Batman: Heart of Hush

By Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs (DC Comics)
ISBN: 978-1-4012-2123-2, softcover 978-1-84856-214-1

Paul Dini once more proved himself the very best of contemporary Batman writers with this chilling, suspenseful epic of love and obsession featuring Bruce Wayne’s ultimate adversary Tommy Elliot, a boyhood friend as twisted by his own mother’s malign influence as the boy Bruce was transformed by the murder of his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Eminent surgeon Elliot became the sadistic and obsessive Hush to obtain vengeance on Bruce Wayne; his boyhood friend and companion but one who had been perpetually held up to him as a perfect example of a son by Elliot’s disabled and deranged mother. Now in this intriguing and affecting collection, reprinting Detective Comics #846-850 we gain a deeper insight into Batman’s dark doppelganger and the succession of tragedies that made him.

The stunning saga opens with ‘First Families of Gotham’ with occasional allies Catwoman and Batman tackling theme villain Doctor Aesop, unaware that the malignant, murderously patient Elliot is watching their every move. As telling slices of his ghastly childhood are presented the crazed doctor concludes the final preparations for his greatest scheme of vengeance…

In ‘The Last Good Day’ more memories of Elliot’s school days with young Bruce Wayne counterpoint the targeting of Robin, Zatanna and Nightwing as the entire Batman Family come under Hush’s meticulous and malicious gaze and the villain prepares a perfect trap for Batman with the terrifying assistance of Dr. Jonathan Crane – the Scarecrow…

Batman is forced to confront the greatest chink in his heroic armour in  ‘Heartstrings’ and Catwoman is struck down and made the ultimate hostage via a grotesque surgical strike, pushing the Dark Knight to the edge of reason and brink of death in ‘Scars’

When the finally part of the plan culminates in Tommy Elliot becoming Bruce Wayne the scene is set for a spectacular confrontation with neither combatant quite sure who is the hero and who ‘The Demon in the Mirror’

With a vast assembly of guest-stars and visiting villains, Heart of Hush finally elevated the previously over-hyped and uninspiring Tommy Elliot to the first rank of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Fast, furious, genuinely scary and powerfully this is a masterful tale of suspense that no fan should miss… and since it’s available in both handsome hardback and scintillating softcover editions, you don’t have to..
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