‘Batman: Hush’ Review: A Classic Tale of Obsession, Improved By a Few Key Changes

/Film | 8/16/2019 | Eric Vilas-Boas
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“Deep down, he’s a good person, and deep down, I’m not,” Batman says as he’s about to fight his brainwashed pal Superman in the latest DC Animated Movie Universe release, Batman: Hush. There might not be a single line that better captures Batman’s simultaneously toxic self-loathing and self-mythologizing quite so succinctly in relation to his most hopeful (and much more socially-adjusted) friend and thematic foil.

It’s also such a casually badass Batman line that I couldn’t imagine a movie adaptation of the classic Batman: Hush comic, which was written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee, without it. The new film, directed by Justin Copeland from an adapted screenplay by Ernie Altbacker, is full of savvy pulls like this one and cuts alike, slimming a sprawling 12-part saga into a lean 80-minute feature. They preserve nearly all the key themes of the originally printed murder-mystery while making changes big and small along the way. (Small change: Batman wears a pair of kryptonite brass knuckles instead of a single kryptonite ring to fight Supes). Some of the biggest changes in the film’s ending even recontextualize Batman and Catwoman’s final moments of the story, but the film holds together fabulously nonetheless. Let’s talk about why.

Hush - Book - Story - Arc - Name

To understand Hush, you have to understand the comic book story arc of the same name, which ran from December 2002 through November 2003. Following a string of several years of continuity-laden major crossovers — Knightfall followed by Contagion, Legacy, and Cataclysm, followed by No Man’s Land, followed by Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive? — Hush served as an accessible reintroduction to the comic version of The Dark Knight. It told a finite story over 12 months in consecutive issues of the main Batman series, meaning it didn’t require much effort to follow. Along the way,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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