Title: Batman: Arkham Asylum A serious house on serious Earth
Author: Grant Morrison, illustrator: Dave McKean
Pages: 216 pages (I found the 15th anniversary edition with bonus features)
Genre: graphic novel, suspense.
Part of a series? While part of the Batman Universe, this is a stand alone novel.
Published: January 11th, 2005
The inmates have taken over Arkham Asylum and the workers are held hostage. After a number of odd demands they make just one more. They want Batman. Inside with them. No one is thrilled, least of all Batman because he fears he may actually belong there; but when a young girl is threatened he does what he must.
Upon entering, he is surrounded by the chaos. Several of the doctors including Dr. Cavendish refuse to “give the asylum up” to them. Joker takes lead and starts the games, first with word association and then Hide and Seek (Batman hides, you get the picture). One of the things that haunt Batman though, is seeing one of his nemesis. Two Face, Harvey Dent, is undergoing psychological therapy. They took away his coin and began giving him more and more options. Now he can’t even decide to go to the bathroom. He is fragile, a threat to no one, heart breaking. If this is how they care for their patients, did Batman break them by leading them here?
As the story progresses you get flashbacks from Cavendish’s life, how he came to be here. It all culminates to a standoff between Cavendish and Batman with a hostage in between. Everyone must learn to live with the consequences of this night. In the end, Batman gives Dent back his identity.
I am torn on this one. I didn’t like the art work of this one as much. The story line, while riveting, was not my favorite. You do see a much more human Batman, though, and I liked that. All in all it was an enjoyable book, and if I hadn’t read the Hush stories first, it might have gained more favor. As it is this one gets three stars.
On the adult content scale, this one plays with pretty heavy ideas. Madness, guilt, pain, violence of coarse. I have to give it a five. .
The book is out- go get it.
Link to book: