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Arkham Asylum: Living Hell (Batman: Arkham #12)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,723 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
From one of the comics business' brightest new creative teams comes a Batman tale with a twist - a giant, gut-wrenching, soul-crushing twist! Arkham Asylum: Batman's dustbin where he dumps the worst of the garbage. A melting pot brimming with the curdled milk of human madness, where the warders are as ensnared by the insanity as the inmates. And where a killer has tapped i ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by DC Comics
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Sam Quixote
Mar 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
A crooked banker (is there any other kind?) thinks he’s being clever by having his trial moved to Gotham where he’s found not guilty by way of insanity. Except in Gotham? The crazies go to a place called Arkham Asylum, a Living Hell that makes Federal prison look like a cakewalk!

I’m familiar with Dan Slott’s work on books like Superior Spider-Man and Silver Surfer so I was curious to see if his Batman was as good – n to the ope! He definitely did far better after moving to Marvel than he ever d
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: digital, batman
I enjoyed this. I mostly know Slott from his Spider-man and other Marvel stuff, so seeing him do something creepy and in the Batman-verse was cool.
Dr Rashmit Mishra
first up , let's make this clear , this is not a Batman story . If anything Batman is just here to make a few cameo appearances . That said this was a fascinating read , as we read about few low-key Members of Batman Rogue Gallery and their lives inside of the Arkham Asylum and it all surrounds the life of one in mate who in his ignorance tried to get away from his crimes by pleading insanity but at Gotham that doesn't help you go Scott free it lands you in a place worse than Jail , in Arkham As ...more
Andy 117
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I adore this book. I think it's important to flush your mind of preconceptions, though. For one, it's very much not a Batman book - he makes the briefest of cameos, and though Arkham is littered with familiar faces from his rogues gallery, it very much focused more on original characters and their voices than any existing ones. Secondly, it has little, if anything, to do with the Grant Morrison story, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, save for the location and title (though, if yo ...more
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Let me first say this: although I liked the book, things just got a little too freaky for me.

One of the things I've admired Gotham-verse for is it's tight grip on reality--excluding elements of characters like Poison Ivy and Clayface. This comic seemed to destroy a little bit of that for me, what with all this summoning people from Hell and ghosts running around Arkham, dealing out vengeance to the inmates.

Honestly? Even if that whole plot was only Scarecrow's fear toxin, an opinion it seemed l
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
To call the main characters of Living Hell even "third-string" Batman villains would be generous, but Dan Slott reminds us that characters don't have to be popular to be interesting. Across six issues he builds a compelling tale of the world's worst nuthouse.

If you dislike supernatural elements creeping into Batman stories or require the Dark Knight himself as the focus, this won't be for you. It's also extremely creepy in tone and fairly graphic - I would normally expect something like this to
Gianfranco Mancini
Far better than Slott's run on Spidey!
And Dr Arkham with the face and manners of Bill Nighy made me laugh a lot! XD

Michael Emond
One of those books that I expected more from. It started off really strong but by the end it had lost its cleverness. Slott is a great writer and is doing amazing things with Spider-man. This book is all about Arkham Asylum, a new inmate who basically swindled people out of their retirements and decided an insanity plea would save him hard time - but it gets him sent to Arkham instead. And an ordinary sleaze like him won't survive long there. The cover has a big picture of Batman but be warned - ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, comics, january-2014
I love Bat-books that are't Bat books. I love Bat-books that are about the people living in the world alongside Batman. Gotham Central did this beautifully by looking at the cops who work in that crazy city, and Living Hell gives us a view from inside Arkham, framed around a smarmy asshole who thinks he got off easy by getting a change of venue.

It's a strong read, filled with a mix of well-known and mostly forgotten villains. The focus of the story is on the people inside the Asylum, not on how
Michelle Cristiani
I loved the premise - convicted big shot thinks he'll be better off in Arkham than in prison - but something about it didn't pan out for me in the end. It was neatly wrapped up, and the new characters in Arkham were really interesting. It may have been me as I'm easily confused by time twists in plot, but I had trouble figuring out the timeline. I also got confused by which character was which. But I give it high marks on premise and (bad guy) character development.
Sep 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Living Hell lives up to its name—its characters are at once repulsive and grotesque, intriguing and damaged. Batman is hardly anywhere to be seen, and while that might put some readers off, the inmates' antics are enough to hold your undivided attention, although I confess I got kind of lost by the end. Funnily enough it makes less sense to me than Grant Morrison's take on Arkham Asylum.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story, especially since Batman only puts in a rare appearance or two. Essentially a series of shorts following several of the inmates at Arkham. The stories are tied together by following a new character who thinks he's tricked the system by being found not guilty by reason of insanity, but is receives a sentence worse than life in prison: yep, Arkham. What goes on there is everyone's worst nightmare, and then some. I started wondering why Batman didn't get involved to help this - whi ...more
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Totally surprised by this. I wasn't expecting much at all and it turned out to be a fantastic read. First, be aware that Batman is barely in it. Normally this would bother me but the story really engaging. It's basically about some of the C and D Batman villains and is more of a horror story. I give credit to Slott for showing that he can write something other than the fun/entertaining stories and do something not only a little darker but with a slightly more complex story because many of the st ...more
Autumn (Writer of A Writer's Corner)
As someone who is a HUGE Batman nerd, this was definitely one Batman comic that had my blood boiling and heart beat racing. The suspense and the build of each chapter in this comic leaves you on edge and racing to find out what will happen next. This comic is definitely a must read for any Batman lover.
Nicolas Bateman
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Amazing and Superior Dan Slott carves a tale out of the flesh of Arkham's inmates. His creation is both frightening and scaringly easy to relate to. Some of the characters introduced in this story have now developed a life of their own in the main Batman title and it is not particularly difficult to understand why when seeing the roundness of such characters as Fish and Jane Doe
David Schaafsma
Just making my way through the Batman catalogue... this is one that is less about Batman than this place.. and not as brutal or scary as Grant Morrison's version but better than I expected it would be...
Jamie King
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I like the Fish character introduced here. I wish he was in Gotham (TV Series) instead of how it got casted.
Overall, didn't like it. Few redeeming qualities but it did kind of freak me out so I'll give it 2 stars instead of one.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it
3:0 to Tom, although it was a bit too gory for me.
Michael Padilla
Apr 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Man what a mess this book was.... To start, this isn’t a Batman story, he makes the briefest of cameos, which is fine. I like Batman stories where Batman isn’t in them, if that makes any sense. This is more of a story about the bench warming villains of Gotham who currently occupy Arkham Asylum. It’s all kick started by Warren White “The Great White Shark”. He beats jail time by claiming insanity but lands in Arkham Instead. He soon realizes how screwed he is when he sees the absolute madness he ...more
My god. I got nothing resembling joy reading this. “Batman” is in the title to sell copies. This is not a Batman comic imo. He’s in it for maybe a dozen panels through six issues as a very minor character. You get some vanilla/genetic portrayals of the rogues gallery with a lot of focus on Humpty Dumpty, too much for my liking.

I was really hoping the main (and pretty much only) story arc was the one around an arrogant millionaire who tries to elude justice through the insanity plea. Apparently
John Bonilla
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, dcccomics
Vaya, pues fue interesante, aunque siento que si se explayaron con Etrigan y los Skarva. No se si era tan necesario meter el ocultismo en esta historia, pero no molesta.
Si no hubiera visto Liga de la Justicia Oscura, no hubiera entendido mucho esa última parte de la invocación de demonios.

Lo que sí, es que la parte de Humpty fue muy buena al igual que conocer como fue el origen de El Gran Tiburón Blanco.

Muy buena historia, y aquí se puede demostrar como se puede crear una sin tanta necesidad de
Kyle Berk
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like if some of those Black and white stories got extended into a mini series. It’s really quite cool.

Batman isn’t the focus here but some of the lesser inmates in Arkham take the cake.

And it’s a very neat concept that is executed pretty well if you’re interested in that sort of thing. I thought it worked pretty well. My only problem is while some of the elements are building they don’t have much importance and even after that they don’t. Like the stuff with a Bullock.

4 stars and a cree
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I still don't know entirely what I think of this. It had some good points and some ridiculous points but I couldn't tell from the tone if the ridiculous parts were "all in good fun" knowing winks at comic book conventions and so on, or if they were just par-for-the-course storytelling immaturity.
It is literally an Arkham story, not a Batman story so it lost my attention...
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bat man with a twist. It's really Batman's worst nightmares rolled up in one.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to say this was one of the weirdest Batman related graphic novel I've read so far.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a horror version of OZ, set in the DC Universe. Pretty trippy. Brilliant artwork. Good for fans of the DC Universe's lesser-known rogues gallery.
John Wiswell
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All comics readers, dark fiction readers
I know, I know. Batman is for kids. But Dan Slott worked a bit of a miracle in this one, writing the best possible story that could have "Living Hell" as its title. It begins as national wish-fulfillment, seeing a corporate executive who scammed millions of families out of their pensions plea insanity to escape punishment. The judge hands down the only revenge he can: he'll be treated at Arkham Asylum, home of Batman's rogues gallery. What ensues is the revenge everyone in the country wanted on ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is always time for a Batman villain showcase and "Living Hell" was literally a riot. I had such a great time with this gallery of "bad guys" that I couldn't put it down. The story isn't exactly heavy duty and there are a few arcs running through at the same time but it's all in the name of a grand romp and pretty crazy creepy at the same time. Most of the famous villains make little cameo appearances but the focus is more on not-so-well known villains or ones created just for this volume. ...more
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  • Batman: Harley Quinn
  • Batman: Arkham Reborn
  • Batman: Joker's Asylum, Vol. 2
  • Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes
  • Batman: Joker's Asylum
  • Batman: Child of Dreams
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 4: The Quick and the Dead
  • Joker: Devil's Advocate
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 3: Unresolved Targets
  • Batman: Thrillkiller
  • Batman: Bloodstorm
  • Batman: Going Sane
  • Batman/Two-Face/Scarecrow: Year One
  • The Batman Adventures
  • Batman: Broken City
  • Batman: Ego and Other Tails
  • Batman: Under the Hood, Volume 1
Dan Slott is an American comic book writer, the current writer on Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man, and is best known for his work on books such as Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, The Superior Spider-Man, and Ren & Stimpy.
More about Dan Slott

Other books in the series

Batman: Arkham (8 books)
  • Joker
  • Batman: Scarecrow Tales
  • Batman: Arkham, #5: Mr. Frío
  • Batman and Poison Ivy: Cast Shadows
  • L'Enigmista
  • Batman: Arkham, #9: Clayface
  • Batman: Arkham, #11: Mr. Zsasz
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