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Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is a graphic novel written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean. It was originally published in the United States in both hardcover and softcover editions by DC Comics in 1989. The subtitle is taken from line 55 of the poem "Church Going", by Philip Larkin.
On April 1 Commissioner Gordon informs Batman that the patients of Arkham Asylum have taken over the building, and will murder the staff unless Batman agrees to meet with them. Among the hostages are a young woman named Pearl, who works in the kitchens; the current Administrator, Dr. Cavendish; and Dr. Ruth Adams, a therapist. The patients are led by Black Mask and The Joker, who kills a guard to spur Batman to obey his wishes. Two-Face, meanwhile, has degenerated even further into madness as a result of Adams' well-intentioned therapy; she replaced his trademark coin with a six-sided die, and then with a tarot deck of cards, rendering him incapable of making simple decisions such as going to the bathroom.
Batman is forced into a game of hide and seek, and told he has one hour to make his way through the maze-like corridors and find a way out before his old foes are sent to find him.