The Dark Knight gets hot and heavy with Catwoman while being threatened by a mysterious villain. Batman: Hush is an action-packed, decidedly more adult entry in the DC Animated Universe. Crisp animation and a clever plot keeps the pacing sleek. Adapted from the brilliant comic series by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, Batman: Hush also follows up on events after Reign of the Supermen; with the voice cast reprising their roles. Gotham's rogues gallery does some of their best supporting work. I rarely find Poison Ivy (Peyton List) interesting, but she's nearly a scene stealer here.
Batman: Hush begins with Bruce Wayne (Jason O'Mara) seeing Selina Kyle (Jennifer Morrison) at a fundraiser. Their mutual attraction reignites before Batman is called away urgently. Bane (Adam Gifford) has kidnapped a child for ransom. When Batman faces the venom fueled brute, he notices Bane's odd behavior. Catwoman joins the fracas, but we soon find out she's also being controlled. A shadowy figure, wrapped in bandages, observes the crime and makes his presence sorely felt to the Caped Crusader.
Batman realizes that an unseen enemy is targeting him through other criminals. The situation becomes more complex in his personal life. He and Catwoman ramp up their romance, much to the surprise of Alfred (James Garrett), Nightwing (Sean Maher), and Damian (Stuart Allan). The stakes become even more deadly after a vicious attack. Everyone Batman cares about is in danger. He must deduce the identity of his stalker, who seems to know everything about him.
Batman: Hush has an intriguing script that keeps your attention rapt. Screenwriter Ernie Altbacker (Justice League Dark, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract) does an excellent job updating the comic storyline. The characters from The Death of Superman continue to be well defined and dramatically interesting. The relationship between Batman and Catwoman is played out with a degree of complexity not usually seen in animation. Two loners with ass-kicking alter egos find solace and sexual chemistry in each other. Some of the funnier bits have Batman's inner circle struggling to comprehend him as a boyfriend.
Hush (Geoffrey Arend) is a superb villain. The film does a slow boil to his reveal. Ernie Altbacker nails the mystery elements from the comics, while tweaking the story to fit in the DCAU. Hush doesn't just pop up at the end. Clues are laid throughout to his identity. The finale is a blistering, bloody duel that delivers the action goods. There's also an awesome Batman versus Superman fight, with a helpful assist from Catwoman.
Batman: Hush is rated PG-13 and meant for mature audiences. It's got a fair amount of graphic violence, adult content, and sexual situations. I did cringe somewhat at the continued lip locking close-ups of Batman and Catwoman smooching. They're like horny teenagers rounding the bases. Batman: Hush is another stellar entry in the DCAU. Warner Bros. Animation is on a roll with this film following The Death of Superman series and Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Batman: Hush is available now digitally with a DVD/Blu-Ray release slated forAugust 6th.