Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Dexter Soy, Sergio Davila, Matt Santorelli, Ivan Plascencia, ALW’s Troy Peteri, Alejandro Sanchez, and David Marquez
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: November 3rd, 2020
DC returns with five new anecdotes that investigate dark, gnarled timelines from some of DC’s most iconic sagas. These TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE commence with the story that jumpstarted the contemporary age of Batman…“Hush”! For those that need a quick refresher, HUSH introduced Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Tommy Elliot as he tried to eradicate the Dark Knight in secret. However, what if Tommy had ravaged Bruce’s life when they were children? Let’s dive into TALES OF THE DARK MULTIVERSE: BATMAN: HUSH #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and see how this story plays out in the form of Batman the Silenced.
I’m going to take a minute to say what everyone already knows and what comic fans have been thinking since the release of TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE… these are DC’s take a Marvel’s WHAT IF? stories from many moons ago. Truthfully, I’ve always enjoyed these types of narratives and Else World stories because it opens up a multiverse of possibilities with avenues of creativity. The world is literally the writer’s oyster! However, they have to be done well, believable, and within reason. Well readers, TALES OF THE DARK MULTIVERSE: BATMAN: HUSH #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson is just that… it’s logical, justified, and promotes an elegant kink that has such a huge effect on the narrative. Readers, sometimes the smallest little detail makes such a big difference.
What is so fascinating about TALES OF THE DARK MULTIVERSE: BATMAN: HUSH #1 is that Johnson examines what could have happened if Tommy Elliots’ family were with the Wayne’s on that dreadful night that changed the DC landscape forever. That said, even though I quite enjoyed this issue, was it really a Dark Multiverse tale or merely an Else World story? I, myself, am leaning more Else World. Nonetheless, the anecdote is surprising, shocking, and unpredictable as Johnson ushers readers across the Gotham Landscape with some familiar faces with drastically different futures like Dick Grayson, Commissioner Gordon, and many more.
Nevertheless, this issue wasn’t all about Johnson. Dexter Soy and Ivan Plasencia lived it up in this installment with the Gotham Noir elements that fit their artistic style perfectly. The mood and atmosphere were excellent for this tale making this narrative almost frightening and disheartening at times. Together with Johnson’s sly alterations, this creative team uses its canvas to astound BATMAN fans with some minor imaginative twists that will blow your mind. Sure, when I see these TALES OF THE DARK MULTIVERSE issues I’m normally pretty skeptical before reading. However, I rather quite enjoyed the issue. I simply wish we got a bit more ironed out in the story. There was just so much to work with here that maybe these TALES OF THE DARK MULTIVERSE should be more than one issue to tease out more of the details? Alas, I’d still recommend giving it a try, even if it seemed more like an Else World story than a Dark Multiverse story. I mean, does the category/ genre really affect one’s enjoyment? I think not. However, maybe that’s also why I enjoyed this issue more than the rest? Let me know what you think!