Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Can You Keep A Secret?

I am gonna get killed for this. I almost don't even want to post it for fear of losing any and all credibility I have as a comic book fan, let alone someone who is attempting to entertain the masses as a comic book blogger!

I, Scott Edward do not like Batman: Arkham Asylum. (In the interest of laziness I will be referring to Batman: Arkham Asylum as B:AA from here on out) Now I am strictly speaking about the comic book or OGN (Original Graphic Novel, again laziness) if you will. I have not played the video game so I can't speak to it's merits as good old fashion fun. I can however state that without hesitation I do not enjoy any aspect of B:AA the comic book. This is not an indictment on the author. I am a huge fan of Grant Morrison! His Animal Man is my single favorite run of any comic book ever, hand down! There is just nothing about B:AA that speaks to me the reader.

**DISCLAIMER** Let me assure you that this is in no way an attempt to go against the grain and pan a not only critically acclaimed, but fan favorite piece of comic book history. I have been accused of such actions in the past. (It drives my wife mad that I hate everything about the movie Titanic. Which I will admit is a bit of me just being an ass and refusing to follow the lemmings off of the ledge, but don't tell her that!).

No, from the artwork (that I can only describe as sloppy at best), to the basic plot and tone of the story (which I find neither shocking or groundbreaking) I do not have much good to say about B:AA. As a child I was taught that if I had nothing nice to say I should just shit the hell up, but this is my blog so I'll say whatever the hell I feel like!

It is not as if I did not want to like the book, quite the opposite is true. I had wanted to read B:AA for years! I had read so much bluster and heard it spoken about with such regard that I was ready to sit it up on my mantle next to Watchmen, Long Bow Hunters and the aforementioned Grant Morrison's Animal Man my favorite comic book stories ever! Then it happened, in 2010 I finally won a copy on eBay and patiently awaited delivery. When it arrived it was a, "honey take care of the baby I'm going upstairs to read see you in an hour, I am taking my time with this"situation. An hour later I appeared in the living room feeling like Nick Lachey after a premarital date with Jessica Simpson, unfulfilled.

Years later I was listening to the Kevin Smith podcast Fatman on Batman and his guest was Grant Morrison. The passion of which Smith spoke about his experience reading B:AA actually made me feel guilty for not liking it! I thought that if someone who shared a similar passion for both Batman and Grant Morrison's craft felt this way about this story maybe I was wrong! Maybe I just went into the situation all wrong! So I did the only thing I could do, I reread B:AA.

This time I grabbed a glass of Diet Mountain Dew, kicked everyone out of the house and read in perfect silence truly taking it all in. You know what? I still hated it. So I did what any good fanboy would do, I admitted to myself that I could not stand a classic, NEIGH, legendary piece of comic book history. I then decided to never, eeeeeeever tell anyone about my new found deep dark secret. Because...

Who doesn't like Batman: Arkham Asylum?

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps B:AA can be appreciated best in historical context. Before the book came out--besides one-off graphic novels being relatively rare--no one had delved into Arkham Asylum to give it a back story and a theme. Since then, much of what Morrison laid out has become canon and been expanded upon in interesting and creative ways. I think that B:AA is not really a Batman story, per se, but a story about Amadeus Arkham and his madness, which is conveyed pretty well (and very creepily--the scene where Amadeus puts on his mother's wedding dress haunts me to this day). However, it's not illegal to dislike the book, it's definitely not your "normal" Batman story and it does get a bit mired in symbolism.