How much can Hush hurt Batman and the people of Gotham? And is there a price that Batman has to pay to stop Hush? As always we begin with the cover, Red Hood is a look-out while Batgirl and Red Robin help Batman up from the wreckage. This is only an OK cover. It might be drawn well but the situation they are in I don’t feel that it is worth the cover.
We start the story with Julia stitching up Batman in the bat cave. Batman is badly beaten up but he still wants to go out and save the city. This is the Batman we know. He doesn’t care how badly he is hurt, he just wants to save his city. The blood and stitches on Batman doesn’t look like they got much attention in the drawing department. Red Hood, Batgirl and Red Robin tell Batman that he’s in shape to help the city and then ask him ‘What’s going on?’ The three heroes that brought back Batman also ask about Julia. This makes sense because only Red Robin met her. I’m glad we finally get to see the Bat Family working as a team again.
As Batgirl introduces herself to Julia, Red Robin expresses his frustration about the city going to hell. Ever since the death of the family story line, there’s been mistrust in the Bat Family and this could be the beginning of resolving that issue. Red Robin yells at Batman to give him information after which Batman tells the group that Hush is behind everything. Everyone in the group has the look of fear in their eyes showing that Hush has put fear in Batman as well as the rest of the family. I don’t know if this will give the Bat Family an advantage by knowing the enemy. The reason is Hush has put the Bat Family in a similar situation and almost won.
Red Robin tells Batman that he and the other two are going to do whatever is necessary to put an end to Hush. It’s interesting that Red Robin is taken a leadership role. Yes, he’s the leader of the Teen Titans but he has hardly worked with other Bat Family members. Julia asks Batman about Hush as Batman tells her to follow him. I wonder what Batman wants to show Julia. He could have easily just told Julia all about Hush. We cut Hush’s hideout where he is watching the destruction of Gotham as the mayor delivers a speech. This is a good speech trying to put the people of Gotham against Batman. We are shown how the army is getting involved and starting to put Gotham under martial law.
As we turn the page we discover that the mayor is not giving the speech, it’s James Bard. This is one of the biggest mistakes in all comics when they have a voice that is not connected to a body, we don’t know who is talking. Stephanie Brown watches this on her cell phone as she is riding on top of a prison bus. Wow, girl, you must have talent for being able to hang onto a bus while it is in motion and watch a video on your phone at the same time!
At the hospital Batman and Julia visit Alfred as Batman tells Julia that Hush was once his best friend. Batman looks hurt that Hush would betray him in such a way which is realistic. Batman tells Julia about Hush and his history. It looks like Bruce always knew that Hush was a bit weird but ignored it until high school. We learn that in high school, Hush pretended to be Bruce Wayne to get dates with girls. This is realistic and it shows that Hush really wanted to be like Bruce Wayne. It’s very common for people not to notice that someone is going down a dark path. We see why Hush has his face bandaged up and the start of his revenge plot against Batman. This makes sense why Hush is plotting against Batman. I have never read the original Hush story so I do not know if his origin has changed.
Batman ends his tale with telling Julia about his last encounter with Hush as we see a flashback to a fight. The drawing of Hush firing looks like he has four hands when realistically the artist is trying to show Hush waving his arms side to side. Julia asks Batman what her father would tell him. Batman realizes that he is not alone in this and he and Julia head back to the Bat cave. I love the fact that Julia can be serious in one page and comic relief in another page. People have more than one aspect to their character. After Batman realizes what he needs, Julia calls him ‘Master Bruce” lightening up the mood.
Stephanie Brown breaks into prison to question her Dad. She knocks out a guard and starts to violently interrogate her Dad. This incarnation of Stephanie Brown is much angrier and a bit more entertaining than the Stephanie Brown I used to read. Stephanie Brown shows her Dad a blog post but her Dad laughs then she finds out she has a hundred million dollar bounty on her head. 100 million dollar bounty? I don’t think even Han Solo had that much on his head. More to the point who would pay that much for a blogger vigilanty.
We cut back to the Bat Family to see a war between them and the cops as Batman tries to find Hush. This is a natural state of progression that I feel is moving the story along at a good pace. We return to the hospital where Doctors find out that Alfred is missing and we learn that Hush is masquerading as one of the doctors. I saw this coming. We all know if we read the original story of Hush that Hush is a master of disguise. It was only a matter of time when we would see Hush put that skill to use.
We end the story as Alfred wakes up in the Arkham Asylum at the mercy of the Joker’s daughter. This scene comes out of a horror movie and is not a situation I would ever want to go through. This issue is very good at explaining how bad the situation has become and who knows what fall-out Gotham will experience.