Monday, May 31, 2010

Batman: Hush Trilogy (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

Hush is the best new villain of The Batman's Rogues in a long time. He's intelligent, diabolical, a master surgeon, and jealous to the point of murder. Plus, He knows who Batman is! This review covers the three Hush Volumes to date....Hush, Hush Returns, & Heart of Hush.

Only Hush receives the "Awesome" grade individually, but as a whole they do deserve the highest acclaim! They were written at different times, and are NOT part of an event (like No Man's Land, Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, or War Games). I included them all so the avid Batman fan can see the whole of Batman's newest and possibly most dangerous enemy....Hush!

Batman: Hush. In this story of murder, mystery and romance, Batman sets out on a simple mission to discover the identity of the mysterious villain wreaking havoc in his life known as Hush. But Batman ends up facing possibly the most intense case of his life as secrets from his past flood into the present, and the most notorious villains to ever haunt Gotham City's street attack simultaneously! Guest-starring The Dark Knight's greatest allies and enemies. Written by Jeph Loeb, with artwork by Jim Lee.

Jeph Loeb continues to impress me with every volume he writes, and Jim Lee's art is breathtaking! Lee is currently working on DC Universe's massive on-line game soon to be released, and Loeb is currently writing Hulk with long-time team-up artist Ed McGuinness.

Batman: Hush Returns. When Hush resurfaces, he does so with a vengeance. Still out to destroy Batman and determined not to let the rest of the villains get in his way, Hush quickly carves out a niche for himself, beating his former accomplice the Riddler to within an inch of his life, and even driving the Joker out of town. Hush also ends up temporarily killing Poison Ivy in a fruitless attempt to recruit her.

Following a short-lived alliance with JLA nemesis Prometheus, Hush then begins to torment Bruce Wayne with the aid of an all-new Clayface. Exploiting the latter's shape-shifting abilities, Hush is briefly able to shed doubt on his true identity and has Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth framed for murder. Alfred's name is later cleared, albeit through trickery. Written by A.J. Lieberman, with artwork by Al Barrionuevo & Javier Pina.

Batman: Heart of Hush. Believing that it is his right and his right alone to kill Batman, Hush seeks to beat the Black Glove to the punch after finding out he's planning to attack Batman. Hush then teams up with the Scarecrow, who had contact with Elliot as a child. Hush performs routine plastic surgery on his own face, only later revealing the result....

Hush then ambushes and subdues Catwoman after she scratches off a portion of his facial bandages, recoiling in horror at what she sees. He then cuts out her heart, putting her on life support supplied by Mr. Freeze and delivering her to Gotham General Hospital.

Batman squeezes the location of Hush's headquarters from Scarecrow. Hush; however, ambushes him by showing him the room containing Selina's heart, alive and pumping. He then reveals his plan to Batman, to kill and disfigure him and then retire with the Wayne fortune.

However, Batman is able to recover Selina's heart, but Hush manages to get into the Batcave where he nearly kills Batman, but with help from Alfred, Nightwing, and Robin, they turn the tide. Hush tries to escape using the Batcopter, but his bandages become tangled in the rotor and it explodes.

Batman, Nightwing, and Robin can find no trace of Hush save some bloody bandages, and count him dead. Catwoman, not taking chances, has Oracle & "friends" track down Hush's secret bank accounts and stashes of cash and cut them off.

Later, Hush travels to Australia and Vietnam looting Wayne's cash accounts in the companies he owns there. He is captured by Catwoman, who gives custody to Nightwing and Robin, who realizing that turning him over to the authorities would mean the end of their secret identities, keep him contained in a secret safe house. Elliot decides to fake his surrender, waiting for the right moment to escape.

Written by Paul Dini, with art done by Dustin Nguyen. Dini can be "hit or miss" sometimes, but Heart of Hush is definitely a hit!

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