Arkham Asylum goes beyond just comic and comic book cliches and standards. It is, without doubt, the most complex and sophiscated graphic story treatment ever given to a superhero. Reading this 15 years ago, it sent a chill up my spine. Now it just envelopes me totally.
Morrison's writing is so deep, so rich that it's almost like a exploration of the complicated insanities that exist within the Batman and his numerous foes. But beyond this rich tapestry of psychological drama that unfoldes, is an outstanding backstory of Amadeus Arkham. At once tragic and haunting, it gives the reader a profound sense of understanding and appreciation of this most famous instituion in Gotham City.
If Morrison's writing is graphic literature as its supreme best, then McKean's art is simply without peer in this medium. Using an arsenal of styles and tools that includes paint and photography, McKean's artwork will leave you more than just spellbound. It literally is graphic art that is a masterpiece to behold. And this on every single page.
Perhaps the only left to be said of this is to get the new 15th Anniversary edition, which includes the original script and sketeches that gives a further understanding to the complexity that went into creating this masterpiece.
For myself, it will rank as the best Batman story, even above The Dark Knight Returns, which I thought was unsurpassable. 15 years on, and this remains the pinnacle in superhero storytelling.