Thursday, February 9, 2012

Batman Hush

I got this in trade because I heard a great deal of praise. I'm not going to go through an entire play by play but here are my thoughts on it.

Hush is a mixed bag of things that work and just fall flat on their face. The art is beautiful as is the growing relationship between Selina and Bruce as well as his friendship with Clark and Lois. Something I'm sorry to see wiped away by the relaunch. The plot is a congo line of the bat gallery that, for the most part, has nothing to do with the title villain. One that's obviously the new comer Tommy Elliot who isn't the actual mastermind of the story. Does the Riddler make sense? Sure but he's hardly in it. As for the reveal Tommy pretty much yells it out to Bruce and his reasoning makes little to no sense. (I know the story has been expanded upon but in this book it wasn't.)

A lot of it feels like padding showcasing all of Batmans' rogues and history. Some of it that would leave the casual reader scratching their head in confusion. Example: How many people knew about the guy who designed the bat mobile?

A lot of it is red herrings, several in fact. There are plot elements that are brought in then dropped for no reason. Shocks that are never explained or even logically explored.

Take the Jason Todd scene. I'll get to the writing in a moment but think about this. According to Bruce it couldn't have been Jason because he never called him Bruce or says he's Jason. Well what about the "life is a game" mention? Forgetting that once again a writer doesn't get what that really line meant how the hell would ANYONE outside the bat family know that was something Jason said? As for referring to himself as Jason, well is that really a secret since Bruce literally told the Joker the Robin he killed was named Jason? At the end Bruce states that Jasons' body is missing something that the Riddler smugly refuses to answer. Really Judd Winick fills in the blanks to actually make those scenes work.

But the writing of Bruce thinking about Jason? It's a strange mixture of sorrow and arrogance on the dark knights' part. Victim blaming at it's worst as he basically tells Jason it was his fault for rushing in. It's actually funny because he praises Huntress for the same things he scolds Jason over. Or that he thinks that "the others" don't accept her. No, BRUCE didn't accept her. That's why she tried so hard to earn his approval.

Verdict: The best moments are the Selina and Bruce romance. There are other bits of brilliance but it's not one of the better Batman stories. It's actually one of the worst stories I reviewed. If it was seamlined and with better understanding of the characters it would have been miles better. At the very least the supposed star villain could have shined more than he did.

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