The world-renowned superhero has got seventy-five years of archival stories for readers to consider, so it’s no wonder than fans of the Dark Knight can opine about various “favourite” single issues or storylines until the bat signal is swallowed up by the rising sun.
One of the greatest of the greatest Batman tales can be found in the graphic novel format. Today, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s highly regarded Batman: Arkham Asylum celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you how series an event it is!
Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Written by: Grant Morrison
Illustrated by: Dave McKean
Published by: DC Comics
Time flies! Has it been 25 years already?
In 1989, Batman: Arkham Asylum was better known as Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. It was one of the graphic novels that walked through the doors that The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen had busted down: a serious, sophisticated, and hard-hitting graphic take on the superhero existing in a world full of maniacal super villains. Only Batman has a rogues gallery that fills an asylum. Only Batman could be deconstructed through psychology and symbolism, the likes of which had never be seen in any comic book story previous to 1989.
At the risk of writing an overly long sentence, this Batman story could only have been conceived by writer Grant Morrison (in his first Batman story – he would later write a critically acclaimed run on the monthly Batman title this past decade) and Dave McKean (at that time best known for his brilliant mixed-media Sandman covers and now known as a premiere painter, photographer, designer, and film director). Batman: Arkham Asylum is rich in story, where audiences can learn something new upon subsequent readings and absolutely stunning in its pictorial interpretation where new, deeper reveals are had each time a page is viewed.
Earlier this year, Biff Bam Pop! celebrated Batman’s 75th anniversary with a series of articles that spoke about the character and his pop culture influence over the years (use the search field on this site and give them a read). A few years ago, during the Biff Bam Pop! “March Madness” series of articles, Glenn Walker wrote about the Arkham Asylum setting and spoke directly to the Batman: Arkham Asylum graphic novel. Let me direct you to that particular piece here.
Released simultaneously today as both an oversized hardcover and a new edition softcover, make the run to your local comic book store and pick up the Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
If you’ve read it already, read it again.
If you haven’t read it, prepare for one of the most harrowing, thrilling and deeply sophisticated tales you’ve ever read – in any medium.