Thursday, November 1, 2007

Batman: Hush

I am not much of a DC fan, as you may have figured out if you have read this at all. But, that doesn't mean I won't read DC, just that I prefer Marvel. Anyway, a friend recommended Batman: Hush to me. I had heard really good things about Hush, and decided to get it yesterday, since I only had 3 issues to get. If you haven't read it, then you may not want to read this, as I spoil everything.

Batman: Hush is really well written and has amazing art by Jim Lee. The premise is that there is this mystery man behind these attacks on Batman. Batman tries to figure out what is going on.

Plot: Batman tries to save a kid who was kidnapped by Killer Croc, and even after defeating him, the ransom is taken by Catwoman. As Batman chases Catwoman, his line is cut and he falls into Crime Alley, where Huntress helps him out. During this, Catwoman takes the money to Poison Ivy, who had been controlling Selina. Meanwhile, Huntress gets Bats to the Batcave, where he calls for his friend from his childhood, Tommy Elliot, who is now a brain surgeon. Tommy saves him, and he tries to find out why Killer Croc wanted the money, and set up something way too elaborate for Croc, when his tire blows out. Batman realizes it is meant to be a distraction, and has Oracle keep tabs on Croc, who goes to Catwoman and attacks her for taking his money. As Batman wraps up Croc, he learns Poison Ivy is now in Metropolis. Bats and Catwoman go to Metropolis, where they confront Poison Ivy, who has Superman under her control. Batman and Superman fight until Catwoman drops Lois Lane off of a pole and Supes saves her, breaking Poison Ivy's control him, which allowed Bats, Supes and Catwoman to easily catch Ivy. As Bats and Supes part ways, a man with a bandaged face laughs.
The second part starts with Selina and Bruce going to the opera "Pagliacci" with Tommy, when the main character is revealed to be Harley Quinn, who demands that the people there give her all their money. Harley takes Tommy's jade pendant, which he really loves. Selina and Bruce change into their respective identities, and after fighting Harley and her thugs, Harley shoots Catwoman in the shoulder and runs. Batman follows after and finds Joker in the alley, with a gun in his hand and Tommy Elliott's dead body there on the ground, after being shot. Batman almost kills Joker, when Jim Gordon stops him. During the entire beating, Joker keeps saying he is innocent. At the end, the man with the bandaged face is there with a scarred coin, saying that he is innocent and that that was the joke. Then, after Batman and Nightwing stop a robbery being committed by the Riddler, Batman spots some ash related to the Lazarus pits and Ra's al Ghul. Bats then decides, as he and Catwoman are seeing each other, to reveal his identity to Catrwoman while the Joker is freed by a man wrapped in bandages, who is revealed to be Harvey Dent, no longer scarred. When Batman kidnaps Talia Head (Talia al Ghul), Ra's lets Batman know where to find him and Bats and Ra's fight each other. After being defeated, Ra's asks Batman who in his life would want to use the Lazarus pit most of all. Afterwards, Huntess is going crazy and when Catwoman confronts her, Batman and Robin watch from a distance. When Batman joins the fight, he asks Robin to look out for whoever is messing with his life. Robin is then immediately taken out by a man in bandages, calling Robin a pretender. As Batman helps Catwoman with Huntress, they then fight Scarecrow who was manipulating Huntress. As Batman beats up Scarecrow, Robin's kidnapper shows himself, and takes off the bandages, appearing to be Batman's dead sidekick, Jason Todd, standing right in front of Jason's empty grave. Then Jason and Batman fight, with Batman confused by everything going on. Eventually, he realizes that his opponent doesn't know his identity or even that Jason Todd himself was Robin. Jason turns into clay, meaning Bats had been fighting Clayface imitating Jason as opposed to Jaosn himself. Then, after Batman checks in with Oracle, he confronts Harold, someone who used to work for Batman. As he talks to Harold by a bridge, Harold is shot in the head by the man in bandages. As Batman fights Hush(bandaged man), Hush says things that reveal him to be the previously thought dead Tommy Elliott, wanting to hurt Batman. As Hush takes out Batman, he is confronted by Gordon, and then Hush is surprised to see Harvey Dent is with Gordon, and Dent shoots Hush twice, dropping him into the water. Batman searches, but can't find Hush anyway. Later, Batman finds out that Harold had implanted something on a computer of Batman's that would subliminally flash Tommy's picture, so that Batman would ask for Tommy when he hurt himself. Batman then confronts Riddler, who was the only villain of his acting normally during the entire storyline, and realizes Riddler was behind most of everything, including Hush and Tommy. He has figured out Batman is Bruce Wayne, but due to his compulsion of riddles, realizes that if he goes around telling everybody, then the riddle will be worthless, and he couldn't have that. Then, Batman breaks up with Catwoman, thinking he needs more time to figure out how to live with her.

Again, the story is really well written, and I love all the twists and turns it takes. Making Batman confused is a task and it is amazingly accomplished in this story, throughout everything. Everything leads to everything else and I just can't praise this story enough. It is now one of my favorite DC storylines, falling behind Identity Crisis, I Can't Believe it's Not the Justice League, Formerly Known as the Justice League and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Two of those are epic, and two are funny, and Hush, while good, isn't quite as epic as any of those and falling to 5th on top DC storylines. Seriously, it is incredibly good.

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