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Group Monthly Discussions > Official 18th Book Club Discussion: Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb - June 2013 (may contain spoilers)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello everyone. This is the topic for our Official 18th Book Club Discussion, which is Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb.

The discussion will occur during this whole month of June.

If your post will contain spoilers, then please type SPOILERS in capital letters at the top of your post (or use the html code for spoilers) so that members who are still reading or have not yet read the book can avoid critical details that can spoil their reading.

Enjoy our official book club discussion everyone.


message 2: by Salazar (new)

Salazar (firestarter7) | 1 comments Awesome. I will re-read Hush.


message 3: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments I have been wanting to read this book forever, excited.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Spake (ManofYesterday) | 37 comments Loved Hush when I read it, don't have a copy on hand to join in with this though.


message 5: by Paul (last edited Jun 02, 2013 12:39PM) (new)

Paul | 286 comments I'd always put off reading this for some reason, still I have been meaning to read this for a while. I recently purchased the deluxe unwrapped edition.
Had hesitated between buying that or the Absolute edition.

Guess I no longer have any reason NOT to read it anymore... be back soon with a review and topical discussion.


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments SPOILERS
Getting to see Batman beat the crap out of Superman makes this book well worth it. Nothing against Supes, but it's nice to see him get taken down a peg by the Dark Knight.

The art was pretty riveting also. Loeb writes a heck of story that keeps you guessing, and superbly uses a variety of characters. Definitely a great Graphic Novel all around.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments True, I suppose it was a bit anticlimactic. I read it a little while ago, I might be mixing it up with Long Halloween a bit. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I liked Long Halloween more. I'm going to leave the 4 star rating though, I enjoyed reading it (and I read it at the height of my Batman Fandom, so that probably has something to do with it).


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul | 286 comments I just finished reading it for the first time this evening. I read the BnW pencil "deluxe edition". My previous experience with Jim Lee's art had been "Superman: For Tomorrow"... and seeing as I hadn't liked that story all that much, and yes, the art was very nice... but maybe just a bit "too" nice and too repetitive? I don't know... it had kept me from trying out Batman: Hush.
This Jim Lee guy can drawe good!
The story kept me hooked. The use of most of the Bat-Family as well as most if the Bat-Villains were a nice touch.
The addition of flashbacks to Bruce Wayne's childhood prior to his parents' death was a novelty... I did read Batman: Golden Dawn a few days ago, but those flashbacks weren't as interesting.
All-in-all... good story, good art...
The only thing that did bug me about the art were the usage of " × "s wherever the artist would want the inker to fully color an area in black. Though I know this is common usage in the "comic-book" world, it would have been nice seeing those zones completely grayed out by the artist's pencils.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

The thing that makes this particular Batman graphic novel very memorable is Jim Lee's iconic artwork. There are so many images in this book that has become iconic since it's first release. They are some of the art that you would come across a lot in the internet, posters, and some even became collectible statues.

Here is an example where the art is what made the story very memorable. If you had a different artist do the pencils on this particular book, I don't believe that "Batman: Hush" would have been so memorable in many appreciative fans.

This book was definitely made popular by Jim Lee's albeit best ever work.


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Paul wrote: "and yes, the art was very nice... but maybe just a bit "too" nice and too repetitive? "

I get what you mean about being "too" nice. But I don't think that's the case with Hush. Those CGI looking books or ones that look almost "too" realistic turn me off. The art in Hush was great and almost looked like cover art or posters throughout the book but it was still comic bookey enough to work. I recently read Daniel X: Alien Hunter by Jame Paterson (it was a freebie). Do not like that kind of look at all.

Heck of an eye spotting those "x"s. I would never notice anything like that.


message 11: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 345 comments I really enjoyed reading this comic as Jeph Loeb did a fantastic job at building up the tension for the story, even though I felt the ending to be a little underwhelming. I also loved Jim Lee's artwork as the characters looked gorgeous and the fight scenes were done in vivid detail.


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul | 286 comments Kevin wrote: "Heck of an eye spotting those "x"s. I would never notice anything like that. "

Now that you know, you'll never be able to un-see them ever again, heh.

Yes, when comparing the art from Superman: For Tomorrow with Hush, I do notice that Jim Lee took a somewhat different approach. Sort of like the differences between Gotham and Metropolis. Making each city an "actual" character in the story.
Metropolis is where all the pretty people live (roller-blading, chi-hua-hua purse totting, bleach blonde semi-celebrities), whereas Gotham is more of where the scum accumulates (hence the Joker, Penguin, Killer-Croc, and friends)...

frankly, I think I'd fit much better in Gotham than I would in Metropolis.


message 13: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (mr_andrew_c) Kevin wrote: "SPOILERS
Getting to see Batman beat the crap out of Superman makes this book well worth it."


I agree. I liked Batman's comment during the fight: "Deep down, Clark's essentially a good person...and deep down, I'm not." Batman's gritty nature is one reason why I keep buying his trade paperbacks.

It's been a while since I read The Last Halloween, which I also enjoyed. That volume had a lot of full-page frames, which made it a super quick read. This time my only minor complaint about the layout was that the tall, narrow frames near the binding were kind of hard to read. (I know it's not a one-to-one comparison because of the different illustrators.)

Overall I thought this was awesome. The build-up to Hush's identity being revealed won't be as exciting the next time, but that won't stop me from re-reading this again in the near future (after we read Arkham Asylum next month, right?).


message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Andrew wrote: "I agree. I liked Batman's comment during the fight: "Deep down, Clark's essentially a goo..."

Yes, and I've been reading quite a few Supermans lately, mostly looking forward to the Batman cameos in which he demonstrates his "gritty nature". There's usually some kind of 'gotcha' in these scenes which makes me smile.

Def want to read Arkham Asylum, I'm on a waiting list for it at the local library but will probably break down and buy it for my kindle. Never read an actual GN on the kindle. I'll probably get the Arkham Asylum Sam Keith wrote soon too. I like Sam Keith, he doesn't seem to have an extensive bibliography for my taste, though, I'd like to get my hands on The Maxx series though.


message 15: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments Kevin wrote: "Andrew wrote: "I agree. I liked Batman's comment during the fight: "Deep down, Clark's essentially a goo..."

Yes, and I've been reading quite a few Supermans lately, mostly looking forward to the ..."


I recently read the first volume of The Maxx, very trippy. I remember watching the show on mtv as a kid.


message 16: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments Just finished reading Hush, its a really solid book, loved the variety of characters and the story. Ive been playing Arkham City and I had an inkling about the plot from playing it.


message 17: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jedidude77) | 2 comments Lindsey.parks wrote: "Just finished reading Hush, its a really solid book, loved the variety of characters and the story. Ive been playing Arkham City and I had an inkling about the plot from playing it."

What part of the plot to Arkham City refers to the Hush plot? don't tell me if it has to do with the end of the Arkham City game's plot (i have not beaten it yet)
respond with the spoiler tag if it does!


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Lindsey.parks wrote: "I recently read the first volume of The Maxx, very trippy. I remember watching the show on mtv as a kid.
"


Yes, MTV in the 90's is what got me interested in Kieth (dare I say Kieth was actually the reason I first picked up Sandman). Is the cartoon straight from the novel? Or is there a lot more in the book?


message 19: by Jade (new)

Jade (jadenic) | 2 comments For some reason I just don't like Batman, but love the extended Bat Family. For this reason, I really enjoy this story arc. So many character appearances! I don't even care that some are thrown in for no real reason. It's just a lot of fun. I do think too much time is spent explaining backstories. I understand the need for it, but I just find these parts of the comic really boring.


message 20: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments Jonathan wrote: "Lindsey.parks wrote: "Just finished reading Hush, its a really solid book, loved the variety of characters and the story. Ive been playing Arkham City and I had an inkling about the plot from playi..."

it doesnt have anything to do with the main plot, its one of the side missions, I wont say which one, because I dont want to spoil it for you.


message 21: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments Kevin wrote: "Lindsey.parks wrote: "I recently read the first volume of The Maxx, very trippy. I remember watching the show on mtv as a kid.
"

Yes, MTV in the 90's is what got me interested in Kieth (dare I say..."


Im only 21, so when that was on mtv, I was young, I honestly dont remember, while reading the comic it was like "this seems familiar?" it really made me want to watch the show again, sorry I cant be of more help. As far as I know the show didnt have very many episodes so Im just going to assume that the book has more.


message 22: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments I forgot to mention, I really enjoyed the way the flashbacks were done in Hush, a lot of the times in books flashback sequences are just done in a certain hue, but Hush was done in a completely different paint style, I thought that was pretty clever.


message 23: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 345 comments Lindsey.parks wrote: "I forgot to mention, I really enjoyed the way the flashbacks were done in Hush, a lot of the times in books flashback sequences are just done in a certain hue, but Hush was done in a completely dif..."

I really loved the way they did the imagery for the flashbacks too! It was so interesting to see the flashbacks done in black and white instead of in usual colorings because it really set it apart from the present story.


message 24: by Lindsey.parks (new)

Lindsey.parks | 50 comments yeah, really just spiced up the story.


message 25: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 345 comments Lindsey.parks wrote: "yeah, really just spiced up the story."

Agree! :D


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul | 286 comments Having read Batman: Hush in black and white, I didn't know they had "done" the flashbacks in BnW... I did like the "water-color" effect used for the flashbacks though.


message 27: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 4 comments Its too bad all the follow ups to Hush never matched the quality of this story....


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul | 286 comments Aaron wrote: "Its too bad all the follow ups to Hush never matched the quality of this story...."

Follow ups hardly ever do.
Good to know, I'll be avoiding them.


message 29: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 345 comments Scott wrote: "I liked Paul Dini's "Heart of Hush.""

I actually did find that story pretty decent also, although it didn't have the intense build up that this story had.


message 30: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Kevin wrote: "Andrew wrote: "I agree. I liked Batman's comment during the fight: "Deep down, Clark's essentially a goo..."

Yes, and I've been reading quite a few Supermans lately, mostly looking forward to the ..."


But don't you think it's kind of not true? If there's evidence of Batman not being basically a good guy, I'd like to see it. I mean, he doesn't kill people, and pretty much always does the right thing. Yes, he's a massive pill, but deep down he's an emotional child more than anything else.

It's always nice seeing Batman and Superman fight, but having seen it a couple of times... are there any comics where Superman just beats the snot out of Batman?


message 31: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Steven wrote: "But don't you think it's kind of not true? If there's evidence of Batman not being basically a good guy, I'd like to see it. "

I don't think there is any doubt that Batman is not a "good" guy, he is just referring to their differing methodologies. Clark is almost always holding back, even against foes stronger then him, he's almost like a pacifist who has to kick ass. Bruce, on the other hand, will get in his spite shots. Where Clark feels sheer angst at hurting people, Bruce will break a couple legs, regret it slightly, utter something like "Damn, went a little to hard on him" shrug and move on.

As far as Superman owning Batman, I haven't seen it, but there is quite a bit I haven't read. I've seen Supes get some heavy shots in though.

On the other hand, I just read another of Loeb's works "Batman | Superman: Public Enemies", in that one it seems Bats and Supes are more likely to make out then fight. What is the dynamic of their relation ship with respect to cannon? Because I've seen them portrayed as everything from: at each others throats to BFFs. My take, for the most part, is they like and respect each other, but kind of have that 'trying to outdo my big bro' kind of thing going on. How do they interact in the JLA? Are they always cooperative buds? Or do they have their differences and make it work for the team? (that's not a rhetorical question, I really don't know)


message 32: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Kevin wrote: "Steven wrote: "But don't you think it's kind of not true? If there's evidence of Batman not being basically a good guy, I'd like to see it. "

I don't think there is any doubt that Batman is not a ..."


Interesting take, that by "good" guy in this context, Batman is saying that Superman holds back. I'm not sure I buy it - I think that they were trying to imply that Batman is mean on some level - but maybe. I'm certainly no expert (Batman experts out there - thoughts?).


message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Superman tends to rely on the goodness of mankind, whereas Batman relies (or at least utilizes) fear. Superman has a lot of hope... Batman not so much.


message 34: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Kevin wrote: "Superman tends to rely on the goodness of mankind, whereas Batman relies (or at least utilizes) fear. Superman has a lot of hope... Batman not so much."

Hm. If you think about that whole Superman/Batman thing in Hush, the message seems to be that Batman believes - or has the potential to believe - in individual people, who earn his trust, as opposed to believing in people in general. Superman inspires, Batman keeps'em in line.


message 35: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments Steven wrote: "Kevin wrote: "Superman tends to rely on the goodness of mankind, whereas Batman relies (or at least utilizes) fear. Superman has a lot of hope... Batman not so much."

Hm. If you think about that w..."


Yeah, they're like ying and yang.


message 36: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Scott wrote: "That line about Batman not being good rubbed me the wrong way but I try to interpret it as him being super-cynical."

Ha! Maybe this is why I like him! Batman expects things to go wrong and people to do the wrong thing, and he's ready for it when it happens. Superman sees the best in people: easy to do when you can survive the heat of the sun.


message 37: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (mr_andrew_c) I've only been reading graphic novels for about a year, and I'm starting to see similar events in other Batman stories. Is it possible to have a completely original story anymore? Does seeing the same event in multiple stories bother you?

Examples: (view spoiler)

I've still enjoyed these stories, but I can see myself eventually burning out when things start to always look the same.


message 38: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Andrew, good question. I'm not a comic reader, but I read a lot of the trades (I get'em from the library, I'm too impatient to read single issues).

For myself, I get frustrated at seeing the same sort of notes (especially character notes) getting hit again and again. Batman is rough because he's tethered to Gotham - it's hard to believe that DC would hire a writer who wanted to change the paradigm that much. This as opposed to, say, The Hulk, where Bruce Banner can turn into different kinds of Hulk, and he can be wandering around chased by spies, or in another dimension, or on another planet, and so forth. Or the X-men, where they can cycle through different mutants.

I like reading single comic book arcs, but if I had to read only Batman I'd get bored. I also like other graphic novels, non-superhero stuff, and so forth.


message 39: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 345 comments Steven wrote: "Andrew, good question. I'm not a comic reader, but I read a lot of the trades (I get'em from the library, I'm too impatient to read single issues).

For myself, I get frustrated at seeing the same..."


The X-Men comics are the exact same way, especially concerning the Phoenix Force and how it's being used. Sometimes I wished that they would just cut off the Phoenix Force segment of the stories because every time the Phoenix Force gets involved in the stories, it's basically repeating what happened in the Dark Phoenix Saga.


message 40: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Lovett (jamielovett) | 17 comments Kevin wrote: "Steven wrote: "But don't you think it's kind of not true? If there's evidence of Batman not being basically a good guy, I'd like to see it. "

I don't think there is any doubt that Batman is not a ..."


I haven't read Public Enemies, but I've seen the animated feature they made out of it and it just seemed like Superman and Batman having a bromantic adventure. Kind of weird.

Their relationship is basically this - and I realize this sounds cynical: Deep down their best of friends but whenever DC needs a sales spike they orchestrate a fairly contrived way to have them fight each. Again. Batman always wins because that makes him even cooler, while Superman winning would just make him seem like a bully.


message 41: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Lovett (jamielovett) | 17 comments Ronyell wrote: "Steven wrote: "Andrew, good question. I'm not a comic reader, but I read a lot of the trades (I get'em from the library, I'm too impatient to read single issues).

For myself, I get frustrated at ..."


The X-Men comics are a little different. Yes, the Phoenix force stuff is played out, but the core of X-Men comics is the interpersonal drama, which is where the huge cast of characters is helpful. Also, its a lot easier to throw them into different genres: one story is a racial allegory, the next is space hijinks. With Batman, that kind of thing is confined to Elseworlds and maybe some JLA stories.


message 42: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Lovett (jamielovett) | 17 comments I find Hush to be a largely overrated story. Hush's motivations are pretty far fetched (he's the nation's greatest surgeon, but he throws it all away because he didn't get his mother's money soon enough? Aren't surgeons paid pretty well?), and his identity follows a pattern in Batman stories of all media: if Batman has a new friend and a new foe in town at the same time, its probably not a coincidence. See also: (view spoiler).

There's hardly a story to follow really. All of the real story happens off screen and we're told of it later on. What the reader gets to see is more red herring than not. We watch Batman be really bad at being a detective so that Loeb has time to parade out every Batman character imaginable for Jim Lee to draw.

I've honestly never loved Lee's art. I get why people do, he's certainly talented, its just always felt a little too cold for my tastes. That said, Hush is certainly some of his best work, with plenty of iconic images.

As a Jim Lee art book, Hush does pretty well. As a comic, its mediocre at best.


message 43: by Steven (new)

Steven M Long (stevenmlong) Jamie, I agree with you on motivations. I try to take graphic novels seriously, and part of what that means is holding them to the same standards as I hold written work to. There aren't a lot of comics that make the cut (though I can also be distracted by great artwork or a lot of action - story only bugs me if I notice that it's weak while reading - it's the same with movies).

I liked the art, but see what you mean, in that it's a little sterile. There are also some standard tropes that bother me.


message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert (statnut) | 8 comments Read this when it first came out. Decided to read it again for the Book Club and I stand by my initial assertions that story-wise it's pretty mediocre. Loeb's done his share of very good Batman stories, this wasn't it. Story is convoluted, at some points making little sense. Hush's motivation is pretty lackluster, even by comic villain standards. And then of course it's pretty telegraphed thanks to the flashbacks. It's a book that's about moments, not about story. That's not to say that it's a bad book, but it's not a Top 15 Batman book.

That said, it's still some of Lee's best art.


message 45: by Robert (new)

Robert (statnut) | 8 comments Someone mentioned "Heart of Hush" earlier. To me that was a much better Hush story than Loeb's offering. Might need to go and reread that actually.


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert (statnut) | 8 comments Was it Nguyen on art for that?


message 47: by Pranay (new)

Pranay | 50 comments "HUSH...the show is just starting".
SPOILERS: I had read Hush a long time ago and it is one of my most favorite Batman graphic novel. For me Hush was a deal clincher and got me hooked to the Batman universe. In fact I read it before the Long Halloween and Dark victory and found both books lacking in comparison. Both these books are good but Hush is just way ahead. The art by Jim Lee here is just awesome and he brings out some amazing splash pages. Alex Sinclaire is probably a legend and the colors add to Lee's masterful illustrations. Story-wise it brings in various DC universe characters and that itself was a novel concept. The various characters bring with them their own agenda and the entertainment just goes on and on. The highpoint was when Batman knocks out the big daddy superman. Catwoman looks fabulous and has a strong persona making her very interesting and enticing. The ending was bit of a let down and stretched but its a small flaw and can be overlooked in the bigger scheme of things.
Happy Reading!


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