Batman means a lot of things to a lot of people; the dark night, the caped crusader – but perhaps one of the most central title is “The World’s Greatest Detective.” Remember, Batman has no superpowers – just a lot of toys and a razor-sharp mind. A great Batman story plays to that strength – using his wits to solve a mystery.
With 320 pages of eye-opening graphics, this omnibus paperback collects the entire Batman: Hush saga. Already hailed as a comics classic, this graceful story arc pits the Caped Crusader against a mysterious, bandaged-faced maniac named Hush. Once again, Jim Lee’s drawings establish the taut intensity of Jeph Loeb’s narrative line.
Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb starts out with a series of mysterious events – Killer Croc running a scam that he’s too dumb to mastermind, Catwoman being in exactly the right place to steal a ransom, and someone snapping Batman’s rope causing him to nearly fall to his death. Coincidences begin to stack up, eventually leading Batman to nearly kill an “innocent” man out of pure rage.
There are a lot of surprises in the book, both good and bad. Batman reveals his identity to one person, has it uncovered by a nemesis, is betrayed by a friend, and finds a new ally in an old enemy. The Joker, The Riddler, Clayface, Catwoman, Harley, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Scarecrow, Harvey Dent, Lex Luthor, Ra’s al Ghul, Jason Todd, Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, Huntress, Superman and even the golden-age Green Lantern all make appearances in this book. The artwork is exceptional all the way through – by many measures, the book is epic.
At it’s core, Hush is a mystery. The one weakness I found in the book was in the final reveal – there were so many twists and turns that a few revelations were slightly muddy and left me wondering what really happened. But that’s the price you pay when you need to keep your audience guessing. I’d rate myself at about 60% knowledgeable on the Batman ethos, and there were several references I didn’t get – that may be a bit much for someone unfamiliar with the DC Universe. Overall I would recommend this book, but a real Batman fan will get a lot more out of it than a newcomer.