In the Batman: Under the Red Hood review I touched briefly on the Hush storyline. This movie is an adaptation of that story, but minus any trace of Jason Todd. And while Under the Red Hood was a pretty faithful adaptation, Hush decides to make some big changes at the end, and they are… a bit of a mixed bag.
Batman: Hush is about the introduction of the titular criminal mastermind. He knows Batman’s secret identity and is using a plethora of villains in his twisted game against the Dark Knight. Bane abducts a child for ransom money, which is stolen by Catwoman, which is delivered to Poison Ivy, who is working for Hush; that sort of stuff. Batman even has to fight a mind-controlled Superman, so the stakes are pretty high. Catwoman, free of Poison Ivy’s control, teams up with Batman and the two rekindle their romance, leading to Batman revealing his identity to her. And then we start deviating pretty hard…
In the comics, the storyline introduced childhood friend Thomas Elliot. He dies during the story, but it was a fake out! Working with the Riddler–who realized Batman’s identity when he took a dip in Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus Pit to cure his brain cancer, because comics are dumb–we find out that Tommy was Hush the whole time! The movie introduces Elliot, kills him, and then… keeps him dead. This time the Riddler is actually Hush. A brutal fight breaks out, and at the end Riddler is dangling close to death, kept alive only by Batman’s grappling hook. Catwoman cuts the cord, escapes with Batman, and the two have a falling out over his inability to change.
I have mixed feelings on the changes. Thomas Elliot was fleshed out more after Hush and ended up being a really great and threatening villain, so swapping him with Riddler just feels like the movie was trying to avoid the usual formula of “who is the mystery character; probably the person most recently introduced.” But the breakup between the Bat and the Cat was much better, since in the comics it was because he freaked out when she told him to “hush.” As for the movie it’s self, it was weirdly horny? They leaned into the PG-13 pretty hard. Also it really wants you to know that this is part of a series. Amanda Waller makes a cameo! Check her out in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay! Lex Luthor mentions he’s a Justice League member! Confused? Check out The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen! Where’s Damian Wayne during all this? Maybe watch Teen Titans: The Judas Contract to find out! We get it, guys, you’ve weaved together a more successful cinematic universe than the theatrical DC movies ever could, but maybe tone it down a bit…
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