by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Jeph Loeb, Art by Jim Lee
Published: December 2002
The first “chapter” of what would later be compiled into the Batman Hush graphic novel immediately impresses me with its artwork. It’s just gorgeous, with a bleak colour scheme, as well as lots of interesting angles and POV shots from Batman himself. When Batman and Catwoman are flying through the city, it takes a turn for stunning.
I like Batman’s “voice” here, too. It’s contemplative and sombre, but not pretentiously so. His inner dialogue flows fairly effortlessly between making the reader aware of his tactical mind, but also sparing time to let his thoughts wander to places that give us a greater idea of who he is. It feels distinctly like Batman, not just any old wacko in a suit.
Despite this, there’s really not a whole lot to say about the story here. It seems to be mostly set-up, and to be fair, it does introduce several characters in engaging ways. There’s even a cute moment with a little boy moving from being frightened by Batman to being excited that he’s being rescued by Batman, and the issue uses that to explore the differences between Bruce Wayne and someone like Superman. Despite the fact that the story itself really isn’t anything that immediately grabs me, it still uses its time well, and the quick pacing is nothing to complain about.
While I’m not hugely intrigued by the plot just yet, the book does offer us a range of characters who grab my attention. It also offers great artwork and a really affecting, gothic atmosphere that I think is necessary for any good Batman series. There’s some grit and melancholy to it. This feels like a wounded, damaged, broken man in a wounded, damaged, broken city, and I’m more than willing to read on for these points alone.