2016 has been a mixed year for Batman fans. On the one hand, we got Ben Affleck's Batman in both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad; in spite of initial fears (remember the Batfleck memes?), he's now already viewed by many as the best live-action Batman to date. We also got a classic DC comic, The Killing Joke, adapted into an animated story that featured Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their famous roles of Batman and the Joker! On the other hand, the DC Extended Universe has come in for a lot of flak (not always fairly), and The Killing Joke proved divisive. That said, we can draw a line under 2016 as the year we got a new Batman and a classic tale adapted into the DC Animated Universe - and that's good enough for me!
The real question is: what's next? At Canada's 2016 Fan Expo, Conroy and Hamill were asked whether they'd finished portraying their iconic characters. The response was a fan-pleasing 'no' - and then the conversation moved in a different, far more exciting, direction. According to Screen Geek, Conroy turned to Hamill and asked:
"What do you think about doing 'Hush'?"
The crowd went wild, but Hamill wasn't to be outdone. He responded:
"What do you think about doing 'A Death in the Family'?"
What are 'Hush' and 'A Death in the Family'?
Hush and A Death in the Family are both fan-favorite arcs. The latter is a controversial story from the late 1980s, written by Jim Starlin (co-creator of Marvel's Thanos). It follows Jason Todd, the second Robin, and his fateful encounter with the Joker - one that apparently ends with his death. DC actually gave fans a degree of involvement in the plot, using a phone-vote to dictate whether or not Jason Todd would survive. Todd wasn't particularly popular, although there are rumors one reader programmed his computer to dial 'death' every ninety seconds for eight hours; whether or not these rumors are true, Jason Todd's fate was sealed.
In the decades since, A Death in the Family has become a matter of legend. Surprisingly, the plot hasn't been damaged in the slightest by Jason Todd's resurrection as the Red Hood. The plot Under the Red Hood has already been adapted for an animated movie (with flashbacks from A Death in the Family), and there's real appetite for the resurrected Jason Todd to appear in the DC Extended Universe!
Hush is a more recent arc scripted by Jeph Loeb (now in charge of Marvel Entertainment's TV and Netflix slate). In this arc, the Riddler learns Batman's secret identity, and launches a complex plot to attack Bruce Wayne's mind. With the Riddler orchestrating Batman's rogues' gallery against him, the Dark Knight is pushed to breaking point - he almost kills the Joker - before he uncovers an old family friend in league with the Riddler, the character known as 'Hush'. Hush was a tremendously strong character-piece, playing deeply on Batman's paranoia and trauma, and advancing the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. It's generally viewed as one of the best Batman stories ever made.
Are These Two Arcs Going to Be Adapted?
Conroy and Hamill certainly stirred the pot when they named these two arcs, and it's pretty unusual for them to do so. At the same time, this only tells us that they're thinking about Hush and A Death in the Family; Screen Geek describes the two trading knowing glances, suggesting this is a conversation they've had before. My personal instinct is that Conroy and Hamill would like to do these two plots, and are giving a public 'nudge' to DC Animation in the hopes they'll get made.
Personally, if asked to choose between one of these two animated films, I'd go for Hush. We've already seen most of the key plot-points of A Death in the Family adapted into DC's excellent animated movie Under the Red Hood, and I don't see the need for another version. Hush is critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, and deserves its moment in the sun. The character of Hush - who some believe is being added into the next season of Gotham - has become an enduring and important Batman villain, and a true nemesis for Bruce Wayne. I'd love to see him brought into the DC Animated Universe.
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All in all, these comments don't tell us much; they give us a sense of what's on the voice-actors' radars, but nothing more. Still, my hope is that DC is listening, that DC fans will be excited about the possibilities, and that we'll soon be seeing a Hush animated movie!
Do you want to see these plots adapted for the DC Animated Universe? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Screen Geek