Friday, January 19, 2007

Arkham Asylum - Grant Morrison

Batman’s villains have taken over Arkham Asylum on April Fool’s Day. All they want is for Batman to come through the door. This is the story of the journey through that door, into the psyche of the hero, the insane & the building itself.

A huge, multi-layered Batman book, often accused of being terribly pretentious, it’s actually something that improves with age &, like so much of Morrison’s work, really improves with re-reading.

Batman is almost a spectator here, having little or no influence on the outcome of the story. At it’s deepest, it does away with any concept of Batman as reality, it’s all about the symbolism of the asylum, about the insanity within your own head where Batman merely represents one aspect of your imagination.

Squeeze all the meanings you can get from it. Morrison packs the books with intense symbolism, Dave McKean produces some beautiful imagery, sometimes clarifying, sometimes confusing, but always stunning.

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