Monday, July 25, 2005


Apparently, the Random Generator was working overtime in the BatOffices this month.

Not being a huge devotee of Gotham Knights, I didn't have either the energy or the inclination to go back and re-read the issues with Hush kidnapping Alfred and the whole Is-It-Or-Isn't-It-Tommy Elliott thing, which in hindsight I'm not even sure I read all of when it came out. I'm fairly certain that it doesn't really matter -- all the backstory in the words wasn't going to make the reveal at the end of this issue make any sort of sense.

The main plot -- a wedding-videographer-by-day/pornographer-by-night splices together video proof that Bruce Wayne is Batman and tries to blackmail him -- would have been more ridiculous than it seems if Tim Drake had any other backstory than what he does. I mean, if a twelve-year-old can work it out, why not a seedy shlub with a video camera? This part is actually not half-bad; it is completely plausible for there to be sketchy conspiracy theorists in Gotham obsessed with Batman and his enemies and our too-self-aware erstwhile blackmailer has no aspirations beyond getting rich quickly. Bruce offers him a far greater reward for his silence, but he simply can't comprehend a wealth more valuable than hard currency. That works very well.

Where the issue falls apart -- and Lieberman issues pretty much are guaranteed to fall apart somewhere -- is how Alfred handles the money drop. To misquote a pal (whose fault it is entirely that I even picked this issue up), it's never any fun when the butler actually did it. Alfred's solution to the blackmailer? The end of the issue brings us one dead cinematographer and one bloodstained butler.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over.

I don't care if Alfred's operating under some sort of mind control or if this is Hush's master plan. You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you most certainly do not turn Alfred Pennyworth into a killer.

What hurts this story even more is that it is looking like a (really) weak copy of what's going on in Manhunter this month. And Manhunter was a far, far better read.

I know there's a reason I don't regularly read this title and I know the sign of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect different results. So I'm going to chalk this up as reinforcement that I made the wise choice to not make this book a regular part of my Batreading and move on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least you didn't pick up the Gotham Knights VU tie-in. That was the shittiest comic I've ever been forced to pick up.

Actually, with Devin Grayson on Nightwing, I take that back. Second-shittiest.

Mon Jul 25, 09:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

If it was last month's issue, with Hush operating on Prometheus then, sadly, yes I did.

I like Hush as a theory in the same way I like Jason-as-Red-Hood in theory -- someone who knows how Bruce ticks and pushes him into places he doesn't want to go, but boy does he not work out in practice.

Mon Jul 25, 10:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I disagreed with you on the original Hush arc (As far as I can tell, you didn't like it, I did), but if this is what Hush is reduced to these days, I'll be damned if I read any more about him.

PS: I really love your reviews.

Mon Jul 25, 11:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if you don't agree with tugging on Superman's cape, what do you think of a. Heat-visioning it (Superboy, Teen Titans 7), or b. Lobo kicking Superman in the balls?

Mon Jul 25, 11:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

I liked the Hush arc, but in the same way I like anything of Jeph Loeb's -- so long as I pretend that it isn't in continuity. I disliked the hype (Who is Hush?!?! Howabout the one guy who got introduced for just this series?), but it had its high points.

As for what happens to Superman's cape, you can wash it with the bleach load for all I care. Just don't mess with my Jim Croce references. :)

Mon Jul 25, 11:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's a good thing I didn't get it when it was originally printed. I'm fairly new to comics (She-Hulk is the reason I got into them), so I guess I missed all the real hype for it.

Tue Jul 26, 12:15:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me if Poison Ivy is dead or not?

Wed Jul 27, 03:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

Ivy's dead for the time being, but that can't possibly last very long.

Wed Jul 27, 06:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're pre-crisis. At this point, nothing matters. (And frankly, my hope is that nothing matters, given the mess DC has made of its characters over the last what? 2 years now? maybe 3?)


Fri Jul 29, 04:33:00 PM EDT  

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