(This movie came out a year ago, and I just realized that although I made notes, I never actually posted my writeup. The studio provided a review copy.)
Batman: Hush didn’t interest me at first, but it became the first of the original DCU animated movies in a long time that didn’t feel like an obligation to watch, something to grind through. That was due to two reasons: the prominent role for Catwoman (although you couldn’t tell that from the cover) and the many characters that appear here, including Nightwing, Batgirl, Bane, Poison Ivy, Superman, Lois Lane, and Harley Quinn (with hyenas named Larry, Moe, and Shemp).
I found it easy to lose track of what was going on, but every time I did, a new character or plot twist appeared, so that was fun and distracting. Things move really quickly, as they have a lot of content to cover in an hour twenty minutes. Also, I never read the comic, so I didn’t know what was going to happen, which helped. (It turns out that the ending has been significantly changed, so it didn’t matter anyway.) Batman: Hush is based on the graphic novel by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.
Hush is a new super-villain, a badass who’s controlling all the others. He manages to kidnap Joker and control Poison Ivy, which means he feels like a writer wish-fulfillment. “My bad guy will be more powerful than all the others!” Here’s a short trailer for the comic:
(What I got from that was: there’s a lot of blue in this book.)
The voice cast uses many of the DCAU regulars: Jason O’Mara as Batman, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Rebecca Romijn as Lois Lane, Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor, Sean Maher as Nightwing, Stuart Allan as Damian Wayne, and James Garrett as Alfred. We didn’t care much for him — he didn’t sound British or snarky enough — but in these kinds of animated movies, most of the voices are pretty flat and generic. Jennifer Morrison played Selina Kyle, and she did a great job. (Trivia: turns out there are two actresses named Peyton List — one’s a former model, one a singer — and one plays Poison Ivy (the same one who played her in Gotham), and the other Batgirl.)
Key moments that stood out to me:
- Bane kidnaps a kid, who then calls him an asshole
- Poison Ivy kisses Catwoman, who later calls her “crazy plant bitch“
- Poison Ivy mind-controls Superman and says the S-word (as do other characters — the movie is PG-13 for violence, action, suggestive material, and language)
- Damian chews out Bruce for going on a date with Selina, saying “if this trollop provides some carnal release, so be it”
- Clark and Lois in the newsroom, as she’s preparing to interview Bruce
- Nightwing remains a fave, as he often lightens things up
But the story I was there for was the development and ending of the relationship between Catwoman and Batman. Their pillow talk consists of remembering when she scarred him, which seems oddly right for them, if a bit fetishized. I didn’t expect them to end up together, but the reason they don’t seems overplayed in the superhero genre. Still, it’s better than the way it happened in the comics. (Which boiled down to, if Batman’s happy, he can’t do his job effectively, which is a damned depressing thought.) Here’s the trailer:
Batman: Hush is directed by Justin Copeland and written by Ernie Altbacker. They provide a commentary along with executive producer James Tucker. The three of them, along with psychologist Andrea Letamendi, then-publisher Dan Didio, and Jim Lee participate in the special feature “Love in Time of War”, a 17-minute discussion of the Batman/Catwoman relationship and the Catwoman character. As expected, they didn’t discuss the history of objectification, but you do get to see Didio panting after Julie Newmar.
Also new on this disc is “Sgt. Rock”, the first of the new DC Showcase shorts. It’s written by Louise Simonson & Walter Simonson and Tim Sheridan and directed by Bruce Timm. The title character (voiced by Karl Urban) ends up working with a version of the Creature Commandos.
There’s also a ten-minute sneak peek at Wonder Woman: Bloodlines promising “over-the-top superhero action” in a look at her early career. Her friend becomes a super villain, Silver Swan, and the movie wants to explore the nature of Wonder Woman’s family, both the Amazons and Julia and Vanessa Kapetelis.
Additional items are a preview of Batman: Assault on Arkham and the “Catwalk” episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
Heh, don’t feel too bad about it being a year, i just watched the Teen Titan The Judas Contract movie, and its been 3 years since it came out. lol
I’ll eventually get to this one as well, its just been a slow go. I remember liking the comic story for most part, though I’m not a huge fan of Lee’s art style. I didn’t even know there was a new Wonder Woman animated movie, I’ll have to add it to my watch list. I wish they did more stuff with characters not Superman and Batman.
I’m glad someone’s still interested. :) This year has become oddly timeless, where it feels like moving through molasses or I turn around and four months have gone by. There are four more animated films since this one, and I’ll be talking about them here as I get caught up.
I too wish they would expand the lineup somewhat, but they likely go with what they know already has a built in audience.
Yeah this has been a year that both seems to have gone by in a blink, but also last a decade at times. lol
I see there’s a Deathstroke movie that just came out, but I have never been that fond of the character. I remember watching 1 one of the Suicide Squad animated movies, one that had female nudity which I was surprised by. I’m hoping with a Green Lantern tv series coming eventually, we’ll see some focus on it. Though who knows, given the success of the Arrowverse, I’ve always been surprised that there’s been no animated movies set in that universe.(LSH with Mon-El from the show?)
I do like some of the writers they got, saw 1 was written by Bryan Q Miller whose Batgirl comic was a favorite. 1 movie I want to check out due to the LSH involvement, is the JL Vs Fatal 5. I’m also curious how the pick you own path Batman movie will be too.
They did a couple of animated Arrow-verse tie-ins. Very loosely connected. There was a Ray backstory one, anyway.
I’m supposed to watch the Deathstroke one. :(
Maybe they’ll make him interesting then lol. In comics he was always a sort of an evil Batman to me.
His kids are interesting, but … just a boring character. Comics has too many mercenary tough guys as it is.
This is a collection of various episodes that ran on CW Seed, their online network, like Vixen and The Ray were.
Oh wow I forgot about that Vixen seed series, and i remember now hearing about The Ray and being intrigued by character in that tv crossover.
I get Deathstroke and Deadshot mixed up a lot.
And why wouldn’t you? They both have ridiculous masks and shoot things.