Gotham's Worst All Involved in Batman: Hush, on Blu-ray and DVD

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Batman Hush

The iconic Batman tour-de-force that served as a vehicle for Jim Lee's introduction to the DC Comics stable, HUSH, is the latest storyline to be adapted into the DCAU straight-to-DVD library, and scene omissions and straight-up plot changes, it's a largely enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes.

JASON O'MARA reprises his role of the Dark Knight in this adventure, pairing him up with Nightwing (SEAN MAHER) and Catwoman (JENNIFER MORRISON). It was this story that deepened the relationship that existed between the Bat and the Cat, a dynamic tension that carried forward until recently, until it was shattered by the wedding that never happened. Throughout the story, Batman leaps from one crisis to another, each involving a different villain, and each providing another piece of the puzzle to what's really going on. What starts out as a simple kidnapping and extortion plot by Bane turns to a mind control scheme of Poison Ivy's. But then we learn that someone is pulling Ivy's strings, and that this same person sets the Joker (JASON SPISAK) up for a murder he did not commit.

HUSH also introduces the character of Thomas Elliot (MAURY STERLING), a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's who is trying to re-establish relationships. Elliot played a very pivotal role in the HUSH story in the comics, and that role is greatly diminished in this animated adaptation. If you've read the story, then you understand what a tremendous impact that diminishment has to have on this version.

 

HUSH was a lengthy, detailed story that spanned months of comic book reading. Stories of that nature deserve something richer than the 90-minute movie adaptation. Comics are already a condensed storytelling medium, and condensing them further causes a loss. Maybe with the DC Universe streaming service gaining traction, we might start to see something along the lines of animated miniseries -- imagine HUSH being told as a series of 12 half-hour episodes of a single season. Now take that paradigm and apply it to things like CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS or non-canonical stories like CAMELOT 3000.

Of particular trivial interest, BATMAN: HUSH stars PEYTON LIST as Batgirl -- and PEYTON LIST as Poison Ivy. That's two distinctly different Peyton Lists, both currently "listed" separately on IMDb. This film is possibly the first time both have been credited in the same film together. (The latter Peyton List has been seen playing Ivy Pepper on GOTHAM.)

This release also includes the return of the DC Showcase shorts, this time featuring an animated adventure of SGT ROCK. And we get the sneak peek at the next DCAU film, which will be a WONDER WOMAN project, just in time for WONDER WOMAN 2 to hit theaters. The featurette "Love in the Time of War" explores the on-again/off-again romantic relationship between Bat and Cat.

BATMAN: HUSH is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday, August 5, 2019.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0