The art style that Dave McKean uses in this comic makes the reader feel the madness in their own soul. They are drawn to every word Batman speaks like it will be his last.
This comic has two stories going on throughout. It begins with the story of a young Amadeus Arkham in the early 1900’s, who is taking care of his ill mother, and goes through his adulthood and eventual fall into insanity. Meanwhile, in current day Arkham, Batman and Joker face off once more, only this time Joker has the home advantage. The two story’s interweave until the reader really and completely understand that Arkham has been cursed sinced before it’s conversion into an Asylum.
This comic was vastly different from any other Batman series that I’ve read so far, and I suspect I can thank Grant Morrison for that. The story line captures the reader almost immediately, and they don’t really get a moment to breathe until they’ve read the comic in its entirety.
We learns more about the Joker’s psychosis from an Arkham psychiatrist. We see the true shell of a man that Harvey Dent has become inside the asylum’s walls. We learn about the creature that terrified Amadeus Arkham out of his wits.
It’s a must-read. You can buy it on Amazon.