Batman: Hush (2002) by Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee

Hush came highly recommended to me, and while there were a lot of individual parts I really liked, I thought it was ultimately a real mess and failure of a story. As a highlight reel of various parts of the Batman mythos, it’s great, but as a cohesive story in its own right, it’s just a mess.

I really liked the art, and the premise is a strong one. There are many individually strong scenes (the Batman/Superman fight, much of the Batman/Catwoman romance, some of the flashback sequences), but they lack the context to make them properly meaningful rather than just another “ooh” moment.

The Batman/Superman fight in The Dark Knight Returns works so well because of how it plays into themes and characterisations that have been built up powerfully over the course of the entire story. The Batman/Superman fight here literally means nothing – not only is there no set-up for it, it’s handwaved with a mind control excuse, so it lacks any and all meaning.

This is emblematic of the entire comic. Cool moments, but meaningless and empty. It’s a fun ride, but an unmemorable one.

I give it two fighting superheroes, and a convoluted backstory.


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