Review by From the Booth‘s own Ken
Batman: Hush was a long story arc that from ran from 608 to 619 in the Batman monthly series. Written by Jeph Loeb, who has also proven himself on Batman: Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory, and illustrated by Jim Lee, who has taken the premiere spot of artist for Justice League in the New 52, if any creative team was capable of creating a Batman classic, it’d be this one.
In a book where change rarely ever survives past the end of the story arc, Hush dares to start a romantic relationship between Batman and Catwoman, hint at Jason Todd‘s resurrection and introduce new villains (the titular character being the main villain in the video game, Batman: Arkham City). While many of Jeph Loeb’s Batman arcs are retelling of familiar stories (like how Long Halloween was the origin of Two Face), Hush is a new story that is bound to become a classic.
After foiling a kidnapping heist by Killer Croc and an opera robbery by Harley Quinn, Batman becomes convinced that someone is acting behind the scenes to make his old, familiar rogue’s gallery act in new and unpredictable ways. His suspicions are confirmed when Poison Ivy, Two-Face and the Joker all continue the pattern. Working with Catwoman more closely than ever before, Batman seeks out the shadowy figure in the head bandages that seems to know not only about Batman but also about Bruce Wayne.
The art is fantastic as it should be when done by Jim Lee. The story twists and turns multiple times always keeping the reader off-guard as to Hush’s identity just as any great mystery novel would. Batman actually seems to grow as a character throughout the story, dealing with his mortality, rage and feelings for Catwoman. The narration, oftentimes a distraction in other books, seems tighter and better thought-out than any book I’ve read in years.
Hush is by far the best Bat-book I’ve reviewed so far and possibly the best Batman arc I’ve read since The Dark Knight Returns. The art and storytelling are beyond awesome, Batman’s full rogue’s gallery is on display and the book has the feeling of being a pivot point for Batman’s character. Hush is an absolute must-read!