Friday, November 12, 2010

Absolute Batman Hush: Jeph Loeb, Jim lee, Scott Williams. DC Comics

Bet you didn't notice
the Smiley face in
Jokers eye
From the collection today, an absolute edition by the Korean, Wilstorem CEO and comic book superstar Jim Lee. That's right one of the first absolute editions to fully capture the art work of Jim Lee.
Absolute Batman Hush is the collected edition of Batman issues 608-619. By far some of the best looking art work and one of the best stories in the Batman series. Thanks to Jeph Loeb it's a great ride in to the depths of Batman with pretty much every Gotham villain showing up and even Superman all the way from Metropolis flying through the pages.  Scott Williams does an incredible job of making the pencils come to life. If you like art and a story this is one to read, now on to the product.

The Goods what you care about. 
The slipcase. Well I have to say the slip case isn't all to impressive. It's a matte finish with the words HUSH in a gloss finish on both sides of the slipcase. I was hopping for some different artwork on each side. It looks cool but not overly creative.
 As you can see the front and the back have the same image. Nothing to creative here.

The slipcover/dust jacket. One guess what the cover is....Yup the same image cover as the slipcase, only this time in color. The back has a small vertical bar of what looks like original art and that's it. So at the moment its hard to see whats so big about this and why I'm all excited. I realized the same thing once I looked closer at it.
I tried my best to keep the pictures interesting despite the lack of creativity. The front cover is still the same image.

The hardcover. Well another of what seems like lapse in creativity, the hardcover is wrapped in faux leather with the words HUSH embossed near the spine, also the spine has the credits embossed on it. Same style and font as seen on the dust jacket.
 The hardcover a lot of the same image ad concept just repeated. Good thing the insides are what make the book.

The inside. I have to say this is where they had kept all the good stuff. Getting to see Jim Lees art in 8x12 inches is awesome. There's just so much there that wasn't seen before. The back has added commentary and additional drawings and cover art for the variant issues. Just take a look at the pictures and you'll understand why this absolute is so great. This time the inside pages are what makes this book a real piece to own, and well worth adding to the collection. This is the best way to read comics especially with art as detailed as Jim Lee's. I also had a special treat from Jim when he came to the local Comic book show. I knew he was Korean and knew he had a Korean name (also he referenced it in the Hush absolute commentary) so as an extra I got him to sign my book with the usual signature....And then I asked him if he could sign his Korean name too. To my surprise no one had ever asked him to do that before. I think I started a trend and the next time I see him it'll be Korean name and Signature together. Looks awesome see below.

So I think we have a new trend here. The Jim Lee Korean signature. (above)
Below a sample of the page with probably the 2 most favorite Jim Lee covers to date as well as the back cover.

The story. Well this was one of my favorites, and a must on my list to re-read. Every villain pretty much makes an appearance and is incorporated in a great plot. This is a must read and a must have for your collection. Whether it be in the single issue, trade or absolute format make sure you read this story. If you like the art then there is more incentive to read it, if you like the story read it still.

Final thoughts. At the original list price of $50USD this was a steal for 12 issues, a commentary section and a Jim Lee sketch book. Today the price still floats around $50-$80 so its still affordable. The absolute size does give you a better view of the art work and makes it a better read. Seeing the art up close brings all of Jim Lee's little Easter eggs to light. Take for instance Jim putting his Korean name on the head band of one of the sushi chefs, only known after reading the commentary and re-reading. This is a must get for all the content inside, and 12 issues for $50 in an over-sized format its an easy choice.

8 Batarangs out of 9 (due to the poor use of artistic creativity on the outside material, but who judges a book by it's cover anyways)

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