Arkham Asylum - 15th Anniversary Edition

Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dave McKean
Titan Books
RRP 10.99
ISBN 1 84576 022 0
Available 23 December 2005

In 1920, following the death of his insane mother, the brilliant psychiatrist Amadeus Arkham begins the conversion of his ancestral home into a hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill, little suspecting that he has set in motion a nightmarish chain of event and consequence. More than half a century later, Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane has been taken over by it's inmates. Led by the Joker, they issue a challenge to the one man responsible for their imprisonment - the Batman. The Batman must descent into the heart of darkness, confront his greatest fears and learn the truth of his own experience... or be broken...

I bought Arkham Asylum when it was originally released and I can't believe that was 15 years ago. In hindsight, it's not as "amazing" as I remember it. Sure it's pretty, but the story is incredibly shallow. In fact, the basic premise could have been written on the back of a stamp.

I may be getting old, but the Joker's "wacky" speech (reprinted in red) is incredibly hard to read. I really don't think we should have to squint in order to work out what he's saying... but we do.

This new edition doesn't really offer anything new. There's Grant Morrision's original script reprinted (if you give a hoot) and some rough sketches, but that's your lot.

If you already own this, or can pick up the original release second hand, then I wouldn't bother with this edition. However, if you don't and you can't, this is still worth getting hold of. Although, like me 15 years ago you'll probably only read it once and file it away with your other Batman books.

Delicious eye candy - nothing more.

Darren Rea

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