Axis Chemicals
General Information
Official name: Axis Chemical Co.
Created by: Anton Furst
First Appearance: Batman
Country: United States of America
State: Gotham
Locale: Gotham City

Axis Chemicals was a chemical plant in Gotham City. It was where Jack Napier was submerged into a vat of toxic chemicals, and was transformed into The Joker.


The plant allegedly had ties to Gotham mob boss, Carl Grissom, and was a frequent target of investigations by the GCPD. Grissom, worried about the continued police presence, sent his hitman Jack Napier to destroy any evidence of Axis Chemicals' ties to his empire. The operation was actually part of a scheme by Grissom to have Jack and his men killed in revenge for Jack having an affair with his mistress, Alicia Hunt.

When Jack and his men arrived at the plant, the group broke into the office and broke open a vault that contained the incriminating documents. After his men removed the locks that secured the vault, Jack glances at what appeared to be a smoke-like gas coming out of the files, indicating that they were already destroyed much earlier. Realizing that his operation was a set up, Jack warned his men to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

At that point, the GCPD, led by Lt. Max Eckhardt and Commissioner James Gordon arrived, who was tipped off by Grissom after sending Jack and his men to Axis. The gang opened fire on the police, and Napier made a hasty escape. Batman soon arrived and assisted the police by stealthily taking down several of Napier's men.

Napier turned up several of the plant's machines to dangerous levels to try and create enough chaos to escape, and inadvertently caused several of the vats to fill up with an uncontrolled mixture of hazardous chemicals. Napier made it up to the final gantry, just beyond which was the exit door. Free to escape, Napier prepared to kill Commissioner Gordon. Batman soon stopped him, but Bob put Gordon at gunpoint - which forced Batman to let Napier go. Napier did not leave, but first shot Eckhart in revenge, which killed him, then he attempted to shoot Batman. Batman deflects the bullet into Napier's face, and caused him to tumble over the side.

But rather than fall, Napier grabbed the gantry. Batman tried to pull him up, but couldn't, and Napier plummeted into the vat of chemicals below. He sank into the green slime, quickly disappeared, and was presumed dead by onlookers.

Commissioner Gordon ordered his men to get Batman. However, Batman threw a Smoke Bomb and disappeared into the pipeworks.

Batman watched over Axis, and was lit from behind with the luminous Axis sign. After Batman left, a deathly white hand rose from the murky wastewater underneath the plant's drainage pipes, and several playing cards floated to the surface.

Batman realized that the only way to stop the Joker's master plan was to destroy the nexus of the poisonous products - Axis Chemicals. After he charged in with the Batmobile, Batman destroyed the facility, took with it Smylex and most of the Joker Goons.

Behind the Scenes


shooting in Acton Lane Power Station

While the external set was a model, the internal shots of Axis Chemicals were shot within the closed Acton Lane Power Station, which was originally a coal-fired power station near Wembley in West London.

Commissioned in 1899 and closed in 1983, in 1985, the disused power station was used as a filming location for Aliens, where it was significantly renovated and stood in for the interior of the Hadley's Hope Atmosphere Processing Plant.

After filming was completed, the set was left abandoned as it was and was later used as a filming location for Batman, where it stood in for the internal shots of Axis Chemicals.

At several points in Batman, elements of the Atmosphere Processing Plant from Aliens was easy to make out, most notably during the shootout inside Axis Chemicals. In particular, the stairways that Ellen Ripley had to negotiate while searching for Newt were used by Jack Napier in his attempt to escape during the firefight.


Screen captures

Behind the scenes


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