Review: Arkham Asylum: Madness

Published on June 30th, 2010

The other day when I was at the comic store, I saw that there was a new original graphic novel out called ‘Arkham Asylum: Madness’ from writer/artist Sam Kieth. You may remember Kieth from the 1990s ‘THE MAXX’ comics from Image.

arkhamasylummadnessWell this time around Kieth invites us to spend 24 hours inside the mad house that is Arkham Asylum. Let me tell you this much, this book is not for the weak of heart.

If you’re a fan of old school horror movies like Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the TV show OZ that was on HBO, then this is the book for you. Our main character (Sabine) is a young mother who is working at Arkham because she can’t find work anywhere else, since she has bills to pay such as her mortgage and rent and etc. So she takes a job over at Arkham as a nurse.

The only thing that keeps her for going nuts in there is the image of her young son (Ozzie), who thinks it’s so cool that his mom works over at Arkham Asylum. He always wants to know if she saw anybody famous there, like the guy with the green hair.

At first I was not a fan of Sabine, but as the story moves a long I got what Kieth was doing, and that is making a great horror comic that even people who don’t often read comics will enjoy. Just like a good horror film, you have your female character who is not sure of herself until something happens to her, yet I don’t want to spoiler this book for anyone who wants to read it.

But I do want to talk about the man with the green hair, who if you have not guessed who he is by now, then go and read ‘where is waldo’. Ok fine I’ll tell you who the man with green is the one and only…… That’s right it’s The Joker! Guess what, he is as sick as ever, and he is joined by Two-Face, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

This is one of the best original graphic novels to come out in a long time. The Joker does something with light bulbs in here, which will make you sick to your stomach. This is the kind of book you can’t review with out spoiling it, so do yourself some good and go out and buy ‘Arkham Asylum: Madness‘, because it’s a roller coaster ride inside the mind of the Joker.

Simon Daoudi
Simon@ComicImpact.com