“Hush, Chapter 11: The Game”
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artists: Jim Lee (p) Scott Williams (i)
Hush nears its conclusion, and so we’ll be learning the secrets that have been stumping fans and critics alike these last eleven months. In this issue, Batman is confronted by Jason Todd, the supposedly dead second Robin. It doesn’t take Bats long to realize that this isn’t Jason Todd (step forward…Clayface), and he ends it in short order. After receiving some information from Oracle, Batman meets his old friend Harold, but before H can say who put him up to setting a bug in the batcave, Hush kills him. So now, finally, it’s time for the final showdown between Batman and the mysterious person known only as Hush.
I’ve yet to read an issue from the Hush storyline that I haven’t liked. Since the start I’ve been guessing myself into a corner about who Hush is, and just when I think I’ve got my head sorted, BANG, the situation changes radically and I’m not so sure any more. Jeph Loeb knows how to write a good mystery to keep readers hooked, begging for more. Loeb also gets credit for the variety of villains he’s used throughout the story, especially how Batman pursues them, engages them in battle and wins through – this has been a great ride.
And so to his partner-in-crime, Jim Lee. Who doesn’t think that Lee is a terrific artist? Anyone? His work on Hush has just got better and better each month; I mean, I’ve been a big fan of Lee since his 1990s X-Men work, but this stuff is his best yet. You see, Lee takes the time to detail his work, not missing a thing: musculature, facial detail, and backgrounds are all intricately depicted. It’s also the consistency I love about his artwork – he could draw a statue in one issue, just an incidental background detail. Five issues later, it’s there again, just as detailed, just as incidental, and just as identical as before. It’s the care and attention, the polish he gives to his work, that makes it so pleasurable to read.
Batman is definitely the book to buy. Loeb and Lee make a spectacular team – they are great storytellers and for only $2.25 for their work, well, it’s a fabulous deal.
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