In 1989, the Caped Crusader became a household name yet again with the release of Tim Burton's big budget blockbuster Batman. Not wanting to sit idly by and present stories that readers have already seen, DC rode Batman’s wave of momentum and released the groundbreaking long form graphic novel, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.

Written by Grant Morrison and beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean, Arkham Asylum became one of the most successful titles ever at the company and further bridged the gap between comic books and literature. There is never a moment in this book where you feel the creators phoning it in; every panel is rich in detail and story.

Following Batman’s attempt to quell an uprising at Arkham Asylum, he is forced into a game of hide-and-seek by the Joker. Along the way, Batman finds himself exploring the asylum as he delves deeper into the psychotic minds of his adversaries. Morrison also concurrently tells the tale of the asylum’s twisted founder, Amadeus Arkham, which is a Psycho-inspired bit of horror that raises this book above just being a simple Batman story.

It’s sick, twisted, and completely engrossing and beautiful. Arkham Asylum is like taking the express train through the most twisted aspects of Batman’s rogue’s gallery and it’s nearly impossible to ever look at these characters the same way again.