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Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth, 15th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Deluxe Edition, November 1, 2005

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Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth, 15th Anniversary Edition + Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition + Batman: Year One
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Anniversary edition edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401204252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401204259
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“ Morrison's first big commercial hit – and his first shot writing Batman, a character he would spend a great deal of time with over the course of his career – was this ground-breaking graphic novel featuring the grim, twisted artwork of painter Dave McKean. In this darkly poetic, psychologically rich tale, Batman faces off against the Joker, Two-Face, the Scarecrow and other villains inside Gotham City's house for the criminally insane”—ROLLING STONE
“Grant Morrison and Dave McKean explore that connection in Arkham Asylum, one of the finest superhero books to ever grace a bookshelf”—IGN

“Between Morrison's esoteric writing and Dave McKean's gorgeous painting, this may very well be my nominee for the definitive Batman story. Yes, even more so than The Dark Knight Returns, Year One, or The Killing Joke. Exploring both Batman and his rogues equally through significantly different characterizations than typically seen in the main DCU, Morrison boils these characters down to their essence while providing a chilling mystery story set within the confines of Gotham's home for the criminally insane”—CRAVE ONLINE
“The art of this story is striking, beautiful, and yes, today’s secret word: disturbing.”—NEWSARAMA

About the Author

Grant Morrison has been working with DC Comics for more than twenty years, beginning with his legendary runs on the revolutionary titles ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL. Since then he has written numerous best-sellers — including JLA, BATMAN and New X-Men — as well as the critically acclaimed creator-owned series THE INVISIBLES, SEAGUY, THE FILTH, WE3 and JOE THE BARBARIAN. Morrison has also expanded the borders of the DC Universe in the award-winning pages of SEVEN SOLDIERS, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, FINAL CRISIS and BATMAN, INC., and he is currently reinventing the Man of Steel in the all-new ACTION COMICS.
         In his secret identity, Morrison is a “counterculture” spokesperson, a musician, an award-winning playwright and a chaos magician. He is also the author of the New York Times best-seller Supergods, a groundbreaking psycho-historic mapping of the superhero as a cultural organism. He divides his time between his homes in Los Angeles and Scotland.

More About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' greatest innovators. His long list of credits includes Batman: Arkham Asylum, JLA, Seven Soldiers, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and The Filth. He is currently writing Batman and All-Star Superman.

Customer Reviews

This book is a dark masterpiece and highly recommended to Batman fans.
Juan Cruz
These are a great read and clarify some parts where it is a bit unclear what is going on in the story.
K. Eckert
After reading this book I felt like the author's just wanted to shock me.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 165 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Volmar on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First, there are two things anyone interested in purchasing or reading this title should know about it beforehand. One, that it is probably not for everyone's taste as it isn't your traditional Batman vs. the villain-of-the-week sort of story, but rather a darker, more disturbing kind of tale that focuses on a deep, complex exploration of madness, told alternately from three different points of view: that of Amadeus Arkham, founder of the asylum, that of Batman and his other persona, Bruce Wayne, and of course, that of all the madmen locked up at the asylum, including the super villains.
Two, that it is "Suggested for Mature Readers" on the back cover as it's probably one of the most unnecessarily violent and ghastly graphic novels ever published under the Batman title, although, I definitely think - regardless of it being at times a bit too disgusting for my taste - that it's also one of the most original and beautifully illustrated narratives ever created for the genre. The superb artwork is perfect for the story with its surreal, dreamy, and suggestive look, even if, on occasion, it gets a little difficult to follow, especially with certain clashing combinations of colors and typographies. Still, the lavish intricacy of the compositions and the broad range of techniques used by the artist are a spectacular visual feast worth the price of the book alone.
The dual story, told in a nicely interwoven parallel, on one hand, explores Arkham's past and how his reasons for founding the asylum derived from decisions he made during the most crucial points of his life, and on the other, focuses on Batman's present day mission to go inside the asylum and, while confronting the insecurities about his own sanity, regain control of the facility after it's been taken over by the Joker.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By trashcanman VINE VOICE on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I see now the virtue in madness" begins Amadeus Arkham, locked in his own family home which he spent his life converting into a home for the mentally deranged only to later descend into madness himself. "I pity the poor shades confined to the Euclidean prison that is sanity. All things are possible here and I am what madness has made me. Whole. And complete. And free at last..."

"Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth" is a nightmare vision featuring The Batman and some of his most deadly foes as you've never seen them before. Not a typical comic book by any means; this is art, plain and simple. A psychological exploration overflowing with oblique symbolism, jaw-dropping and stylish artwork, imagery meant to terrify, and prose meant to provoke. Some readers may be turned off by the out-of-character situations and reactions of some of their favorite characters or the mind-twirling nature of the story progression and art, but this is the creepiest and most avant-garde comic I've ever read and that alone makes it a must. This is not a superhero story; this is pure unadulterated psychological horror of the highest caliber.

The story is actually two concurrent tales. One is an illustrated reading of the journal of Amadeus Arkham exploring his life, his death, his ambitions, and his succumbing to the very thing he dedicated his life to curing. The other follows the exploits of The Batman, called to the most storied sanitarium in all of fiction to face some of his greatest foes -and greatest fears- alone. The two overlap at times with Arkham's words adding symbolism to the events during Batman's journey into the heart of darkness.

The look of this book is jarring. Outstanding. Amazing.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard to believe that Grant Morrison's defining look at Batman is over 15 years old, but even so, Arkham Asylum: Serious House on Serious Earth, is a masterpiece of comic horror. It starts off like one may think a Batman comic would: Bats is called in by Commissioner Gordon because the inmates at Arkham have taken the staff hostage and will release them on one condition: Batman must join them. Featuring the most psychotic of Batman's rogue gallery: the Joker, Two-Face, Black Mask, Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Doctor Destiny, Clayface, and Professor Milo are all here, and they all have plans for the Dark Knight. During the story, the tragic tale of Arkham himself is told as the origin of the construction of the asylum is built, and Morrison's examination of the inner demons of Batman in comparison to that of his villains is simply brilliant. His interpretations of the Joker, Two-Face, and Clayface are unlike anything else done by anyone else with the characters, maybe except for Alan Moore's use of the Joker in the Killing Joke. Add to this the haunting and visceral artwork of Sandman cover artist and frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean, and you get one of the greatest, and most chilling, Batman stories ever told. There's a nice assortment of extras thrown in as well, including Morrison's complete original script with new notes, and his hand drawn storyboards to boot.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bob Your Uncle on January 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story line is great, however the graphics and the inking do not cross over well to the kindle version (I read it on an iPad). I had to strain to read a lot of the dialogue and some of the art did not render well. I checked it out on my Kindle fire and it looked the same.
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