Andrew Webb's Reviews > Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman by Grant Morrison
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 14, 2008

did not like it

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 art style makes it nearly impossible to tell what is occuring at times), Batman makes no attempt to save the hostage or capture the Joker.

In fact, the story seems to be more allegorical than literal, by showing Batman conversing with many of his rogues gallery foes rather than fighting them. But rather than a meaningful point, the book seems to meander until it becomes a random melange of images with little relation to one another. Batman accomplishes next to nothing by the end of the story, with little explanation as to why. It is as though he started a mission, then thought better of it and decided to take a walk through Gotham Park instead.

In the end, this book is somewhat reminiscent of the film "Batman Returns"-- truly bizarre, with a completely different "Batman" than whatever iconic version lodges in the minds of his fans (the early comics, the campy 60s TV show, the 90s animated series, etc.). However, while Batman Returns is original enough to watch for mere discussions' sake, and at least offers a story of Batman fighting to protect Gotham citizens, this unfortunate graphic novel is worth reading only for the most completive Batman fan.

This book is, in short, postmodern garbage.
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David W. Suit yourself.

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