We now interrupt our scheduled Dragon Con build up coverage to bring you…
Batman: Hush. My first thought when I saw the title was about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hush was one of the best episodes, and one of my very favorites. My second thought was that someone was telling Batman to be quiet. This led to a voice in my head saying “Batman, shut yo mouth” followed by giggling in public to myself. I was at a Redbox in Publix at the time so I’m sure that looked weird to people. I’m certain I looked like a crazy person, but I don’t really care. I frequently crack myself up, and if you ever see my laughing alone in public just ask if you want in on the joke. I’m hilarious, and it’s sad that I’m so often the only one who knows it. What was I talking about? Oh yeah.
I watched cartoons much longer than I probably should have. I was in my 20’s when I started really paying attention to Batman cartoons. I doubt I was the demographic they were going for, but I just didn’t get into the 60’s show the way that some people did. I enjoy camp and all, but even with my limited reading of DC I knew that Batman was supposed to be more serious than that. When Mr. Husband and I were roommates with Dave I read a bunch of his comics, and liked the more heavy-handed tone of the stuff he had. I was spending my money on Nintendo games at the time, and only had so much disposable income so I wasn’t up for buying my own comics. As an aside: it’s amazing to me to think of how little money I made, how many of us were splitting the bills, and how cheap our place was at the time and to have felt like I was always broke. If I could stand the idea of living with more people at this late stage of my life I’d rip out this “office” and get a roommate in a heartbeat. As it is, I’m far too old to think of putting up with other people for very long. Mr. Husband is lucky he was grandfathered in. Whew, that was a very long aside.
Since the early 90’s the best Batman has been an animated Batman. Starting with Batman: the Animated Series through Batman Beyond, and from The Batman to animated features like Batman: Bad Blood. I think it’s safe to say that cartoon Batman is better than a lot of live action Batman movies. They aren’t all winners (I wasn’t thrilled with The Killing Joke), but enough of them were so good that they made Batman Forever look even worse than it really was. Now there’s a new animated movie out, and it’s good. Very good.
Batman: Hush is based on comics I haven’t read because I don’t really read comics anymore. I also probably wouldn’t read DC comics if I did. Since I didn’t know the story in advance the twists all caught me by surprise. I will say that although the first big twist was good, the second (and larger) twist felt rushed. It’s hard to get too into that without spoiling things, but it just felt unearned. I was surprised, but only in a “huh, didn’t see that coming” sort of way. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t built to in a way that felt right.
Even if you have read the comics it’s still well worth watching. Everyone is in this damn thing. Superman and Lois Lane, The Joker and Harley, Poison Ivy, Bane, Clayface, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Damian Wayne (who isn’t growing on me at all), and likely more that I missed when I took a bathroom break. There’s even a montage of Batman and Catwoman fighting The Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Two-Face. I’m just never going to be a Nightwing fan. I’m sorry, he’s always going to be “Bitchwing” to me. “I’m an adult, and it’s time to strike out on my own” is far less effective if you’re still hanging around the Batcave all the damn time. Does Bruce not pay him a living wage? Was he too spoiled growing up to get a day job? Seriously, if you want to be out on your own then the first step is the “out” part.
And everyone is voicing this damn thing too. Jason O’Mara is about to catch up on Kevin Conroy’s record for most times appearing as Batman in an animated film. While O’Mara is fine, I kind of don’t want that record beaten. I’ve been watching Batman cartoons too long to not be emotionally invested in Kevin Conroy. I do sort of wish they’d brought Mark Hamill back as The Joker if for no other reason than I don’t want The Killing Joke to be the last thing I hear of him in that role. There’s also Sean Maher (of Firefly fame), Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell (who probably isn’t a selling point), Rainn Wilson, and that guy from SuperTroopers who says “the snozzberries taste like snozzberries”. I guess for a lot of people it’s a who’s who of “who?”, but there a bunch of people in this that I was surprised to hear (or later read were in it. Thanks IMBD).
I’m trying hard to be vague about the plot since maybe not all of you read or remember the comics, and it did come out pretty recently. I’m sure it was On-Demand, but it just got to Redbox last weekend. I’ve gotten shafted by DC cartoons before so I’m really only renting them from Redbox now (looking at you Justice League vs. Teen Titans). If you can’t be bothered to hit a Redbox then Batman: Hush is worth the price of rental from another outlet. I don’t know if Amazon rentals are cheaper than On-Demand, but it’s worth it. I got to see a different Batman than I’ve seen in previous cartoons, and I liked it. It’s more mature, but not in a “mature themes” sort of way like The Killing Joke. Did I mention I didn’t like that one? But yes, Batman: Hush is worth your $2, $6, or even $7 for a rental.
Now come back next week as I finish off my pre-Dragon Con coverage with where and when you can find me and the rest of the Needless Things crew during the con. See if you can catch me giggling to myself like an idiot about something only I can hear. That makes me sound scarier than I actually am, but you get the idea.