Writer: Jeph Loeb; Penciller: Jim Lee; Inker: Scott Williams; Letterer: Richard Starkings; Colorist: Alex Sinclair;
The star-studded Hush storyline comes to an epic conclusion in Volume 2 and it does not disappoint. It’s a sprint to the finish as the stakes are raised higher and higher in the second half of the story.
Operas. Why do they always end in tragedy? Bruce is just looking for a night out with his buddy and it ends with a BANG…
…and the death of Dr. Thomas Elliot, Bruce’s childhood friend and recent savior after his near fatal fall earlier in this arc. Tommy’s death pushes Bruce to the brink of killing The Joker and fially ridding his family of the villain the world would be best off without. It takes a few tries but Batman is brought back to reality by his friends. The search for the mastermind behind the recent chaos reengages and Batman emerges refocused knowing The Joker is innocent in this case.
“It’s someone new. Or someone old trying something new.”
There are actually some insightful comments throughout Hush on Batman’s assessments of his extended family. There are thoughts on Oracle, Huntress, but most notably all of the Robins. He points out how Dick was drawn to Robin for the thrill. He was a showman and belongs the in the center of the stage. Jason Todd never had the skills Dick possessed, just his rage, but, to him, Robin was a game. And that is what got him killed at the hands of The Joker. Then Tim Drake, the current Robin (at the time) soughtout the role of Robin. He wanted to be Robin. He yearned to fill this role in Batman’s life and he actually figured out Batman’s secret identity on his own. He’s the closest to the future world’s greatest detective as there could be.
I don’t want to dive too deep into the particulars of this volume because it hits the ground at breakneck speed. We have identity reveals two-fold, four-fold actually, and the final panels of the ever-analytical Bruce Wayne tie a somber bow onto the life of The Bat and the life that he leads. Also, each player in this game of chess is selected to fill a specific role by it’s architect. All is revealed in the end and it is a work of art.
I will, however, conclude with this quote from early in Volume 2 that eludes to the real mastermind and upon second reading it stands out as just a legitimate jaw dropping line with a massive amount of foreshadowing.
“I think about Edward Nigma and the life he has had as The Riddler. Where once his obsessive need to leave riddles as clues would confound me, everything about him has become routine.”
The Riddler has always been a favorite of mine, and he does make a couple appearances. They are impactful but short.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy Hush as much as I did. If you missed part one of this review, click here. Unfortunately I have to return Volume 2 to the library now. It’s overdue.