Arkham Asylum: Madness
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Arkham Asylum: Madness (Batman La Colección #63)

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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  442 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Arkham Asylum is the most feared house in all of Gotham City. It contains the worst that the city has to offer. It is the place The Dark Knight's most dangerous and psychotic foes call home. Sam Kieth invites you to spend 24 hours in Arkham Asylum, the most unsettling place in the DC Universe.
Hardcover, 97 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Titan] (first published June 29th 2010)
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Colin McKay Miller
Sam Kieth’s Arkham Asylum: Madness has no Batman and nothing to pull it above being a relentlessly crappy comic.

Normally I wouldn’t have read this. I actually own a first edition of “The Maxx”—Kieth’s big claim to fame—but I preferred a different comic in that four-in-one read (the one about a dude riding around a giant, flying gun). Whatever way you put it, I’m not on the Kieth fan boy track. In fact, I think Kieth’s artistic style has actually gotten worse since then. What happened is I went...more
Paul
DC, which, unlike Marvel, still releases original graphic novels every once in a while, released this one, which is written, drawn, and occasionally colored by Sam Kieth, colored the rest of the time by Michelle Madsen and Dave Stewart, and lettered by Steve Wands. It’s a slim volume – not quite 100 pages long, and it retails for $19.99.

The basic plot is simple: A nurse named Sabine arrives for her shift at Arkham Asylum in the morning and ends up staying for 24 hours when she’s drafted for the...more
Greg
This was a mildly entertaining graphic novel that deals with a day in the life of Arkham Asylum - the place where a lot of the insane criminals captured by Batman end up. As one would expect, things do not go smoothly on this particular day! Although it is a reasonably atmospheric story, I felt it could've been much darker considering that it's about a weirdly constructed and decrepit building housing some seriously disturbed and dangerous inmates. That said, I liked the dark humour and antics o...more
Daniel V.
In addition to the dualism in Batman (the need to do good and the insanity of being a vigilante dressed up as a bad) and the similarities between Batman and the Joker I've found that I like prison literature - and therefore everything with Arkham Asylum is a must read/see/play for me.

Unfortunately this entire graphic novel is just "decent" - it's not deeply compelling and I took no trouble putting it down afterwards or felt any need to read it again instantaneously.

The different focus in this st...more
Real Supergirl
Not Sam Kieth's best work but still really good. His art is, as always, spectacular and haunting. The idea is a fantastic one - it's set in a prison mental hospital for all the villains Batman has put away. Where it falls a little flat is in its narrative arc. It's a little predictable, unusual for the very creative and innovative Sam Kieth. Still, it holds up well enough and it's worth checking out.
Wendy
Gave me the creeps.
Callie Rose Tyler
I just love Arkham Asylum, I think it's hard to write a bad comic on the topic.

This story has absolutely no Batman nor does it need him the Asylum itself becomes the main character and the guards, nurses, doctors, and of course super villains who make up the character list are engaging and interesting on their own. The framework of the story lies with a new young nurse who is working a double (24hrs)and misses her son and husband terribly.

The narration is at times hard to follow because it see...more
Vanessa Wolf
What a mess, where do I start? Should I even bother? What happens in this? Well we follow a nurse around for a 24hr shift that completely violates union agreements and OSHA safety regulations, but hell, its a comic book, so maybe I can pretend that's plausible in Gothem. The rest? Its just a jumbled mess of "can you guess who this villain is after I've done it MY OWN WAY!" which actually makes most of the villains either impossible to identify from a distance or is such eye rolling obvious fan a...more
Douglas Koehne
Sam Kieth. So much potential, so difficult in staying with him and his work so that he realizes that potential at some point. I'm always excited when I see a Sam Kieth book, but more often than not I'm left with a sense of dissatisfaction. This book left me wondering why I just spent the last hour reading through it. Both the story and art meandered and was all over the place. Poor storytelling. And really disappointing art as well (please stick with the Sam Kieth style - no need to copy other a...more
C.A. Bryers
The narrative and the art style is all over the place, but I think that worked in this graphic novel's favor. It gave the impression very well that Arkham Asylum is a pressure-cooker, a living thing waiting to burst. It was a slow burn to begin with, but little things like the persistent thumps coming from the walls and a clock that inexplicably bleeds pushes the feeling that such a place would be unnerving to those who endure that environment for a living. And since Arkham Asylum Madness shows...more
Q
I bought this way back in March I think, but read it on Sunday during a power outage. How appropriate.

Sabine is a nurse who works at Arkham Asylum and picks up a 24 hour shift. Will the stifling madness get to her? Will the Joker? Or is it just another 24 hours?

It's refreshing to have a Batman book without Batman in it. Seriously, he's mentioned maybe once. By a child. This certainly isn't a Batman story. This is an Arkham Asylum story. It's what it says on the label.

So, you all know I'm a huge...more
Garrett
I'm always thrilled to get an original take on Batman's Rogue's Gallery, and Sam Keith's Arkham Asylum: Madness is certainly that. Unfamiliar with his previous work (aside from my friend's glowing review of his creator-owned book The Maxx), I was unsure what to expect. What I got was an experiment in mixed media art that, while not my usual cup of tea, was quite enthralling in its willingness to explore such a bold visual palette.

The plot revolves around Sabine Robbins, a nurse working a 24-hour...more
Paul
DC, which, unlike Marvel, still releases original graphic novels every once in a while, released this one, which is written, drawn, and occasionally colored by Sam Kieth, colored the rest of the time by Michelle Madsen and Dave Stewart, and lettered by Steve Wands. It’s a slim volume – not quite 100 pages long, and it retails for $19.99.

The basic plot is simple: A nurse named Sabine arrives for her shift at Arkham Asylum in the morning and ends up staying for 24 hours when she’s drafted for the...more
Angel
First, what I need to say upfront: this is one of those books about peripheral characters in a series. It is the kind of story that you may or not like, and it is often a book just made to milk a franchise. With that out of the way, overall, it is a fairly good book, even though it does start very slow at first. However, once the pace picks up, it does hold on to you until the very end. In addition, the author does provide a pretty nice afterword with a dedication that is a bit of a twist. Worth...more
Dima Yakovenko
Интересный комикс, в котором практически все действие происходит в психушке Аркхэм. Бэтмен тут не появляется ни одной из страниц, но это отнюдь не минус. Нам опять позволяют приоткрыть дверь безумия и заглянуть в серьезный дом на серьезной земле, только на этот раз, из-за спины обычной медсестры, которой приходится работать в этом ужасном месте из-за нехватки денег.
Мрачный и серьезный том, с интересными, волнующим сюжетом, в котором появляется множество интересных героев, как знаменитых злодеев...more
Taylor Troncin
I was not as thrilled with this book as I had hoped. I am a huge Joker fan and assumed he would be involved in this book more. (He was more-or-less doing stuff in the background that the reader had to pick up on.) Not a horrible read, but not one that I would eagerly pick out at a bookstore.
Sara
This book is amazing.

The art and story in this book is amazing. It follows the lives of the nurses and staff who work in the Arkham Asylum. This book is really dark which I figured it would be but I think a warning should be given before someone decides to pick this book up. If you do not like dark novels then I do not recommend this book.

The novel starts by following a nurse named Sabine who is a young mother who wishes she did not have to work at the asylum. She is learning about the patients...more
Orlaith
The artwork in this comic really isn't my style. There are a lot of different styles crammed onto each page and it made it hard for me to focus. I'm also not especially fond of the interpretations of the various inmates. Dreads for Harley? No way!

The story is okay. It documents a twenty-hour period in Arkham Asylum and follows one particular nurse as she pulls a double shift. Nothing much actually happens, but the asylum itself does come across as a living character.

There's no sign of Batman,...more
Gavin
It was OK. That sums it up pretty well. The art just wasn't doing it for me. It worked with the Joker but the other inmates and staff, nope didn't work. Perhaps that's a sign of how adaptable the Joker is as a character? I enjoyed his storyline, but the story of the nurse 'Sabine' was just a waste of time as were most of the rest of the occurences here. I suppose it did a good job of conveying just how broken Arkham is in every way...but non-essential unless you like to read about Arkham. No Bat...more
Heather O' Gorman
This was one if the worst comics that I have ever read. It doesn't even deserve one star. The artwork is diabolical!
Sara
Out of all the horror books I've read this summer, this is by far, the scariest! The tension built and built and it's amazing to me that just the ticking of a clock could do that. We follow a young mother who is a day nurse at Arkham Asylum as she works a 24 hour shift. So much happens I this time period and I don't even know where to start. The art...*sigh*...so phenomenal! The creepy artwork made this story and if it were drawn by anyone else, the power wouldn't have been in the ending. I love...more
Sarah Mackenzie
Sam Keith is once again amazing! His design of the Joker is so creepy, it's fantastic.
Scott
Somewhat confusing story without much payoff. It's 24 hours in Arkham Asylum, mostly from the standpoint of the staff, who are trapped there as much as the inmates are. Perhaps they are crazy as the inmates for staying, day in, and night out, in their insane hells. I guess that was the point of the story. The art seems to be mixed media and experimental and at times seems to take precedence over the story. The afterword states this book is dedicated to everyone who hates their job. That's the on...more
David
I was really impressed with the fact that the artist himself was willing to say out right, this is NOT his best work. Even so, he explores the people who WORK at Arkham Asylum more than the batman-world characters like the Joker- even tho we DO get to see them in the book, and there is plot around them. It's very much an atmospheric peice, and in that, it was very enjoyable. I'd like to read other books focusing on the asylum and it's workers, actually. I liked it despite it's shortcomings!
Michael
Kieth revisits the vulnerable-yet-tough health services type he originally explored with Julie in The Maxx to great affect. Here the line between good and evil might seem more clear, but by the end of the graphic novel, no one, not even the most innocent, is left untouched by madness. The DC universe in Kieth's hands is like a western in John Ford's hands, something dark and complex in a sea of cartoon uniformity.
Jerome
Had a good quality of nightmare. Unfortunately that also extended to the actions of the nurses & police in Arkham - why would *anyone* get close enough to the Joker et. al. to get themselves in trouble? That said the art was brilliant & the contrast between the character art & building art was enough to give a serious feeling of creeping unease until the final act. Good read.
Kaitie
Possibly my new favorite graphic novel.

A look inside Arkham Asylum from an employee's point, you can really feel the madness that the place exudes. It kind of reminded me of The Shining where the hotel feels alive and you can just feel it pressing down on you. Arkham gave that same feeling and you could just see it affecting everyone within its walls.

Jay
I really enjoyed this. The narrative is, admittedly, all over the place, but I read this as to be following the Asylum patient's thought process. I enjoyed the artwork and the sketchy type of way Keith drew. Also, Batman was nowhere to be seen- yay!

My only complaint is that I wish there had been more Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
Brad
I love everything Sam Kieth, so I'm a bit biased. While this story features some of Batman's foes, including a major role by the Joker, the main character is the asylum itself and how it affects the inmates and the workers. One of my first reads coming back to comics after 15 years.
Kyle Wendy
Apparently I don't like graphic novels. I have nothing to compare this to, and I found the plot kind of hard to follow, since it had the dialogue all over the page; nor was it particularly scary to me. Give me a good old Hannibal Lecter any day.
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Kieth first came to prominence in 1984 as the inker of Matt Wagner's Mage, his brushwork adding fluidity and texture to the broad strokes of Wagner's early work at Comico Comics. In 1989, he drew the first five issues of writer Neil Gaiman's celebrated series The Sandman, but felt his style was unsuited to the book (specifically saying that he "felt like Jimi Hendrix in The Beatles") and left, han...more
More about Sam Kieth...
The Maxx, Vol. 1 The Maxx, Vol. 2 The Maxx, Vol. 3 The Maxx, Vol. 4 The Maxx, Vol. 5

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