Saturday, July 12, 2008

Detective Comics #846 review

Batman RIP
Heart of Hush part 1: First Families of Gotham

Admittedly, I'm completely unfamiliar with Hush. I didn't realize this issue was centered around the character, so I had to hit up Wikipedia. Does it do a good job with the character? No clue. Did I like the issue? Well enough. It was certainly an improvement over the last issue, which ended as a major disappointment.

The issue starts with a guy being chased by dogs while a crime boss named Doctor Aesop reads the story of the boy who cried wolf. Catwoman comes to the rescue and it turns out the guy is Batman in one of his street thug identities. They have a little back and forth while Batman changes into costume and are off to put the beatdown on Doctor Aesop and his gang. Then we switch over to Hush, who is following them. Hush encounters a homeless guy and takes him into a bizarre "hostpial" Hush owns and is drugged and carted off for God knows what reasons. While Hush performs some plastic surgery on himself, he recounts his time as a boy when he cut the brake lines on his parents' limo, killing his father and disfiguring his mother. Forwarding past that, we're back to Doctor Aesop feeding one of his men to the lions before Batman and Catwoman come to bust his gang up. They save the guy, but Hush appears at the very end killing Doctor Aesop before threatening Batman and taking off.

Like I said, don't know Hush for shit. Some folks might be bored with this issue, but for me I thought it was a pretty welcome starter to this RIP tie-in. How it ties in is, well, debatable, but getting the opportunity to know Hush was very welcome. We get a chance to see Hush's relationship with his mother, who is described as a woman of humble origins who married up. His father was a boozer and womanizer, but his mother provided the intellectual grounding reading him lots of Aristotle. Course, the relationship seems largely one sided as the young Hush cares nothing for his parents. For me, this story also largely serves as a reminder that I really should pick up the Batman: Hush TPB. Or the Absolute Hush collection. Ooohhhh, a reason for a new Absolute book!

Nguyen does a solid job of the art again. Nothing flashy, though on page three Catwoman comes out sporting some insane camel toe. Do editors even bother with these things anymore?

The issue is all prologue. There is one thing to note, in Hush's hospital is a from...well, it doesn't say. It involves the finding of a young male child that Hush is looking for, so this is something that will play into an upcoming isue of this story. Otherwise, nothing major. I suppose this issue can be passed over for the most part, but for anyone unfamiliar with Hush it provides valuable background.


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