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Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth
Author: Grant Morrison
Publisher: Published January 11th 2005 by DC Comics (first published 1989)
ISBN: 9781401204259
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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In this groundbreaking, painted graphic novel, the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's detention center for the criminally insane on April Fools Day, demanding Batman in exchange for their hostages. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to live and endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and many other sworn enem In this groundbreaking, painted graphic novel, the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's detention center for the criminally insane on April Fools Day, demanding Batman in exchange for their hostages. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to live and endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and many other sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the prison. During his run through this absurd gauntlet, the Dark Knight's own sanity is placed in jeopardy. This special anniversary edition trade paperback also reproduces the original script with annotations by Morrison and editor Karen Berger.

30 review for Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    The Caped Crusader with footnotes!?! or Art for Art’s Sake. or Holy Histrionics, Batman, I’d rather have listened to an opera… Grant Morrison gets “serious” – it’s even mentioned in the title twice in case you need a reminder – and if Carrot Top wants to star in a remake of Death of a Salesman or Billy Joel wants to write a concerto for flugelhorn and triangle, I don’t want to hear about it. Wait, Jeff, did you say footnotes? Yes, Goodreader, this is why I love you, because nothing ever gets by you. The Caped Crusader with footnotes!?! or Art for Art’s Sake. or Holy Histrionics, Batman, I’d rather have listened to an opera… Grant Morrison gets “serious” – it’s even mentioned in the title twice in case you need a reminder – and if Carrot Top wants to star in a remake of Death of a Salesman or Billy Joel wants to write a concerto for flugelhorn and triangle, I don’t want to hear about it. Wait, Jeff, did you say footnotes? Yes, Goodreader, this is why I love you, because nothing ever gets by you. Nothing. This is the 25th anniversary edition of the publishing of this pretentious pile of crap, so we get Morrison’s script tacked onto the actual comic. The script includes footnotes because Mr. Morrison wants to share each and every pop culture allusion and Easter egg that he’s cleverly included for us. The script actually came in handy, because I could actually read what The Joker was trying to say, but shuffling back and forth between the comic and an addendum quickly wore thin. A plot summary: The inmates at Arkham take control of the asylum because it’s Tuesday and demand that Batman pay them a visit, because they love him so so much and want to cuddle and spoon and eat Toll House cookie dough real fast, which is a good thing because this isn’t take-control-of-the-situation-with-a-few-well-placed-bat-flash-gernades-and-a-couple-of-kidney-punches-and-or-batarang-or-two-to-the-dome Batman, this is Emo-boy-Mr.-Feels-Kyle-Raynor-is-my-psychic-twin Batman, so let’s brood, shall we? Therapy seems to work wonders for a few of the rogues – yes, Two-Face flip a coin pick a card to see if you can scratch your ass. The rest: Mad Hatter: Stop spouting drivel and take a tranquilizer! Clayface: He’s seen better days. Idea: Bats, shove him into a kiln and present him to Alfred as a big ashtray or something. You can put him between the dinosaur and the big penny. Did I mention that the asylum is haunted because the Arkham’s were a bunch of loons or the Arkham’s were a bunch of loons because the original house was haunted? No? Sorry. Bottom line: The art is purty, but then so was Where’s Waldo? And with Where’s Waldo you didn’t have to work as hard to find the player(s). Another word association? Ready? This book…………………….Crap.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Sorry, guys. Didn't like it. I have a headache and my eyes hurt. Not joking here. One of my eyes is actually throbbing. Yes, only one. I'm going to take some Tylenol...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    What a fucking mess. The painted artwork was appalling, the story-line was incoherent, the dialogue was barely legible, and, most importantly, the portrayal of Batman was all wrong. This felt like a second-rate haunted-house horror that Batman was wedged into, and poorly at that. Batman's encounters with various villains felt thrown-in, in a cheap name-dropping way, his decision-making was baffling to non-existent, and the story's resolution -- hanging on a coin-flip -- was absurd. The back-stor What a fucking mess. The painted artwork was appalling, the story-line was incoherent, the dialogue was barely legible, and, most importantly, the portrayal of Batman was all wrong. This felt like a second-rate haunted-house horror that Batman was wedged into, and poorly at that. Batman's encounters with various villains felt thrown-in, in a cheap name-dropping way, his decision-making was baffling to non-existent, and the story's resolution -- hanging on a coin-flip -- was absurd. The back-story to Gotham's Arkham Asylum was done much better in the Batman: Arkham Asylum video-game. If I'd read this first, I may never have played that game due to fear it was this bad. I only did decide to read this after seeing it on multiple best graphic-novel lists. How can so many lists be so wrong? And how is the Goodreads rating so high? What am I missing?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    So after buying this book for the third time in my life today (the first, a hardcover edition that all the pages eventually fell out of; the second, the paperback edition sans script that now sits across the country with the rest of my books) I decided it was worth going on Goodreads to wax poetic about it. Because goddamn I love this book. I got it right after the '89 movie came out, of course, and was absolutely terrified of it -- it sat on my nightstand and gave me nightmares regularly, until So after buying this book for the third time in my life today (the first, a hardcover edition that all the pages eventually fell out of; the second, the paperback edition sans script that now sits across the country with the rest of my books) I decided it was worth going on Goodreads to wax poetic about it. Because goddamn I love this book. I got it right after the '89 movie came out, of course, and was absolutely terrified of it -- it sat on my nightstand and gave me nightmares regularly, until I put it away for years before revisiting it again in my late teens. But I'd never bothered to wonder what anyone else thought of it. It's so weird and relatively incomprehensible that I wouldn't recommend it to people trying to get into comics, and most people who are into comics have already read it, I imagine (despite, as I said, never having talked about it with anyone). So yeah! Goodreads! Goodreads kinda hates this book! I mean, not everybody, but a lot of people! And Batman comics are not the kind of thing that generally creates polarized opinions, if ya know what I mean. There's The Bat-Books Fans Like and The Bat-Books Fans Hate, and every so often there's some idiot who goes "I just think Alan Moore over-intellectualizes" and we all beat up that one guy. And sure, everyone argues if Killing Joke or Year One or Dark Knight Returns is the best one, but it's generally assumed that ONE of them is your favorite (and then a couple n00bs in the back start saying that either Hush or Long Halloween is the best, and we throw them out with the Alan Moore whiny guy). But Arkham Asylum? I dunno man. It's a weird friggin' book. It's apparently like the best-selling graphic novel of all time. It rarely comes up in discussion. And Goodreads kinda hates it. Everyone who complains that Grant Morrison's cleverer-than-thou new age fruitiness is too naked here is right. And that Dave McKean clearly rendered Batman as a black splotch because he couldn't figure out how to draw him, that's also obvious. And that Batman acts completely out-of-character -- he doesn't save anyone, he lets people kill each other, he has no discernible plan, he admits he's just scared and then leaves at the end -- yeah, those folks are right too. But dammit. People like Batman because we all kind feel like we ARE Batman, I think. Not like we have hero complexes - but like we're alone on the edge of an abyss, either the sanest or the least sane in a strange dark world? You don't have to be thirteen in your bedroom listening to the Cure to grok that, man. And yknow, I'm glad there's a fucked-up scary Bat-book where Batman is just doing all he can to stand upright in the face of muddy horror, you know? With its facile Crowley references and lame-ass anglocentric Tarot-based page layouts or whatever. Cuz good lord, some days your whole world feels like an ominous Tarot reading, no matter how far you get from that little kid who was scared of his own comics twenty years ago. I'm glad there's a book out there where my buddy Batman has a bad day too. Loves you, booky-book. Loves you. No matter what the little piggies say.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    I'm not quite sure how I feel about Batman: Arkham Asylum. The story isn't to my liking (although the Joker grabbing Batman's arse is something one doesn't see often). Also, I found the art style too weird.

  6. 5 out of 5

    StoryTellerShannon

    This is not your traditional Batman tale. Some people won't like it. In fact, Batman seems like a normal man when confronted by the horrors within and acts in very non Batman ways. There's a two part story here where we switch back and forth to the founder of Arkham and why he turned his mansion into a facility for the mad and Batman trying to navigate his way through the madness of Arkham. Batman action is minimal. This is much more of an emotional journey. There is distinctive lettering for This is not your traditional Batman tale. Some people won't like it. In fact, Batman seems like a normal man when confronted by the horrors within and acts in very non Batman ways. There's a two part story here where we switch back and forth to the founder of Arkham and why he turned his mansion into a facility for the mad and Batman trying to navigate his way through the madness of Arkham. Batman action is minimal. This is much more of an emotional journey. There is distinctive lettering for different characters and massive amounts of symbolism so several things will be missed by the casual reader. Think of this as a true nightmare tale for Batman. Sometimes the symbolism is a bit much and gets in the way of the tale. This graphic novel influenced a video game of a similar title but that one is more action based. It also influenced Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker. STORY/PLOTTING: B minus to B; CHARACTER/DIALOGUE: B to B plus; ARTWORK PRESENTATION/PANELS: B plus to A minus; BATMAN MYTHOLOGY/FOCUSES: B; OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; WHEN READ: December 2011 (revised review end of April 2013)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Webb

    I have read many a poor/overrated Batman story in my ten-odd years as a fan, but this much referred to epic may take the cake. As a Batman story, this is a total failure. Batman acts completely out of character almost from the beginning. When walking into a hostage situation masterminded by the Joker, he strikes up a conversation with his archenemy rather than planning how to rescue the innocents involved. When Joker shoots a hostage in the head across the room from Batman (I think-- the bizarre I have read many a poor/overrated Batman story in my ten-odd years as a fan, but this much referred to epic may take the cake. As a Batman story, this is a total failure. Batman acts completely out of character almost from the beginning. When walking into a hostage situation masterminded by the Joker, he strikes up a conversation with his archenemy rather than planning how to rescue the innocents involved. When Joker shoots a hostage in the head across the room from Batman (I think-- the bizarre art style makes it nearly impossible to tell what is occuring at times), Batman makes no attempt to save the hostage or capture the Joker. In fact, the story seems to be more allegorical than literal, by showing Batman conversing with many of his rogues gallery foes rather than fighting them. But rather than a meaningful point, the book seems to meander until it becomes a random melange of images with little relation to one another. Batman accomplishes next to nothing by the end of the story, with little explanation as to why. It is as though he started a mission, then thought better of it and decided to take a walk through Gotham Park instead. In the end, this book is somewhat reminiscent of the film "Batman Returns"-- truly bizarre, with a completely different "Batman" than whatever iconic version lodges in the minds of his fans (the early comics, the campy 60s TV show, the 90s animated series, etc.). However, while Batman Returns is original enough to watch for mere discussions' sake, and at least offers a story of Batman fighting to protect Gotham citizens, this unfortunate graphic novel is worth reading only for the most completive Batman fan. This book is, in short, postmodern garbage.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Based solely upon his 2006-2013 run, Grant Morrison might be the greatest Batman writer of all time. But he wasn’t always so brilliant as his first Batman book, the mega-selling Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, shows. The inmates have overrun the asylum and are holding civilians hostage. With Joker running free with a knife, Batman goes into the asylum to stop him and enters a nightmarish netherworld. Meanwhile, the troubled life of the asylum’s founder, Amadeus Arkham, is explor Based solely upon his 2006-2013 run, Grant Morrison might be the greatest Batman writer of all time. But he wasn’t always so brilliant as his first Batman book, the mega-selling Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, shows. The inmates have overrun the asylum and are holding civilians hostage. With Joker running free with a knife, Batman goes into the asylum to stop him and enters a nightmarish netherworld. Meanwhile, the troubled life of the asylum’s founder, Amadeus Arkham, is explored. The story is one long rambling mess, which is part of Morrison’s intent. It’s designed to be dream-like and to read like a song and therefore, as a comic, it’s difficult to follow or really understand. I get the impression the symbolism of the tarot is important but the book didn’t make me interested enough to want to pursue a deeper understanding of it. Batman’s characterisation is a bit off too – how was he beaten by a deranged doctor!? Some readers might scoff that Morrison’s comics are always like this with his drug use, but he actually wrote this before he began using drugs and alcohol – he writes in his afterword that he stayed up for hours on end to achieve the altered state of consciousness he wanted before sitting down to write. So it’s official: with or without drugs, Morrison writes weird comics! Hear that, poseur artists, you don’t need vice to produce art! Dave McKean’s artwork matches Morrison’s bizarre story well but it still looks a bit too avant-garde for a comic. McKean’s best known for being The Sandman’s cover artist and his art is well suited to that format. But for page after page of interior art? It’s just headache-inducing! And when he does draw distinguishable figures, they look like poor Simon Bisley facsimiles. I liked Morrison’s idea to have the Arkham doctors try weaning Harvey Dent off of the two-sided coin and onto the I Ching. It seemed like an original and viable means of treatment for Two-Face. But other ideas like the Joker calling the outside world the asylum and the world inside Arkham the real world was just corny, and the Amadeus Arkham storyline just read like a poor man’s Psycho. Morrison’s comics usually have more substance to them but Arkham Asylum is all surface texture with few great ideas. Arkham Asylum is a visually interesting book but it looks and reads like an art student’s project, ie. a pretentious mish-mash of nonsense, than a good comic. I definitely wouldn’t rank it among Batman’s classics! If you want to read Morrison’s best Batman books, start with Batman and Son and go forwards from there.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Arkham Asylum is the best graphic novel I've ever read for two reasons: writing, and art. This isn't your average WHACK! POW! comic book. In fact, there is almost no violence or glammed-out secret weapons. Grant Morrision takes us through a masterful exploration into the psyche of Bruce Wayne, a man who suffered a tragic loss at an early age and formed a very clear alternate identity. Is he a crime fighter, or does he suffer from MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and does it even matter. Set in Arkham Asylum is the best graphic novel I've ever read for two reasons: writing, and art. This isn't your average WHACK! POW! comic book. In fact, there is almost no violence or glammed-out secret weapons. Grant Morrision takes us through a masterful exploration into the psyche of Bruce Wayne, a man who suffered a tragic loss at an early age and formed a very clear alternate identity. Is he a crime fighter, or does he suffer from MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and does it even matter. Set in the halls of Arkham Aslyum, home to "inmates" like the Joker and the original MPD superstar, Harvey "Two Face" Dent, this tale is creepy as you begin to realize that this particular fight will not be done with fists and bat belts. The only thing that tops the writing is the art. Dave McKean uses traditional and digital media to create a world that feels as crazy as it's written to be. The echos in Batman's head are shown in a fashion that you can almost taste and smell. I found myself saying, "yes, that's what that thought or feeling must LOOK like." No other graphic novel has ever matched art and writing so perfectly. If you read one graphic novel in your life, and if you want to see that even the most pop-star of comic heroes can be gritty and real, read this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Foad

    یکی از کمیک های به یاد موندنی بتمن. بذارید اینجوری شروع کنم. مرد عنکبوتی، خصوصیت اصلیش سرزنده بودنشه. پیوسته طنز میگه و خود شیوه ی حرکتش (تاب خوردن هاش) این سرزنده بودن رو تقویت میکنن. سوپرمن، خصوصیت اصلیش درستکاری و عدالت جو بودنشه. کاپیتان آمریکا، خصوصیت اصلیش افتخار و وفاداری و سرباز بودنشه، که از اسم و لباسش هم میباره این خصوصیت. شخصیت بتمن، با هراس آمیخته شده. خصوصیت اصلی بتمن، بی رحم و جدی بودنشه. این خصوصیت اخلاقی کاملاً با لباس سیاه، با خفاش و نهایتاً با شب گرد بودنش خیلی متناسبه. طراح های شخص یکی از کمیک های به یاد موندنی بتمن. بذارید اینجوری شروع کنم. مرد عنکبوتی، خصوصیت اصلیش سرزنده بودنشه. پیوسته طنز میگه و خود شیوه ی حرکتش (تاب خوردن هاش) این سرزنده بودن رو تقویت میکنن. سوپرمن، خصوصیت اصلیش درستکاری و عدالت جو بودنشه. کاپیتان آمریکا، خصوصیت اصلیش افتخار و وفاداری و سرباز بودنشه، که از اسم و لباسش هم میباره این خصوصیت. شخصیت بتمن، با هراس آمیخته شده. خصوصیت اصلی بتمن، بی رحم و جدی بودنشه. این خصوصیت اخلاقی کاملاً با لباس سیاه، با خفاش و نهایتاً با شب گرد بودنش خیلی متناسبه. طراح های شخصیت بتمن (باب کین و بیل فینگر) برای طراحی لباسش از یه فیلم ترسناک الهام گرفتن که در اون، یه انسان خفاش نمای قاتل، این ور و اون ور میرفته و مردم رو می ترسونده و می کشته. این نشون میده که ایده ی اولیه ی این طراح ها هم این بوده که بتمن قراره موجودی هراس انگیز باشه. اما وقتی کمیک های بتمن ادامه پیدا می کنن، کم کم این خصوصیت فراموش میشه و داستان های بتمن به داستان های ابرقهرمانی معمولی (که عنصر اصلیشون اکشنه) تبدیل میشن. این کمیک، به نظرم بازگشت عالی بتمن به دوران هراسشه. کمیک رسماً در ژانر وحشت تقسیم بندی میشه. فضای وحشت انگیز تیمارستان آرکام، طراحی های وحشت انگیز بتمن و جوکر، داستان وحشت انگیز آمادئوس آرکام (مؤسس تیمارستان آرکام) که به صورت فلاش بک نقل میشه، همه دست به دست هم دادن تا یه داستان گوتیک بتمن داشته باشیم.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Absolutely not just a graphic-novel. This is a dream-like lynchian descent into madness. Best Dark Knight story ever with "The Dark Knight returns" and "The Killing Joke". A masterwork.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    i think ADHD being a form of higher evolution is an interesting theory. grant morrison thinking he is more highly evolved because he has ADHD is a less interesting theory. morrison is no genius, in my opinion. i would attribute most of the greatness of the book to mckean, especially after reading the original "script" in the back of this book. morrison says, "According to Len Wein's original WHO'S WHO entry, Arkham died singing "the Battle Hymn of the Republic," but for some reason I got confused i think ADHD being a form of higher evolution is an interesting theory. grant morrison thinking he is more highly evolved because he has ADHD is a less interesting theory. morrison is no genius, in my opinion. i would attribute most of the greatness of the book to mckean, especially after reading the original "script" in the back of this book. morrison says, "According to Len Wein's original WHO'S WHO entry, Arkham died singing "the Battle Hymn of the Republic," but for some reason I got confused and had him belting out "The Star Spangled Banner" instead. Let's face it, the guy was a nut, he might as well have been singing "Hello Dolly!" good god, morrison. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" makes a helluva lot more sense in a book centered around the themes of death and rebirth than "O say can you see..." and then he just writes it off because "the guy was a nut" even though the other major theme of the book is that insanity is sanity and vise versa. ugh. mckean did a wonderful job with the art, though. a lot of it isn't really my style, but still admirable. i love how the joker's hair and nails have a mind of their own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    I love comic books, but this one didn't do it for me. I didn't like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn't do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn't let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy. There's footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn't you be able to get the p I love comic books, but this one didn't do it for me. I didn't like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn't do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn't let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy. There's footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn't you be able to get the point across within the story? At least there was a script at the end to understand what was going on. It just seemed really weird to me that I had no honest idea what was happening. It didn't seem like a Batman comic, more like a parody of a Batman comic. Having to go back and forth between the comic and the script also left me incredibly frustrated. I don't understand how this comic book was supposed to hit audiences. The idea of having the inmates takes over Arkham Asylum seems awesome and this could make for the best story, but this art style didn't do it justice. I could barely tell what characters were who, and I'm obsessed with Batman. I also didn't understand the haunted part of the plot. I get this book was supposed to be a psychological thriller/horror that was supposed to attract adult and mature audiences, but it just didn't feel that way to me. The allusions and references went over my head, and I felt like there could have been so much more added to make it flow better. Overall, this book was super frustrating for me. I wanted to love it (especially when I paid way to much to get my hands on this book) but I just couldn't. I had high expectations and it came short. Two out of five stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    A batman tale at its best, as it reaches unflinchingly deep into the recesses of the human psyche. While the comic may be accused by some as symptomatic of an attempt at at best, pop psychology, I think the authors have done a marvellous job in portraying the differences by which Batman and The Joker are negotiating what are in essence, very similar psychological conflicts. This is done on a backdrop literally seething with a brooding, menacing perceived threat of total disintegration, which was A batman tale at its best, as it reaches unflinchingly deep into the recesses of the human psyche. While the comic may be accused by some as symptomatic of an attempt at at best, pop psychology, I think the authors have done a marvellous job in portraying the differences by which Batman and The Joker are negotiating what are in essence, very similar psychological conflicts. This is done on a backdrop literally seething with a brooding, menacing perceived threat of total disintegration, which was in fact embraced by another main character, that of Arkham himself. An analytically minded reader will appreciate how each of Batman's villains in fact, symbolically represent in avatar form each of his specifc fears. These fears make him human; while also confirming that his mask etc in fact serve as a defensive character armour which keeps the underlying guilt, abandonment rage and fantasies of revenge both at bay. At the same time, the mask also allows for sublimation in his role as a 'dark knight'. There are nice references to Freudian theories (a connecting theme here is the loss of mother-via murder and imagined/actual matricide- and its associated trauma, annihilation anxiety and subsequent efforts at psychological defence), his structural theory of the mind (illustrated concretely by the architecture of the Asylum itself) Jungian archetypes, an implicit idealizing identification exhibited by Dr Cavendish (enabled by the Asylum again functioning as a container of chaos AND an evocative object), and even the role of 'similarity; in magic as described by James George Frazier in 'The Golden Bough'. This is the way fairy tales should be told (well, especially for adults)! Super-heroes are no longer just an all pervasive, concretely 'good' force dressed in a pretty costume,partaking in a sterile and entirely logical world whereby 'evil' villains are routinely 'defeated'. No, this is a more realistic (albeit gruesome at times) confrontation of life and its culturally suppressed opposites (or should I say, inseparable shadow): death, chaos and disintegration.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Ok. I've heard about this title and I know there is a videogame inspired by this comic, but I never seen nothing, before today. While I was out of home, I stopped to comic book store, searching some good comics and I bought this. The story start with patients of Arkham Asylum, many of them caught by Batman, that have took possession the building. The Dark Night is forced to enter, giving himself for the hostages, putting himself in the hands of his enemies. I read many favorite comments about thi Ok. I've heard about this title and I know there is a videogame inspired by this comic, but I never seen nothing, before today. While I was out of home, I stopped to comic book store, searching some good comics and I bought this. The story start with patients of Arkham Asylum, many of them caught by Batman, that have took possession the building. The Dark Night is forced to enter, giving himself for the hostages, putting himself in the hands of his enemies. I read many favorite comments about this story and the artwork, but I'm not so satisfied. In this adventure, Batman is involved to a psychological game and forced, by his archenemy Joker, to face his inner demons, his dark side. But this is only a part of the story. Another part, tells about Amadeus Arkham, the founder of the asylum, that intersects with the main story. And even this analysis of Batman is weak, I would have expected more. There are many reference to symbolism and magic, quotes from Alice in Wonderland and a gloomy atmosphere that remind some horror writers, like H. P. Lovecraft. The artwork undoubtedly has a certain charm, but looks often confused, difficult to understand and distressing. The whole story is original, even though too complicated. Too many ideas mixed togheter, but with a strong influence of horror.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donovan

    I did not like this mess of a book. There isn't much of a plot. The artwork and lettering is undecipherable. I understand that Morrison is trying to do a dark ethereal fantasy symbolic of Batman's psychosis, while giving Arkham Asylum a "creepy crawly" history, but that's not really enough for an entire book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Knjigoholičarka

    Ima svega, i predivnog, nadrealnog Mekinovog crteža, i zanimljive priče, i Džokera u štiklama, i ezoterijskog simbolizma, i Alise u zemlji čuda. Volem <3

  18. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I've read this twice now and i still can't decide whether i like this or not, whether it just leaves me confused or making me feel like an old lady trying to fucking read what the fuck Joker is saying!? The art is mayhem it sets the story up perfectly and it is beautifully if not hauntingly done so. I do think the artwork is better than the actual story though, and maybe the plot relies on the artwork too much as it's not the strongest plot and the ending is pretty weak too. Saying that i did rea I've read this twice now and i still can't decide whether i like this or not, whether it just leaves me confused or making me feel like an old lady trying to fucking read what the fuck Joker is saying!? The art is mayhem it sets the story up perfectly and it is beautifully if not hauntingly done so. I do think the artwork is better than the actual story though, and maybe the plot relies on the artwork too much as it's not the strongest plot and the ending is pretty weak too. Saying that i did really like Joker and Dent as i usually do, they're such an odd pairing but it always works. The only way you're gonna know whether you like this or not is to read it, it's definitely a marmite read, you're either gonna love it or hate it, or just be left feeling bewildered. Why does marmite exist in the first place? Did i have to be a part of this drug induced writing team to fully appreciate this book? I don't know, too many questions, read it, don't read it, maybe try peanut butter and leave marmite.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    3.5 stars. Superb art by Dave McKean and a mostly good story by Grant Morrison (with flashes of brilliance) highlight this quality Batman graphic novel. The reason it doesn't rate higher overall is because there were a few "huh?" moments where the story was a bit hard to follow and I think the creators at times sacrificed story at the altar of atmosphere.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    Worst Batman comic by far.I didn't like it's highly praised painted art style and I hated how Batman is portrayed.Bruce Wayne, man who is mentally and physically trained to perfection, man who's contingency plans have contingency plans just walks in and surrenders to Joker and becomes poor victim in this wannabe horror.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Batman is alerted that the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over the premises. If this isn't dangerous enough, they're threatening to murder everyone in the facility unless Batman agrees to a face to face meeting. I understand that a lot of people can appreciate the style in which both Morrison and McKean approached Batman, however this just wasn't for me. Maybe I like my stuff a little more.. focused? I have no idea if that's the right word. I feel like I'm almost speaking a form of blasphemy Batman is alerted that the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over the premises. If this isn't dangerous enough, they're threatening to murder everyone in the facility unless Batman agrees to a face to face meeting. I understand that a lot of people can appreciate the style in which both Morrison and McKean approached Batman, however this just wasn't for me. Maybe I like my stuff a little more.. focused? I have no idea if that's the right word. I feel like I'm almost speaking a form of blasphemy here by not loving this book. That being said, I certainly do not want to take anything away from Dave McKean - the guy is crazy talented. I just question whether or not this really works within the constraints of a comic book. I thought the scenes were unfocused and hard for me as a reader to follow. I guess when it came down to it, I had a lot of trouble grasping exactly what I was looking at. I'll give McKean credit for trying something outside-the-box but I feel like the whole presentation was lost on me. Also, a lot of the dialogue contained some strange choices. In particular, Morrison having Batman scream, "Jesus!" felt weird and awkward to me. Before you jump down my throat, it wasn't all bad. I'll say that I liked the idea of giving each character their own specific font when they spoke. Joker's sharp words cutting through the atmosphere gave his madness that extra intensity. Apparently, this is something that is considered an industry standard today but it all began with Gaspar Saladino's superb lettering. I guess I appreciate what was attempted but I'm not sure I could bring myself to read it again or who exactly I'd recommend this to. Cross Posted @ Every Read Thing

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zaki

    I like dark, sinister and menacing stuff. Arkham Asylum threw out the rule book and invented a new one. A darker one. A cruel one. And it tests the boundaries of your comfort zone. I adore every twisted page. They have a rich and dark quality. My mind is full of dark thoughts. I only think in black.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Werebot

    I know that a lot of the modern Batman mythos has a lot to do with the whole evil outside vs. darkness within motif, but this is ridiculous. What a pretentious bunch of nonsense. And I've never gotten the attraction to Dave McKean's art. But then, I'm not a goth nerd. I can never tell what's going on, everything's too dark and splotchy and covered in symbols. This is a Batman comic book. Let's not overthink it. When did we let the British take over our comic books anyway? Neil Gaiman and co. nee I know that a lot of the modern Batman mythos has a lot to do with the whole evil outside vs. darkness within motif, but this is ridiculous. What a pretentious bunch of nonsense. And I've never gotten the attraction to Dave McKean's art. But then, I'm not a goth nerd. I can never tell what's going on, everything's too dark and splotchy and covered in symbols. This is a Batman comic book. Let's not overthink it. When did we let the British take over our comic books anyway? Neil Gaiman and co. need to stop trying to turn our national comic book industry into their own personal Kafka-at-Hot Topic wet dream. Somebody had to say it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tokio Myers

    Once again Grant Morrison proves my theory that he just shouldn't write batman comics. Seriously, Batman just stands there and let's Joker and all them do stuff to him. Yep that's totally the Batman I know, not. Oh and Batman is crazy, thanks for telling me Mr. Morrison; I know how much you like to bring it up since every Batman comic you write about you have to mention it. Talk about beating a horse to death I did some what enjoy Dave McKean's artwork kind of reminds me of Kingdom Come, but the Once again Grant Morrison proves my theory that he just shouldn't write batman comics. Seriously, Batman just stands there and let's Joker and all them do stuff to him. Yep that's totally the Batman I know, not. Oh and Batman is crazy, thanks for telling me Mr. Morrison; I know how much you like to bring it up since every Batman comic you write about you have to mention it. Talk about beating a horse to death I did some what enjoy Dave McKean's artwork kind of reminds me of Kingdom Come, but the red writing was a mistake. I could barley read what joker was saying sometimes. Also the art of killer croc is not my favorite. If you're looking for a good Batman comic I would skip this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pablo

    No me ha gustado nada. Tan pronto como pasaba páginas olvidaba lo que acababa de leer. Cuando me he cansado lo he dejado. El dibujo es muy expresivo, sugerente y experimental, pero agota y a veces no distingues qué estás mirando.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    My dislike of this book borders on violent. I realize what the author and artist were going for, and I appreciate the foreward and even the screenplay with commentary. I admit I gave up on reading the whole screenplay because I was tired and wasn't feeling well, and felt my time was better spent moving on. However, even gaining insight into their thought processes didn't make me like this book any more. I am an artist, and I love art. However, I am not a fan of art becoming so all-consuming that My dislike of this book borders on violent. I realize what the author and artist were going for, and I appreciate the foreward and even the screenplay with commentary. I admit I gave up on reading the whole screenplay because I was tired and wasn't feeling well, and felt my time was better spent moving on. However, even gaining insight into their thought processes didn't make me like this book any more. I am an artist, and I love art. However, I am not a fan of art becoming so all-consuming that it loses meaning to the average person. In other words, I like my art to be accessible. This book wasn't. It was full of social commentary, allusions, and symbolism, which can be good in therapeutic doses. But even medicine can be toxic when overdosed. I think that is a good way to describe my feelings for this book. It was toxic with the statements of the creators, and it killed the overall book. Some of my individual issues: *The lettering was nearly incomprehensible, especially the Joker's words and thoughts. I am very near-sighted, and I am getting where small print gives me fits. The Joker's print was in red, and the font was very scribbly. Everyone knows that the Joker is bat*&$# crazy. I understand where Morrison and McKean were trying to go here showing how chaotic his mind was, but it fell on deaf ears since I had trouble reading the lettering. Also obscure symbology dispersed through this volume makes no sense to me. Another place where it falls flat, since it seems to have no purpose in this volume. *Batman was played as anal-retentive to the extreme. I'm not sure I appreciated this. Admittedly, Batman does have some psychological issues he's working through--he's a control freak and is incredibly uptight and is at times intolerant. I think his portrayal in this book was unpalatable, showing him as pathologically damaged. That isn't the Batman I know and deeply respect. *The storyline about Arkham, the founder of the Asylum was okay. Although I didn't like what happened to his family, and the view of his relationship with his mother was way too Freudian for my tastes. *The artwork is nebulous and difficult to cipher and track over the panels. I would almost call it abstract. Does that work for a comic book medium? I'm going to say no. If I can't follow it, it has failed to convey meaning to me. I know that this is a very highly praised and critically-acclaimed book, but I'm not a fan of it. Art is meaning to me. While art is highly subjective, the viewer has to have a lens through which to take in and process the work. In this book, the lens is cloudy and muddled. There is no avenue to look deeper.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    I admit, I picked this up for a re-read after playing Arkham Asylum. Fantastic game, by the way, well-written, with great action and incredible voice acting. But this is not about that game, about which I could rave for hours. I remember loving this graphic novel when I first read it, but reading it again I can't exactly remember why. It's still well-written, and the Arkham backstory is interesting enough that it's apparently been kept. But pretty much everybody that shows up feels out of charact I admit, I picked this up for a re-read after playing Arkham Asylum. Fantastic game, by the way, well-written, with great action and incredible voice acting. But this is not about that game, about which I could rave for hours. I remember loving this graphic novel when I first read it, but reading it again I can't exactly remember why. It's still well-written, and the Arkham backstory is interesting enough that it's apparently been kept. But pretty much everybody that shows up feels out of character, sometimes slightly and sometimes... more than slightly. Batman in particular is way more psychologically unstable than normal (and he's not exactly a paragon of sanity, let's be honest). Joker just felt slightly off in a way that's hard to put my finger on. The pacing is also slightly odd. There's a rushed feeling to the middle section, which really could have used a few more pages. And because this was initially released as a trade, it probably could have had them. The basic plot itself (the Batman villains take over Arkham and invite Batman inside) is really a good idea. Obviously, since it was used as the basic plot for the game. But how often is the video game adaptation better than the original? In particular, the game has much better pacing, actual goals for Batman to accomplish, and a distinct and chillingly good plot from the Joker. The plot in the book is much more vague. The art is... well, it's what Dave McKean was doing at the time. I like McKean's work, a lot, and I think he's frequently brilliant, but it's very much an acquired taste. A lot of people are going to hate it intensely. Does it fit in the world of Batman? Not normally. In this book? Well, that's a matter of opinion. I think it suits the storyline, barely, but I probably would have rather had something a bit more... conventional. At least in certain spots, the art can actually detract from the story. A good idea that could have been better. Just ask the makers of the video game.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Unfortunately one of GMs more out there works. Not a fan of the art either.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alessio

    Cupo e tetro al punto giusto. Avrei forse messo in risalto meglio la 'pazzia' del Joker. Disegni spaventosi!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜

    What a load of pretentious fooleywang. A bunch of pseudo-existential quotes and a jarring storyline do not make a great graphic novel. I love the artwork of Dave McKean but this was just nasty and a sore to the eyes. Batman is so out of character this should not even be in the canon. Just horrid.

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