Oh yeah! I 100% think Jason Todd’s revival is due to Hush. I know at the end of that issue where they made it look like Jason had returned, I was hyped out of my mind and even telling normies about it. I think DC saw fan reaction and had a light bulb moment.
As someone who went in knowing who the villain was ahead of time, I think the mystery is less interesting as a whodunnit and more as a howdunnit. Loeb’s writing is a little gimmicky, but all the moving parts make it really engaging to try to figure out the solution.
I actually just finished the story last night. It’s been sitting on my shelf for quite awhile. I too felt underwhelmed. The art left quite a lot to be desired. I much prefer Greg Capullo’s art in the Court of Owls storyline. While I liked the tension in the Batman/Catwoman relationship, I found the constant narration obnoxious at times. The mystery is non-existent. I guessed it immediately. Also, all the little twists were ham-handed and predictable. Some of the rogues gallery was fun, but some of them came off forced and their time on-page was way to brief and didn’t accomplish anything with furthering the plot.
I like how it’s a showcase of Batman’s world, through Batman’s eyes. I knew who Hush was before I read this, so I was more interested in the relationships and just seeing the story unfold. Whether Red Hood was planned before or after this hit shelves, seeing Jason Todd was definitely a hype worthy moment for me. Also, the Riddler is my favorite Bat villain, so I was excited at the end. I’d never been a big Batman/Catwoman fan, but I generally liked their relationship here.
I believe Judd Winnick, who wrote Under The Red Hood, has said that that moment in Hush is what got him thinking about bringing Jason back for real. I know in that story he did retcon it that Jason was there and at one point he switched places with Clayface.
Oh yeah, he did, didn’t he? It’s been a long time since I read Under the Hood.
I love Hush, and won’t apologize for it. It’s really the book that got me into comics years ago. It’s not my favorite Batman story but I think it deserves a lot of praise.
Something it doesn’t get enough praise for is being a great history lesson for new readers. Hush could be your first book and you’d be able to follow it, understand it, and close it having a pretty good idea of most of the historic bullet points, villains, and allies.
I think the inner monologue is great and necessary for Batman. Batman is a character that shouldn’t talk much. The inner dialogue is what allows Batman to maintain his stoic presence while still getting bits of Bruce’s thoughts and personality. Plus it gives stories more of that lovely noir vibe that I think should be present in any decent Batman story.
Without the inner monologue you have the problem of characters speaking their thoughts and story exposition out loud, a problem with older books (and still some modern ones). I prefer the modern way. It feels more natural and more appropriate for Batman.
IMO (you don’t have to agree with me), a good creative team’s job on a comic is to be able to show you how a character is feeling through well-written dialogue and drawing that professes the emotions of the characters. Narrative captions like the ones in Hush (and there is a way to do them correctly, BTW), are telling, not showing. And that gets old to me real fast.
I get what both Batwing and Matches are saying, and I think there’s room for both approaches. The show don’t tell strategy is basically law with film, but comic books don’t give you quite as much information. Great story tellers can still use the medium to its fullest to convey a great deal of information without and captions, and sometimes that’s great for stories, but it’s not always ideal. On the flip side, we have books that generally have a lot of internal monologue or narrator who can give us some idea what characters are thinking, and this too can be an excellent way to tell a story. I think there are advantages and room for both approaches. As long as it doesn’t get to the old 80’s and earlier approach of describing every single action, I’m okay with it.
Thats another thing though. Comics are a product of their time, and I’d say the oughts were when comics began transitioning from the internal monologue to more show don’t tell. It can still be against your personal tastes, but in the scope of it’s time, these weren’t really faults. It would be like reading a 70’s story and accusing it of being to happy and campy. Why is Batman walking on the street in broad daylight? Well, that’s what he did at the time.
To me, it’s more about the marriage between the art, spoken dialogue, and the narration. The dialogue just gets clunky without narration, or you miss out on some of the internal character struggles and development. It also feels a little closer to a written novel and gives you a bit more depth and context, which I prefer.
…and just like when dialogue can over written with out that internal narration the art can also be over drawn to make it overly obvious certain emotions that characters are feeling. Nothing’s worse than seeing Batman with wide eyes and gaping jaw to illustrate that Batman is “surprised”. Batman doesn’t get surprised. And if he does, he certainly wouldn’t show it. That internal narration allows for more subtleties in the writing and the art.
I also think part of that is if you’re going to go no narration and have it just what the characters are speaking, you have to have an artist who is VERY expressive with the way they draw facial and body expressions. Jim’s pretty good at that, but not the greatest, and I think without at least some narration a lot of the inner character stuff would have been lost in translation.
You nailed it with your comment on it being easy to follow for new readers. Hush was the first complete series I read, and at no point did I feel lost or confused. I had read some random single issues prior (mostly Harley Quinn one shots), but that was it. It’s definitely a great gateway comic.
Exactly. And that’s really saying something, considering how many characters it incorporates from Batman’s (and greater DC’s) world.
It covers all three Robins very effectively. You understand who they are, where they’ve been, and their personalities. That’s just one example but pretty significant, especially for when Hush came out.
Matches, I love what you said about Hush being a history book, a comic first-time comic readers can pick up as their first book. I hadn’t considered that. I think long-time Batman fans kind of take that for granted sometimes.
Oh thanks. It was great for me when I started reading. Now I actually prefer smaller Batman stories with a more focused cast of characters but at the time it was just what I wanted and needed. It made diving into the other stories much more manageable.
Truth be told I wasnt a fan of hush
At the time reading it it was a major revelation when we thought jason Todd was back. That month between issues of that reveal had a lotta people going nuts. Then the next issue reveal came. The mystery isn’t that great but it was a fun ride reading it at the time. And awesome Jim lee art every month was great.
I really liked Hush when it came out. I didn’t take it to seriously, I read it to see if what I was thinking could happen would happen. I enjoyed all the art and I took it as a fun ride through Batman’s part of the DC Universe.
I will always give it a thumbs up.
I enjoyed Hush when it was first released and picked up every issue to see how this mystery would play out…but as it went on, I got less and less into it.
Two things got to me:
The Riddler’s sudden role in the finale. It felt tacked on. We’re asked to believe not only is he the mastermind, not only did he tell Tommy who Batman really was, but he was also dying of cancer and used a Lazarus Pit to save himself? That’s a lot to take in at once!
The “reveal” of Tommy as Hush. I think my issue is more with the execution of it than anything else. I don’t mind that Tommy was Hush. That’s kind of cool given they made us care about him during the series. My problem is more the ending where he’s shot twice and falls into the water. We didn’t get that big unmasking scene (though to be fair, it would’ve been weird to do that after “Jason” undid the bandages a couple issues before) and we didn’t get confirmation. I know this probably wasn’t Loeb and Lee’s intention, but at the time it felt to me like they were saying “Well, you gotta wait for the sequel to see what happens next!”
I’ve gone back to Hush recently. I still don’t think it’s a great story and I feel it’s a little overhyped but I can also divorce myself from my feelings on the story and enjoy it for what it is: a showcase for Jim Lee’s take on Batman and his Rogue’s Gallery.