By Paul Dini (writer), Dustin Nguyen (pencils), Derek Fridolfs (inks), John Kalisz (colors)
The Story: Hush steals Catwoman’s heart! Literally! And Batman is furious.
Breaking into Arkham Asylum, Bats unloads his anger on The Scarecrow all while The Joker gleefully laughs in the background. Hush has gone too far this time and he knows Batman will stop at nothing to save Catwoman. The confrontation between these two archenemies goes as expected until Hush unviels his masterplan. Has the Batman finally been defeated?
The Good: Dustin Nguyen’s art is at its best here. The scene at Arkham are cold and claustrophobic, heavily accented by the good use of mood and lighting by John Kalisz. This is how a great collaboration between colorist and artist should look.
Paul Dini’s story has been very week so far, but finally shows signs of life (here and there). The reveal at the end and the ruthlessness on display finally brings a tad of credibility to Hush’s villain status.
What’s Not So Good: I said a little bit of credibility – but not enough to make Hush a good villaint. This story, despite it display of shocking events, is still not good. How (or whether) it fits into Grant Morrison’s RIP story is still a mystery. If you’ve been reading both books then you’ll be confused by lack of any sort of continuity markers. Bruce beating down Hush and then the scene instantly shifting to the two adversaries walking together in a completely different lighted situation is also awful storytelling. It’s like the page was missing a few panels!
Hush going on the awful, villainous stereotype of revealing every single facet of his plan to Bruce is completely stupid. I’d expect this from a Silver Age book or James Bond movie, but not here. It just goes to show how idiotic Hush is, but also how incompetent Batman is for going along with ride (and into Hush’s trap). This kind of storytelling reveals too much to Batman (and to the reader). Frankly, I found it insulting my intelligence.
Conclusion: It’s better than the previous issues, but still not worthy of your hard earned cash. If the next issue redeems this series, wait for the trade.
– J. Montes