Comics For Rent: Batman: Hush

Well I took Justice League vs Fatal Five off because I found it just OK and without much to say about. But I’m not taking one of the most ambitious, challenging adaptations off. Batman: Hush is one of the biggest graphic novels of the last 20 years. It’s been issued and reissued and reissued. Getting this 12 issue beast of a story told is a hell of a challenge. Was it nailed?

Batman: Hush (2019, 82 minutes)

Plot: Batman’s rogues gallery swarms after him in a wave of attacks, a wave that points to a mysterious new foe.

Source Material: Put aside the popularity of this story. How do I feel about Hush? I absolutely love it. It’s a breathless Batman epic that propels you through all of his friends and foes. Is it fan service heavy? Sure. But it’s solid. And I’m happy to say the film more or less follows it closely up to a certain point. Certain threads have to go to get it down to 82 minutes. Harvey Dent and Jason Todd both are left out. Then there’s the ending. This movie alters the ending of the original story rather dramatically. Fans will debate if it works but it’s the one major swerve. Still, this IS Hush up until then.

Animation: Man I’m hard on DC animation, especially on faces. It feels great to praise them this time. This is a step up. The film embraces the anime influence a bit more with far bolder character work. Action is breathtaking. Design work on Gotham kills. This doesn’t feel DTV.

Script: Ernie Altbacker had a painful task here, getting 12 twisting issues into one quick story. He pulls it off though, in no small part because he simplifies constantly. Cuts to the core. This is a Batman/Catwoman story and that’s the vital beating heart that it focuses on. As for the ending…I kinda love it. It really does simplify everything and makes it one clean tale. The film as a whole feels like a movie. Not like an extended tv show. A Batman fan who rents this gets a true experience.

Voice acting: The weak link sadly. It feels like pretty much all the voice actors were told to hit one aggressive note. Honestly Hush’s identity is mostly hidden due to that. Jennifer Morrison is just not an ideal Catwoman, a fact underlined when we get to briefly once more hear Rebecca Romijn’s bold Lois Lane. She’s a bit too weak. Jason O’Mara is fine as always as Batman but pretty generic.

Final verdict: 4.5/5. I rarely give half ratings but the voice acting and awareness of how divisive the ending is put it there. Personally, it’s a 5 and I can’t wait to rewatch it. This is the book.

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