I love “what if” type comics. They’re simple in concept as they take a minor detail about a comic character and spin a whole new story and world out of it. It takes the familiar and makes something new and different. DC Comics‘ Tales from the Dark Multiverse is a new take on that concept. Each one-shot takes a major storyline and delivers a new twist on them from the perspective of the Dark Multiverse. We know it’ll be a twisted tale, not necessarily tragic, but definitely, not a story that’ll leave up uplifted by the end. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush gives us a new spin on the modern “classic,” Batman: Hush.
In this twisted tale, after the murder of Bruce’s parents, he goes off to live with his best friend, Tommy Elliot’s family. There is no Alfred Pennyworth to raise him. Instead, Bruce deals with the trauma of the murder of his parents devolving into madness that has him winding up in Arkham Asylum.
What’s impressive about Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush is how much of a world is fleshed out. Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson could easily have focused on a story of revenge. Instead, there’s so much more. Gotham is an independent city-state with its own leadership and different place in the world. This isn’t the Gotham we normally know, instead, it’s a micro-state which allows for greater political intrigue and machinations. Johnson gives us much more than Batman just delivering justice but instead a Shakespearean tale of power, betrayal, and backstabbing action. There’s a lot of thought put into the world here and it’s the amount of detail that makes it really stand out.
Dexter Soy and Sergio Davila provide the art for the issue giving us a not quite horror style. The world and city feels like a land in battle. But, there’s a being that looms over it all, stalking and terrorizing individuals. Matt Santorelli provides the ink, Ivan Plascencia the color, and Troy Peteri the lettering. The style and the look of the world has detail about it that matches Johnson’s story.
The design of characters, locations, and vehicles have a well thought out aspect about them as if there was actual discussion about how this world operates. The haves are clearly delineated from the have nots in style and that extends to the detail of their location. The vehicles and weapons all have a utility about them as if they have an actual use in this world and it’s not just to look cool. Helicopter like transportation shuffles the wealthy across the skyline above those they rule below as an example.
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush is a story of detail. It absolutely could have used more pages for that. The history and training about this version of Batman is a little thin though his motivation is clear. It’s something I’d like to see more of. There’s a lot packed in here though as Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush is a one-shot comic you can just pick up and enjoy and ponder so much about this intriguing spin on a familiar world.
Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Dexter Soy, Sergio Davila
Ink: Matt Santorelli Color: Ivan Plascencia Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review