You must tour Akham one of these days, why not today?
So I was going back and forth on whether I should review this or Batman #663 otherwise known as the issue with only like four images. It's prose, yo. I decided to go with this one simply because I figured I could write more about it. Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean it's a pretty well known comic book which has sold a ton of copies. It's also pretty polarizing but most people do seem to love it.
The story is actually pretty straightforward, everyone's clown prince crime has taken over the asylum, he asks for Batman and only Batman, shenanigans ensue. There's also a subplot about how Arkham was built. So, what makes this book special? The book spends most of it's time focusing on Bruce's famous rogue gallery in a different light. Not necessary the grounded hyper realistic stuff but more so just a twisted glance at a group of gangly deformed psychos. My personal favorite twist would have to be Two-Face's it's a nice little variation on the whole coin thing that both makes sense and works.
There's a lot, and I do mean a lot of stuff in this book that you can look into it's got a lot of deeper meaning type of stuff with allusions to other things, a metric ton of sub-text and really just a lot of stuff you can think about. It's a very well constructed book.
McKean's art is weird, he's a master of atmosphere and wantonly switches from drawing with a good bit of detail to going to a far more sketchy style. It's never that you can't tell what it is he's trying to display though.
The weirdest part about this book is that the worst part about it, easily, is the lettering. It becomes unreadable more than once, which now not as big a deal since the trade comes with the full script (which is a very interesting read in itself) so you may have to do a bit of flipping around to see what someone is trying to say, mainly joker.
This truly is a book you'll have to check out for yourself to form your own opinion on. So either way, give it a go.