Hush - Volume One (Hardcover)

Author: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Jim Lee
Titan Books
RRP: £19.99
ISBN 1 84023 692 2
Available now

When a young boy is kidnapped and held to ransom Batman soon discovers that Killer Croc and Catwoman are behind it. But they seem to be acting weirdly. On the heels of Catwoman, someone cuts our hero's batline, sending him tumbling to an almost certain doom. When he comes around, Batman is back at Wayne Manor in very bad shape. Alfred calls on the services of one of Bruce Wayne's oldest and closest friends, who is now a top surgeon, to patch things up so that our hero can continue his hunt for the brains behind the kidnapping...

Hush is the first part of a collection charting the continuing reign of Batman over Gotham City. Killer Croc is meaner and uglier, Catwoman (and Poison Ivy) are sexier and Superman is... dumber! Again we have a Batman/Superman Vs Wayne/Kent problem, where the two are friends and almost enemies in the same breath. Both are fighting on the side of justice, only Batman follows his own ethics at any cost.

The artwork and script are both of exceptional merit - although the Superman/Batman scenario is getting a little too close to events already seen in The Dark Knight Returns. Yes we know Batman and Superman are always at each others throats, but for goodness sake I wish writers would steer clear of this as a plot device. Batman wouldn't stand a chance - Kryptonite ring or not! He's only human after all.

Titan have done a fantastic job of presenting this as a luxury collection to the UK market. There are full colour glossy pages (although the paper stock is a little on the thin side) throughout and the cover has a wonderfully designed wrap around sleeve.

Yet another winning Batman release.

Darren Rea

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