The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

*winces* Hush Chapter Seven: Just TOO Much?

Posted on: August 7, 2008

I admit it; I am a Joker fan. The guy’s a genius! And brilliantly done in most every story (I was very impressed by The Dark Knight, but that’s a different review for another day).

However, I have to say, reading Hush, Chapter 7: The Joke, a few weeks back made me cringe.

Basically, Batman finds the spindly, chalkskinned clown hovering over the dead body of his friend Tommy Elliot. Now he’s ready to murder him with his bare hands, and most of this chapter is spent with Batman’s odd little thought-squares hovering over images of a bloodied and whimpering Joker, who by about the third or fourth panel has at least three teeth missing.

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

I can only imagine that whoever wrote the story (I believe it was actually Jeph Loeb) really has it in for the Joker. Where’s the fight? The Joker normally has a good few tricks up his sleeve or a fiesty punch in him but in this chapter, he falls to the ground like a wind-battered straw-house. The only resilience he shows is in the fact that he isn’t dead by the time the chapter concludes, and by all rights and means he should be.

In fact, Loeb hates the Joker so much that, as if being thrown to the ground in a wet alleyway to be choked to death after about a million hooks and uppercuts wasn’t pain and humiliation enough, Harley Quinn takes a swing at Batman with a massive mallet, misses, and presumably crushes her “puddin'”s wrist. I mean ow!

The end of the chapter pretty much sees the Clown Prince of Crime, terrified, curled into a foetal position pleading “I’m innocent!”. What happened to him? He acts like he’s never been kicked around by Batman before!

This is a horrible piece of fiction. I’m all for Batman giving the Joker a good kicking (the man IS a psychopath) but this whole chapter is uncalled for! At one point, The Joker does manage to get away, but ruins it by being unable to keep his trap shut, running through the alleyways screaming “HELP! MADMAN!” and one Godawful pun. Ugh. What happened to my favourite villain?

When Batman catches up to him, he pins him down again and Joker doesn’t even try to defend himself. Instead of being the psychopathic killer he’s supposed to be, he whimpers like a girl and allows the oversized bat to continue in his blood-lust fuelled rage. He’s terrified, he’s going to die, and worst of all, he really is innocent.

Thankfully Commissioner Gordon steps in and shoots at Batman, grazing him, but ultimately, Batman gets up and rethinks the situation while the Joker, who by now has lost more blood than the NHS gets donated to them in a year, lies in a pool of the aforementioned liquid, whispering his innocence in a frail voice. GAH!

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

I know the Joker has had several different characterisations before, but he should never be this vulnerable. Okay, I know, different writer, different characterisation but my God, at least he was interesting before.

He has spirit, he’s a capable fighter, he’s very intelligent and always has a trick or two up his sleeve, and yet can’t defend himself against the caped crusader on the rampage? Hell, he’s probably killed thousands and yet just lies there and allows Batman to nearly kill him?

Okay, I get that he’s OMG!evil, and I understand that Batman has just been pushed that bit too far, but the Joker is not this weak, he never has been. The entire story made me cringe, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty appalled by the fact that the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, simply lies down, rolls over and takes every last punch. I don’t know, maybe he’s never been punched quite so hard, but the fact still remains that he can defend himself. I just can’t fathom why he didn’t.

Anyone else dislike this one as much as me? Or am I alone here?

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1 Response to "*winces* Hush Chapter Seven: Just TOO Much?"

I totally agree with every word you’ve said! To tell ya hte truth I think Loeb likes screwing up the Joker for reason that are simply UNKNOWN to me! I mean the whole Hush series that concerns itself with the Joekr is just…BAD! Plainly put – this was bad because of the Joker actually being SCARED of Batman when this sort of thing happens on a daily basis for him and not to mention that later inthe Hush story he is said to have confirmed Jeannie’s exsistance and wants to strike out based on revenge and – no, no no no no – you just CANT do that! lmao
He just really doesnt GET the Joker plainly put is all imma say!

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