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Arkham Asylum Anniversary Ed SC (Batman) Paperback – Special Edition, 5 Oct 2005

37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Anniversary edition edition (5 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401204252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401204259
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 0.8 x 25.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'.

Product Description


" 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 is one of comics' most innovative writers. His long list of credits includes JLA, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Judge Dredd, New X-Men, The Invisibles and The Filth. Dave McKean is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly regarded artists in the field; his work includes his spectacular covers for the Sandman series, Violent Cases, Signal to Noise and Mr. Punch. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Hobson on 25 July 2007
Format: Paperback
5 stars? A big endorsement, that. But this is a fearsomely good read.

Grant Morrison takes the Dark Knight into the legendary Arkham Asylum to confront not only the iconic villains of Batman lore, but also his own inner demons. It's hard to say which are more fearsome. Morrison takes Batman from one shocking set piece to another and, as he does, we see him stripped of his icy exterior and exposed as the twisted, pain-filled soul that he is. It's hard to say whether the phased transformation makes Batman more or less human. But what we're presented with at the end is a Batman who knows himself... who has been stripped apart on the most violent psychiatrist's couch ever, then reborn as a man who has no illusions about the relative strengths of sanity and madness. I should also add that Dave McKean's wild and severe artwork is a brilliant accompaniment to this gruesome but horribly self-aware fairy tale.

Buy it. Borrow it. If you're a Batman fan, you'll love it. If not, it's not as accessible as, say, the Dark Knight Returns, but (for me) all the more rewarding because of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wilf.nelson on 23 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Very personal choice piece.

This is not for the faint hearted or for anyone who is looking for a shred of sense and sanity. This is a story about madness. The inmates escape, Joker threatens to start killing if Batman doesn't come in alone, he agrees after a poor girl is tortured over the radio. You are now the first page in.

The story then goes from being a normal batman story to something horrific, something twisted, demented and so wholly organic but diseased not pure. This is what Arkham is, it shows you its history, it shows you its insanity and also what Batman is to this place.

The artwork is confusing, mad, sporadic and at times so hard to follow you are just left in shock. It is never not beautiful though and I followed the story without any problems. This is not meant to make complete sense, you are meant to stumble through the dark and grasp your way ever forward.

If you like Batman, as in you read the comics, you play the games and get that there is a serious discussion about his own frailty and if he is the true cause of Gotham's inherent sickness then get this. If you casually played the games and watched the recent Nolan series this maybe a bit too hardcore in its need for shared knowledge as very little is explained.

Welcome to the madhouse, you will wish you never entered
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is complex, its deep and complicated and can be interpreted in many different ways. Your run of the mill Batman fan may may not actually enjoy or appreciate this book as its more of a psychological thriller that takes a closer sub-textual look at some of Batmans foes and what it means to be "insane" rather than a beat em up jokers come to town again. So be warned before you buy this book unless your in the mood for dark and thought provoking stuff that requires alot of thinking, interpreting and art appreciation maybe Batman: Court of Owls is more your kind of read.
The story that Inspired the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum gives us a closer look into the thought process and hidden representations of some of Batman rogues gallery, As the inmates take over the Asylum and take hostages, they request the presence of Batman so they can show him.. "himself". From Joker to Mad Hatter each featured villain shows his true colours and the dark motives that fuel their madness. We are also introduced to the tragic Amadeus Arkham, the man who opened The Arkham Asylum and becomes a victim of insanity in every possible way.
Now i have mentioned interpretations, there are so many subtle references and insinuations made in the book which can be interpreted in different ways, which all make more controversial topics, whether its discussing if its implied that Amadeus was sexually abused by his father as a child or just ignored, whether Clayface 3 is implied to be a sexual disease and why do the characters keep mentioning Jesus plus so much more, it really is buffet of interpreted insanity.
This book probably isnt suited to young readers as it does contain unsuitable material, plus they may not understand the book and what it represents (see the low star rating reviews for this book).
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