Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: Batman Arkham Asylum

I went on a bit of a Batman kick lately, playing the game, watching the latest movie, and so when a coworker offered to loan me the Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earthgraphic novel set in the same mythical psychiatric hospital in which the game takes place.

It's pretty good, but not great. I've occasionally heard it referenced in the same vein as Watchmen, but I don't beleive it's nearly of the same caliber. I think people mainly like it because it's different. Instead of the usual omnipotent batman driven by his inner demons, we get a vulnerable batman, whose inner demons have him questioning whether he's any better than any of those he's spent his life putting behind bars.

The 15-th anniversary edition is nice in that it has some 'liner notes' on the project's history, the original final draft of the script before it's illustration, etc, which form a nice peek behind the curtain on how a project like this comes together.

It is different, it's clever, and its very pretty in it's layout, typography and of course artwork, but I don't consider it a must-read unless you are a die-hard fan of Batman.

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