Why You Should Read BATMAN: HUSH

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Posted by k4tzm4n (40302 posts) - - Show Bio

Us Batman fans are an incredibly lucky bunch. When it comes to The Dark Knight, there's a jaw-droppingly large library of fantastic and engaging stories just waiting to be read. Plenty of gifted writers have had the pleasure of jumping into Bruce Wayne's head over the years and crafted marvelous tales. From Frank Miller to Grant Morrison, these talented writers have blessed our eyes and our brains with some genuinely stunning stories.

When it comes to Jeph Loeb's time with Batman, many think of 'The Long Halloween' and understandably so. Me, though? 'Hush' immediately comes to mind. While it isn't the strongest mystery around, it's wildly entertaining and a visual masterpiece that I firmly believe is worth reading.

The twelve-issue story arc began in 2002 and is a crime thriller focused on an unknown stalker sabotaging Batman at every possible turn. This shadowy mastermind isn't working alone, either. Said villain has apparently manipulated a staggeringly impressive number of Batman's foes and even allies. Everyone from the all-powerful Superman to a virus-infected Killer Croc take part in this mystery and make the Caped Crusader's experience a living hell.

Despite the physical and mental stress of having so many villains come out of the woodwork, a huge part of this adventure is also Batman developing a relationship with Catwoman. Additionally, Loeb dives into Bruce's earlier years and introduces a childhood friend who is now a skilled doctor, Thomas "Tommy" Elliot. Who's behind it all and what does everyone hope to accomplish? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out, won't you?

While the story is a solid dose of popcorn entertainment, what makes it truly special is artist Jim Lee's pencils. From the first panel to the very last one, Lee fills each and every scene with amazingly detailed and magnificent work. Combined with Alex Sinclair's coloring and Scott Williams' inks, this is easily one of the best looking stories out there. Even if you're not the biggest fan of Loeb's writing, there's no denying the artwork will leave you impressed. There are countless scenes here that are sure to keep a firm spot in your memory. Batman's bloody hands as he stands over the Joker? Catwoman and Batman kissing on a rooftop? Batman slugging Superman across the face? These visuals are nothing short of brilliant.

One of the many elements which make this story so superb is its ability to please both new and old readers. You could have never read a single Batman comic in your life and this would still serve as a reading experience you can fully enjoy and comprehend. Not only does it cover a huge gauntlet of Batman's characters, it also does so in a manner that doesn't force feed you with tons of exposition -- therefore not alienating longtime Batman fans. Characters are introduced and, for the most part, discussed in a fairly organic manner. It'll inform you who the character is, but not weigh you down with their entire history. Furthermore, Loeb displays a solid understanding of each character and does justice to their distinct personalities.

Speaking of the massive cast of characters, 'Hush' is sporting quite a few iconic moments in Batman's rich history. Here, we see our hero pushed to the edge against the Clown Prince of Crime and comes extremely close to crossing the line. His fight against Joker in 'Death of the Family' looked like a stroll in the park compared to this one. The image of Wayne's blood-soaked gloves is one you're sure to never forget.

And how could I not talk about the Superman fight? I dare to say this fight with the Man of Steel is second to only their encounter in Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. We all know Superman could obliterate Batman if he really wanted to, but Loeb places a key focus on why that'll never happen. People love abusing the image of Batman slugging Superman in the face, but I assure you Loeb's captions give both characters justice given the scenario. Simply put: it's a blast.

Red Hood fans, did you know this is the story that technically sees the return of the second Robin? Yes, Judd Winick's 'Under the Red Hood' is the story arc which revolves around his resurrection, but this tale has the little moments which buildup to it and are even reflected on down the road. And if you loathe the character, fear not because this is by no means a major part of the journey whatsoever.

Opinions are definitely mixed on the conclusion, but even if you're not a fan of how it all wraps up, it hardly diminishes the entire ride you'll experience. Filled with first-class artwork, immensely fun character battles featuring tons of familiar faces, an engrossing romance and solid writing, 'Hush' is a story every Batman fan needs to read at least once.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

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#1 Posted by mcgregorp (45 posts) - - Show Bio

love this story arc

#2 Posted by saoakden (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember reading this story. I love this story. Its in my top 5 favorite Batman stories. The art was amazing, the story was very interesting, the villain one of my favorite Batman villains. Now I think about it, there is a good chance that parts of this story is still canon and some of it isn't. Still its a good story to read.

#3 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

The Intermission Chapter <3333

#4 Posted by TeamUnitedNerds (402 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that this story is overrated. It just didn't do anything for me, and if it wasn't for Jim Lee's artwork, I doubt many people would like it as much

#5 Posted by ccraft (5202 posts) - - Show Bio

Hush is one of my favorite Batman arcs! But I don't like Jim's Joker though...

#6 Posted by Mucklefluga (2545 posts) - - Show Bio

Who hasn't read HUSH?, it is a must read for sure.

#7 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20146 posts) - - Show Bio

Wasn't the Jason Todd in Batman : Hush Clayface, but was hired when Hush and Jason had struck a deal?

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#8 Posted by texasdeathmatch (13171 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting...

#9 Posted by Pokeysteve (8250 posts) - - Show Bio

"Why You Shouldn't Read Hush" would have been a shorter article. One of the best Batman (Batman family) stories ever.

It had it all. Story, art, and mystery.

#10 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (14594 posts) - - Show Bio

I read it....TWICE.

#11 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7704 posts) - - Show Bio

Great story arc. Hush is easily in the top 10 Batman villains, pushed him to his limits and was like the anti-Batman

#12 Edited by k4tzm4n (40302 posts) - - Show Bio

@texasdeathmatch said:

Interesting...

Have you read it?

@Mucklefluga said:

Who hasn't read HUSH?, it is a must read for sure.

I'm sure there's still quite a few!

@YourNeighborhoodComicGeek said:

Wasn't the Jason Todd in Batman : Hush Clayface, but was hired when Hush and Jason had struck a deal?

During the second part of their fight, yes. It's later revealed (not in this story) that it was indeed Jason during the first part of the fight in the graveyard, though. This story also revealed that Jason's grave is now empty. *insert dramatic music here*

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#13 Posted by texasdeathmatch (13171 posts) - - Show Bio
@k4tzm4n: No, just diving into some of the Batman trades. Still have to read the Court of Owls one with him, but I'll have to add this to the list.
#14 Posted by SoA (4776 posts) - - Show Bio

i liked hush it had a good overall story , every gotham character was in it , and i love "anti-batman " characters . my only complaint : it gave rise to the Resurrection of jason todd . could've been a great villain (assassin with batman's training and secrets?) or could have been made to be a better anti-hero ,(RHATO has not impressed me ) i feel hush may have been over shadowed by the red hood arc that followed and that's a damn shame . a anti-batman who changes his face could do a whole lot of damage and really give batman hell.

#15 Posted by detective38 (177 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh pre-new 52 huntress I miss you...

#16 Posted by wessaari (622 posts) - - Show Bio

@YourNeighborhoodComicGeek: Jason was in hush, but was only officially added when Winnick wrote Red Hood. Jason is present when he first reveals himself but switches with Clayface. Not the best way to do things or reintroduce Jason, but its all done now. Im still glad that Winick thought that, because it inspired him to write Under the Red Hood, and give rise to the return of Jason Todd.

#17 Posted by sinestro_GL (3127 posts) - - Show Bio

Well this article is...11 years too late

#18 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the top Batman stories of all time...no longer canon obviously to what the current order of things are, but a must for any Dark Knight fan. And now Katz for me thet itle for this article should be "Why I should Re-Read Batman: Hush"...now Im off to reread!

#19 Posted by Billy Batson (57943 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope.
BB

#20 Posted by gregroyj42 (55 posts) - - Show Bio

I just read this about 6 months ago got it cheap digitally. I read it once and was not amazed by it, however the second time blew me away. Jason Todd is my favorite robin and I enjoyed that part of the story. The art was incredible and the story was solid.

#21 Posted by hyenascar (192 posts) - - Show Bio

why wouldn't you love Hush. Batman in actual peril. Punching Superman. Seriously screw Superman

#22 Posted by Z3RO180 (6454 posts) - - Show Bio

Read this....stop reading this and go dread hush as in NOW

#23 Posted by dondave (36474 posts) - - Show Bio

The first Batman story that I actually liked

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#24 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

@saoakden: top 5? year one is better, black mirror better, rip better, tdkr better, batman and robin reborn better, long halloween better, killing joke, arkham asylum etc...

#25 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20146 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: @wessaari: Oh yeah I forgot about that. Thanks for clearing that up.

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#26 Posted by xxxddd (3572 posts) - - Show Bio

@mcgregorp said:

love this story arc

#27 Edited by xxxddd (3572 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

This story also revealed that Jason's grave is now empty. *insert dramatic music here*

Didn't Todd dig out the grave with his finger nails then was trained by Talia?

If so, what book am I referring to? I remember reading some "prelude" or "lost years" arc that wasn't the Red Hood.

#28 Posted by iceslick (780 posts) - - Show Bio

My first jump on point in reading comic books!! Love this series and I still have every single issue in print in good mint condition!!! I also have all the toys based on that series! :-)

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#29 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

Everything about the Hush storyline was entertaining except for Hush.

I prefer The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.

#30 Edited by NICKXH (238 posts) - - Show Bio

I think this was the first Batman story I actually read from start to finish. I wonder if Hush will make a return in the New 52.

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#31 Posted by TDK_1997 (14685 posts) - - Show Bio

Because the story was just good and entertaining.It had weak points but it was making you interested more and more with every single issue.

#32 Posted by Grey56 (748 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mucklefluga said:

Who hasn't read HUSH?, it is a must read for sure.

This was my knee jerk response. I don't know many folks whom haven't read it that I've encountered. It is quality stuff.

#33 Posted by Trevel8182 (751 posts) - - Show Bio

My Favorite Batman story to bad I remember it more as Jeph Loeb's last good story.

#34 Posted by Queso6p4 (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

@TeamUnitedNerds said:

I think that this story is overrated. It just didn't do anything for me, and if it wasn't for Jim Lee's artwork, I doubt many people would like it as much

Fair enough. I do think it was decent overall. Jeph Loeb needs to only stick to Batman stories.

@sinestro_GL said:

Well this article is...11 years too late

Haha! When I read the title I mentioned that to my friend. I said "This came out over a a decade ago."

#35 Posted by AngeTheDude (157 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think of HUSH as a crime thriller but as a "Hollywood summer blockbuster" kind of read.

#36 Edited by k4tzm4n (40302 posts) - - Show Bio

@Queso6p4 said:

@TeamUnitedNerds said:

I think that this story is overrated. It just didn't do anything for me, and if it wasn't for Jim Lee's artwork, I doubt many people would like it as much

Fair enough. I do think it was decent overall. Jeph Loeb needs to only stick to Batman stories.

@sinestro_GL said:

Well this article is...11 years too late

Haha! When I read the title I mentioned that to my friend. I said "This came out over a a decade ago."

@sinestro_GL said:

Well this article is...11 years too late

"Why You Should Read" is a weekly segment where the staff alternates recommending different stories we love. Age is totally irrelevant. Tony covered Secret Wars, Mat covered Y: The Last Man, and next week I believe Sara will select something else. While most Batman fans have obviously read this by now, there's still plenty of people who haven't. I really wanted to come out of the gate with a Batman story and Hush immediately came to my mind. As I write more and more of these I'm sure I'll start picking lesser known stories. For example, I'll eventually want to recommend Bane's story in Azrael's title.

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#37 Posted by saoakden (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batnandez: Those are good stories but I like Hush better than some of those stories. I said it was in the Top 5 I didn't say what number it was on.

#38 Posted by dmkicksballs13 (110 posts) - - Show Bio

To the 5 Batman comic fans who haven't read Hush:

It's not essential reading. Lee's artwork is awesome in this and the back story with Eliot and Bruce is entertaining and necessary, but other than that, everything is a mixed bag. It tried too hard to include every citizen of Gotham (bad or good), Hush is barely a part of it, The Joker is way too goofy in this arc, and the Catwoman drama is way too forced. Seriously Batman decides to tell Catwoman he is Bruce, and 10 issues later they "break-up".

#39 Posted by Lord_Pyre (9 posts) - - Show Bio

I read this a while back and didn't like it at all. It never really felt like a mystery to me. Felt just like a cheap reason to throw in as many bat characters in one book. I dunno, maybe I'll reread it, but I certainly wasn't impressed the first time around.

#40 Posted by SmashBrawler (5625 posts) - - Show Bio

Hush was a lot of fun. Sure, it wasn't anything deep and Hush himself sucked, but I enjoyed it.

Who's behind it all and what does everyone hope to accomplish? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out, won't you?

And right next to this: "Dig Deeper into Hush Thomas Elliot is a renowned surgeon and childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. A meticulous planner, Elliot resents the fact that Bruce's father thwarted his plot to murder his parents. Aware of Bruce Wayne's secret identity, and assuming the identity of criminal mastermind Hush, he sets out to destroy Batman."

Sorry, I thought this was kinda funny :P

#41 Posted by HushoftheWind (889 posts) - - Show Bio

Just like to point it out that i DID NOT get my name from this story arc, i've been going by Hush since Dreamcast.

Now that that's out the way, this arc was amazing. If not for the story itself, definitely for the artwork. Jim Lee pretty much set the standard on drawing Batman/Bruce the others such as Superman, Nightwing, Catwoman, ect.

#42 Posted by SynCig (412 posts) - - Show Bio

I absolutely love this story. As stated, the art is beyond incredible and the plot is quite entertaining. My favorite aspect of the arc was the Batman and Catwoman relationship.

#43 Posted by k4tzm4n (40302 posts) - - Show Bio

@SmashBrawler said:

Hush was a lot of fun. Sure, it wasn't anything deep and Hush himself sucked, but I enjoyed it.

Who's behind it all and what does everyone hope to accomplish? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out, won't you?

And right next to this: "Dig Deeper into Hush Thomas Elliot is a renowned surgeon and childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. A meticulous planner, Elliot resents the fact that Bruce's father thwarted his plot to murder his parents. Aware of Bruce Wayne's secret identity, and assuming the identity of criminal mastermind Hush, he sets out to destroy Batman."

Sorry, I thought this was kinda funny :P

Wow, that's priceless.

AVERT YOUR EYES TO THE FEATURE ONLY, NEW READERS!

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#44 Posted by Novemberx2 (431 posts) - - Show Bio

i actually think this a terrible story...

#45 Posted by CodyRADkinson (8 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n This was the first batman graphic novel I ever read and I loved it! What other Graphic Novels would you recommend?

#46 Posted by Mokey (188 posts) - - Show Bio

Remember when Jeph Loeb wrote that Batman story that featured a mysterious villain that was always one step ahead of Batman, had all his biggest rogues cameo-ing to pad the story and was 12 issues long?

What was it called again? The Long Halloween? Dark Victory? No, wait! Hush!

#47 Posted by Zblayde (4 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, you people don't know what the fuck you're doing. There are so many other Batman stories so much better than this crap.

#48 Posted by johnkmccubbin91 (3486 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this story, what got me into comics

#49 Posted by SmashBrawler (5625 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@SmashBrawler said:

Hush was a lot of fun. Sure, it wasn't anything deep and Hush himself sucked, but I enjoyed it.

Who's behind it all and what does everyone hope to accomplish? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out, won't you?

And right next to this: "Dig Deeper into Hush Thomas Elliot is a renowned surgeon and childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. A meticulous planner, Elliot resents the fact that Bruce's father thwarted his plot to murder his parents. Aware of Bruce Wayne's secret identity, and assuming the identity of criminal mastermind Hush, he sets out to destroy Batman."

Sorry, I thought this was kinda funny :P

Wow, that's priceless.

AVERT YOUR EYES TO THE FEATURE ONLY, NEW READERS!

LOL, I guess they're safe if they're reading this in forum format.

#50 Posted by Kesho_Ronin (209 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the best batman stories and one of the finest work of Jim Lee

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