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Batman: Hush

01/10/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Batman: Hush in the USA - or Buy Batman: Hush in the UK

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Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee and Scott Williams. pub: DC Comics. 320 page softcover graphic novel. Price: $24.99 (US). $28.99 (CAN). ISBN: 0978-1-4012-2317-5.

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I’m not sure if this Batman graphic novel ‘Hush’ shouldn’t be called this because of the needed three uninterrupted hours required to read it. You’ll hate to be disturbed as the Batman has to unravel who is behind the scenes manipulating his enemies with fresh MOs to take him on. The list is a who’s who of his rogue’s gallery from Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Clayface, Harley Quinn, the Joker and the Riddler. None of them spare any quarter and even the likes of Catwoman, Superman and the Huntress are manipulated at one point or other in this epic-length tale originally printed in Batman # 608-619 in 2002 and reprinted in this album in 2009. If you missed it the first time then like me this is all new and it’s recommended you don’t give away too much to those who haven’t read it and urge them to get their own copy.

So what can I say about this story. Well, Batman finally shows the Catwoman who he really is. I had a real long think about this. Not so much because Catwoman is a former feline, nor for the fact that she isn’t the only one to know his real identity but she has the full deal. If she was that inquisitive, she could work out which of Bruce Wayne’s friends are also super-heroes. Although I doubt if she would use this information but even the Catwoman isn’t beyond being tortured or drugged and if it was suspected, then even she isn’t immune as witnessed in the opening parts of this story. That makes for a big responsibility for anyone.

The way the story jumps across from encounter to encounter doesn’t really give you the time to ponder on just who is the mastermind organising everything. As a monthly comic, you would probably have sufficient time to stop and think and even re-read a couple times to see if you can stay ahead of writer Geoff Johns but when it’s all neatly tied up in a page-turning graphic novel that luxury isn’t there. You even end up believing the false leads are the likely causes than given the opportunity to ponder on anyone else. Saying that, the final twist will be the last person you expect and does make for a satisfying read.

The art by Jim Lee and inked by Scott Williams and coloured by Alex Sinclair is top notch and there are copies of all the editions cover art as well as some sketchbook illustrations to make this worth owning. Hush now.

GF Willmetts

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