Advantages Script and artwork: excellent graphic novel
Disadvantages Nothing for me, although you may initially be put off by the unusual imagery
I have always been a fan of graphic novels, and often follow the lesser known characters just as much as the more prominent ones. Something that has always remained a bit of a mystery is the history of various characters. On the Marvel side of the fence, characters such as Spiderman are being constantly reinvented with ever emerging secrets and plot developments making the character much darker and appealing. On The DC side of things, Superman and co seem to be emerging with more plot threads that make the character a bit more exciting than the much examined common origins we are used to.On a similar note, the origins and history of Batman have been rather obtuse in their descriptions. Those familiar with the caped crusader will be aware of his parents' death when he was young, and the wealth he inherited that allows him to galavant around with the costume on and a seemingly limitless amount of resources to design and make the funky costumes, vehicles, gadgets and secret rooms he seems to have.
Yet one thing that has remained a mystery to me has always been the man behind the mask. I don't mean Bruce Wayne, the multi billionaire FACE behind the mask: I mean the inner man, the psyche of the character who dons the mask. Here, Grant Morrison's script and Dave Mckean's artwork combine with power to give us a dual graphic novel that focuses on this mental psychology aspect of the character, focusing on Arkham Aslyum, which houses the criminally insane.The story contained within this volume spreads over nearly 200 pages. 130 or so features the graphic novel itself, and there's the added bonus of having the remainder with original script, footnotes, artist's sketches and a final word. The story itself is twofold. We open with some impressive sketchwork which introduces us to Amadeus Arkham, the founder of the Asylum, and it takes us through his tale of family woes which lead up to his family mansion being turned into the Asylum we are more familiar with in the modern day tellings of Batman.
Alongside this runs an interesting angle on Batman, which involves him entering an overrun Arkham in return for the release of the Asylum's staff, held captive by his nemeses, led by The Joker. As he enters, The Joker wants to play a game of hide and seek with him. He hides, his enemies seek him. As this element of the story progresses, a number of these foes are drawn into the tale, even if they aren't as visually prominent as these two main adversaries. Two-Face is perhaps the most used other than The Joker, as his line is most significant to the outcome, but it is in examining the effects that the Asylum has on Batman himself that we come to realise that his biggest enemy is himself, and his inner being.It's a fascinating study of psychology, really, and although some readers have dismissed this as being too much engendered in the 'real' world to really encapsulate the true nature of the 'Bat' we have come to know and love, I still find it sheer brilliance. I have never really given all that much thought to a storyline focusing on how his mind ticks.
|Would you read it again?|
|How does it compare to similar books?|
|How does it compare to other works by the same author?|
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment