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Batman: Arkham Asylum by Sam Kieth
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Batman: Arkham Asylum (edition 2010)

by Sam Kieth

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714240,312 (3.78)1
Member:MKwitch
Title:Batman: Arkham Asylum
Authors:Sam Kieth
Info:Titan (2010), Hardcover, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
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Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth

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Tick, tick, tock, it didn't walk the walk. ( )
  morbusiff | Sep 20, 2018 |
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 Sam Kieth fan, I've read some of his other Batman books, Scratch, Batman: Secrets, Batman/Lobo (Mental note: Read more Lobo, I always enjoy Lobo when I read him.), Batman: Through the Looking Glass, along with myriad of his original works, so I know what to expect when it comes to Kieth.

This was sort of a mixed bag. The story is full of Sam Kieth tropes. Troubled women, troubled lesbians, weak women who aren't really weak, animal death, onomatopoeia that symbolize insanity and so forth.

I found myself comparing AA:M Joker to Batman: Secrets Joker and in all ways, I prefer Secrets when it comes to The Joker. The way Kieth wrote and rendered Mister J in Secrets was off-the-wall, sadistic, freaky, creepy, and wacky. This Joker is just ugly. I mean that in the nicest way possible. But he's too...subtle, too beefy. There were no real interesting puns or turns of phrase, opting instead for an Antiques Roadshow call out. And his big revelation? I've seen it done better in HBO's OZ.

By contrast, Harley was written really, really well. She was dark, strong, snarky, and tough. Also, I liked her design. Kieth did it before the New 52, and Kieth did it better.

Speaking of, the art was also sort of hit-and-miss. You could see the framework of Kieth's figures, errant pencil lines that were meant to be erased but never were. Character design choices were also a little questionable. Scarecrow and Two-Face were just...odd. You're drawing Arkham, go crazy! Literally!

On the other hand, there are some positively amazing painted works, Killer Croc is breath-taking in scope and weight but there's also a sort of grace. And there's a cute panel of Harley cuddling Ivy.

After having time to reflect on the ending, I think I liked it. It has a sort of ominous feeling that leaves me wondering how long Sabine will live with her choices before she regrets it.

Good things, not so good things, but it looks good on my shelf, so that's something. ( )
  AnarchicQ | Oct 30, 2013 |
What can I say? I've never read a Batman comic, and the only movie adaption I've watched was Batman Begins (you know, the popular trendy one.) So what was I doing reading a Batman spin-off? Well, it was Halloween, and the pumpkin cider was heavily spiked, and she was wearing this mask...err, wait, no, it was because I was reading horror all month and this one had a cool cover. Yes, that's it.

So, what can I say? Well, the art was nice. It was varied, as the artists used various mediums, switching between hand-drawn work and digital art. It was a bit jarring, but I also rather liked it. The story was, well, no less bland than your average superhero comic. Arkham Asylum houses the super villains, they're crazy, they want to escape, The Joker, Poison Ivy, the end. At least the dialogue was significantly less cheesy than I expected.

So, um, go read it if you like Batman. I guess. ( )
  Ape | Oct 30, 2011 |
I actually liked this a hell of a lot more than the Grant Morrison book that people rave about. By the time I read "Batman: Arkham Asylum", I had already enjoyed this book, and didn't see what the big deal was. The art is great in both books. I just think that Sam Kieth's book is far more interesting. ( )
  prophetess7 | Aug 25, 2011 |
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This book is dedicated to everyone who hates their job.
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5:45 a.m. Rot. Decay.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"It is the House on Haunted Hill. It is the Last House on the Left. It is the place that Batman's most dangerous and psychotic villains call 'home,' and you are cordially invited to spend 24 hours within its walls. Welcome to the Arkham Asylum: Madness, 97-page special where readers will live and move and walk among the nurses, doctors, security guards, and inmates. It takes a special type of person to end up here, no matter what side of the law you're on, or what your job is. For when the midnight hour approaches, all hope is abandoned and inmates and workers alike will wish for the daylight-- and for their sanity. Pray you get out before the darkness comes. Pray you get out before your shift is over. Pray that you do not go mad" -- dust jacket.… (more)

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