Review: Batman: Hush

Not even the devoted comic fans will see this twist coming

Overview:

A mysterious new villain by the name of Hush has come into Gotham, and he’s recruiting some of Batman’s greatest enemies to do his bidding.  Things get worse as a deliberate shot from Hush manages to nearly cripple the dark knight.  Thankfully, some help from Catwoman, and Bruce Wayne’s college friend, neurosurgeon Thomas Elliot, he is able to recover, yet the threats remain.

Catwoman and Batman’s relationship starts to get serious just as he realizes Hush is targeting those close to him, and he knows his secret identity.  After Wayne’s friend Elliot is murdered, things go quiet as the bat and the cat grow closer.  But, it is all leading up to Hush’s big plans and the reveal of who is hiding behind the mask.

 

Our Take:

Batman: Hush is considered one of the greatest storylines featuring the character to be made in the modern era.  Written by Jeph Loeb and pencilled by the legendary Jim Lee, Hush showcased unforgettable moments and a twist that shook the fandom.  That twist, while impactful, has been debated for its relevance as it showcased an unseen character shoehorned in to become the dangerous villain.  Many fans had a distaste for the addition and believed many other characters could have fit into that role.  Well, the Batman: Hush animated film makes creative changes to address those concerns.  This is not the Hush storyline that we have come to know.

For those that have read the original comic storyline from the early 2000s, prepare for something completely different.  The film even drags fans along to believe that they know what will happen only to make a significant turn in the third act.  It is difficult not to spoil this reveal as it is a brilliant move; however, it is a twist that you need to watch for yourself.  What I can say is that this iteration of Hush is somebody that has been involved with Batman lore since the beginning.  Arguably one of the most underrated characters that has been due his comeuppance for ages.  And, this is some of the best use of the character that we have seen… possibly ever.  If you can’t tell, I’m very excited about this as he has been one of my personal favourites for quite some time.

Batman: Hush picks up directly in the throws of the DC Animated Universe.  There are call-backs and mentions to events from previous films such as Reign of the Supermen, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, and Batman: Bad Blood.  If any of the heroes have been at the centre of the DCAU, it has been the bat who has had multiple features and appeared in the majority of the films.  We have followed along since the Son of Batman storyline and seen how his Bat-family has grown.  And, this film continues that trend and shakes up his world even further, while also bringing it more in line with the current plots of the comic books.

Batman has long had an on-again-off-again relationship with Catwoman.  It has always been seen as one of the couples that should be, but probably never could be.  It has created a unique dynamic considering Batman’s usual outlandish rogue gallery and developed some of the most romantic comic books one can read.  Though, in recent years the relationship has advanced much further, culminating in their marriage- that’s comic canon folks.  This film begins to put those moves into motion by showcasing what kind of power couple these two can actually be and defining what it is that separates the two strong personalities.  In all honesty, this film is much more about their relationship then it has to do with Hush at all.  Yet, it’s not disappointing in the least.

One of the things that make these animated films stand out- and could make a live-action Batman film much better- is the use and amount of well-known villains and characters are added to the story.  The Hush story works great for that as it already featured many prominent villains.  Though this film added quite a few more.  There were notable appearances from the likes of The Joker, Poison Ivy, Bane, Riddler, Clayface, and even Scarecrow, with plenty more showing up throughout the film.  This is the world Batman lives in, where his enemies are everywhere and a part of his life.  This is the way Batman movies should be especially when you see the beatdown that Batman gives to The Joker.

This was one of the strongest showings from the DC Animated Universe yet.  Though, much like the MCU, it requires some knowledge of the events that have taken place prior.  Maybe not to the same extent, and this could be enjoyed on its own, but it still helps.  Unless you follow the comics, you have never seen Batman the way that these films have developed him.  There has never been a film that has shown this side of the bat and his long term affair with Selena Kyle.  It adds a unique depth and perspective that makes him more lovable and relatable.  If you have been enjoying these films since 2014’s Justice League War, then this is a cannot miss addition.  And, we sure hope the next animated Batman film gets announced sooner than later.

 

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Jesse Bereta has 271 posts and counting. See all posts by Jesse Bereta