxin in the process.


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