I'm a die hard Spider-Man fan. Peter Parker will always be my favorite in the world of comic books. Yes, I read MARVEL and people get surprised that I read DC. The only DC book I read is BATMAN. When I went back to reading comics in 2002, I read a lot of Wizard Magazine. In a particular issue of Wizard, I saw that Batman had been topping the charts. Batman? Really? I found out that it was because of this particular storyline called HUSH which is written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by none other than Jim Lee!
I still remember going to the mall and getting an issue but it was in Filbar's Katipunan where I got the volume 1 hardcover which you can see below.
BATMAN: HUSH is a story from Batman issues 608-619 and starts with Batman saving a kidnapped child by Killer Croc and then Catwoman steals the ransom money. As Batman chases Catwoman, his line gets cut and falls with a fractured skull. This now triggers a secret message to Alfred with instructions to summon Bruce's childhood friend and surgeon Dr. Thomas Elliot. Of course, Batman gets well and hunts down Catwoman only to find out that Poison Ivy was the one who stole the money.
The story goes on and he even confronts a possessed Superman! A lot of important Batman Rogues appear like The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Joker, and Ra's Al Ghul along the way and Batman then finds out that there seems to be a mastermind with all that's happening. A man with a wrapped face also joins in the fun and fights Batman. This is the guy called "Hush". Other than that, you also get to see the famous members of the Bat family like Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jim Gordon.
What really got me into the story was the mystery of who the hell was messing with Batman. Jeph Loeb presented members of Batman's famous Rogues Gallery and I have to admit that he has the best set of Rogues. (Spider-Man's rogues comes in a very very close second). It may have been a "villain of the month" thing but Loeb wrote this story so well. What contributed to its success was the gorgeous art of Jim Lee. It's just a damn good Batman design. Jim Lee knocked it out of the ballpark. He draws the Dark Knight so well that fans really bought the comics.
The story gets better and better with every chapter and all you'd want to know is who the mastermind is.
My only concern in the story was that I did not read this particular Batman story called "No Man's Land" and it's a famous story. There's one reference in the story and had I read "No Man's Land", I would have appreciated it more.
But don't get me wrong, HUSH is an awesome Batman story and to add to the whole Hush success, DC released a book uncolored with just JIM LEE's pencils! It's BATMAN HUSH: UNWRAPPED. Check out the sample interior.
All in all, if you want to start a Batman book. I suggest you start with this. It's a fun read and it has all the twists and turns that's essential in a good Batman story. This is probably one of Loeb's best stories and you can't go wrong with Jim Lee!
You can get BATMAN: HUSH and the UNWRAPPED version in National Book Store (Power Plant, Glorietta 5, Megamall)., Power Books, or Best Sellers Galleria. I got my UNWRAPPED in Galleria. They still have one or two left there. Better get it now because National Book Store has a nationwide sale going on. It's 20% off! You really can't go wrong!