With the release of DC Universe’s animated film Batman: The Killing Joke dividing people, many have asked the question if it’s time for DC to stop remaking classic comic books into films and instead focus on original stories. However, not everyone shares that perspective — granted, while they have been responsible for some the most amazing original animated films, they have also produced some of .
With that in mind, I present to you one story that deserves to be adapted into a DC Universe film, and that is Batman: Hush. Published in 2003 as a comic series, the story focused on the introduction of a new villain close to Batman’s heart as the Dark Knight struggled with personal demons that continued to haunt him. A personal story that is one of the Bat’s best, let’s take a look at why Hush should be adapted into an animated feature-length film.
A Modern Classic
Throughout Batman’s seven decades of existence, there has been a rich collection of legendary stories written about the Caped Crusader. However, among these amazing comics is an elite class of iconic stories that almost every Bat-fan knows. Among these are the likes of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns as well as Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale’s The Long Halloween and Alan Moore/Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. However, there is one Batman story that — although it hasn’t been around as long as the others — has quickly ascended into that elite class. And that is Batman: Hush.
Hush was also written by Loeb and received acclaim from many. The story was the perfect combination of Loeb’s compelling writing and Jim Lee’s incredible artwork, which has since gone on to become the defining look for Batman in many people’s eyes. Just as the majority of this amazing string of comics have received their animated adaptations, it’s only fitting that the modern classic that is Batman: Hush receives the same honor.
A Compelling Story
A film is only as great as its story. And with an amazing story like Hush to adapt, it’s pretty certain that an animated film would be incredible. Hush is a mystery that allows the readers as Batman attempts to track down the elusive Hush and figure out his true identity. What we see is a classic tale of mystery, mind games and madness.
Furthermore, Batman isn’t a one-dimensional crime fighter. This is a personal story for him. It gets inside his head and hits him deep in the heart. With the memory of his best friend playing throughout the novel, he attempts to track down the one person who is managing to best him at everything: Hush.
Re-Introducing The World To Hush
With Batman’s legendary gallery of villains, it’s understandable to think that he wouldn’t need anymore. However, when the Batman: Hush comic series began being published in 2003, we found out that there was room for one more foe. The comic series launched this villain as a legitimate threat to the Dark Knight, because quite frankly, he knew him better than just about anyone else. And we all took notice.
However, since the series concluded and DC Comics rebooted their continuity, Hush hasn’t been as prominent in Batman storylines and we have never seen an adult live-action or animated portrayal of the character. What better way for DC to reintroduce one of their greatest villains than by releasing an animated film version of the story that started it all? This move would certainly introduce the character to a whole new audience while reminding us just how awesome the story was in the first place.
A Look At Batman And The Joker’s Relationship
Despite focusing on the compelling arc of tracking down the titular villain, Batman: Hush is rife with exciting side stories, equally as important to the overall narrative. One of those stories takes an expansive look at the relationship between Batman and his arch-nemesis the Joker. Hush allows us to get inside Batman’s head and see how he ponders over whether or not he should have killed the Joker long ago.
Furthermore, the fact that he nearly crosses that line is something that . People can’t get enough of the twisted relationship between these two and that is something we would love to see portrayed once again in an animated film version of Batman: Hush.
On that note: One thing that Batman: The Killing Joke was praised for was the voice performances of both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker, respectively. The two are synonymous with the characters so it would make perfect sense for them to return for a Hush film if it ever happens.
The Best Of Batman Rolled Into One Story
While Hush does focus primarily on a new original storyline, it also encompasses so much of what made Batman the icon he is today. As he attempts to take down the new threat, Bruce finds himself facing old demons. Whether it be his battle with Superman — which has gone on to become one of their most iconic face-offs yet — to his fight with the Joker, Hush isn’t afraid to revisit old territory, adding its own unique take on it.
But perhaps the most impressive arc in the whole novel is the one between Batman and Catwoman, in which Bruce struggles with his feelings, unable to resist her but unsure he can trust her. It’s a badass portrayal of Catwoman and personifies her as a true hero.
With all that going on, it’s clear to see why DC should definitely make an animated film of Hush. There’s so many incredible stories to cover and aspects that we would love to see revisited.
The Animation Style
One of the main criticisms of the animated film version of Batman: The Killing Joke was the crude animation style of the film. While in general the animation was great, it just didn’t seem to have the same effect as Brian Bolland’s clean-lined illustrations on the pages of the comic. While Hush‘s illustrations are gritty in their own way, it’s likely the more modern style would allow them to be adapted to DC’s animation style much smoother than the older comics.
Of course, it’s possible that it still wouldn’t have the same awe-inspiring effect as the comic, it would still be amazing to see some of the iconic images from Hush replicated in a DC Universe animated film.
The Great Length Debate
Length has been a consistent issue for DC when they bring their comic books to life in animated films. Although the 2011 adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One was well-received, some criticized it for being too short, running only 64 minutes. On the other hand, the recent adaptation of the much shorter Batman: The Killing Joke was criticized for deviating from the source material by adding the extra 30 minute-long Batgirl arc. While I thought both films did their comic book counterparts justice, it’s clear that it’s hard to get the length of the film right when adapting a comic book.
However, Batman: Hush would not suffer from this dilemma as it is a much longer graphic novel. It’s a long enough comic which would ensure that the film wouldn’t be too short and there is also more than enough going on in the story that no deviating would be necessary. If the finished product did end up being too long, DC could always release it in two parts, much like they did with the universally acclaimed Batman: The Dark Knight Returns — which is undoubtedly their greatest accomplishment yet.
With DC having adapted some of their greatest comic books of all time into amazing animated films, now is the time for them to add Batman: Hush to that list. The graphic novel is among the greatest Batman stories ever told and would undoubtedly make a compelling animated movie.
I remember reading each issue, in awe of the incredible narrative. Whether it be Batman’s attempt to stop the new supervillain or the tasteful retreading of previous storylines, Hush is one of the all-time greats that deserves to flourish in animated form.
Would you like to see Batman: Hush adapted into an animated feature-length movie? Let us know in the comments!