Batman: Heart of Hush is the sequel to one of best comic stories of all time; Hush. Although technically a tie in with R.I.P. event I wouldn’t worry if you haven’t read it as Heart go Hush is a standalone story, however it is best to read Hush first. Heart of Hush is not as grand in scale as Hush is but has a much deeper and compelling story which fleshes out Hush/Tommy Elliot’s character and even offers one of the most touching Batman/Catwoman scenes I’ve ever read.
Batman: Heart of Hush collects Detective Comics #846-#850 and follows on from Private Casebook in the Batman modern age timeline.
|Book Name||Heart of Hush|
|Book Series||Detective Comics|
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition (TP)|
|Artist(s)||Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
|Chronology Previous||Private Casebook|
Batman: Heart of Hush Review
Detective Comics #846 – Batman R.I.P. Heart of Hush (Part 1 of 5) – First Families of Gotham
Paul Dini always creates interesting scenarios for the characters and instantly we have some action, detective work and sexual chemistry between Batman and Catwoman, a theme which carries on throughout Heart of Hush. Hush is back! And he’s on the prowl watches everything Batman and his loved ones are up to. Reminding the reader he is very bitter about Bruce’s life and what is within the heart of Hush.
Nguyen’s sharp lines and dark colours return like seen in Private Casebook which precedes this book.
Hush’s dialogues explores his motives and current plans a lot more here than all of Hush so far. How twisted Thomas Elliot was as a boy in the flashbacks only serves to make Hush’s existence more tragic and his grudge against Bruce baffling.
There’s a lot of dialogue to get through here but as soon as it starts to drag there’s action with Batman and Catwoman.
Dr. Aesop is a bit of a boring villain with his methods too similar to the likes of hatter, but he only serves as a vehicle for The introduction of Hush.
The first issue here is a lot to take in and reading of Hush is essential to fully understand Heart of Hush, I feel. Readers may find themselves reading too much text for their liking but if you think of this issue as a part of 5, which it is, then you will enjoy the book as a whole once you get this out of the way.
Detective Comics #846 – Batman R.I.P. Heart of Hush (Part 2 of 5) – The Last Good Day
We’re reminded again on Elliot’s beginnings and how he came to be Hush, as a flashback rather than him outright saying it, maybe a lot of the mystery is ruined here as we learn how he became such a strategist and one step ahead of young Bruce, and even adult Bruce in the present
Dini again baffles me by suggesting Bruce was at it all along trying to get one over on him as a child, presumably Dini wants the reader to know that Thomas Elliot’s hatred of a Bruce is misdirected and irrational Dini and Nguyen throw in a cameo for Dr. Crane who seemed to have ‘worked’ on Elliot as a boy. Would explain a lot of things and I did think it was a clever addition.
The tragedy of Bruce Wayne’s parents then happened while he was being treated for his anger and suggests what happened was some sort of justice.
The trio meet up in this issue as Batman shares the news of Hush returns before reminding everyone that Hush was way more than your average villain, way more. And so far Dini is really hammering the message home that Tommy Elliot is ferocious and not to be messed with
Catwoman and Zatanna have a brief chat about Bruce’s heart, both want him and neither have him and it’s clear they both respect each other even if they dislike each other. Well, Hush hates the both of them- probably because they want Bruce and so does he.
Book ends with a revelation that a person who helped Tommy Elliot in the past is now helping him in the present.
Heart of Hush is excellent, truly excellent. The writing is so good and keeps you turning the page every time, the dynamic and chemistry of the characters involved is well done and Dini does justice with them all.
Detective Comics #848 – Batman R.I.P. Heart of Hush (Part 3 of 5) – Heartstrings
It’s an explosive opening as Hush finds Selina Kyle’s home and attacks her, not before going into a tirade about how Bruce Wayne feel about the whole thing, it’s getting a little bit tired now – we get it, Tommy Elliot is jealous of Bruce. Catwoman looks a little off in terms of artwork, as if she’s changed races and not in line with her appearance elsewhere.
In a horrific set of events, the child Batman sets to rescue from Scarecrow/Hush has a fear of bats… and hooked up to Venom – Scarecrow doesn’t delay and injects it all into the child to see him transform almost instantly into a muscle monster. Dini reveals more about Thomas Elliot’s past and suggests that his ‘captivity’ continued well into adulthood and despite Bruce’s best efforts to keep in touch and to meet up from time to time Thomas just didn’t want to. There’s also a chance meeting between Thomas and Peyton Riley (new Ventriloquist) which string Private Casebook and Heart of Hush together.
These flashbacks are intriguing but make it even more odd how Thomas Elliot could possibly have a grudge against Bruce considering all he’s done is be kind and try to catch up. Heartstrings serves us up the most shocking incident so far and Elliot’s possible means to the endgame – by striking at the people Bruce cares about the most – Selina.
If you found the first two issues in Heart of Hush dull because you’re not into a lot of dialogue or flashbacks then #848 is really where things pick up the pace. Nguyen’s minimalist landscapes provide only the important images to get into the story and Dini’s bold use of characters and the courage to put such an important DC character in danger will shock you to turn the page once more.
Detective Comics #849 – Batman R.I.P. Heart of Hush (Part 4 of 5) – Scars
Batman’s hard edge comes out tonight as he beats the daylights out of Jonathan Crane, Bruce wants to turn the tables on Hush and to pursue him. Clearly, Hush stealing Catwoman’s heart has hit a nerve. Mr. Terrific and Mid-Nite hit the nail on the head and say that if anyone ever doubted that Batman had a human side, here it is. Dini makes it clear though, and has done all throughout that Hush has been the one with the upper hand.
So far, Heart of Hush has been about the storytelling and not the action and we relive some more scenes when Elliot and Peyton Riley start dating and the seeds of running away to become something else is sown. At this point we know Thomas Elliot pretty well even if his hatred of Bruce is still a little bit mystifying in my eyes.
Hush’s plan comes into fruition in Scars and it’s extremely tense and well paced, the situation Bruce finds himself is grim as he is completely outdone by Hush who played him like a fiddle. Heart of Hush has so far made Hush to be one of the greatest and most entertaining villains of all time. Scars being the penultimate issue is the best issue so far.
Detective Comics #850 – Batman R.I.P. Heart of Hush (Part 5 of 5) – The Demon in the Mirror
The tension continues and explodes as Hush arrives at Wayne Manor to take everything over properly. Batman is already on his way and we get to see two timelines at once which only serve to up the excitement for the reader. Thomas Elliot finds the Batcave and begins to deconstruct Bruce’s motives and the path he took in parallel to his and proclaims if the shoe was on the other foot then Bruce would be a ‘Hush’.
If anyone was worried about how the finale to such a complex and grand storyline would be; fear now – The Demon in the Mirror is both a world class issue and a superb ending to a fantastic storyline. You’ll learn how Hush got his name (it was teased in a previous issue, you may have picked up on it) and we get some big time drama and a touching moment between Batman and Catwoman. The ending, although over a bit quickly and slightly absurd, concludes this Hush encounter but does leave the door open for more (Hush Returns). Paul Dini has done a marvellous job in this issue of not only improving Hush as a character and his legacy but also add to the decades long relationship between Catwoman and Batman.
Excellent, just excellent.
As a Batman: Heart of Hush review, this is an easy 5/5. It’s a throughly engaging storyline from start to finishing and an already interesting character in Hush just get more interesting. Alongside the Hush storyline is also a fresh Batman and Catwoman plot which is very touching and continues the tradition of adding more humanity to the Dark Knight seen in modern books. If you loved Hush and like the slower, more texty Batman comics then you’ll love Heart of Hush.
Batman: Heart of Hush Gallery
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API