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Batman: The House of Hush

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House of Hush is a Batman storyline written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen. It is the third and concluding arc of Dini's Batman: Streets of Gotham series, following his second storyline Leviathan. This


Quote1 Who is Tommy Elliot? There are many ways to answer that, Doctor. Tommy Elliot is a cipher. A ruined shell, a lost child, a distorted shadow of another man... a whisper barely heard amid the shrieks and laughter echoing through the halls of Arkham. The House of Hush. Quote2
-- Hush src

Synopsis

House of Hush is a Batman storyline written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen. It is the third and concluding arc of Dini's Batman: Streets of Gotham series, following his second storyline Leviathan. This ties up plot threads started in Dini's first arc Hush Money, where a surgically altered Hush is imprisoned and forced to live as the missing Bruce Wayne.

Synopsis

Hush grows increasingly tired of pretending to be Bruce Wayne. He is forced to stay in Elliot Manor, which gives him an opportunity to read journals detailing his mother Marla Elliot's obsession with Martha Wayne. Littly Italy and Mister ZZZ pick up an old gangster named Judson Pierce who is being released from prison. Pierce swears to put a bullet in Bruce Wayne's head.[1]

Hush uses his influence to campaign for Jane Doe to be released from Arkham, but he fails. Pierce explains to Italy and ZZZ that he has a vendetta against the Wayne family, and calls Sallie Guzzo to put together a hit. Hush attends a social function as Bruce Wayne with Zatanna making sure he doesn't step out of line. Jane Doe starts a breakout at Arkham by impersonating a guard, and Zatanna is forced to leave. Alfred is driving Hush home when another car drives them off the road and Judson Pierce begins shooting at them.[2]

The real Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham after his year missing and becomes Batman again. He takes down a sleepwalking Harley Quinn, who he does not know is being controlled by Bedbug. This leads to a confrontation with his old girlfriend Catwoman. They share a loving embrace, but Catwoman is angry that it took Bruce this long to tell her he was back. Judson Pierce believes he has captured Bruce Wayne, and explains his history with the Waynes to Hush. The Waynes stood in his way when he tried to buy out Leslie Thompkins. Hush escapes, beats his captors, and reveals his true identity. He explains that he hates the Waynes so much, he is willing to help Pierce destroy them.[3]

Bruce Wayne enjoys returning to the streets, although he realizes that he should leave Gotham to Dick Grayson. There is a giant mob of sleepwalkers flooding the streets and stealing things. Batman shuts down the signal controlling them, then confronts the culprit Bedbug nearby. Bedbug insists that this is only a small display of his power, and he has infected all of Gotham with his bugs. Batman knocks Bedbug down and tries to look underneath his mask, but Bedbug covers Batman in his bugs and escapes. Pierce tells Hush that working with Martha Kane at Leslie Thompkins' clinic was what made Thomas Wayne finally sober up and romance Martha Kane. The gangsters turned to Karl Hellfern, now known as Doctor Death, to wipe out the hospital and make it look like an accident. They take Hush to the lair of Doctor Death, who floods it with nerve gas as soon as they enter.[4]

Hush is prepared for this and the men are all wearing gas masks. They threaten Doctor Death into cooperating, and he agrees to help. Hush asks why Little Italy is uncomfortable, and Italy explains that he's not used to costumed super-villains. Italy tells the story of an encounter he had with the Joker in his youth. When the Joker was just starting out, he mutilated Sallie Guzzo and made Italy watch. Hush assures Little Italy that the Joker is next on his hit list. Batman and Catwoman team up to track down Hush. They investigate the Busker's Club, where Thomas Wayne decided to leave his party animal life behind forever and settle down with Martha Kane. Catwoman tells Batman that she can walk away if he doesn't know what he wants. Batman grabs her and passionately kisses her, while Bedbug creepily watches outside.[5]

Bedbug attacks Batman and Wonder Woman at the Busker's Club. Batman kills his bugs with a freeze weapon. Catwoman laments that Bedbug interrupted the best kiss of her life. Batman and Catwoman are shot at by police controlled by Bedbug, but Batman easily knocks them out. Bedbug decides that he should lay low for awhile. Hush and his cohorts use the Bruce Wayne disguise to gain access to Wayne Enterprises with a hostage. Doctor Death is tasked with making a new poison for them, and he recalls his origins. Hellfern was called in to wipe out the Thompkins Clinic by Guzzo, Pierce, and Roger Elliot. He developed a virulent strain of fever that would kill in 12 hours, to be spread through vermin. They were spotted by an orphan while releasing the vermin, and decided to use the orphan as a carrier instead. This child was beaten unconscious and left in front of the clinic. Thomas Wayne revived the child in time for him to warn them of the virus. Wayne called in emergency services and was able to develop a cure before anyone died. In desperation, Guzzo drove everyone to the clinic and blew up the tenement next door using gasoline. Thomas Wayne's friend John Zatara arrived with the Justice Society to put out the fire. This was the first time that super-heroes arrived in Gotham, and it marked the beginning of an era. The criminals kidnapped the orphan who could identify them, and decided to kill him. Roger Elliot tried to stop them, but Judson Pierce shot him and drove away. Doctor Death reflects on the years since then he has spent fighting Batman. It's revealed that he plans to use the poison gas on Hush and the others. Hush anticipates this and knocks him out from behind.[6]

Hush shoots Judson Pierce, because his father was terrified of Pierce. Pierce asks if this is because he shot Roger Elliot, and Hush replies that he didn't know that until just now. Hush leaves Doctor Death and Pierce locked in a room to die. It is revealed that Hush plans to flood Wayne Tower with Doctor Death's poison gas. Hush decides to kill Little Italy and Mister ZZZ, but finds them knocked out already. It is revealed that their hostage Jeffrey Carter was actually Jane Doe in disguise. Jane Doe explains her admiration for Bruce Wayne, then cuts off Hush's surgically altered Bruce Wayne face and begins wearing it. Batman bursts in and takes down Jane Doe. Alfred saves the lives of Doctor Death and Judson Pierce. It is revealed that Sallie Guzzo sold out Pierce and was the reason he spent time in prison. Batman takes pity on Pierce, whose only reason for living was to kill a man he never met. Pierce is returned to Blackgate Penitentiary. The exposure to Death's chemicals has burned out his cancer and turned him into a powerful skeleton figure, now calling himself Skel. Hush now has no face, and is forced to wear his bandages at all times. Batman places Hush in Arkham Asylum, where they don't believe his story and diagnose him as having an unhealthy obsession with Bruce Wayne.[7]

Issues

Paraphernalia Appearing

Items: None known.
Vehicles: None known.
Weapons: None known.

Notes

Trivia

  • This story reveals how Thomas and Martha Wayne became romantically involved for the first time.

Recommended Reading


Links and References

  • None.
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