So what prompted the return of Comic Book Boom? It all started with Batman...everything Batman. I found my brothers old PS3 and he had Arkham City. I don't normally play video games because of my bad eyesight but Arkham City is a Free Roam game and damn I just love Batman and his villains. Next thing you know I'm sucked back into the thing that I truly love and missed. After completing the game (minus the dumb Riddler Trophies) a twitter follower recommended I read Batman: Hush. There was just one problem:
I did not like Jeph Loeb
Batman’s Hush has always been on my mind but I've always been on the fence about shelling out money for a Jeph Loeb story. Batman: The Long Halloween was an absolute disappointment. That's right I said it…come at me. The Long Halloween had a great setup and the artwork is one of my absolute favorites. Tim Sale is ranked as my #1 artist. If anyone has any Tim Sale art, I will gladly take it off your hands.
The Long Halloween had the most disappointing ending in recent memory, an ambiguous ending where the "World's Greatest Detective" just kinda flopped on the case. In the end we are left with 2 possible killers. One or the other or maybe both. There was no closure and very unsatisfying for a murder mystery. So Jeph Loeb was on my blacklist. Feel free to hurl verbal insults at me in the comment section.
I read many mixed reviews on Hush awhile back. One reviewer said that the ending was so obvious. That turned me off for a while. As an avid Agatha Christie fan, I was not gonna let Jeph disappoint me again with another half-baked mystery. But nevertheless I'm riding the high that is Arkham City and I went ahead and bought Batman: Hush.
Hush (Batman 609-613) follows the story of Batman after his grappling rope is cut while in pursuit of Catwoman. Over the course of the next several issues, Batman recognizes that he is a part of an elaborate game. His rouge gallery is becoming more informed and bold, making decisions not typically their MO. Batman is well aware of a puppet master but doesn't know who it is or the end game.
Hush is a fantastic read and is easily in my top #5 list of books to read. It’s an awesome showcase of classic Batman villains, Batman’s detective brain at work and deep psychological elements at play. There is romance and heartbreak and the final pages between the Cat and the Bat felt like a tragedy. I loved exploring their relationship. (I'm SUPER into the current Bat-Cat comics happening right now). It’s a great look into the psychosis of Batman and his ability to trust. Plus there are a multitude of action sequences. If you haven’t read it…go buy it.
Spoilers - Click to Expand
Whoever said that the ending was obvious was absolutely wrong. While I give the appearance of Tommy Elliot to be suspicious and pretty telling, I did not see the ending coming. Tommy faking his death through me through a bit of a loop but I kinda already knew he was the guy having played Arkham City Side Quests. The real question was how all the dots connect, something that Jeph Loeb did much better this time around. The ending was very satisfying and the mastermind working with Tommy caught me way off guard. I did not see it coming.
The fact that Riddler was able to appear like the buffoon in the series, an old outdated villain, and the revealed to be the genius behind it all blew me away. Riddler being an avid fan of riddles and twist…it just makes sense that he be the one to concoct a plan so twisty turvy and demented. The Riddler loves his riddles, who woulda thunk it. The relationship between Catwoman and the Bat was something I treasured and loved seeing unfold. The ending where she says "Hush" was auspicious and Batman's response was tragic. I really wanted them to succeed. I'm not too bummed because I learned that ole Bruce proposes to Catwoman in Batman #32 in the Rebirth series, just last year. When I learned this I immediately went out and bought that issue, as well as the ten issues prior and all the ones leading up the current one. I loved how Jeph touched on Bruce’s inner conflict, two sides warring whether or not to trust.
Hush with its twists and turns also perfectly captured Batman's relationships. Each issue was dedicated to a person. From his friends and classic foes. Batman revisits their history and the villains of the story evolves before our very eyes thanks to the wits of the Riddler, thus creating new refreshing conflict.
Plus, Jim Lee knocked it out of the park. His version of Catwoman is a total babe (not the most scholarly of analyses sure).
Overall, Hush is quintessential Batman and I’m sorry I doubted Loeb. However, I still haven’t forgiven him for The Long Halloween.
Till next time!
If you click this link and buy Hush, I'll get like a dollar. I don't do this for the money but a little pocket change helps me buy more comics!