On our most recent Above and Batman Beyond podcast, my co-host, Eli Benson and I talked about the San Diego Comic Con premiere of Batman: Hush, the newest of animated Bat adaptations from Warner Bros. As of this past Tuesday, August 6th, Hush is now available on Blu-Ray/DVD/4K Ultra, with an earlier digital release of July 20th.
If you’re a comic fan, then you likely know Hush as one of the bibles of Bat canon. Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee reintroduced the character of Batman to the 21st Century back in 2002-’03, with Loeb’s unforgettably cinematic, noir mystery script and Jim Lee’s iconic of iconic, deeply detailed Bat art.
And, for what it’s worth, Hush happens to be my favorite of the big Batman comic arcs that I’ve read. I do need to read some others since I’m a more Batman animated fan. But, still, I’ve read a bunch of the Bat comic classics, and Hush is my favorite thus far. Keep that in mind for what I talk about below, on my feelings for the new movie.
From “Batman: Hush” (2002-’03), Art by Jim Lee
Now that Hush‘s animated adaptation is out, I wanted to post what Eli (@batman_beyond_fanpage on Instagram) and I talked about on our podcast. The topic of last ABB episode was wrapping up DC news out of SDCC. In our world of DC animated nerddom, with an undying Bat fandom in particular, we just had to hit Hush. Admittedly, neither of us have seen this movie yet. We’re both waiting until it comes out on the DC Universe app on the 13th. I think that admission sets the tone for our own levels of enthusiasm for this adaptation.
From “Batman: Hush” animated feature (2019)
But, here’s what Eli and I had to say on the news surrounding Hush‘s animated premiere and the movie as a whole:
Benjamin David: Hush animated premiere, the classic Batman: Hush premiered at San Diego Comic Con 2019, and was not received very well.
Eli Benson: No! As I said to you off air, the best I’m hearing, like the good I’m hearing, is that it was OK at best.
BD: OK at best.
EB: I am not hearing many people praising this movie. I’m hearing just a lot of lukewarm, to just low things about it. I have yet to see it.
BD: I have yet to see it either.
EB: I said to you off air how I think it’s a major mistake setting all of these movies in that one universe that seems to be kind of in the vein of the New 52.
BD: The “DC Universe Original Movie” universe of films, yes.
EB: Right, we’re trying to fit all of them. Even the Death and the Reign of the Supermen movies and stuff, it’s all in there. And, I feel that really hurts–because I would love these movies not just to be in name of these stories that they’re adapting, but also to be in the style of them. Just make it a super stylistic, like a moving Jim Lee comic almost.
BD: We talked about that on our 50th episode [of our podcast] , when news was coming down that they were definitely doing Hush animated. Yea, you said, the art has to be emphasized, they gotta honor that.
EB: Right, I mean, look at The Dark Knight Returns that they did a few years ago. And, how that was super stylized, in its own style, almost an animated version of Frank Miller’s work. And, I feel that really worked in the context of a story, and it helped set the stage. But, when you set all these stories, much less in the New 52 continuity–
EB: New 52 hasn’t been present in the comics in a little while now. It just kind of hurts you, and that’s just right out the gate, let alone how the movie actually is on its own.
From “Reign of the Supermen” animated feature
EB: But, I’m going to aim to see it over the next week or two, hopefully by the next time we record, I will have seen it so I can talk about it a little more; but, I have just not heard good things. Unfortunately.
Your ABB co-hosts agree that this adaptation doesn’t seem worth buying, a rarity for me, especially.
BD: I usually buy it [a DC animated movie as it comes out], I usually do both. I usually do all three, I’m not going to lie. I’m so excited for these movies to come out usually, that I will buy the digital, ’cause the digital’s typically first, by like two weeks release date wise. Then, you got the physical, and then you got it when it’s on DC Universe now. And, now that that’s been out for awhile, however many movies come out, I’ve done it that way. I’ve watched these movies, probably six times each, because it’s two times for each copy I get.
But, this time? And, it’s Hush! That’s so sad.
To avoid ending on a downer like that, the not so sad thing is that I have still yet to see Hush. Again, neither Eli nor I have seen it, so please don’t mistake this for a preemptive review. Point is, who knows? We might like it (“might”).
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