It's not necessary to do so. The story follows on from the first in one obvious way (one of the main characters is ill, following something that happened at the end of the first game) but aside from that one premise the games are pretty much completely independent - you'd not struggle to understand what's happening at all.
That said, the first game was very good, so if you can get your hands on it cheap why not give it a blast. You won't regret it.
^ This. You don't need to, but you should almost certainly get around to playing Arkham Asylum anyway.
Yes, its compulsory for everyone to play Arkham Asylum, because its awesome! Storyline wise, you dont need to, but you will appreciate AC far more if you have completed AA. Oh and the fact that AA is probably a tiny bit better than AC, means you should play it.
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