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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker than a dark room on the dark side of the moon
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...
Published on 25 July 2007 by R. J. Hobson

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Art school Batman
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...
Published 7 months ago by Sam Quixote


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Art school Batman, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker than a dark room on the dark side of the moon, 25 July 2007
By 
R. J. Hobson (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal taste, but an unparalleled success in its display of absolute madness, 23 July 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Art school Batman, 23 Feb 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman Arkham Asylum, 14 Aug 2012
I'll be honest I love this book. this is not your run of the mill Batman Graphic novel, no it's much deeper, darker and definitely more disturbing than any other one I can think of.

The story has a simple set up of the in mates of the asylum have taken control and have been making demands for the entire day. they have one final request and that is that Batman has to come to the island in exchange for the hostages. and the Joker's plan is simple get Batman and turn him into one of them.

the story also goes through the story of Armedious Arkham the founder of the Asylum and going through how he had become so interested in the mind and why he had turned his family home into an asylum.

there is fantastic twist ending, which i wont spoil for anyone whom has not read it but it ties every loose end together perfectly.

the artwork in this novel is fantastic. Each panel is painted beautifully and it matches the dark tone of the rest of the novel.

I would give this 5 star however there was a couple of panels upon which I could not read what the Joker was saying so for me that was disappointing but apart from that this novel is a must read for any Batman or comic book fan but bear in mind that this book may not be for you as it can get violent and severely disturbing at times
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for 7" kindle, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Kindle Edition)
Good story but incredibly hard to read on a 7 inch kindle due to the lettering style. Easier reads available.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 8 Jun 2014
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This book is very diffrent from the average graphic novel with the mix of media that is used in the art work, it gives it a dark and sinister look which suits the story, I think the only down side to it is the pages are on the thin side but it's not flimsy enough to be able to easly tear out. I really enjoyed looking at and reading this book It took a diffrent approach then other graphic novels I've read and I am happy with my purchase. :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical Batman story, 11 April 2014
If you're wanting a book that showcases Batman being Batman then don't buy this book.

If you want to read a psychological horror that will make you feel part of Arkham Asylum then this is the book for you; it literally reads like you're exposed to more and more of Scarecrow's fear gas as it goes on.

At first, I read it and thought it was nothing special but this has been one of the only comics I've consistently went back to and tried to decipher. This isn't easy, thoughtless entertainment; it's the type of thing you really have to study to even feel like you begin to understand it.

It certainly lacks coherency but I think that's part of what makes it special - coherency and insanity just don't go together.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Morrison : Disappointing / McKean : Incredible !, 1 Mar 2014
This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Kindle Edition)
So this basically is a Batman book where Batman is not the main character. The idea may seem intriguing -it certainly aroused my curiosity- and when it comes to Grant Morrison, I always expect to have my mind blown. This did not happen this time.
Exploring the history of Arkham Asylum and introducing new characters like Amadeus Arkham and Dr. Cavendish was very refreshing, but the plot was weirdly tasteless and boring, somewhat chaotic as well. Many villains from the Batman universe appear in this graphic novel, but they (Clayface, Killer Croc, the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter) do not bring anything to the plot. The most redeeming quality of the book is the incredibly lavish and detailed illustrations by Dave McKeen; each page is an incredible, unique work of art that makes Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but disturbing art and drawings all create a story ..., 25 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Kindle Edition)
Beautiful but disturbing art and drawings all create a story which attempts to delve into the mind of the batman and several members of his prestigious roiges gallery. A gripping tale that I found surprisingly scary and riviting even if I felt it ended a bit too soon and suddenly.
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Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison
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