The new Hush is killing all the villains who are co-opting Batman’s old rogue’s gallery, which is odd, because this isn’t Hush. Or is it? Has Adam Beechen just blown our minds, or does the issue just blow?

Writer: Adam Beechen
Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Inker: John Stanisci
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics

Previously in Batman Beyond: When Bruce Wayne stopped being Batman, Neo Gotham fell into disarray, with the criminal element running the streets. When Terry McGinnis took up the mantle of the Bat, he did good work, but tensions grew between the new Batman and his old mentor. Now a new villain is on the streets, usurping the Hush name, and killing old Batman foes in order to attract the attention of the old master.


This issue walks the line between a brilliant tie to the old animated series and a faulty attempt to be shocking. The really nice moments in the issue center around Terry and a battle worn Dick Grayson discussing the fallout between the Batman and Nightwing, and how his career came to an end. I like that Beechen is bringing closure to many of the open ended story lines that fans of the series have wondered about for years. Even seeing Bruce fail in his attempt to take control of the situation shows that he’s well past his prime as Hush takes down his Wraith droid with ease.

The problematic parts of the issue have to do with the Hush reveal. Readers are lead to believe that Dick Grayson is in the clear, but Hush ripping off his bandages and proclaiming “The Dick Grayson Era can truly being” causes a lot of confusion. Is this a doppel-Grayson? Is it Jason Tood? Clayface? Could it be Damian Wayne wanting to finally return things to the good ol’ days when he and Dick were the team supreme?

Beechen was the writer who received a great deal of flack for turning Batgirl Cassandra Cain into a villain in the Robin: One Year Later story line, and if he’s doing the same thing with Dick Grayson here, I expect the next month of his life will be filled with a great deal of heck. I could actually go along with an evil Dick Grayson if handled well going forward, it’s just the execution of the reveal in this issue that is problematic.


Maybe part of the confusion comes from Ryan Benjamin’s art. Through most of the issue Hush is drawn relatively thin and trim, but the final page has his chest expanding to that of a Charles Atlas competitor. But that is about the only major complaint I have about Benjamin’s art through this issue – for the most part I like what he is putting to paper. Nice framing and composition, the action and characters are instantly recognizable, the facial expressions work, and the nonverbal cues are dead on.

Color wise, I dig what David Baron does with the foreground and background colors. The alleys feel dark even in a megacity where light seems to penetrate the entire landscape.


Batman Beyond #4 has one of the strangest most confusing endings of any book I’ve read this year – and I’ve been reading most of Grant Morrison’s stuff. Is the villain really Dick Grayson, a clone, Jason Todd, Clayface? The cover teases the villain revealed, and in a sense he is, but with art varying from artist to artist the revealed character could be anyone. Sadly, this “big reveal” hurts the issue for me, and Batman Beyond #4 only earns 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★½☆☆


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Yeah I had pretty much the same “no way they just did that” reaction. But then I realized I had a twisted Joker-like smile on my face when I finally put the issue down. Your review has worried me, though. I think I will feel completely cheated if it turns out not to be Grayson but instead Clayface or some other cheap trick. Dick as Hush would be perfect. He has motive and some severe daddy issues, as revealed earlier in this issue when Bruce wounded and abandoned him.

  2. Doctor Sleepless on

    But even if the character said something like “It’s Grayson’s time now” .. It doesn’t really look like him. And it seems he and Tim have been keeping touch, while this “Hush” character has been locked up by Cadmus for a while. A clone of Dick that still has two eyes? What’s the story there, and why did the Cadmus people imply he was a meta-human in the 1st book? Why did they lock him up to begin with?

    And here I had hoped for a Catman reveal.

  3. I haven’t read this issue yet but if they make Dick the villain, then there is a major continuity error with the animated series. Dick was not a prisioner of Cadmus during the show (as Barbara hinted at).

    What I’m thinking is most likely is that it’s Tommy with Dick’s face. Just like he did to Bruce, he’s stolen the face of another Batman.

    • Here are my guesses for who it is:

      1. Tommy Elliot with Dick Grayson’s face (much like he’s currently doing to Bruce in Batman and Robin)

      2. A Cadmus clone of Dick Grayson left over from Cadmus’ Project Batman Beyond that Amanda Wahler headed up. (However this seems less likely after reading the first few pages of the first issue.)

      That’s all I can think of. Whoever this is, it has to be someone who has intimate knowledge of Bruce and his past. That makes it Ras, Tommy, a clone with implanted memories, or a member of the Bat family. Next, they have to have been locked up in Cadmus for the last few decades. That leaves us with Tommy or a clone with implanted memories since Ras died in the show and all the Bat family are accounted for.

      It’s difficult to determine where continuity plays in here. If it’s indeed an extention of the animated series then Damian and Jason don’t exist. (Jason and Tim are actually merged to create animated Tim.) If it’s based on the comics, then I’ve been entirely mislead and all the rules for trying to figure out this mystery can be thrown right out the window.

  4. shamon from the bronx ny on

    Why is his face normal but when he wearing the taped up bandage it has scars .Didn’t they tried this in The Dark Knight Strikes Again? This is SERIOUSLY Return of the Joker part deux

  5. They already went to the rogue Robin well in Return of the Joker. If they are doing that again it’s lame, if not it’s a lame red herring. Same goes for the Cadmus twist, they did that in JLU Epilogue.

    The new Catwoman, better justify herself pretty quick, too. If all she is, is a cat themed triplicate girl, that really doesn’t justify her prominence in the series so far. Her banter has been uninspired, and since they’re playing this off as a mystery, there is no backstory or character development to get you emotionally involved in her subplot. And besides, Batman Beyond has to be more than a Batverse: Where Are They Now outlet. If the big reveal is that she’s Cassondra Cain or Stephanie Brown, who cares.

    Also, with the power struggle between Terry and Bruce, if this is one of those plots Bruce hatched to motivate Terry by threatening to replace him with wraths, it’s undermined by Bruce taking the wrath out and failing utterly.

    If on the other hand, this is supposed to teach Bruce that his abilities are failing and he has to cede more authority to Terry, it’s undermined by Terry getting his butt kicked all over the series.

    This series also fails to capture the warmth and father son bond that Bruce and
    Terry have in the tv series. Maybe the loss of Kevin Conroy’s vocal talents is to blame, but where Bruce was tough but lovable on the show, in this series he just comes off as a jerk.

  6. For me, character conflict stems from when you can totally understand the other person’s point of view – except YOU (for whatever the reason) didn’t go ‘there’.

    Jason Todd killing criminals instead of arresting them is something we can debate and yet also sympathize with because of what he went through and his overall personality.

    For me, during the episode of the Batman animated series where Batman is terrorizing a henchman (more unlucky schmuck than criminal mastermind) in front of said henchman’s kid and Robin showing disgust at his mentor’s tactic – although reasonable because Batman need information like five minutes ago to stop a MAJOR city-wide threat – shows how great the divide was between the Batman character and the Robin character. Robin/Dick was no longer that blindly loyal little soldier.

    Note: By episode end there is a mention that the single father henchman was ultimately given a job (from his POV out of the seemingly blue) at Wayne Industries (security guard, I think.)

    This notion of Dick as being ‘evil’ in Batman Beyond IMHO is a side-effect bleeding over from DK2 and the infamous reveal that Dick was the big bad. Although I can appreciate after reading All-Star Batman the reasoning WHY it could happen (within the make-up of the Miller-verse) but it still – to this day – doesn’t ring absolutely true to me.

    Batman’s greatest achievement has NEVER been his one man war against crime. That is at best Quixotic.

    Taking a kid (orphaned as he was by a violent crime), training him, giving his life purpose, transforming him into a force of good and even giving him closure (Dick caught the man that murdered his parents-with Batman’s help, of course) so he would not end up LIKE him – was and still is – his greatest and some would argue SOLE achievement.

    That they Bruce and Dick don’t see eye to eye is enough. Happens to all fathers and sons, mentors and ex-students. Making DG into something ‘evil’ is just IMHO high theatrics bordering on camp. To be clear – not saying the story isn’t entertaining, just adding my two cents about playing Dick as ‘mwa-ha-ha-hah – evil.’

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