To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Batman (#Batman80, #LongLiveTheBat), AFJ has decided to join in the fun with columns, lists, and reviews from now until Batman Day (Sept. 15th, 2019). The incredible thing about 80 years of Batman, in pop culture, is that we can literally feature anything from comics to movies to Bat-Mite. Yes, Bat-Mite (Google him Millenials). Today, we turn our attention to a comic book from 2006. Enjoy Junkies! #AFJ4LIFE
Written by Rick Alaia
Every week I bring you Batman related items that I know, as a Bat-fan, you need to own and enjoy. This week is no different.

We're going to look at the book “Hush Returns”. In April of 2004, I was in my local comic shop on new comic book day. Now, obviously, I'm a Batman fanatic. So I was looking for some new reading material. I didn't really have a pull list. I was more into graphic novels and TPB at the time and honestly, still, am today. I love to binge watch TV shows and love to binge read trades.

As I'm browsing the books, a Batman book cover caught my eye. It was one of the first times I saw Lee Bermejo's Batman interpretations. His work is phenomenal and we'll talk about it some other day.
So I'm holding Gotham Knights #50 and said out loud “I gotta buy this”. So without opening the book I added it to my purchase and headed home eager to see what this book had in store for me. It was subtitled as “The Return Of Hush” and that Hush story arc was amazing so it was a no brainer.

The story was written by A.J. Lieberman and artwork by Al Barrionuevo.

The first page panels show a gala or event of some sort. With men dressed in tuxedos laughing and drinking champagne. Slowly a figure is seen falling and finally crashing through the massive skylight windows. You turn the page and the person, in green is seen crashing onto a table. The big splash panel reveals it to be a severely beat up Riddler! The guests turn their eyes upward and see a figure with a flowing cape walking away. What could have made Batman drop The Riddler through that skylight? Surely it wasn't because of the events from the original Hush story arc?!? It isn't.

This book explores a lot of big plot holes in the DCU. The Joker is more of a boss mob type then an insane clown. The Penguin even capitulates to him. Also, someone holds a name that The Joker has been waiting for. The name of the person who killed his wife. Yes, you read that right. The Jokers wife was murdered.

The Joker and Hush's paths cross a couple of times. Neither is good for either character. Leaving Batman almost as the clean-up crew. There's definitely a power struggle in Gotham!

What does Prometheus have to do with Hush? Well, it's team up time to achieve Hushs’ new plan on revenge on the Dark Knight. This book reads more like a movie than a book. It's a deep story and fast pace is an awesome immersion into Batman's world and takes Gotham for a wild ride of ups and downs.

If you enjoyed Hush, this is an absolutely worthy successor. If you are just looking for a great Batman book, this is definitely for you. Grab it, you won't be disappointed. I kept this article as spoiler free as possible. If you're like Frank Costanza (from Seinfeld), and me, you want to go in fresh lol! #LongLiveTheBat

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