DC Universe Animated Original Movies (Part 35): Batman: Hush

Hello, my friends.  With my family slice of the overall fandom still going strong, it’s time to continue with my critical thoughts that ring loud and true.  Once again, I welcome you all to another entry of…
DC Universe A.O.M.

Before we begin, I’d be remissed if I didn’t take this moment to wish the Dark Knight a Happy 80th Anniversary for giving us various tales surrounding him, his Bat-Family, his allies, his rogues gallery and his mythology in both good & bad lights.

As we head back into the New 52 Animated Universe (or “DC Animated Movie Universe” if you’re more formal), it’s time to return to Gotham City.  Last time we were there, our familiar Caped Crusader had unintentionally grown a Bat-Family of his own.  However, all that he cares, depend on & worry for are now in the crosshairs of someone who looks to take him down  It’s time that we make some noise within a tale known as…

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After making its debut on July 19, 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con, it would ultimately come out for Digital Download on July 20 before making its way onto DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray on August 6.  Based on the 12-part storyline told within the pages of Batman, Vol. 1 #608-619 (released from October 2002 to September 2003), it was originally written by Jeph Loeb, drawn by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams and colored by Alex Sinclair.  With one of Loeb’s works getting the animated adaptation treatment for the first time since the early days of “Public Enemies” and “Apocalypse”, how does this modern classic translate into this particular movie?  Let’s raise our hushed tones and find out.

We open in Gotham City where Bruce Wayne (voiced by Jason O’Mara) is attending a gala.  He then contacts his butler Alfred Pennyworth (voiced by James Garrett) about any suspicious activities, to which there are none as of now.  Bruce then notices a familiar female entering the vicinity, which turns out to be Selina Kyle (voiced by Dr. Allison Cameron and Emma Swan herself, Jennifer Morrison).  Despite her thieving persona of Catwoman, she hasn’t taken part in any illegal activity for the past sixteen months.

However, Dick Grayson a.k.a. Nightwing (voiced by Sean Maher) is also connected to the conversation and isn’t buying it.  With Wayne hearing some grunt sounds coming over the transmission, it turns out that Dick is stopping an illegal heroin shipment as he manages to take out the various thugs before eventually heading out.  Just as Alfred wonders what Selina’s interest within the gala might be, she notices Bruce as he heads over to find out.  When Wayne asks if there’s been anything new with her recently, Kyle discreetly mentions that she’s currently at a crossroads of sorts since she doesn’t seem to enjoy her past “work” as much, to which he exclaims that some change would be nice.

Just then, they’re met upon by Dr. Thomas Elliot (voiced by Maury Sterling) who was Bruce’s childhood friend and is now a skilled surgeon.  As Thomas goes to order some drinks, Bruce gets contacted by Alfred who informs him of a developed incident involving a kidnapped child.  With a cell phone call getting used as a distraction, Bruce tells Selina that it was nice to see her and that they should get together again sometime soon.

Shortly after he takes his leave, Kyle gets a text message from someone who tells her “Here Kitty, Kitty”.  Suddenly, she goes into a trance and heads out as Thomas returns to comedically find that he’s been left alone with a pair of drinks.

As Bruce reaches his car and suits up, the police have the Dupree Chemical Company surrounded while a reporter (voiced by Tara Strong) talks about the present hostage situation.  It turns out that the young boy in which Bane has captured is Edward Dupree and that he’s the heir to his family’s business venture.  With “an undisclosed ransom” ordered, the Dupree family instantly decide to pay as Commissioner James Gordon (voiced by Bruce Thomas) arrives with the payment, places it onto a bomb-disabling robot and sends it inside.

Meanwhile, Batman has arrived as he sneaks in and proceeds to beat up the henchmen.  As Alfred mentions that Edward was at a playground in the middle of the day at the time that he got taken, Bruce exclaims that it isn’t like Bane “to be so public”.  Ultimately, he reaches the child and unties him.  However, he’s then approached by Bane (voiced by Adam Gifford) who attacks our hero while the boy is able to hide.

A fight breaks out as the struggle ultimately makes its way from the platforms to the main level.  Alfred chimes in as he exclaims how Bane isn’t talking in his usual “eloquent” manner, to which Batman assumes that it’s a side effect from the new design of the venom that his foe is using.  In the end, the fight concludes when Bruce uses a Batarang to cut Bane’s venom tubing before it slices some electrical cords and shocks the massive foe into unconsciousness.

After Edward heads outside to reunite his family, Batman uses some highly-enforced cuffs to properly subdue Bane.  Just as he notices a familiar leaf on his foe’s neck, he’s then approached by Lady Shiva (voiced by Sachie Alessio) who had overseen the recent action.  She tells him that the League of Assassins have been in a state of constant change with various factions looking to assume control.  Not only that, but she mentions that someone has broken into the facility and used a Lazarus Pit as she asks him if he’s heard of this recent event.  Batman exclaims that he hasn’t, but he’ll look into it as she proceeds to take her leave.

Shortly afterwards, Gordon arrives with a pair of cops in order to take Bane away.  Just then, he notices that the ransom money has disappeared.  They hear a noise as they look up and see that Catwoman has taken it and is escaping through a window.  As such, Batman proceeds to chase after her.

A rooftop pursuit ensues before she lands on top of a subway train.  As Batman uses his grappling hook to swing after her, a nearby assailant takes aim and fires a shot which takes out Bruce’s line.  He tries to grab onto a gargoyle statue’s head, but it easily breaks away as he painfully slams down onto the pavement and lies motionless.

Following the title card, we immediately resume the scene as a trio of thugs notice the fallen Dark Knight and approach him.  One of them tries to remove his cowl, but gets shocked by the electric defense mechanism.  Despite that, he prepares to just shoot our hero to death.  Fortunately, Catwoman noticed Batman’s deathly fall as she returned and proceeds to beat the goons up.

Just then, more help arrives as Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Batgirl (voiced by Peyton R. List) rides in and delivers a final beating to the thugs.  Shortly after they run off, she tells Catwoman to back away from Batman since she assumes that the feline fatale is working with Bane as a brief fight breaks out before Kyle takes her leave.  Afterwards, the scene ends as Batgirl contacts Alfred and informs him that Batman is badly injured.

We then cut to a rooftop greenhouse as Selina arrives within the presence of Pamela Isley a.k.a. Poison Ivy (voiced by Golden Glider and Ivy Pepper herself, Peyton List).  Side Note: Yes, there are two actresses involved here and both are named Peyton List!  After noticing a concerned tone in Catwoman’s voice when hearing about what happened to Batman, Pamela tells her not to worry about anything else before she receives the stolen ransom money.  Afterwards, she kisses Selina in order to transfer some more mind-controlling toxins before excusing her.

Shortly afterwards, the lights go out as she’s suddenly approached by the mysterious assailant who demands for his half of the money pot.  Because her toxins aren’t able to affect his mind, she summons some plants in order to take him out.  However, he came prepared as he threatens to unleash a herbicide bomb should he be harmed.  After Pamela calls off her attack, he proceeds to offer her a job that’ll pay out ten times the size of the ransom money.  He even gives her a glowing gift that comes in her “favorite color”.

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We then shift over to the Bat Cave as Bruce lies unconscious.  Alfred did all that he could with his medical skills, but the serious head injury is beyond what he’s able to deal with.  Nightwing exclaims that they must get him to a hospital by staging a car crash as he tells Barbara to drive his roadster over to Forest Road and purposefully wreck it.  From there, he’ll submit Bruce into the hospital while in his civilian guise.  As Batgirl heads out to execute the plan, Alfred states that he’ll contact Thomas Elliot at once.

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We then cut to the next day at the hospital where Dr. Elliot was able to perform a successful surgery.  Bruce thanks him and admits that he hasn’t been a good friend in the past.  As such, he says that he wants to hang out with him a bit more and “be a better friend”.  Thomas then says that he’ll always be his friend before taking his leave.

Sometime later, Bruce is back at Wayne Manor and back to work in the Bat Cave despite doctor’s orders for him to rest for two more weeks.  He then tells Alfred that he has to go to Blackgate, to which the faithful butler brings up a specialized Bat Suit with extra padding inside the headpiece.  As such, Bruce suits up and heads out in the Batmobile.

Later on at Blackgate Penitentiary, Bane is being prepped for transfer.  It turns out that Amanda Waller (voiced by Vanessa Williams) is behind this order as Gordon questions her actions since Blackgate is already a heavily-fortified prison.  As he heads out to contact the mayor on this dubious action, Batman shows up and tells her that he needs to talk to Bane since he believes that the fiend currently has an alliance with both Poison Ivy and Catwoman.  However, Waller refuses despite him stating that he would be willing to swap some information with her before mentioning that he knows about her Suicide Squad program.

Just then, Bane breaks free from his restraints despite getting heavily sedated beforehand as he proceeds to mutilate the guards.  Batman tells her that the musclebound being is using a new type of venom which nullifies her sedatives.  He then presents a round of specialized tranquilizers that she’ll be able to fire from her helicopter’s gun as he hands them over while offering his service in helping her capture Bane.  From there, he heads out to take care of it.

Later, Catwoman arrives back at the rooftop greenhouse only to discover that it’s abandoned and that the plants have become withered.  Suddenly, she’s approached by Bane who demands for his ransom money.  Selina tries to explain that she only stole the cash due to being under Poison Ivy’s plant-based mind control, but it doesn’t phase him as he rips off an air conditioning unit and manages to hit her with a successful toss.  Fortunately, Batman arrives with a drone as it fires a specialized net which traps Bane in it before pulling him outside.  Afterwards, Amanda flies in and fires the specialized tranquilizers at him.  With Bane out for the count again, the drone attaches itself to the copter as Waller heads out with her captured prisoner.

As Batman prepares to take his leave, Catwoman approaches him offering to help him hunt down Poison Ivy.  However, he refuses since he’s not about revenge.  Fortunately, Selina mentions that she knows where “her pheromone-controlled minions” are and that they would know where she went.  Ultimately, Batman agrees to work with her.  However, there’s one last thing that Catwoman wants before she informs him on the whereabouts of Ivy’s goons.  As such, she mentions how they’ve been at this “dance” for a long time and proceeds to kiss him as they embrace.

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Later, they find and beat up Ivy’s henchmen as they learn that she’s taken her leave for Metropolis.  From there, Batman contacts Alfred and tells him to get both the jet and “the jewelry” prepared.

Sometime later, we cut over to the Daily Planet where reporters Lois Lane (voiced by Rebecca Romijn) and Clark Kent (voiced by Jerry O’Connell) are working on a news article about a recent save by the latter’s superheroic persona: Superman.  After they mention that she’s about to have an interview with someone who’s going to show up at their office, the interviewee arrives which turns out to be Bruce himself.  As Lois heads out to make sure that their conference room is prepared, Clark suspects that it’s not just an interview that brings his superfriend into town as he asks Bruce if there’s any kind of “business” that he can share, to which he tells Kent that there isn’t any at the moment.  From there, Lois arrives back as she and Bruce head out to proceed with their interview, unaware of a familiar green glow from Clark’s eyes.

That night over at LexCorp, Batman approaches Lex Luthor (voiced by Rainn Wilson) and demands to see the prior week’s delivery list for “a fortified ethylene compound” that helps exotic plants survive temperature and locale changes.  Lex asks why he can’t just get the list from the actual delivery woman, to which Batman exclaims that the information was deleted from her computer system and was easier to access due to Luthor’s own console having several safeguards.  From there, Lex brings up the list as the compound deliveries have been sent to the third floor of the Triffid Building.  As the Caped Crusader is about to head out, Luthor demands for some respect since he helped out in defeating Cyborg Superman and thus became a Justice League member.  However, Batman reminds him that it’s on a probationary status before taking his leave.

Over at the rooftop greenhouse at the Triffid Building, Catwoman arrives and pretends to be under Poison Ivy’s control.  However, Pamela was able to notice her act and thus has a plant smack her.  Selina puts up a valiant effort, but gets subdued by Isley’s plant.  After noticing that Catwoman was wearing nose filters, Pamela orders her sentient seedling to strangle the feline fatale.  Fortunately, Batman arrives as he uses a Batarang to free Selina.

However, Poison Ivy came prepared as she reveals that she managed to take control of Superman with her own mind-controlling methods.  Batman and Catwoman attempt to run away, but the mentally-corrupted Kal-El uses his Heat Vision to blast the floor as they end up falling into the river.  Fortunately, the Dark Knight had a pair of breathing apparatuses as they proceed to swim into the nearby sewer. 

Back on the Triffid Building, Poison Ivy scolds Superman for not killing them off.  Fortunately, Kal-El is slowly starting to mentally break free.  However, Pamela rectifies that by using a particular item that she acquired from the mystery assailant as she applies some kryptonite-laced lipstick and kisses him before giving the order to hunt Batman & Catwoman down.

Over in the sewers, Bruce & Selina are on the run as Batman mentions that the tunnel walls are lead-lined due to LexCorp’s involvement and will thus buy them some time.  They arrive in the central part of the system before he preps himself with the aforementioned “jewelry”, which turns out to be kryptonite spikes attached to some brass knuckles.  With Catwoman already informed about her “standard smash-and-grab” role, she heads out to take care of her part just as the walls begin to rumble.

From there, Superman bursts in as Batman warns him that the main gas line is open and thus should refrain from using his Heat Vision.  From there, Bruce proceeds to attack with a series of strikes.  However, Kal-El recovers by grabbing Wayne’s leg and tossing him to the wall.  With Batman pinned, he admits to lying about the gas main before striking Superman again and then using his grappling hook to hastily exit the sewer system.

However, Kal-El easily recovers as he speeds over to Bruce and grabs his neck.  Just then, Batman’s secondary plan gets underway on top of the Daily Planet as Catwoman has kidnapped Lois.  Bruce tells Superman to regain control in order to save his fiancee, but Kal-El doesn’t comply as he slams the Caped Crusader into the wall.  As such, Selina decides to push Lane off the building.  Thankfully, her scream and cry for help snaps Superman out of his mind-controlled state as he manages to fly in and save her before they meet up with Batman and Catwoman.

Later, Poison Ivy is confronted by the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel as she tries to escape.  Fortunately, the feline fatale comes in and stops her with a kick to the face.  As Catwoman ties Ivy up, Superman berates Batman for his recent plan since Lois was put in danger.  However, Bruce simply exclaims that he had faith in his friend to come through and save her.  Afterwards, Selina finds something on Isley as she tosses it over to Batman which out to be the lipstick made out of synthetic kryptonite.

After being woken up, Poison Ivy exclaims that she was forced into using Catwoman to take Bane’s ransom money in addition to taking control of Superman.  Batman wants to know who this mystery man is, but Pamela doesn’t tell at first.  As a result, Selina places her claws onto her jugular and demands for a name as Isley exclaims that he goes by the name of Hush, someone she never met before yet knew a lot about her.  Afterwards, Superman steps in and flies off with Poison Ivy in order to place her within the proper facility.  From there, the scene ends with Batman saying that tossing Lois off the roof wasn’t part of the plan, to which Catwoman exclaims that it was an improvised move due to the situation before they once again share a kiss.  However, they’re unaware that Hush is watching them from far.

We then cut to sometime later at Wayne Manor as Bruce is getting prepped for his upcoming date with Selina as Dick looks on with some witty banter.  Later, Bruce is driving towards his evening endeavor when he’s suddenly contacted by his son a.k.a. the current Robin himself: Damian Wayne (voiced by Stuart Allen).  Accompanied by the family dog named Titus, he tells his father that he was informed about the upcoming date with someone who used to be a criminal.  Though he doesn’t entirely approve of his dad’s current action due to their perpetual fight against Gotham’s crime being “a lonely endeavor”, Damian accepts this if it allows for a “release” of sorts.  However, he still brings up his father’s laundry list of failed romances.  Just as he starts to ramble on in that vein, Bruce hangs up on him.

Over at an abandoned toy factory, Harley Quinn (voiced by Hynden Walch) is feeding her three hyenas named Larry, Moe & Shemp.  Just as she starts to wonder why “Mr. J” hasn’t shown up yet, three tranquilizer darts fly in and hit the hyenas, causing them to pass out.  It turns out to be Hush as he exclaims that “he” won’t be showing up.  Harley grabs her mallet and demands know what happened to her “puddin'”, to which he reveals a picture of the Joker being captured.  Hush promises to release him, but only if she does him a favor.

Meanwhile, Bruce arrives at Selina’s apartment.  Before they head out on their date, they decide to have a drink of champagne.  From there, he tells her that he’s been thinking about making some necessary changes to his life.  She then mentions that she’s done some personal adjustments since their first meeting and that she’s toned down part of her wild personality since she felt that she wasn’t refined enough for his social crowd.  However, he says that he actually likes that side of her as they agree “to balance things more” with themselves.

From there, we cut over to the Opera House where Bruce, Selina, Thomas and his date take in a performance of Pagliacci.  Suddenly, Harley appears and knocks out the main performer with her mallet as she arrives with her henchmen to rob the patrons of their present possessions.

She also tells the crowd that she has to kill someone to get her man back.  After spotting Bruce up in his box seat, she opens fire as he and his fellow attendees duck in time.  He then tells Thomas to get his date and Selina out.  After they take their leave, Bruce jumps down and begins to fight off the goons.

Shortly afterwards, Selina arrives back as Catwoman as she engages Harley in an on-stage fight before the scuffle makes its way up to the light fixtures.  Meanwhile, Thomas sends his date out with the crowd before heading back to help his friend.

Meanwhile, Catwoman almost has Harley defeated.  However, Quinn pulls out a knife and throw it at a line as a set of stage lights slams down onto Selina.  Fortunately, Bruce arrives back as Batman and manages to catch her.  From there, Harley takes her leave.  Because of her injury, the Caped Crusader tells Catwoman to stay put before he pursues Quinn.

Suddenly, he hears a gun shot as he heads outside and makes a horrifying discovery: Thomas Elliot has been killed.  Not only that, but the man behind the trigger was his archenemy himself: Joker (voiced by Jason Spisak).

He then proclaims that he’s actually innocent, even saying that he was in a basement five minutes earlier and that he’s trying to find Harley, but Batman is far too enraged to listen as he thoroughly beats him up.  From there, he proceeds to strangle the Joker.  Just then, Gordon arrives and tells him to stop this right now.  He even threatens to shoot his longtime ally as he exclaims that the city “needs Batman”.  Fortunately, the Dark Knight calms down and relinquishes his grasp before walking away.  From there, James tells his fellow officers to thoroughly secure the Joker for his arrest.

From there, we have a quick scene where Bruce, Selina, Dick, Alfred and company attend Thomas’ funeral as the priest reads an actual passage from the book of Matthew (specifically, Chapter 6, Verses 19 through 23).

Afterwards, we shift over to the Bat Cave as Batman and Nightwing discover that Hush captured the Joker due to knockout gas hidden within a jack-in-the-box.  The gas only kept the Clown Prince of Crime out of action for 15 minutes before he used his acid-spewing boutonniere to break free from his ropes.  Bruce exclaims that Hush wanted the Joker to escape, thus having it timed so that he would arrive just as Harley finished up her rampage at the opera and just as Thomas was murdered.  With Nightwing stunned to hear that their longtime foe is actually innocent, Batman then looks over the past incidents that were orchestrated by Hush as Dick wonders about Thomas and how he connects into this.  Bruce exclaims that his newly-deceased friend had a connection with him, thus believing that Hush knows about Batman’s secret identity.

Just then, Selina calls him as he thanks her for being by his side doing the funeral.  He promises that they’ll meet up again right after he takes care of some personal business.  She then tells him not to wait around for too long since she does mention a “mystery man” that’s also in her life.  Bruce secretly knows as he claims for the best man to win before they conclude their call.

With Nightwing having overheard the conversation, the alarm suddenly goes off as traffic footage catches an armored truck speeding through the streets.  Fortunately, one camera manages to get a good-enough look at the cluprit: Edward Nygma a.k.a. Riddler (voiced by Ethan Gross & Matt Mahoney himself, Geoffrey Arend).  Dick doesn’t take the guy too seriously, even calling him a “C-Lister”, before he and Batman take off in the Batmobile.

They manage to catch up to the armored truck before Riddler’s henchmen open fire, but are unable to penetrate the Batmobile’s bulletproof design.  During this, Nightwing tells Batman that he supports his current relationship with Selina.  However, Dick says that he’ll have to “tell her everything”.  Afterwards, Batman activates the car’s battering ram and drives right into the armored truck, toppling it over.

Nightwing proceeds to take care of the goons while Batman goes after the Riddler.  The fiend ends up tripping over himself before the Dark Knight catches up and demands to know where Hush is.  Just then, they notice the featured fiend looking over the scene from afar at Batman pursues him after handcuffing Edward.

As the Caped Crusader looks around, he hears Hush telling him that he’ll “destroy your life before taking it”.  He then notices someone heading towards the fitting room area as Batman continues his search.  As Hush mentions that he’ll kill off each of our hero’s friends and that none of them are safe, he appears in several mirrors as Bruce smashes each one of them.  However, the fiend has managed to slip away.

Later, Selina arrives back at her apartment as she’s stunned to find Batman inside.  He tells her that she knows who she is and that it’s her place.  Not only that, but he wants her to leave Gotham for a while since Hush is willing to harm those that’re closest to him.  As such, he decides to reveal his identity to her.  He even lets her remove his cowl as she discovers her boyfriend’s familiar face underneath the mask.

With this reveal adding more onto their relationship, they proceed to sleep with each other.  After their nighttime bed session, Selina then notices all of the scars from his years of crime-fighting as well as familiar claw marks on his chest from her earlier thieving days.  He then explains that since he knew about her secret identity and because of her theft-filled past, he wasn’t willing to believe that she was capable of changing for the better.  Thankfully, he admits that he was proven wrong.  From there, he invites her over to his place.

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Later, they arrive in the Bat Cave as Dick is stunned to see that Batman has actually committed to the relationship.  After he and Alfred give their proper introductions, Bruce assures her that only they and Damian know about her secret identity.

From there, we have a quick montage where Batman and Catwoman have become crime-fighting partners as they take out some notable villains including the Penguin, Two-Face & Mr. Freeze.

They even execute some teamwork skills during a fight against a group of thugs in a rundown warehouse.  Even though he has to stop her from performing a potentially-lethal slash on one defeated goon, this doesn’t deter from their romantic partnership.

We then cut to sometime later within Wayne Manor as Selina proposes the idea of them going on a vacation filled with “extreme” activities.  Bruce says that he’ll agree to this, but they have to catch Hush first.  She then mentions that the fiend hasn’t been seen for a long while and that she’s not asking him to give up the cowl entirely, but that they need to spend some time away from their crime-fighting venture.  Just then, Alfred comes in and tells Bruce that James Gordon is calling.  The commissioner informs him that a silent alarm was recently tripped over at Thomas Elliot’s medical office.  He informs her as she agrees that this is something that he needs to do by himself.  As such, he takes his leave.

Later, Batman and Gordon are investigating Elliot’s ransacked office.  The Caped Crusader discovers that the thief was professional enough to not leave any fingerprint or DNA upon any of the discarded papers.  However, it’s not the paperwork that the burglar was after, but particular medical information about the nearly-inoperable Glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.  On a hunch, Batman decides to take Gordon with him to Arkham Asylum.  However, Hush was watching them from afar as he calls up a “professor” and informs him that they’ll need to “pay our respects”.

Over at the Bat Cave, Nightwing prepares to head out on patrol as Catwoman decides to tag along.  As Dick learns from Selina what it’s like to date Batman, they hear a call from the police band about a break-in at Gotham Cemetery.  They ultimately discover that someone has dug up a corpse, only to find out that it’s Thomas Elliot’s body that’s been grave-robbed.

Just then, they’re attacked by Jonathan Crane a.k.a. Scarecrow (voiced by Chris Cox).  He manages to spread his fear gas onto Nightwing as the raging terror has the former Boy Wonder terrified and at his mercy.

Fortunately, Catwoman intervenes and proceeds to fight him.  He tries to use his Fear Gas, but she came prepared with her nose plugs as she manages to trip him up with her whip.  He then sorrowfully says that he can’t lose this confrontation since “he’ll” kill him, but she puts him out of his misery as she knocks him out with a swift kick to his face.

Afterwards, she notices Nightwing trying to inject himself with an antidote.  However, it slips from his trembling grasp before he sees Catwoman in a terrifying sight.  From there, he attacks her in a blind panic.  Fortunately, she evades his strikes before she gets the antidote and injects it into him.  Afterwards, she helps Dick reach the Batmobile as Alfred proceeds to auto pilot the car back to the Bat Cave.

She then returns to subdue Scarecrow, only to discover that he’s disappeared.  Suddenly, someone manages to sneak up and knock her out.  When she finally wakes up, she sees Hush and tries to attack him.  However, she’s chained up to a heavy slab.  From there, he activates a construction claw and traps her within its mechanical grasp.

We then cut to Arkham Asylum as Batman and James prepare to interrogate the Riddler.  Gordon wonders how Edward is involved in any of this, to which the Dark Knight says that he noticed a particular name within Thomas’ files: Arthur Wynne, the historical figure who created crossword puzzles.  It turns out that Nygma used that name during his visits to Dr. Elliot in order to properly help him with his brain tumor.  Riddler then explains that following the failed surgery, he refused to let that medical ailment be the thing that took him down.  It turns out that he was the one who bribed his way towards using the Lazarus Pit.  While he was within the healing reservoir, it opened his mind to the most startling of revelations: Bruce Wayne’s secret identity of Batman.

From there, he came up with a cunning plan in order to not only destroy his hated foe but also get back on the various criminals that belittled him in the past.  He created the persona of Hush before he went off to convince the likes of Bane and Poison Ivy into working for his scheme, in addition to being the one who positioned the Joker into his unintentional murder.

Afterwards, Batman makes a realization as he uses a Batarang to slit Edward’s neck.  It turns out to be a mechanism as Hush communicates through it and exclaims that it was used to control “him”.  Gordon soon discovers that it’s not the Riddler they’re facing right now, but Clayface (also voiced by Adam Gifford).

From there, he attacks Batman and James at their fight spills out in front the prison cells.  With the prisoners (including the Joker) getting to see the fight from behind the bars,  Clayface then manages to pin the Dark Knight.  Fortunately, Batman tosses some explosive pellets onto the fiend’s face in order to free himself.  Gordon regains his consciousness and proceeds to unload a round of bullets into Clayface, but to no avail.  Just as James gets consumed by the being, Batman uses an emergency hose and pumps him up with enough water to make him burst as Gordon gets saved.

Afterwards, Hush contacts and invites our hero to a final confrontation.  However, he cryptically mentions about his graveyard ploy before signing off.  Back at the scrap factory, Edwards removes his bandaged mask in order to reveal his identity to Catwoman.  When she mentions that Batman will find him, Edward agrees since he knows that Batman will disassemble the device that controlled Clayface and discover that it has a receiving range of ten miles.  As such, he activates a scrap processor in order to permanently finish off Selina.

As she struggles to free herself, Nygma then explains that the Dark Knight will contact Alfred about her disappearance before searching through every known factory and warehouse within said radius.  Because there’s 62 of them within that span alone, he narrows the list down to 14 before revisiting the name of Arthur Wynne.  Of those facilities, only one is an anagram for that name: New Thurnary Metal Works.

With his detective skills as sharp as ever, Batman arrives at the plant as he makes a dash to save the feline fatale.  However, he runs past a sensor before he’s confronted by Thomas Elliot’s corpse.  He places his deceased friend’s body onto the ground before resuming his pursuit.  Meanwhile, Catwoman is finally positioned above the scrap processor.  Fortunately, she uses her claws to cling on for dear life.

Back with Batman, he evades the gunfire of a few defensive gattling guns before taking them out with his Batarangs.  Afterwards, he finally reaches Edward before tossing out a bolo for Selina to hang on to.  From there, Nygma uses his cane to drop some debris onto the walkway and cause it to crumble as Batman dodges in time before engaging his foe in a final battle.

Even though Edward manages to score some hits, Bruce starts to taunt him by exclaiming that he’s still “the same insecure C-lister” that he knew before his dip into the Lazarus Pit.  He continues to frustrate Nygma by commenting on “the sheer lack of imagination” that come from his riddles and that once Bane, Poison Ivy & Joker find out about his identity of Hush, they’ll come looking for him.

From there, Batman begins to regain an advantage in hand-to-hand combat since he teases about the pit’s effects beginning to wear off on Edward.  Meanwhile, Selina manages to free her hand from the shackle and begins to pick the lock upon her chains.  Back with the main fight, Nygma accidentally slams his cane onto the control panel.

With the now-malfunctioning claw about to give way, Catwoman finally undos her chains before using her whip to swing over to the walkway.  At that moment, the claw slams into the processor and causes it to overload.

With the plant catching fire, Batman and Hush continue their fierce confrontation.  However, Edward has Bruce cornered as he plunges his cane into the Caped Crusader.  As Nygma is finally about to defeat our hero, Catwoman uses her whip to save her lover before tossing the cane away.  From there, she and Batman team up to take their foe on.

With one final uppercut, Bruce disorients Edward as he loses his balance and falls off the side.  Batman uses his grappling hook to save Nygma and tries to pull him up.  With the facility crumbling, he starts to get gleeful about the fact that the Caped Crusader is risking his own life since he refuses to let him die.  Unfortunately for him, Selina isn’t as merciful as she snaps the line with her claws and causes Edward to plummet to a fire-filled death.

With the building crumbling down, Batman and Catwoman manage to run out in time before it gets consumed within a flame-filled explosion.  Afterwards, Bruce exclaims “He didn’t have to die” before Selina chastises that statement due to everyone that Nygma harmed or attempted to maim.  Batman exclaims that he still has to try if it means that they can be saved.  She then sees this as his personal code and exclaims that it’s going to get him killed someday.  However, he says that he’s “no better than them” without it.  Unfortunately, she’s not willing to make the necessary change in her ethics.  As such, she decides to end their relationship as the movie concludes with her stating that “maybe someday”, it’ll ultimately work out between them before she takes her leave just as the police and the fire fighters arrive.

Batman-Bring It On, Bane!

With another threat to his city & family behind him, let’s delve into my character analysis and kick things off with our Caped Crusader himself, Batman.  Because he’s finally the main focus of his solo animated flicks within this continuity, he anchors the movie’s main theme involving relationships.  He grows an appreciation towards Selina who serves as the closest he’ll ever get towards maintaining a steady partnership with a significant other alongside his constant crime-fighting.  Unlike the source material where he has a lingering notion of her still being somewhat under Poison Ivy’s control throughout, he’s more willing to intimately trust her.  That aspect gets improved upon by the movie since it leads to greater displays of bonding between them throughout and not just by allowing her to be in the Bat Cave.  Not only that, but it ultimately leads to a more plausible reason for why they don’t stay together by the end as their history of differing moral ethics makes fa more sense instead of how the comic handled with him snapping at her just because she whispers “Hush” after he mentions that both of them could possibly be under Ivy’s mind-controlling methods.  As far as support from within the Bat Family (at least the ones that’re prevalent for this tale), they’re mainly supportive of this since Nightwing is the most vocal out of the group, Alfred seems to mainly be a silent supporter, while Damian is reluctant.  After all, Bruce’s son takes the place of Tim Drake (a.k.a. Robin #3) for this adaptation and expresses the same level of doubt towards Batman trusting Catwoman.  Unlike the source material however, he doesn’t suit up at any point.  This is most likely because we’ve already seen Damian’s character progression throughout this universe’s Batman & Teen Titans films, not to mention that the character didn’t exist in the comics as of yet when the original story came out.  Either way, Bruce’s family is held together by his deep trust towards those that he has included within his dark world.  For him to include her into his life despite this being her first appearance within this particular line of animated films was a somewhat bold choice, but then again it is hinted at that they’ve mingled with each other in some offscreen ventures (whether in or out of costume).  Aside from all of that, the Caped Crusader gets a fairly tough challenge to deal with and Jason O’Mara has become very natural to the role by this point.  Even after voicing the character for 5+ years, his vocal range has become solidified to make this iteration of the iconic masked detective his own.  Not only that, but he makes the most of this outing since thanks to the character finally getting the spotlight in a solo movie within this particular string of films.  Either way, a good performance throughout.

Catwoman-It's On, Plant Lady!

From one lover to another, we now move onto our feline fatale herself with Catwoman.  For the most part, she plays her role from the comic with the exception of a few choice moments.  The scene where she saves Batman from the three goons is her essentially filling in half of Huntress’ role from the initial story.  Also, she doesn’t accompany Batman to Metropolis originally.  Instead, she’s given a contact beacon should she come across Poison Ivy while they’re within Superman’s turf.  From there, they do have a scene on top of a Metropolis subway train where it essentially plants the seeds of their eventual break-up.  While Batman is equipped with a Kryptonite Ring instead of Kryptonite spikes attached to brass knuckles for his fight against mind-controlled Superman, she still fulfills her original job by shoving Lois from the tippy top of the Daily Planet.  Not to mention, Krypto the Super Dog helps her, Batman and Superman capture Pamela in the end.  During her opera fight with Harley Quinn, she’s initially taken out with a gunshot to her shoulder area before crashing into a stage set.  After some recovery, she tries to stop Batman from killing the Joker.  However, Bruce re-aggravates her injury and causes her to pass out.  From there, she pops up again when Batman reveals his secret identity to her.  Namely, he captures Talia Al Ghul and has Selina look after her for a while before confronting Talia’s father Ra’s about the present crime string.  However, Lady Shiva arrives to rescue the famed Daughter of the Demon’s Head and Catwoman ends up on the receiving end of a completely one-sided fight.  Later, Batman arrives back and takes her back to the Bat Cave to heal up (which is where she sees Bruce’s various crime-fighting scars).  Later on, she helps Batman make some repairs to the Bat Computer before noticing Tim Drake keeping an observant eye from her from the nearby stalactites as they proceed to brawl for a bit.  Afterwards, she takes one of the Bat-Cycles and heads out before coming across Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress.  However, Helena has been effected by Scarecrow’s fear gas and proceeds to attack Selina.  From there, she mostly sits on the sidelines during the final two parts of the tale.  In those final chapters, she essentially tells Batman that Huntress took his Bat-Cycle, talks to Helena for a bit following the Dark Knight’s climactic battle against Hush and then the aforementioned moment happens where they ultimately break up.  Needless to say, the movie gives both her and the relationship a much better chance to shine.  It feels like she gets to be more involved in the investigation, gains the opportunities to fight alongside Bruce in order to show their relationship to the audience and she even gets to take part in the climax.  She does come off with a bit more of a sly, romantic tone in her voice, though she does change it up when necessary.  In the end though, time has benefited in thinking of new ways to get her more involved within the narrative.  As a result, she has more of an impact in the story, her relationship with Bruce gets to blossom a bit more her than in the original comic and it allows Jennifer Morrison the breathing room she needs to really make an impact on her part.  Overall, she’s very good & effective with her performance and it wouldn’t hurt to see her return with the character in a later film within this continuity.

Nightwing-I've Got This!

Briefly, let’s talk about Nightwing and his progression within this line of films.  While the comic’s take on the storyline doesn’t see him showing up until Thomas Elliot’s funeral (nearly 2/3 of the way through the tale), Dick has been given more of an expanded role here due to his presence with this universe’s Batman and Teen Titans films.  He fulfills his duties from the original material by attending the funeral, talking to Bruce about how he’ll need to reveal his identity in order to properly secure a better future with Selina and beating up Riddler’s goons. He does get a few more things to do in the tale because of his solidified presence within this universe, but the most notable thing that happens to him here is when he gets affected by Scarecrow’s Fear Gas.  It was the second important plot detail that happened to Huntress in the original story since she would fight Catwoman in a mad panic.  In both versions, Catwoman is the one who applies the antidote to cure the featured hero by the end of that scene.  In the grand scheme, he takes a step back so that Batman can finally be the main star of his own animated outing within this universe.  Make sense since just like Damian, he’s been through a lot. He’s tranquilized Deathstroke’s own Man-Bat army, fought off an armada of Talons, became Batman in order to lead the Bat-Family in the rescue of Bruce, escort Damian to Titans Tower and ultimately rejoin the Teen Titans in their fight against Deathstroke & Brother Blood.  Despite that, he’s still as positive and snarky as he’s ever been throughout this series with Sean Maher continuing to deliver another solid performance.

Hush-Leaving Less-Fortunate Victims Befuddled!.png

Moving into villainous territory, we’ve now reached the man behind Hush in Edward Nygma a.k.a. Riddler.  Like the source material, it turns out that he truly is the mastermind behind this whole scheme.  However, some alterations were made in order to make him a solidified and singular entity throughout the movie.  While he does use a Lazarus Pit to cure himself of his inoperable brain tumor and thus realizes Batman’s secret identity, he actually schemed with Thomas Elliot on this plot.  I’ll delve into the doctor’s side of things in the next section, but his scenes of major appearances (the whole armored truck robbery & capture scene along with the interrogation room within Arkham Asylum) were reworked to have the controlled Clayface disguised as his Riddler persona so that Edward could be entirely engrossed within the guise of Hush.  Because Nygma is in the antagonistic driver’s seat for this movie, he gets to show off not only his intellectual prowess, but also a little marksmanship, his elusiveness and even some hand-to-hand combat skills that nearly take down Batman at the end if not for the timely interruption from Catwoman.  It translates his means to prove himself above the “C-List” status that he’s been seen as by his villainous peers as he manages to wrap several members of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery around his finger and manipulate them into doing his bidding.  He mainly stays in the shadows until it’s finally time for him to confront our hero and while he does elevate himself above the sometimes meek figure that others see in him, he still has some insecurities that Batman was able to exploit.  They don’t necessarily become the exact cause of his ultimate downfall, but they do slow him down from actually taking the Caped Crusader out for good.  Because he was under the guise of his new villainous creation, it was able to hide those foibles for a good while and allowed him to unleash his antagonistic potentials without the fear of no one taking him seriously.  Geoffrey Arend does a solid job between the sly nerd-esque tone of the Riddler and silently gruff sounds of Hush, effectively fooling everyone around him up to his big reveal.  He delivers an intimidating confidence when voicing Hush and it blends together with his various skills to make Edward more of a threat than with his original identity that others have come to know him as.  As the Riddler, his know-it-all tone also works within various shades of delivery, ranging from intimidated awkwardness, expository confidence and frustrated anger.  Either way, a nice range for Arend to have in his performance.

Thomas Elliot-More Good Things For My Surgical Name!.png

While we’re still on the topic of Hush, let’s get to Thomas Elliot and how he was changed in translation.  Because he only has two scenes prior to his death at the opera, he mainly serves as a red herring to those who’re familiar with the comics.  The original source material delved into his childhood past with Bruce as they bonded over some certain moments, ranging from playing antique chess to chasing after the Golden Age Green Lantern a.k.a. Alan Scott while visiting Metropolis just to see him in action.  However, the past also gave hints towards his growing resentment towards Bruce.  The first was when Mr. & Mrs. Elliot were involved in a fatal vehicular accident.  Since Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne was a physician, he was able to save Tommy’s mother.  However, his dad wasn’t as fortunate.  As such, he punched the youthful Bruce since he was promised that both of his parents would be saved.  During the final battle in the comic, Hush mentions that he severed the brake line on his parents’ car so that he could inherit their fortune.  Instead, he had to wait for his mother to pass away from cancer.  The second sign was a jade pendant that his mother wore when she was alive.  In a childhood flashback, Thomas showed it to Bruce who naively played Keep-Away with it.  Elliot became enraged and demanded for it back, to which he did.  During his climatic fight, Batman finds said pendant on his foe.  While Hush’s identity was never physically revealed there, it was a strong implication that it truly was Thomas Elliot (to which it ultimately was).  While Edward’s Hush ultimately fell to a flame-engulfed death, Thomas’ Hush was defeated with a timely intervening from James Gordon and Harvey Dent, the latter of whom whose face was fixed by plastic surgery.  It was also Dent who fired two shots into Hush, causing him to fall into the water and disappear.  Either way, Thomas’ role gets greatly reduced as a result and only serves as a false lead with a few hints to his childhood and background from the original arc.  The only way that he could have been Hush is if he was allowed to take part in any of the past Batman films from this continuity and if enough time was devoted to building up his past friendship with Bruce.  As is it though, Maury Sterling does his best with the limited role that he’s been given.  It’s just a shame that he wasn’t allowed to play either a more central or even side-villain, as if this was his punishment for his time as Parry Francesco.  Either way, he serves his role as well as he can deliver.

As a transition from the heroic to the devious side of the law, let’s quickly mention some differences that some minor characters have with the original source material.  With Barbara Gordon, she doesn’t get too much to do past her two scenes.  Her presence from the initial story was also somewhat minimal, especially since she was the wheelchair-bound Oracle at the time.  In the comic version of this tale, she calls out to the Bat-Family when Batman suffers his severe head injury from the beginning before remote-driving the Batmobile with the injured Dark Knight back to the Bat Cave, assists Batman with the aerial kidnapping of Talia Al Ghul (whom I’ll delve into a bit later on) and help the Caped Crusader set up a meeting with a character named Harold Allnut.  For this tale, she helps to fill in a role that Huntress originally filled during the opening moments of the story.  Namely, it’s saving the injured Batman from a small group of street thugs.  In the original source material, Huntress took care of those goons all by herself while Catwoman and then Batgirl dealt with this moment in the narrative.  Either way, both versions see Barbara helping Bruce out of his dire situation.  Peyton R. List does a nice job with what she has to work with and I hope that we get a more proper tale involving her since it would be nice to see her in action.  Next up, we have Lady Shiva.  Because of her connections with the League of Assassins, I’ll bring them up here as well.  Like the source material, her presence within the overall story is mainly limited to just one scene.  While the movie has moved up her lone appearance within the overall narrative to the chemical factory so that she can inform Batman about someone outside their ranks using a Lazarus Pit, the original story sees her showing up to rescue Talia after she’s been abducted from her flight by Batman.  Because Catwoman was left behind to watch her while Bruce went overseas to confront her father Ra’s, Shiva shows up and thoroughly beats Selina up during her rescue mission.  However, Talia secretly cut through her rope and blindsides Shiva before waiting for Batman to return.  When Bruce returns, Talia tells him that she temporarily left in order to gather some medical herbs and use them to heal Catwoman.  Only after that does she finally take her leave.  Speaking of plants, this is also where Talia again comes in, though earlier in the story.  With Batman venturing to Metropolis, he goes to LexCorp and asks her about the Ethylene that Ivy’s using.  At this time within the DC Universe (2001-2003 to be exact), Lex Luthor was serving as President of the United States.  As such, he allowed Talia to run the company in his absence.  In terms of her father, Ra’s Al Ghul is met upon by Batman within his home country as the Caped Crusader thinks that he’s part of Hush’s grand plan.  They proceed to engage each other in a sword fight as Ra’s will either help our hero or make him pay for his “insubordination” and release his daughter.  After Batman wins, it’s here that Ra’s informs him that the Lazarus Pit has been used by an outsider.  Of course, both Al Ghuls have been axed off by this point, which makes sense when Lady Shiva mentions about the League of Assassins being in a state of flux by this point in the timeline.  Finally for this section, we have Lex Luthor.  As mentioned before, this story originally came out when he was serving as America’s President.  His only appearance back then came in Part 9 when Batman snatched up Talia from a jet airliner called LexAir One. When asked if he wants to take action, he simply mentions “Not yet”.  Most likely, this is foreshadowing the eventual tale of “Public Enemies” when both the superhero and supervillain communities pursue Batman & Superman.  Other than that, his minimal appearance is effective for the tale.

Continuing our trend of growing changes between the comic and the film, let’s discuss how these less-than-noble figures were changed in translation.  In the opening moments, it was originally Killer Croc that kidnapped the boy (Edward Dupree instead of Edward Lamont IV as in the original tale) and is looking to collect a ransom.  However, he hasn’t been seen in this continuity since “Son Of Batman” and while his inclusion would have made some sense in that he would desperately want the money in order to deal with his current condition (as discussed in my review for that film), Bane essentially fills the role here.  Not too much to complain about concerning the differences in this aspect, so let’s move on to Amanda Waller.  Because Luthor was America’s President at the time of the original source material, she served as his Secretary of Metahuman Affairs and pops in the initial narrative after Killer Croc broke out of Arkham.  Though she wasn’t present in Waylon’s eventual re-capture, she still ultimately got her muscular fiend by the end.  In the end, her scenes mainly play out as they do in the comic.  For Poison Ivy, she also goes through her moments in a similar fashion to the original source.  She initially uses her own mind-controlling kiss toxins on Catwoman in order to steal the ransom money, flees to Metropolis, uses the synthetic Kryptonite lip stick to take control of Superman and gets caught by our heroes.  Likewise, she a manipulator who gets ordered around by another manipulator before her ultimate defeat.  Not much else to say about her, so let’s move on to Harley Quinn.  Because she makes her initial appearance within this story literally at the opera, the movie decided to give some motivation for her to be there.  While the comic has her showing up to simply rob the patrons, she’s forced to go there by Hush in order to save Joker’s life.  In terms of her appearance as the opera, it changes from her pretending to be Pagliacci (while singing cornball lyrics) to simply knocking out the lead singer.  In the comic, Bruce and Selina are attending the performance alongside Thomas Elliot and Dr. Leslie Thompkins (while the film replaces her with a blonde date).  During the robbery, she takes Thomas’ mother’s jade pendant (which leads into the aforementioned childhood flashback), causing him to force her off in an attempt to get it back.  In retaliation, she opens fire upon the box seat.  Here, she shoots at said theater box since she was ordered by Hush to kill Bruce.  While Wayne does engage against her henchmen in the source material, it’s after he dons his Batman garb.  He then attempts to get Harley, but she fires a sandbox down upon him which slams onto his head and disorients him due to the aforementioned head injury, thus needing Catwoman to save him.  Here, Bruce fends off the goons in his regular formal clothes before becoming an open target and prompting Selina to arrive and save him.  Quinn proceeds to fight Catwoman for a bit before getting her injured and fleeing afterwards.  The comic has an additional moment afterwards when Thomas bumps into her in an attempt to get the jade pendant back, but she kicks him off and heads out.  With one final difference concerning Harley, the comic has her popping up one last time during the scene with Batman strangling the Joker due to the supposed murder of Thomas.  Harley attempts to sneak up and use her mallet to get the Dark Knight off of “Mr. J”, but he evades the strike before kicking her into some garbage and knocking her out.  In the movie, she just disappears after taking out Catwoman and fleeing the opera.  In the end, Quinn did have a few cosmetic differences with her scene, yet it mainly played out like in the source material.  At last, we’ve reached Clayface.  While the movie has him controlled by Nygma into looking and acting like the Riddler before Batman removes the device from him so that a prison fight can occur, he shows up late in the story holding Tim Drake hostage.  After removing the bandages from his face, he reveals that he’s taken the form of Jason Todd, a.k.a. Robin #2 who originally died during “Death In The Family”.  Following a timely assist from Catwoman in order to help Tim out, Batman proceeds to fight him for a good while before realizing that it isn’t Jason that he’s fighting.  From there, Clayface (most likely the eighth version, Johnny Williams) melts away and flees.  With the later ambiguous reveal of Thomas Elliot as Hush, it’s then implied that Clayface pretended to be Thomas Elliot during his supposed murder by the Joker.  I read that it was eventually retconned in “Under The Hood” that Batman did fight Jason Todd in the graveyard before the eventual Red Hood slipped away in time for Clayface to take his place with his likeness.  However, that’s not important to this adaptation due to the changes in translation and the differences in universal progress.  Before I close, I’d like to bring up Harvey Dent who only had a brief appearance in the film as Two-Face and was defeated by Batman & Catwoman in a montage.  He pops up a few times in the source material, partially starting with the end of Part 7 as Hush flips and catches his familiar coin to give a false lead to the audience about him and Dent being the same person.  At the end of Part 8, he shows up at Arkham Asylum to reveal his fixed face to the imprisoned Joker before using his reinstated position as a District Attorney to help the Clown Prince of Crime out of the facility.  Afterwards, he visit James Gordon and tells him that the Joker was innocent and that they need to help Batman since the fiend used Gordon’s service pistol in Thomas Elliot’s “murder”.  In the end, they catch up to Hush after he has Batman at his mercy during the climactic fight.  Dent shoots the fiend into the water before telling Gordon that he was the one who shot Clayface while he was pretending to be Thomas.  In the end, all of these characters had either minor tweaks, were translated exactly as the printed page or saw major alterations in order to fit this particular story.

Batman & Catwoman-We're Outta Here!.png

In terms of the narrative, it does a good job of balancing out the central mystery of Hush and his overall personal attack upon our hero while also delving into Bruce & Selina’s relationship as it thrives and falters within their costumed crime-fighting antics.  Despite Selina having no other appearances in this universe, the movie does a convincing job of selling their intimate partnership.  By improving upon this aspect from the source material, it allows their time together to have a stronger impact upon the narrative and makes it easier to gauge his level of trust towards her.  They’re similar enough so that they can come together and complete each other in many ways, but their individual stubbornness with their own ethics and their unwillingness to change that aspect in favor of the other’s can symbolize a factor that prevents them from becoming a complete wholeness to themselves.  Whether or not they finally complete that hurdle is entirely up to the creative staff, but it’s never out of the realm of impossibility.  As for the mystery involving Hush, it plays out fairly well to those who’ve never read the original material.  For those who are, it may disappoint its purists since its ultimate reveal may put off those who expected him to be the vengeful Thomas Elliot and not the Riddler with a successful gimmick.  Despite that, the film version actually builds itself nicely with what it has to work within its source material.  There are those who are insecure and desperately wish to feel more important than what others perceive of them.  In fact, we’ve all experienced at one point in our lives.  However, it can be incredibly frustrating as an adult when you’ve perfected several skills but aren’t seen enough on a respective level.  With his scheme, Edward gets to walk several miles within the shoes of an identity that he created and actually feel some personal relevance.  With the story it presents throughout the film, it paces itself at a nice rate and allows for some key moments of either much-needed downtime or even a few chuckles.  Fortunately, it also paces its action scenes in a solid manner as it follows its comic book cues straight from the source in order to guarantee a good time for the viewer.

Hush-I Know How To Make An Introduction!

Overall, this is among the most solid of entries for the Dark Knight within this continuity.  The characters are engaging as ever, the action flows smoothly, the animation is mostly consistent throughout and its two leads get the benefit of having their performances boosted by some much-needed tweaks to the source material in order for their characters’ relationship to shine brighter than originally presented.  It explores an aspect that this iteration of Batman hadn’t faced before and allows him to tackle a proper romance alongside of a mystery while getting the leading spotlight.  In the end, it’s worth a watch, so check it out if you get the chance as it’s far from an entry that needs to be silenced.

Next Time: We’re staying put within this particular universe, but we’ll be doing some backtracking before we move forward.  In particular, we’ll be exploring our Amazing Amazon in a specific adventure before Darkseid began his massive invasion and she ended up joining the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes.  Her adoptive family ties will be put through its hectic testings as we discover which connections are thicker than others in a tale called “Wonder Woman: Bloodlines”.

Batman, Catwoman (both created by by Bob Kane and Bill Finger), Superman (created by Jerry Seigel & Joe Shuster) and all related characters are owned by DC Comics.

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