Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Detective Comics #850

First off, before I even read this comic book, allow me to say that I haven't read any of the prior parts of this storyline(Batman R.I.P.). I picked this comic book up on a lark, since I fully intend to begin to collect the Batman comic books following Batman R.I.P. So, if I seem confused during parts of this review(well, more confused than usual...), it's because I don't have the slightest clue as to what went on in this series before this issue. With that disclaimer out of the way, on to the review.

Overall- OK, before I begin to comment on the events of this issue, I should first give a brief review of exactly what happened in these pages. Batman's enemy Hush, arrives at Wayne Manor and attacks Alfred, stabbing Alfred in the arm, before deducting that the entrance to the Batcave had to be behind the grandfather clock in Bruce's study. Batman during this time was retrieving the heart of Catwoman, which had been removed and cryogenically frozen by Mr. Freeze and Hush. Hush's plot seemed to be to force Batman to watch as Catwoman's heart slowly died, since Bats has always had a thing for Catwoman. Batman naturally breaks free and beats up all of the goons Hush had watching him. Bats then contacts Mr. Terrific and Dr. Midnite, who were barely keeping Catwoman's heartless body alive. Mr. Terrific arrives and takes Catwoman's heart back to her body so Dr. Midnite could attempt to replace Catwoman's heart.

Hush makes his way down to the Batcave, and is amazed by the sheer immensity of it. By this time, Batman arrives on the scene, and attacks Hush, allowing Alfred the opportunity to get away. Hush and Batman battle throughout the Cave, while Hush recounts the story of how he murdered his mother in order to inherit his family's fortune. You know how those bad guys get during a fight, they just can't shut up!

Batman continues to dodge Hush's bullets, but Hush is distracted by the giant mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex which, thanks to Alfred, suddenly comes to life and tries to attack Hush. Hush empties both of his guns at the giant dinosaur, which is enough to "kill" it. Before Hush can catch his breath, Nightwing and Robin arrive on the scene and attack Hush. Hush manages to narrowly avoid capture by the current and former Boy Wonder and manages to get on board an antique one man helicopter, in order to fly to freedom.

However, Batman manages to cling to the bottom of the copter and hangs on in order to prevent Hush's escape. Hush begins to hack away at Batman's arms with a Batarang, but in his exuberance, he gets his facial bandages caught up in the propeller of the copter. Batman lets go of the copter and dives into the river running along the bottom of the Cave, while the bandages of Hush get all wrapped up in the propellers, causing the copter, and presumably Hush to explode. Batman, Nightwing and Robin search the river but are unable to find any trace of Hush except for his bloody bandages.

Afterwards, Batman rushes to Dr. Midnite's lab and discovers that Catwoman survived her operation, and Dr. Midnite expects her to recover. He does emphasise that he isn't sure if Catwoman will ever be the same hero/villain she was before the operation. As Catwoman lays in the hospital recovering, Bruce stops by to visit the still unconscious Catwoman, and confesses the fact that he had always loved her, even though he had difficulty admitting to it. Catwoman reveals that she heard Bruce's confession and the two share a kiss.

The story ends 2 months later with Catwoman making a video for Hush, in the event that he survived the explosion in the Batcave. In the video, Catwoman tells Hush that with the help of her friends, both good and bad, she managed to find every cent Hush owned, stealing some of it for herself, allowing some of her more corrupt friends to take some, and giving the rest to various abused women shelters and charities. As the comic concludes, we see Hush is still among the living and watching the tape in a rage, realizing that Catwoman had taken the only thing that was ever important to him, his money.

Considering that I had little idea about what was going on when I started reading this comic, I wound up thoroughly enjoying this story regardless. Series writer Paul Dini did a great job explaining what happened in the prior issues, as well as crafting an excellent story here. I couldn't help but like Hush. He was pretty much the fractured mirror reflection of Bruce Wayne. Hush, much like Bruce was a billionaire, but without Bruce's strong morals. Reading this issue really made me want to go out and see if I could find some back issues containing earlier appearances containing Hush. Unlike many of Batman's more ridiculous villains, I'm talking about you Penguin, Hush seemed to be a truly deadly threat as opposed to a comical loser. Anyway, I would recommend this issue, and I'll probably go back and collect the other issues of this storyline, that is if I can still get my hands on them. For a score, I'll go with a 8 1/2 out of 10. There were a few gaps in the logic of this story, but they are easy to overlook, as the story itself was highly enjoyable.

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