In Batman: Hush, we follow our caped crusader on a dark and tragic adventure. Full of action, drama, and a lot of flashbacks, this truly is the Batman installment with something for everyone. We get to experience a rare glimpse of what it was like for a young Bruce Wayne before his parents were murdered. From there we got to see how his past interacted with his present and learn a lot about just how damaged he has come through the dark path he has chosen. Above all, this comic has a lot of awesome characters and even some fun crossovers that are sure to entertain fans.
Batman: Hush Complete collects the 12 issues Batman #608-#619 from the original Batman run.
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition (TP)|
|Artist(s)||Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Richard Starkings|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
|Chronology Previous||Bruce Wayne: Fugitive|
|Chronology Next||Death in the Maidens|
Batman: Hush Review
To start off, the art of this comic is absolutely amazing. There was a great attention to detail and amazing colors. Published back in 2002, it did a very good job getting across that whole retro-comic book style. On top of it, the careful attention to motion display also really brought some of the more agile characters like Nightwing and Catwoman to life. The amazing cover art and transitional pages really made this comic easy on the eyes and an enjoyable read.
The story already starts out with a lot of action packed scenes. With Killer Croc wreaking havoc, Batman does his best to bring him to justice. With an unexpected surprise from Catwoman towards the end of the battle, the two end off in a rather short-lived chase. In a rather unexpected turn of events, Batman nearly fell to his death, right into a pile of aggressive thugs no less. With Oracle behind the scenes and The Huntress making a much-needed appearance, a very damaged Batman makes his way back to his manor where he leaves Alfred to play doctor. With a fractured skull and being unable to move, he is pretty banged up. However, Bruce Wayne being Bruce Wayne, he is able to communicate via Morse Code to get ahold of a long-lost friend -Thomas Elliot.
I have to admit that this scene in particular was one of those overly-convenient superhero moments that normally turn me off to the story. After all, Batman is only human. Still, there is just something about Bruce Wayne’s character that really made it fit. On top of it, Alfred’s sarcastic commentary throughout the ordeal also helped make it more enjoyable. It is also at this point where we see the quote “Without friends, no one would choose to live.”
This was a great quote to span the rest of the book because (as cheesy and clique as it sounds) most of the story will have to do about the strength of friendship! I will say that even if it sounds lame when you say it like that, this story excellently delivered. It is here that we get the rather uncommon glimpse into what Bruce Wayne was like before his parents were tragically murdered in the event that led to him donning the hood.
That being said, Tommy Elliot was not only an amazing surgeon that managed to bring Bruce Wayne back from the brink of death. He was also Bruce’s best childhood friends. The entire comic is filled with flashbacks from their childhood antics and it is honestly very endearing to watch the both of them! I feel like it is rather rare that we get to see any real part of Bruce’s earlier life that isn’t struck with sadness. In mannerisms and attitudes, it makes his character almost unrecognizable. This will certainly tug at the heart strings a bit for readers (especially considering how Alfred opens the comic up with talking about how he still sees Bruce as that lost child that needs love).
Of course, Batman hits the streets almost immediately. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the vigilante lifestyle, we get to experience a different kind of drama for Batman. At last, shippers could rejoice as him and Catwoman share a kiss. Not only that, but it seems that Batman may even be looking for something a little bit more with Selina. As the comic goes on, we can see how he just can’t get her out of his mind. Personally, I was really happy to see this finally happening. With Batman: Hush focusing on some of the more personal aspects of Batman, it was nice that we just got to keep getting deeper and deeper into his personal side. Of course, the romantic drama of it all never even began to overshadow the rest of the plot.
As a fan of crossovers, I found this part of the installment particularly enjoyable. Whenever you get Superman and Batman together under the same plot you know that something exciting is happening. Without getting in the way of too many spoilers, Gotham and Metropolis are two very different cities. Considering that the Batman franchise is generally known for their darker side to everything, watching the Gotham villains wreak havoc on Superman’s turf was interesting to say the least. For one minor thing, Poison Ivy and Superman are not exactly the safest combination out there.
When it comes to the development of his storyline from that more personal and deep angle, there was a lot of things going on. We get watch as Bruce reminisces coming to Metropolis before his parents died and how him and his best friend rebelled a little to sneak a peek at the Green Lantern. Thinking more in the present, we also get to see how Bruce is personally dealing with his conflicting feelings for Selina. Their forbidden romance is obviously on his mind this entire time and Bruce even tries to draw comparisons between his situation and that of Lois Lane.
It doesn’t take long for this adventure to go terribly tragic, though. Of course, fan favorite, Joker, is right in the middle of the drama. The awful event I will leave unspoiled sent Bruce on quite the flashback trip. Every and any major depressing event was referenced in the matter of a few pages. From Barbara to Jason, every horrible memory about the joker comes flooding into Batman’s memory at this very moment. What starts with reminiscing ends with Batman nearly deciding to finally kill the Joker. If it wasn’t for a surprise appearance from the retired James Gordon, that may very well have been the Joker’s end as well.
These scenes were absolutely painful to read. Getting forced to relive all these tragic tales on a single page was pretty intense. Watching Batman finally lose control and nearly choke the battered villain was also a lot to handle. There was just a lot of emotional and dark stuff going on -even for a Batman comic. Then, as if it wasn’t bad enough, we had to watch Batman beat himself up for his lack of control later on in the book.
If nothing else, this point in the book also brings Nightwing back into the story -something that is always welcome in my book. It was actually Nightwing that comforted Batman when he was beating himself up over the near-murder of the Joker. I love watching the bat family interact and the commentary between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon has always made me laugh.
Still, the minimal moments of comic relief aren’t enough to keep the story from swerving south pretty regularly. It doesn’t take long at all for the story to turn back towards tragic villains, dark drama, and depressing flashbacks. Still, this offered a lot of insight into what was going on in Batman’s mind and personal development. Things are not always as they seem, and master detective Batman is looking to crack the case and bring justice for all.
It was also at this point in the story where the focus seems to shift from the perspective written earlier in the book to one more classic Batman. Where the first half of the comic really placed an emphasis on the action scenes and raw drama, this is the part where the detective came in. While I will say the entire book had an excellent plot, it was at this point where they style seemed to get much more familiar.
Again, because I truly think this is a comic that everyone should read, I won’t give any spoilers. Just know that even more fan favorite villains made an appearance and you get a story you would have never predicted! Also, with Nightwing joining the action scenes you know you are going to be in for a treat.
Overall, this comic was easily a 5/5. Aside from the few random “overly-convenient-comic-book-moments,” I have absolutely no complaints about this comic. Amazing art style and motion representation made for perfect action scenes! Artists did an amazing job with representing each character’s individual fighting style. The large amount of flashbacks also made for some amazing insight that I am sure any Batman fan would want. We got a nice, rare look at a younger and untraumatized Bruce Wayne, without ever having to sacrifice the action-packed scenes we know in love. There were amazing characters, suspenseful storylines, and a lot of drama that we normally don’t get to witness with Batman himself. Fans of the series will really appreciate just how much background we get on Batman. This is also a good enough story to entice newer fans into the franchise. This comic is certainly a must read for pretty much anyone and is easily one of my favorite comic installments of all time.
Batman: Hush Gallery
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API