Why you should read Batman: Hush

Loeb, Lee and Williams team up on the Batman story of the noughties.

I first read Batman: Hush in October 2004, and my reaction at the time was something along the lines of, “Bloody hell! They’ve gotten pretty bloody good at Batman.” Little did I know Hush was one of DC’s biggest titles in years and that not every artist was quite as talented as Jim Lee – Hush was something special, on the part of DC, an overblown event comic that appealed to fanboys but scored a serious amount of buzz thanks to the engaging mystery at the centre of it.

A new villain in the Bat-roster, Hush, is on the loose and drags the Dark Knight to each of his greatest villains. It’s a story that feels engineered around Jim Lee’s talents, almost an excuse to get him to pencil everything cool you could possibly think of – Batman fighting Superman, the Joker, Jason Todd (or is it?) and pretty much every iconic part of the Batman universe.

It isn’t contrived, though, more the equivalent of watching a big popcorn blockbuster as opposed to a story like The Long Halloween, which I suppose would be more of a crime noir thriller. Hush is a thrilling modern Batman story that’s also a great introduction to the character for new readers – if you’ve never picked it up, do so now. It remains one of Jeph Loeb’s better DC works.