In which Selina makes an enemy
Itâ€™s too bad DC didnâ€™t take a long hard look at what Paul Dini was doing in the pages of Detective Comics and make the executive decision to turn his Heart of Hush story into the final Batman story.Â Instead of a whacked out tale, Dini takes the legend of Batman and brings it back to the one thing that can save any hero, heal any wound, and thwart the worst of people – love.
Last we saw Selina, she was in an operating room with a hole in her chest, and her heart beat in a cryogenic chamber in Hushâ€™s lair.Â Poor Batman had been detained, and the revelation that Hush went through reconstructive surgery to look just like Bruce Wayne pushed everything into the Hellz Yeah category of reading.
These big plot points may seem way over the top, even for a comic book, but everything is explained in such a way to make it as believable as a mid-afternoon soap opera.Â If anything, Dini set up an out for DC to use should the reader and fan backlash over the death of Batman cause the company too many problems, with a simple â€œHey, it wasnâ€™t Bruce Wayne that died, it was Tommy Elliot made to look like Bruce.Â Ha-ha, arenâ€™t we a clever company?â€
The conclusion to the final chapter of The Heart of Hush has everything you expect to find in a Batman title; a huge fight between Hush and Batman, appearances by Nightwing and Robin, a life threatening situation, and that all important moment where hubris gets the better of the bad guy.Â Thereâ€™s even a great Alfred moment when we see him bring the famous giant dinosaur in the Batcave to life in an attempt to stop Elliot.
Intercut with the fight scene are flashbacks to how Hush was able to carve out Selinaâ€™s heart and keep it alive with the help of Mr. Freeze.Â Thereâ€™s no scientific explanation as to how it works, but Hush mentioning it is worthy of the Nobel Prize gives the reader pause to ponder what kind of good villains like Hush and Freeze could do if they worked on the side of Light.
Unfortunately, Hush has always been on the side of Dark as we get yet another flashback, where it is revealed how Tommy gained access to his vast family formula.Â While readers have known he had a hand in killing his mother, this issue spells it out completely.Â It even goes into detail on how Peyton Riley assisted, by running the family lawyer off the road and stealing the will that would have left Tommy penniless.
Yes, thatâ€™s right Peyton Riley – the current ventriloquist introduced by Paul Dini in this book makes an appearance.Â Also making important cameos are Slam Bradley, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Barbara Gordon, Doctor Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific, and – as this is a Paul Dini issue – Zatanna.Â Much like his work on Batman: The Animated Series, Dini is able to bring themes, characters, and moments from his current run on the series full circle in this concluding chapter.
There were certainly moments in this series where I wondered if Selina was actually going to die.Â It seemed fitting considering the canceling of her title and the upcoming big sleep moment for her lifelong love.Â Seeing Batman win, and Selina saved makes you feel all gooey inside, and the very quiet moment between Bruce Wayne and Selina only drives home the theme of love conquers all – as if the real heart beating in a tank didnâ€™t do that already.
Weâ€™ve already seen how vengeful Selina can be when scorned, and once she recovers, she uses her connections to make Hush penniless.Â And not just, â€œyou still have a couple hundred bucksâ€ penniless, I mean penniless penniless.Â In two months Dini is writing a two part Batman/Detective Comics crossover that features Catwoman and Hush, and Iâ€™m gonna bet payback is going to be a bitch.
I canâ€™t let this review end without commenting on the Dustin Nguyen art.Â MY GOD!Â THE MAN IS A GENIUS!Â Even if you donâ€™t care for his art style, you canâ€™t deny the man can draw a mean Batcave.Â If you thought Jim Lee went over the top in drawing every Batmobile in All-Star Batman and Robin, wait until you see how Nguyen gives us a guided tour of the lair all while heroes and villain fight it out to the death.Â These are pages that need to be looked at again and again to suss out all the hidden gems.
I was a little uncertain if Dini was going to be able to pull off a multi-issue arc of the length that his one has been.Â Heâ€™s really good at the done in one, but here he proves he can tell a large story that is well worth sticking around to the end for.Â With brilliant art by Nguyen, themes and characters that canâ€™t or wonâ€™t die, Detective Comics #850 earns the highest praise we can give – 5 out of 5 Stars.