The wedding of the century is getting closer and closer as each week passes. But before Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle make their way down the aisle there are a few things they have to get taken care of. For Bruce that is a big bachelor party hosted by his best man, Dick Grayson. Now while Dick Grayson may have plans to host an epic bachelor party for Bruce it looks like Hush has other plans. Can Nightwing save Batman from falling to Hush latest plot to take the Dark Knight down before the big wedding? Let’s find out with Batman: Prelude To The Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Travis Moore (Main Story) and Otto Schmidt (Epilogue)
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: With the night planned Nightwing has rented a limo for a bachelor party for Batman with Superman along for the ride, with all three in their superhero costumes and Superman Robot chauffeur. The first spot is Bat Burger and everyone inside treats them normal since everyone is dressed as a hero or villain.
After dinner Nightwing and Superman show Batman a pocket universe that can access through a Lightning Door in the limo. Batman likes the idea but before they can go to the pocket universe an explosion is heard across the city. Superman flies to check it out.
Batman and Nightwing get ready to go check it out as well but they are confronted by Hush, who is the cause of the explosion with a rocket launcher.
Hush asks Batman how he could try to get married without his best man and then fires a rocket at Batman and Nightwing. The two heroes dodge the rocket, which ends up hitting the special limo.
Hush waste no time in attacking Batman and Nightwing. While he attacks Hush rants about Batman will never forget him after he cuts his name in Nightwing’s back. Nightwing is able to hit Hush from behind and drives both of them into what remains of the Lighting Door. The Lightning Door suddenly closes before Batman can reach either Nightwing or Hush.
Nightwing and Hush end up in a universe similar to theirs. An unknown person comes out of the limo, thanking Nightwing and Hush for the alcohol. He then reveals that they are in the Betwixt, a universe between the real world and unworld. He goes on to explain that all the people in Betwixt are those who can’t find their way back as they are forgotten and ignored by everyone they left behind. The guy then says that when new people show up the lost people are like sharks that smell blood.
Suddenly an army of faceless people show up and start attacking Nightwing and Hush. Nightwing identifies the faceless people as echoes of those forced out of their dimension, like hungry ghosts. Seeing themselves surrounded Hush shoots their limo, causing an explosion that knocks himself and a chunk of the faceless army out.
The unknown guy tells Nightwing that if he and Hush want to return to their universe they need to find a place they both have a strong connection to. Nightwing quickly realizes where that is. He then grabs Hush and swings away from the faceless army.
Nightwing makes it to the Betwixt version of Wayne Manor. Hush wonders why Nightwing brought them both there. Nightwing talks about the strong connection Hush has from the time he spent with Bruce when they were young playing games in the Wayne Manor.
The faceless army suddenly show up. Before they can fight Hush tackles Nightwing and takes off his domino mask. Hush then questions Nightwing on what makes Wayne Manor important to him.
Nightwing throws Hush against a wall. Nightwing then tells Hush that he was so consumed with being Bruce that he was never there for all the big and little moments. Nightwing comes out of the shadow to show that he is Dick Grayson to Hush.
Hush starts laughing and takes off his bandages. As he does so Hush reveals that Joker told him that Batman was getting married. He then says that what he wanted when he learned this was to be Bruce’s best friend again. To do so he changed his face to be that of Dick Grayson.
Nightwing is shocked by this but before he can respond the faceless army attack Hush. Nightwing tries to help but a Lightning Door opens behind him. Batman appears and is able to take Nightwing back to their universe but is unable to save Hush from the faceless army.
Back in the Batcave, Superman reveals that he has lost Hush’s signal and can’t open another Lightning Door. Nightwing suddenly passes out from his injuries.
Sometime later Batman reminds Superman to get to his wedding early. Superman says he already has the rings and flies away to get ready.
Dick wakes up and hears all of this. When he and Bruce are alone Dick asks Bruce if Clark is his best man for the wedding. Bruce says it was a hard decision for him to make but it is part of tradition. Dick says he understands since Clark has been their for Bruce a lot while Dick has tried to build his own life away from the Batman Family.
Dick says when he heals up he and Bruce should start hanging out more. Bruce says he would like that.
Later that night Nightwing calls Batgirl to let her know that Joker knows Batman is getting married and has revealed that to a number of unknown individuals.
Elsewhere Riddler is on his knees in a state of shock with a heart drawn on his chest and a bunch of dead bodies around him. On the ground the words “Where’s My Invitations?” is written in blood. End of issue.
The Good: Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1 was a surprising comic. Given the title you would’ve expected more an action or mystery driven story with Nightwing forced to stop Hush’s latest plot. While we got some of that Nightwing vs Hush #1 was much more of a character study for all parties involved in this issue, including Batman and Superman.
It’s not surprising to see that Tim Seeley has a strong understanding of the Batman Universe given his past writing both the Grayson and Nightwing series. That experience was clear with his writing in Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1. He used that experience to nail the voices of Batman, Nightwing and Superman. The opening few pages page with these three together was built nicely lighthearted while still fitting who they each are. Seeley tapped into the fact that these three, while not on page together in a casual setting often, are close friends.
The dialogue during the scenes with Batman, Nightwing and Superman set the stage for the wild card that Hush was presented as. Seeley did a good job presenting Hush as someone you hate for ruining the one fun night that Nightwing and Superman had planned for Batman. Seeley played into the fact that we don’t see a lighthearted Batman often extremely well to build heat for Hush’s presence.
That heat made the rest of the issue once it became just Nightwing and Hush even more interesting. Once it came down to both these characters Seeley was able to shift this issue to be more of a character study. With Hush we saw that everything he did in this issue was based on all the insecurities that we know he has. The way Seeley used Hush’s history made you slightly feel for the character. At the same time, while you get to understand Hush’s motives it does not take away from how psychotic a villain that he is.
Once you learn that Hush was offended when he had to hear about Bruce Wayne’s wedding from Joker a switch was flip in his head. That switch was in Hush’s head was clearly the turning on of the Thomas Elliot mind buried deep inside. Seeing how Thomas, the former best friend of Bruce Wayne, came out in this instance made Hush’s story even sadder once he took off his bandages. Because for Thomas’ he knew that it was too late to be Bruce’s best man which gave more of a reason for his transformation to Dick Grayson.
That reveal made what Nightwing had to say to Hush, especially after his domino mask was taken off, be more meaningful. Once we saw Dick Grayson’s eyes we knew this wasn’t just a superhero trying to reason with a villain. This was Dick Grayson explaining to Thomas Elliot why he failed as a friend to Bruce. That real talk made everything that happened in this issue morph Hush into a villain that you hope to see take on Nightwing. Because with what was said Seeley set the stage for a bigger conflict between Nightwing and Hush down the line.
The conflict between Nightwing and Hush was paid off well with Seeley revealing that Bruce actually choose Clark Kent to be his best man. Seeley did a good job showing that Dick Grayson was heartbroken by this revelation. At the same time, it was good to see that Dick did not actually take offense to this. Instead we saw that this was actually an eye opener to Dick that he has actually not been the best son or friend to Bruce as of late. This revelation showed that Bruce and Dick’s relationship is more of brothers than friends. And with certain things that were teased about the status quo of both Bruce and Dick following the wedding this could be the start of a bigger sub-plot involving their relationship.
The epilogue of this issue also nicely built to an even bigger wild card for the wedding in the form of the Joker. Seeing that the Joker has revealed information about Batman and Catwoman’s wedding to the villains in Gotham City puts a lot of things about the wedding in doubt. That doubt will further fuel interest in all of the Batman: Prelude to the Wedding issues as we get more hints at how things will turn out. This will at least give momentum to the battle between Batgirl and Riddler since we have seen both characters have major moments in the Batman comics recently.
The artwork for Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1 was solid. The little action we did get in Nightwing vs Hush #1 was solid, even though there wasn’t a lot of it. Where Travis Moore shine most was in the slower character focused moments. And since Nightwing vs Hush #1 was heavily reliant on this, Moore was able to keep the pacing of the story moving forward even in the slower moments. Tamra Bonvillain also deserves credit for keeping the flow of the story going forward as she was able to help create a consistency between Moore and Otto Schmidt’s artwork in the main story and epilogue.
The Bad: The only problem with Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1 was seeing Bruce, Dick and Clark in their Batman, Nightwing and Superman costumes out in public. While Seeley did give a reason for this to be the case it was an odd way to treat the bachelor party. Because the way it looked this seemed to be more of a bachelor party for Batman rather than Bruce Wayne. Given how much work was done to develop who Bruce’s best friend is it would’ve added to the story if we didn’t see the capes the entire issue. Seeing Bruce, Dick and Clark in regular street clothes would’ve made the scenes involving the three much more personal.
Overall: Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1 was a solid tie-in issue that builds momentum to the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Tim Seeley did a lot of great job using the idea of who Batman’s best friend is to provide positive character development for Nightwing and Hush. If you are a fan who is looking forward to the wedding of Bruce and Selina then I recommend checking out Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Nightwing vs Hush #1.