75 Greatest Batman Stories: #6-4
In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official 75th anniversary of Batman on July 23rd. We’ve done Batman covers, Batman characters, Batman creastors and now, finally, Batman stories!
You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Batman Stories! Here are #6-4!
NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.
6. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
On the one hand, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s graphic novel, Arkham Asylum, is built upon a fairly straightforward premise – the residents of Arkham Asylum have taken control of the facility and they will only stop killing people if Batman agrees to turn himself into the asylum…
However, that’s just the necessary set-up to allow Morrison to basically deliver a series of striking set pieces featuring the various members of Arkham Asylum, with Batman visiting many of his old foes in states never before seen.
Dave McKean does a fantastic job making the various villains seem almost like brand-new characters. Meanwhile, two actual brand-new characters, the head of the asylum and an ambitious therapist, play a key role in tying the whole thing in with the history of Arkham Asylum itself, as the asylum’s adminstrator believes that he is destined to follow in the path of Amadeus Arkham, who was haunted by a “bat creature.” Meanwhile, the therapist has been doing some sketchy approaches to the patients, including trying to expand Two-Face’s choices from a simple 50/50 coin toss to a die toss to a tarot card drawing – it’s driving Two-Face madder than he already was.
A comic like this nowadays would still be off the beaten path, but in 1989, it was like a whole new world – Morrison and McKean were delivering a story unlike any Batman story ever told.
Gaspar Saladino, by the way, needs to get major props for designing the various distinct lettering for each character in the book. Dude was already a lettering legend by this time, but he was in his 60s when this book came out and yet he still NAILED it. Very impressive.
Go to the next page for #5!