Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition” as Want to Read:
Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition (Batman)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,766 Ratings  ·  1,281 Reviews
In this groundbreaking painted graphic novel, the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's detention center for the criminally insane on April Fool's Day and demand Batman in exchange for their prisoners. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to live and endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and many other of his sw ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by DC Comics (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Batman, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 11, 2015 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix
The Caped Crusader with footnotes!?!

or Art for Art’s Sake.

or Holy Histrionics, Batman, I’d rather have listened to an opera…

Grant Morrison gets “serious” – it’s even mentioned in the title twice in case you need a reminder – and if Carrot Top wants to star in a remake of Death of a Salesman or Billy Joel wants to write a concerto for flugelhorn and triangle, I don’t want to hear about it.

Wait, Jeff, did you say footnotes?

Yes, Goodreader, this is why I love you, because nothing ever gets by you.
May 30, 2012 Eric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
What a fucking mess. The painted artwork was appalling, the story-line was incoherent, the dialogue was barely legible, and, most importantly, the portrayal of Batman was all wrong. This felt like a second-rate haunted-house horror that Batman was wedged into, and poorly at that. Batman's encounters with various villains felt thrown-in, in a cheap name-dropping way, his decision-making was baffling to non-existent, and the story's resolution -- hanging on a coin-flip -- was absurd.

The back-stor

This is not your traditional Batman tale. Some people won't like it. In fact, Batman seems like a normal man when confronted by the horrors within and acts in very non Batman ways. There's a two part story here where we switch back and forth to the founder of Arkham and why he turned his mansion into a facility for the mad and Batman trying to navigate his way through the madness of Arkham.

Batman action is minimal. This is much more of an emotional journey.

There is distinctive lettering for
Sorry, guys. Didn't like it.

I have a headache and my eyes hurt.
Not joking here.
One of my eyes is actually throbbing.
Yes, only one.
I'm going to take some Tylenol...
Mar 18, 2014 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
So after buying this book for the third time in my life today (the first, a hardcover edition that all the pages eventually fell out of; the second, the paperback edition sans script that now sits across the country with the rest of my books) I decided it was worth going on Goodreads to wax poetic about it. Because goddamn I love this book. I got it right after the '89 movie came out, of course, and was absolutely terrified of it -- it sat on my nightstand and gave me nightmares regularly, until ...more
Andrew Webb
Jul 14, 2008 Andrew Webb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read many a poor/overrated Batman story in my ten-odd years as a fan, but this much referred to epic may take the cake. As a Batman story, this is a total failure. Batman acts completely out of character almost from the beginning. When walking into a hostage situation masterminded by the Joker, he strikes up a conversation with his archenemy rather than planning how to rescue the innocents involved. When Joker shoots a hostage in the head across the room from Batman (I think-- the bizarre ...more
Oct 15, 2007 Marc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intellectual art lovers
Arkham Asylum is the best graphic novel I've ever read for two reasons: writing, and art.

This isn't your average WHACK! POW! comic book. In fact, there is almost no violence or glammed-out secret weapons. Grant Morrision takes us through a masterful exploration into the psyche of Bruce Wayne, a man who suffered a tragic loss at an early age and formed a very clear alternate identity. Is he a crime fighter, or does he suffer from MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and does it even matter.

Set in
i think ADHD being a form of higher evolution is an interesting theory. grant morrison thinking he is more highly evolved because he has ADHD is a less interesting theory.

morrison is no genius, in my opinion. i would attribute most of the greatness of the book to mckean, especially after reading the original "script" in the back of this book. morrison says, "According to Len Wein's original WHO'S WHO entry, Arkham died singing "the Battle Hymn of the Republic," but for some reason I got confused
Sam Quixote
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 explor
Mar 29, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Ok. I've heard about this title and I know there is a videogame inspired by this comic, but I never seen nothing, before today. While I was out of home, I stopped to comic book store, searching some good comics and I bought this.

The story start with patients of Arkham Asylum, many of them caught by Batman, that have took possession the building. The Dark Night is forced to enter, giving himself for the hostages, putting himself in the hands of his enemies. I read many favorite comments about thi
I've read this twice now and i still can't decide whether i like this or not, whether it just leaves me confused or making me feel like an old lady trying to fucking read what the fuck Joker is saying!?

The art is mayhem it sets the story up perfectly and it is beautifully if not hauntingly done so. I do think the artwork is better than the actual story though, and maybe the plot relies on the artwork too much as it's not the strongest plot and the ending is pretty weak too. Saying that i did rea
May 07, 2012 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A batman tale at its best, as it reaches unflinchingly deep into the recesses of the human psyche. While the comic may be accused by some as symptomatic of an attempt at at best, pop psychology, I think the authors have done a marvellous job in portraying the differences by which Batman and The Joker are negotiating what are in essence, very similar psychological conflicts.
This is done on a backdrop literally seething with a brooding, menacing perceived threat of total disintegration, which was
3.5 stars. Superb art by Dave McKean and a mostly good story by Grant Morrison (with flashes of brilliance) highlight this quality Batman graphic novel. The reason it doesn't rate higher overall is because there were a few "huh?" moments where the story was a bit hard to follow and I think the creators at times sacrificed story at the altar of atmosphere.
Jul 23, 2015 Ivan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Worst Batman comic by far.I didn't like it's highly praised painted art style and I hated how Batman is portrayed.Bruce Wayne, man who is mentally and physically trained to perfection, man who's contingency plans have contingency plans just walks in and surrenders to Joker and becomes poor victim in this wannabe horror.
Batman is alerted that the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over the premises. If this isn't dangerous enough, they're threatening to murder everyone in the facility unless Batman agrees to a face to face meeting.

I understand that a lot of people can appreciate the style in which both Morrison and McKean approached Batman, however this just wasn't for me. Maybe I like my stuff a little more.. focused? I have no idea if that's the right word. I feel like I'm almost speaking a form of blasphemy
Gianfranco Mancini

Absolutely not just a graphic-novel.

This is a dream-like lynchian descent into madness.

Best Dark Knight story ever with "The Dark Knight returns" and "The Killing Joke".

A masterwork.
Oct 06, 2008 Werebot rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the one Batman fan in the world who hasn't read it.
I know that a lot of the modern Batman mythos has a lot to do with the whole evil outside vs. darkness within motif, but this is ridiculous. What a pretentious bunch of nonsense. And I've never gotten the attraction to Dave McKean's art. But then, I'm not a goth nerd. I can never tell what's going on, everything's too dark and splotchy and covered in symbols. This is a Batman comic book. Let's not overthink it. When did we let the British take over our comic books anyway? Neil Gaiman and co. nee ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Zaki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like dark, sinister and menacing stuff. Arkham Asylum threw out the rule book and invented a new one. A darker one. A cruel one.

And it tests the boundaries of your comfort zone.

I adore every twisted page. They have a rich and dark quality. My mind is full of dark thoughts. I only think in black.
یکی از کمیک های به یاد موندنی بتمن.
بذارید اینجوری شروع کنم.

مرد عنکبوتی، خصوصیت اصلیش سرزنده بودنشه. پیوسته طنز میگه و خود شیوه ی حرکتش (تاب خوردن هاش) این سرزنده بودن رو تقویت میکنن.
سوپرمن، خصوصیت اصلیش درستکاری و عدالت جو بودنشه.
کاپیتان آمریکا، خصوصیت اصلیش افتخار و وفاداری و سرباز بودنشه، که از اسم و لباسش هم میباره این خصوصیت.

شخصیت بتمن، با هراس آمیخته شده. خصوصیت اصلی بتمن، بی رحم و جدی بودنشه. این خصوصیت اخلاقی کاملاً با لباس سیاه، با خفاش و نهایتاً با شب گرد بودنش خیلی متناسبه.
طراح های شخص
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
My dislike of this book borders on violent. I realize what the author and artist were going for, and I appreciate the foreward and even the screenplay with commentary. I admit I gave up on reading the whole screenplay because I was tired and wasn't feeling well, and felt my time was better spent moving on. However, even gaining insight into their thought processes didn't make me like this book any more.

I am an artist, and I love art. However, I am not a fan of art becoming so all-consuming that
Craig Williams
Mar 17, 2010 Craig Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never liked Grant Morrison. Ever since he started to make a splash in the comic book scene, I couldn't figure out why he was such a big damn deal. His work on Batman, especially the R.I.P-arc, was awful. His work on Uncanny X-Men, from what I read, was okay, but nothing incredible.

Then I read Batman: Arkham Asylum.

I have to say - this is really good stuff. I read this in one sitting, it was so good. Morrison weaves a haunting Batman tale, exploring the darker side of Batman's psyche: the part
William Thomas
Grant Morrison has evolved greatly over the course of 20 years, and this less than stellar book from 1989 is the proof of how far he has come. Because this was an absolute abomination on all fronts.

Dis I say abomination? I meant abortion. Because this read like something bot fully developed, the story only half-baked and fairly worthless, not entertaining us, nor teaching us, nor making us believe in it's poetry or beauty. The only thing redeeming were bits of the art by Dave McKean, and even th
I admit, I picked this up for a re-read after playing Arkham Asylum. Fantastic game, by the way, well-written, with great action and incredible voice acting. But this is not about that game, about which I could rave for hours.

I remember loving this graphic novel when I first read it, but reading it again I can't exactly remember why. It's still well-written, and the Arkham backstory is interesting enough that it's apparently been kept. But pretty much everybody that shows up feels out of charact
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review of this graphic novel at:

Yours truly,


Lashaan & Trang | Bloggers and Book Reviewers
Official blog:
Feb 21, 2012 Petertpc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This was a pretty disappointing. I thought the artwork was outstanding and I really liked the dark tone of the stoty. What bothered me was the writing. I know that Grant Morrison is a comic legend, but the plot here seemed dysfunctional and hard to follow. I didn't make for a good read.
Aug 01, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McKean's artwork is just staggeringly good. I don't have much else to say about it.

The effect of the thing is very Lynchian more than anything else. I think Lynch doing this as a movie would be utterly awesome. It's very much in that same category where you have to feel and experience it, where a close reading is actually less rewarding (and fuck you Grant Morrison, if you disagree) than just letting it wash over you. It plays on the emotions and is really very dreamlike and atmospheric.

It's rea
Sep 04, 2013 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes. Perfect. Art is absolutely gorgeous, writing is perfect, we don't get bogged down in Bats, and the Bats we do get is minimalist and cool. I can't decide which characterization I like the most. Well, I can; Maxie Zeus is inexplicably fucking amazing and messianic and a complete 180 from the dolt who runs into the tree in 'Knightfall.' However, it also features the most important portrayal of Twoface that I've seen. I mean, holy shit. Also, is that poetry written from each major character's p ...more
Tyler Hill
I know that this comic looms large in the Bat-cannon, so I've been interested to read it for some time now. But, now that I've had a chance to, I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed. Maybe it's a matter of expectations being set too high, but it also might be a matter of just some muddy storytelling.

To be fair, there's a number of interesting ideas in these pages. The description of Joker's psyche by one of the people working in the Asylum is interesting, and the story of Amadeus Arkham is genui
Ryan Milbrath
Mar 24, 2013 Ryan Milbrath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the 1980’s the character of Batman became synonymous with violent, almost sociopathic, vigilante. This portrayal of Batman was, no doubt, influenced by Frank Miller’s 1986, opus The Dark Knight Returns, and the storylines developed by Chuck Dixon, and others, in 80’s. Then comes 1989, and a work so divisive, it left Batman fans either waiting for the next work in character evolution, or desperately trying to Listerine away the bad taste of Grant Morrison from their taste buds.

Morrison’s Batma
Trey Piepmeier
I bought this book when it first came out in 1989 and was somewhat obsessed with it. I thought it was totally brilliant. And I guess in the context of the time in which it was published, it was. Nothing like this had been done before. There weren't any painted, hardcover "graphic novels" back then.

The artwork is at times amazing (basically any picture of The Joker), and at times puzzling. I guess the whole McKean collage thing used to be cool, but having photographs interspersed with paintings j
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Batman: Haunted Knight
  • The Joker
  • Batman: The Man Who Laughs
  • Batman: The Cult
  • Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
  • Batman: Year 100
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Batman: The Black Mirror
  • Batman: Black and White (Batman: Black and White #1)
  • Batman: Noël
  • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (Victorian Batman,#1-2)
  • Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 5
  • JLA, Vol. 7: Tower of Babel
  • The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
Scottish comic book author Grant Morrison is known for culture-jamming and the constant reinvention of his work. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics' Animal Man, Batman, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Doom Patrol, and Marvel Comics' New X-Men and Fantastic Four. Many of these are controversial, ...more
More about Grant Morrison...

Other Books in the Series

Batman (1 - 10 of 366 books)
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 1
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 2
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 3
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 4
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 5
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 6
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 7
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 8
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 9
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 10

Share This Book

“Enough madness? Enough? And how do you measure madness? - The Joker” 252 likes
“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.” 106 likes
More quotes…