If you've read my most recent article on our beloved Alfred Pennyworth in Gotham, you'll know that I seem to have fallen in love with the show already. That said, I've had a lot of excitement cooped up inside me, and have inevitably come up with some of my own ideas. Among all of them, however, and I'm sure you've had many as well, there's one that makes the most sense, would be great to see, and would also be the first time we've seen this epic villain in live action.
You guessed it: Thomas Elliot, later known as Hush. (Okay, so maybe it wasn't that hard, given the article's photo, but we'll leave the questions and guessing for the Riddler.)
So, some background info. Thomas Elliot first appeared in early 2003, and then as Hush in costume by the end of 2003, so he's a relatively new member of the Batman mythos. His popularity with fans took off straight away, and the original graphic novel he featured in, Batman: Hush (pictured above) took off straight away, still renowned day as one of the must reads of Batman. So where does he fit into Gotham?
As boys, Thomas Elliot and Bruce Wayne were close friends. Elliot was from a rich family, just like Bruce, but his father was abusive, and his mother so in love with wealth that she tolerated the abuse on both her and her son just to maintain this wealth. Instead, she forced him to memorise Aristotle's works, quite ignorant of him, leading later in life to someone who quoted Aristotle quite frequently. He never forgave her for it. So, young Thomas, fed up, took action- he cuts the brakes of his parent's car, instantly killing his father on the next trip, and leaving his mother critical. She would have died- if not for the intervention of Thomas Wayne. This is really where Elliot's hatred of Bruce begins to fester.
In a descending spiral, bits of which I'll discuss in a moment, Thomas Elliot ends up driven quite mad by envy and a lust for some form of vengeance. At the death of the Waynes, he doesn't truly sympathize with Bruce- he resents him for inheriting their wealth. Long story cut short, he ends up murdering his mother and acquiring his own fortune, becoming a surgeon,and travelling the world, but that hatred for Bruce only intensifies. In a team up with Riddler,we end up in the storyline above eventually, with Thomas Elliot taking on the persona of Hush, and the fantastic story mentioned above, filled with a great many villains and struggles which make it one of the greats of the Batman graphic novels and stories. I won't summarise it, as I wouldn't do it justice. Instead, let's talk about how he could fi into Gotham.
Thomas Elliot and Bruce Wayne.
If the pilot is any indicator, and young David Mazouz' tweets are anything to go by, Bruce Wayne will still feature quite heavily throughout Gotham's run. The last thing we want is for it to come to the point where Bruce is only there for the sake of being there, and so he needs an arc. (Not only that, it'd be a shame to let Mazouz' apparent acting talent and his now proven ability for an awesome Bat-stare to go to waste.)
That arc could feature Thomas Elliot quite heavily. Of course, there are some inconsistencies- Thomas Wayne is already dead, so he can't perform the surgery to save Thomas Elliot's mother. Bruce has already inherited his parent's wealth. I believe there are multiple ways to work around this- flashbacks establishing the abuse of Elliot, the surgery, and the car 'accident' are one way to go about it, but I feel that would be a bit clunky. Instead, the timeline could be reworked.
Thomas could be introduced early in the show realizing that his friend Bruce is inheriting all of his parent's wealth, and be immediately jealous. The abuse could factor in there, leading to the murder of his own father, hopefully through similar means as in the original story. Of course, with Thomas Wayne not around to save Elliot's mother, it could be done instead through the Wayne Foundation funding the operation or whatnot, with the Waynes being linked somehow to her saving, to maintain that irrational hatred Thomas is beginning to foster.
Interaction between young Thomas Elliot and young Bruce Wayne would not only be interesting on its own, but all of these events could be established, leading to a point at the end of the series where Hush is ready to emerge as Hush. Of course, the Hush origin story can incorporate a few other introductions, establishing an arc of their own, including....
Jonathan Crane- before Scarecrow
At one point in the Hush origin story, we see Bruce and Thomas on a summer camp together. Already on his descent into rage, having just killed his father, Thomas violently attacks another boy and ends up in a psychiatric ward. He ends up in a psychiatric facility for assessment, blaming the anxiety caused by Bruce and his mother for his outburst.
He is soon released by a young intern who seems to take pity on him, or perhaps genuinely believes he should be released- Jonathan Crane, before he became the Scarecrow. Crane is a fan favourite, so many want to see him, but it's tricky trying to maintain his character while not having Scarecrow as a persona developed yet. Of course, Crane has always had an obsession with fear, and so we could certainly see some of his early experiments. This would be a nice way to introduce Crane, consistent with the ages the show is developing, and adds to a part of Bruce's, Thomas' and (if they chose to create one) Crane's story arc before he begins work at Arkham. Later in life, Thomas befriends- indeed, a bit more than that- one other destined to be villain:
The Ventriloquist (the second one):
But not the old man (Arnold Wesker) you're thinking of. Peyton Riley is a woman that Thomas Elliot befriends just prior to Bruce's return to Gotham, and strikes a relationship with him- one his mother never approves of. Peyton accordingly helps him carry out the murder of his lawyer and mother, as well as the destruction of her will, in order to ensure Thomas' acquisition of her fortune. Elliot abandons her afterwards, but she certainly played a role in his origins.
While not the Ventriloquist at all by this point, some of the more insane tendencies could be hinted at or foreshadowed. What's more is that the New 52 has introduced a new Ventriloquist in Batgirl, Shauna Belzer, who not much is known about. A character combination is possible, as has been done before, to combine stories. What's more in favour of Peyton's case is her links to the mob, her cruelty, and her psychotic tendency to think she and the puppet Scarface are in a romantic relationship. It'd certainly be interesting to see her realised in live action- and another female villain being introduced never hurts either.
Edward Nygma/The Riddler:
We've already met him, so I won't go too much into this, and Cory Michael Smith, who portrays the Riddler, has already hinted the Riddler has a much bigger role throughout the series than what he had in the pilot. It's worth mentioning him, though, as he plays quite a crucial role in the Hush storyline, teaming up with Elliot to bring down Bruce Wayne, who they share a mutual hate for.
While it's far too early in the game for that, to flesh out the Riddler's character even more it would be interesting to see him interact with a young Thomas Elliot, potentially with his ties to the GCPD helping him with the murder of his Father and whatnot, maybe even pulling some strings with Crane to see him released from care. I have always love seeing villains interact on screen together, forming partnerships and whatnot, so that's perhaps more fantastical than the rest.
So, what do you think? Got some ideas of your own? What other villains would you like to see? Let me know!