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Batman Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Hardcover – November 11, 2014
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"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
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 reinvented 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.
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In this book, the inmates take over Arkham Asylum, and the Joker lures Batman in by threatening the hostages. What follows is an examination of Batman's psyche through the use of his rogues gallery and heavy symbolism.
The major strength of this book is it's artwork. Dave McKean has made a name for himself by combining photo-realism and impressionistic images to form some of the best looking comics out there, and his is no exception. His take on the Joker is a sight to behold.
The writing, while good, does have one major flaw. Grant Morrison used this novel to examine the 1980's era of Batman, marked by him being much more of a violent psychopath than a calm warrior. As a result, there are a number of lines and scenes that seem out of character, putting this story firmly in Elseworld territory. In context though, Morrison does a great job weaving tarot symbolism into this story. I would definitely recommend this comic to anyone.
If you're a Batman fan who hasn't got this one yet, buy it if you're in the mood for stepping way way outside the box as a reader, if you're into Morrison's most dense and oblique writing or if you're collecting the most iconic Batman stories, because this is an iconic story, but it isn't much fun to read.
Haunting and beautifully jarring artwork by Dave McKean! There's something almost Silent Hillish about his illustrations that I enjoyed quite a bit.
The mature story and themes tackled by Grant Morrison make the reading worthwhile. What it lacks in conflict it makes up for in symbolism.
The issue I take with Morrison's work is that some plot points (I won't spoil them) felt underdeveloped, perhaps because he leaned heavily on deconstructing several members of Batman's rogue gallery in too short of a space. The pacing is frantic.
While I praised the graphic style of this book, it is difficult to make out what is happening sometimes. Also, reading the text can be a struggle.
There are many reasons why this graphic novel was met with commercial and critical acclaim. I won't make a case against that. Three stars might seem like a low score, but hey! It's completely subjective. This book should have been love at first sight for me, and yet... Hmm. Maybe it was a time and place sort of thing.
This story was in the middle for me, I didn't love it and I didn't hate it.
Overall, I liked the story, there were a few things that bugged me, like that barely anything happens yet Batman cuts himself almost immediately. I mean hes barely been in the place five minutes and he already can't take it? I just didn't think that represented Batman's strength very well.I found the lettering terrible, there were points where I could not make out what the Joker was saying until I read it a few times. I did love the illustrations, I think they set the tone quite nicely
I would not place this in my top 20 Batman stories, but I also would not place it in my worst either. It is probably not a story I will reread very often, and I don't understand why people make such a fuss over it. I would not call it a must have, I find Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin run much better and much more praise worthy.