Bruce Timm just loves making fans happy. During the premiere of Justice League: Gods and Monsters at San Diego Comic-Con, Timm, in response to a fan’s question, said that Alan Moore & Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke would be the next animated adaptation for the DCU.
For those not familiar with The Killing Joke, it’s one of the darkest and most profound stories ever written about Batman… or anyone, really. The story is about how one REEEEALLY bad day can turn even the sanest person crazy. Some of Batman’s most popular lore is portrayed in The Killing Joke – even though it isn’t part of the Batman monthly series. Joker’s origin story, Barbara’s paralysis, and the intimate relationship between the Joker and Batman are all explored here.
DC Animated has gotten more and more brazen with their animated films, which have increased in violence and adult content since 2008’s Justice League: The New Frontier. If DC wants to stay true to the source material, and so help them they better, they’re going to have to break a lot of the unspoken rules about their animated movies; nudity, torture, and nude torture are all apparent in The Killing Joke.
Also announced were:
“Batman: Bad Blood” — An original Batman story that features the introduction of Batwoman to the new line of animated films.
“Justice League vs. Titans” — Another original story and the first of the DC Universe Original Movies to feature the Teen Titans.
Mark Hamill (who has “retired” the Joker… then lied about it and returned to Arkham Knight) has taken it upon himself to campaign to play the Joker in this adaptation via Twitter. Who wouldn’t want to see he and Conroy team up for this classic tale?
The film won’t be released until sometime in 2016. While you’re wiping the drool off your chin, remember that DCUA’s next film, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, will be released in just a few short weeks (July 28th).
Big news! Spider-Man is FOR SURE going to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Straight from the big wigs themselves. Source: Marvel
This news has already caused a ripple in the release dates for four major films in the next couple years. Source: Marvel
If you know Hush, you know we love all things Breaking Bad. That’s why we jumped for joy when we found out that Better Call Saul had the highest ratings EVER for a series debut on cable television. You can read our reviews here. Source: EW
You knew the Joker was coming to Gotham, but now there’s a trailer to confirm it. Source: Comicbook.com
A trailer for the upcoming animated series, Batman Unlimited, has hit the web. Source: Cosmic Book News
Don’t cry, Walking Dead fans, Beth (highlight text for SPOILER) may be gone from the show but you can see Emily Kinney again on The Flash, where she will play the Bug-Eyed Bandit. I hope we see more of Kinney in the Nerd Verse. Source: Instagram
IDW Publishing and Hasbro have rekindled the fire and extended their contract, allowing IDW to create books based on the Transformers, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Dungeons and Dragons franchises, and more! Source: IDW
Looking for a much darker incarnation of Daredevil to appear on the Netflix series? You’re in luck! The series’ homepage shows that it will be rated TV-MA. Source: Netflix
Remember when Patrick Stewart said he wouldn’t be in X-Men: Apocalypse? Well, there was a catch. Seems that his best bro Ian McKellen will be in the movie. Yaaaay! Source: Oregon Live
Artist(s): Jim Lee (X-Men, Superman: Unchained, WildC.A.T.S.), Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair (inker and colorist, respectively, that work with Lee)
SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):
Storyline – 10
Art – 10
Captivity and Length – 10
Identity – 10
Use of Medium – 9
Depth – 10
Fluidity – 8
Intrigue/Originality – 10
The Little Things – 9
Overall awesomeness – 10
DISCLAIMER: I will start this by saying that Batman: Hush is hands-down my favorite graphic novel ever. It’s the second graphic novel I ever read and, ultimately, what inspired me to delve deeply into the world of comics. I have two tattoos dedicated to what this book means to me and it’s part of the inspiration behind our name, Hush Comics. That being said, I will try not to blow too much smoke up your butts, because if you haven’t read it for yourself, I don’t want to ruin the experience.
Batman: Hush uses the entire spectrum of the Batverse to tell a sophisticated story about the emergence of a new cerebral villain into the Rogues Gallery and explores the quasi-romantic relationship between Batman and Catwoman. Hushalso marks the return of one of Bruce Wayne’s wards, whose previous death marked his greatest failure as the Batman. It spans the length of twelve issues to tell its story, twice as long as traditional six-issue story arcs; with a plot as involved as this one, this allows Loeb space to create a non-formulaic, dynamic graphic novel. This is also a book that both seasoned comic nerds and people new to comics can be receptive to. Hush does a great job of not making you feel like an idiot because every scene portrays the adequate background information to understand what is going on – something that is the exception more than the rule in comics nowadays.
I always feel that writers of Batman books have an automatic leg up because the Batman of the last twenty years always has the answers, always knows what to do, and the writer usually coasts on it. Jeph Loeb takes the task one step further and helps you identify with the man behind the mask. You realize that Batman has been through a lot of trauma and stress, and although he’s the most badass superhero on the planet on the outside, he still struggles with the same things we do: who to love, who to trust, etc. This vulnerability is accomplished by a steady flow of personal monologue that narrates each panel with Bruce’s (sorry, spoiler?) inner thoughts. Each character, and there are a lot of them, has a distinct voice and personality. Long-time fans will also take note that the cast is scripted quite well. Nothing seems out of place or character in the writing and there is enough suspense to keep the reader from knowing what will happen next. The new villain is cunning and knows just where to hit Batman to make it hurt. This type of strategical villain with a large cast hasn’t been portrayed this well since Bane in Batman: Knightfall.
The artwork from the legendary Jim Lee is what really won me over here. Jim Lee, now co-publisher of DC Comics, constructs vividly detailed panels that range from small transitional fight scenes to full-page beauties like the one below (Kissing the Knight). Lee’s team, Alex Sinclair, color, and Scott Williams, ink, add to the already beautiful pencilwork. The team switches up colors and even mediums throughout the book when it suits the mood, helping the reader transition between scenes. All of Lee’s drawings are crisp and have an edgy yet realistic appearance. With so much detail spent on each panel, Jim Lee and his team guide the reader through a completely immersive environment.
Batman: Hush can be viewed as a stand-alone story, but fits in the old Batman continuity pretty nicely. Since launching The New 52 in 2011, DC has pretty much abandoned any continuation of the Batman-Catwoman romance (except for two awful smut-filled issues of The New 52 Catwoman) and there hasn’t been an appearance of Hush in any titles yet. Don’t let this discourage you from reading though, as there is tons of dialogue and events that coincide with other milestones in past Batman publications. There are a few different books written with Hush as the main villain, most notably Hush Returns and Heart of Hush, but these do not boast the big time writers or artists that this book does, and the story feels a little forced in the romance department, but it’s still a decent read. Overall I’d say that while it reads best as a stand-alone story, there are enough bat-nuances to make you want to get deeper into the Batman lore.
General Reception: You will find Batman: Hush on DC Entertainment’s Essential Graphic Novels list and it’s for good reason. An all-encompassing story that spans all of your favorite Batman villains, sidekicks and introduces enough new elements to tell a tale that both seasoned veterans and comic book rookies can all the same. The characters’ dialogue and actions seem familiar without giving away any of the plot twists throughout the book. There are a ton of different transitions in Hush, giving each scene a distinct ambiance by Jim Lee and his brilliant art team.
Related Books: Hush Returns, Heart of Hush, Faces of Evil/Hush Money and Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond (kinda).Hush also makes appearances in videogames LEGO Batman 2 and Arkham City. Batman: Hush has recently been repackaged in Batman: Hush Unwrapped, featuring the sketch-work of Jim Lee. I wouldn’t recommend buying this version first, but if you read Hush the first time through and fall in love with Jim Lee’s art like I did, it’s a sensible purchase. Published in 2011, Absolute Batman: Hush is a completely over-sized version of the original with all its glory. It’s loaded with extras but it’s pretty pricey, so I wouldn’t recommend this unless you are a big-time collector or really love the story.
More by the writer: In terms of Batman books, Loeb has written acclaimed mystery crime graphic novels Batman: The Long Halloweenand its sequel, Batman: Dark Victory. Loeb has also written Marvel books in the color-themed Daredevil: Yellow, Spiderman: Blue, Hulk: Greyand Captain America: White. He’s also worked on Superman/Batman, Hulk and Cable series.
More by the artist: If you’re looking for more recent Jim Lee work, look to the first two New 52 Justice League story arc and the ongoing Superman: Unchained. His most distinguished works are X-Men: Mutant Genesis, Alpha Flight and WildC.A.T.S., the latter being a series that he created when he left Marvel to help create Image Comics with the likes of Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and others.
DC’s Batman of The New 52 has been quite the thrill. The “Court of Owls” has been an emotional roller-coaster that has seen Batman at his most vulnerable against an enemy that has been his equal better than any since Bane in Knightfall. With the storyline coming to a close, writer Scott Snyder will turn to a familiar face for his next storyline – the Joker.
Joker’s last appearance was a pretty disturbing one in Detective Comics #1 where he had his face cut off with a scalpel. To add to the excitement, the name of this story arc is “Death in the Family.” Hardcore fans will recognize this title as the same arc that saw Joker murder the second Robin, Jason Todd. DC released this as the story description:
“He crippled Batgirl. He killed Robin. What will The Joker do next? And what must Batman do to protect his secret identity and that of those who fight alongside him?”
Considering Snyder’s recent history with Batman, as well as his acclaimed work on American Vampire and Batman: The Black Mirror, he and artist Greg Capullo have a vicious style and can, by all means, go “there.” October will be a promising month, following up on a slew of Issue #0’s that DC will be releasing in September. For now, here is the cover for the upcoming Batman #13, provided by IGN.