Just the other day, when I wrote My Top 10 Batman Villains, I said I’d be doing a couple a’ things here on RyansDrunk.com to celebrate Batman’s 80th Anniversary. This is the second, in what will be something like five things I’ma write and such. One of which can’t be completed until, like, late in June of this year. So.
I just reread the 12 issue story arc, Batman: Hush before having anything to drink tonight/this morning/however times works. This was — bare minimum 00 the fourth time I’ve read it. And. Merhspa it’s due to the emotional/menal/whatever wreck I am. Merhaps it’s due to the fact that this was the first time I physically read it, as in, I held the book in my hands as I read it. Or maybe — just maybe — the story is just this goo. But forreals. There was a couple of times I teard up, dude.
I’ll get into all of that.
But first, let’s delve deep. As deep as I can. Into why this story is, easily, the best Batman story I’ve ever experienced.
Without question, Jim Lee is my favorite Batman artist. Hands down. Mostly, that’s ue to Hush. Hush created more iconic imagesfor Batman comics than… pretty much anything else. Especially for a single story arkk. Images from the pannels to the covers. I mean. This rambling is going to be filled with these images. But. Let’s kick start things with… probably the most iconic image. Maybe.
Just to set the tone.
In all honesty? There’s only on e problem with the story. The identity of this new villain, Hush, is extremely predictable. I mean, sure, there’s a few curveballs thrown in there. But, ultimately, it’s predictable as all hell. I mean. the story is nearly 20 years old at this point. So. Considered yourself spoiled when I say: Dr. Thomas Elliot, a former childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s, is Hush. A villain who’s debuting in this story arc, obviously, and a character )Tommy Eliot) who is also making his debut. It’s pretty easy to put two and two together. Right?
But there’ss some awesomeness. Like. Wondering if Harvey Dent/Two-Face is this “new” villain. Or if it’s actuall Jason Todd, the Robin that the Joker killed, there’s twists and turns. But. Forreals. Elliot debuts. In a story arc that’s debuting a new villain. WONDER WHO iT IS?~! Right?
Moving on from the only downside…
Let’s go with SOMETHING SURPRISING~! And… ACTUALLY shocking. The story, as with most “major” Batman stories, DOESN’T start with Victor Zasz getting capturied!
in all honesty? there’s just two stories, off the top of my head, (although, I’m questing whether of not her’s the first in The Long Halloween, I don’t remember… it’s been like 10 years since I read that one, but I don’t think he’s there… oh wells), those being Knightfall and The Kevin Smith Saga. But still. It’s an inside joke… to like… my and my nephew… that Victor Zasz is the first villain caught when starting a Batman soty.
But yeah. It starts with Killer Croc.
And it just gets amazing. ANd builds off of that.
From Croc, to Clayface, Riddelr, Ra’s al ghul, Talia HEad (for some reason, that’s her name at the time #MeToo, amiright?), Scarecrow, Harvey/Two-Face, Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy… the list goes on.
But. By far, the best “rogues” story has to do with Catwoman as seen above. This is the first time Batman revealed himself to be Bruce Wayne to Selina Kyle. And he’s ACTUALLY trying to let her in totally and completely. And, fr the most part, their shared story is the best that it’s ever been. sure, it kinda ends dumbly )much like I said the other day about Batman #50). It’s just cool. Seeing them. Being who they’re like… “meant to be,” or whatever in this story.
But OK. Here we go? Or something.
The things that made me tear up, reading the story, again, tonight/thismorning/however time works. The first thing was…
And it has nothing to do with Batman. Somehow during my physical reading of this, I skipped the next two pages, at first, where you actually see Superman save Lois and he says, “I’ve got you.” I’m sure I’d have been balling, if I hadn’t, physically, skipped those pages on accident. This was the time, of the two where tears welled up in my eyes. And, hell, it was the most tears that developed.
But it was just a couple issues later where tears would redevelope.
And Batman sees Tommy Elliot dead. Shot by Joker and such. And like. The whole issue is spent byt showing Batman beat the shit out of Joker after seeing this. Throughout the issue, or chapter or whatever, Batman’s recalling all the bad shit Joker’s done to him, personally. Crippling Barbara Gordon, killing Jason Todd, killing Sarah Jenson 00 Jim Gordon’s wife.
Which, by the way, how Hush deals with flashbacks is amazing. It’s on the level of Shindler’s List beautiful. Forreals. Because the story deal with flashbacks. A LOT.
So. Yeah. Batman’s beating the shit out of the Joker. With every hit, Joker’s saying, “Stop!”
For a while. Then the hitting stops for a bit and Joker sprawys, “Stop me if you heard this before… I’m innocent1”
Which. Just. Brilliant storytelling in it of itself.
But then. Batman’s convinced himself. He’s going to kill Joker here. In this alley. In this moment. But. Jim Gorden’s there. He shoot Batman’s “ear” off. And he says, something like, “If you kill him, you’ll be no better than him and I’ll lead the charge to bring you to justice.”
Again, Batman’s internally visualizing Joker cripling Jim’s daughter. He sees Joker killing Jim’s wife. And yet. Jim (who isn’t the police commissioner in canon at this point) is here, telling Batman to not kill Joker.
And what teared e up was the single panel, where Batman takes his foxus offof Joker, turns his head behind him and says, “Jim…”
so damn powerful.
Everything I just said.
From how predictable it is that Dr. Thomas Elliot is Hush.
To how powerful that, “Him…” quote was.
It all is tied in BRILLIANTLY… even though it ties to how predictable the Elliot reveal is… THE BIGGEST overarching theme throught the story is “thinking like your opponent.” Tommy and Bruce, through flashbacks, are playing some sort of Chess-type of game. And Tommy is always beating Bruce. BEcaue Bruce isn’t “thinking like his oppoent” and such. And this theme is exploited… even before the tommy flashbacks begin. In the first issue or “chapter” or whatever. Croc isn’t up to his usual self. Catowoman steals Croc’s ransom money. Ivy is just using people.
Batman isn’t thinking like his opponents, even from the beginning (although at the beginning, especually with those three), his rogues aren’t being their normal selves. Except for one.
Throughout the last couple of ussues/ chapters, especially, Baman has to constrantlhy out think his opponent.
Again… something that’s BRILLIANTLY done in the Superman fight. This one is FAR better than the fight scene in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Because, dude. This is a COMPLETELY unprepared Batman (outside of the Kryptonighte ring that Superman gae him) going toe-to-toe with Superman and out-witting the god-like super hero.
And it’s awesome. Batman admits throughout the whole fight that Superman would, easiy, splatter him within seconds.
Deep down, Clark is a good person.
Deep down, I’m not.
And. Batman beats Superman.
Again. Its was this moment that maid the tears well up in me the most. So.
The story, the overarching themes? Everything? This is absolutely phenomenal. Period. The end. Bar none.
Honestly? Hush is like, a cherished piece of Batman’s legacy… it seems, to me at least, that is’ like this little gold nugget that gets overllooked constantly because “The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke and Batman: Year One )some how_) are THE BEST BATMAN STORIES EVER~1″ according to most comic critics. Hush isn’t TOO far behind those. In the critic’s eyes.
It, SERIOUSLY far surpasses them all. By a mile.
Jim Lee’s iconic artwork…
Makes this story FAR superiour than anything I’ve ever experienced. As far as Batman stories are concerned.
Hush is being made into an animated movie. I’m, especially curious to see how Rainn wilson does as Lex Luthor, especially since the onle scene involving Luthor, seems to be something new added into the movie that goes against the Hush book. But. I mean.
And really? I don’t know what else there is to say about the upcoming Hush animated movie.
Could be awesome.
And I’m curious as hell to find out where they go with “Damien Wayne” being the Robin of the movie and such.
And… yeah. I’ll hope foe the best. And expect the worst? Right? something like that. I don’t know.
A;; I know… FOR SURE…
Is that SyFy Channel’s Youtube channel, SyFy Wire, has been doing some AMAZINg 80th Anniversary of Batman videos the last couple of months.
I’ll leave you with this:
Just… an awesome, fun watch. Do it.