Detective Comics #846

Batman RIP is in full swing now and it’s starting to take shape across the whole Bat-Universe. Detective Comics got it’s first glimpse into Batman’s world this past week with the start of Heart of Hush; Part 1 First Families of Gotham. The one thing that has me upset about these entries is that the main story is taking place in Batman and we already have a Batman on the brink, this issue in Detective Comics has us going a few steps back, which means a readjustment for the storyline that we are enthused about. Other than that this is an excellent history that really serves as an Origin story of Hush, Dr. Thomas Elliot.

Paul Dini takes on the task of fitting this whole story arc into Grant Morrison’s vision for the future of the Dark Knight. The continuity wouldn’t even have been a problem on a normal basis for me and quickly overlooked if I did not know Grant Morrison was the one overseeing the direction of DC for all intents and purposes at the moment. His cavalier attitude for the handling of continuity issues with regards to Final Crisis is still in the forefront of my mind as well. However, I can’t take out my frustrations with Morrison on Mr. Dini because he crafts an excellent introduction for Hush into the Batman RIP story. Yes, I do mean excellent. Even though this is an Origin Story at its best, it is still an Origin Story and on any other day I would have felt wounded because I don’t need an issue telling me the Origin of Hush, but Dini does it in a magnificent way as he scrolls through the issue with intro and invite into the RIP story.

The issue opens with Batman in disguise infiltrating the criminal network of Doctor Aesop. Batman isn’t such a great criminal, he has foiled the plans of Dr. Aesop on three occasions by sounding alarms and the good Doc is not too happy so he is ready to teach the undercover Bat a lesson. In swings Catwoman to save the day, Batman decides to team up with the Cat to bring down Aesop’s gang; unbeknownst to him Hush is watching from a distance.

This is where the stories narrative gets real intriguing because this is where it really becomes an Origin story of how Hush attempted to kill his own parents. A little insight into the Elliot family and probably some childhood inkling for his bandaged appearance. His mom survived his little attempt at her death and was all wrapped up in bandages in the hospital. The good thing like I said though is that even though this is essentially an Origin story it is told in the forefront as a background to Hush’s reemergence. Hush has heard of the Black Hand’s intentions and he is there to make sure no one kills the Bat, not unless it is him, and he doesn’t want to team up with anyone to do so, he wants the victory to himself. Sound a little familiar? That’s because this has been the M.O. of the Joker for a while and reason enough the Batman has survived some near deaths on occasion.

Batman is made aware of Hush’s return and his intentions when he and Catwoman are invading Aesop’s gang. Aesop fleeing the scene is shot down by Hush. Hush tells Batman his death is only at his hands and no one else’s and he has returned to ensure just that. It is definitely an interesting tale that Dini wove in this Origin story and made it interesting enough. My only question is why am I enjoying everyone else’s work within the DCU right now and not Morrison? I have never really been a fan, but why is he spearheading this project and not someone like Geoff Johns who is doing an excellent job all across the DCU.

The art on this issue was not my taste, but that isn’t to say it was horrible, just not the artistic direction I like. I am more a Benes, Turner, Lee style fan, but I realize good art when I see it, this just isn’t it for me. I would have liked darker tones with richer colors, especially when depicting Hush. It’s real easy to make Batman darker at this point in his history because he is just against a Black background in the night all the time, but let me feel Hush’s mysterious presence. This is a man who knows Bruce’s secret life. I wanted to feel that in the art and it just wasn’t there for me as it was in other portrayals of the character.

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