Dr. Thomas "Tommy" Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. He becomes a costumed criminal who targets both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Although Hush's name originates from a nursery rhyme, Hush lives up to it by using manipulation and guile instead of noisy "signatures". Tommy and Bruce Wayne were childhood friends, and unbeknownst to Bruce, dark reflections of each other. A childhood sociopath, Elliot tried to kill his parents so he could inherit their fortune. When his plan failed, due partly to the surgical skills of Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, Elliot blamed Bruce. An incredibly skilled surgeon as an adult, Elliot planned an elaborate revenge scheme on Wayne. He disguised himself as the villain Hush, his face covered in bandages, but in the end he was defeated and unmasked by the Dark Knight. Hush still plots revenge against Batman, generating complicated schemes with surgical precision.
Born a child of wealth and privilege, young Tommy Elliot became close friends with Bruce Wayne. Bruce's father, Thomas, was happy to see the children bond, and felt that Bruce had finally found a friend that he could relate to. Tommy and Bruce enjoyed playing games of strategy, with Tommy always seeming to outmaneuver his otherwise brilliant friend.
However, while Bruce enjoyed his parents' company, Tommy hated his father, who was drunk and always abusive. His mother, who had originally come from a background of poverty, did next to nothing to help her son as she was willing to endure every abuse dealt to her and her son to keep her lavish lifestyle.
Instead of defending Thomas, she forced him to memorize Aristotle as a way to deal in a subtle, passive way with his father – something he never forgave her for.
One day, Thomas Wayne took Bruce and Tommy with him on a business trip to Metropolis. He instructed them to stay in their hotel room, but they snuck out to see the big city, where they witnessed a battle between the formerly retired super-hero Green Lantern and his old nemesis the Icicle.
Tommy crafted a scheme to obtain his own fortune. He severed the brake lines to his parents' car, sending the vehicle careening off the side of the road. Tommy’s father was instantly killed, but his mother managed to survive, thanks to emergency surgery by Bruce's father.
Tommy eventually came into possession of the fortune that he so desperately wanted, but he had to wait years, watching his mother suffer and ultimately succumb to cancer. Twisted by his own avarice, he inwardly blamed Bruce Wayne for his perceived "good fortune" after the deaths of the Waynes left Bruce in exactly the position that Tommy had sought to create himself – a mentality that would one day fuel an elaborate plot to destroy Bruce Wayne altogether. Aided by the Riddler – who had recently used a Lazarus Pit and had an epiphany that led him to realize Batman's true identity in the bargain – Elliot set up an elaborate plot against Batman. As part of this plot, he mutated Killer Croc and had him set up a kidnapping to provide additional funds; Poison Ivy took control of Catwoman – and later briefly controlled Superman – to provide additional security; Elliot faked his own death at the Joker's hands (with Clayface posing as Elliot's body) to provoke Batman into killing the Joker and thus destroy him as a person; and Scarecrow caused further discord among Batman's allies. During this time, Elliot assumed the identity of a man whose head was wrapped in bandages and spoke in a low voice when observing his plans unfolding, eventually adopting the name "Hush" based on the song "Hush, Little Baby," about a boy who couldn't be satisfied. However, Elliot's plan was undermined when Two-Face reformed after Elliot gave him plastic surgery in return for his legal expertise, and Harvey Dent contacted the now-retired James Gordon to provide Batman with crucial assistance until Elliot was unmasked.
When Hush resurfaces, he does so with a vengeance. Still out to destroy Batman and determined not to let the rest of the villains get in his way, Hush quickly carves out a niche for himself, beating his former accomplice the Riddler to within an inch of his life, and even driving the Joker out of town. Hush also ends up nearly killing Poison Ivy in a fruitless attempt to recruit her.
Following a short-lived alliance with JLA nemesis Prometheus, Hush then begins to torment Bruce Wayne with the aid of an all-new Clayface (Johnny Williams) . Exploiting the latter's shape-shifting abilities, Hush is briefly able to shed doubt on his true identity and has Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth framed for murder. Alfred's name was later cleared, albeit through trickery.
The Joker eventually returned to Gotham City with an army of trained pigeons and retaliated (in Batman: Gotham Knights #73-74). He captured Hush and kept him sedated for three weeks, during which time he implanted a pacemaker into his body, effectively gaining control of his heart. At the Joker's mercy and unable to remove the device himself, Hush turned to the one man he felt he could trust (or rather, predict): Bruce Wayne.
Wayne consented to help Hush on the condition that he allow himself to be treated in, and confined to, Arkham Asylum. Hush agreed, and then immediately escaped after being told that the surgery had been a success. He was intercepted by Batman before he could confront the Joker, and the two men debated the merits of a code against killing such vile criminals. Hush demanded that Batman allow him to do what Bruce would not and finish off the Joker once and for all. Batman seemed to agree and began to leave, but then revealed that he had tricked Hush—the pacemaker was still in his body, and he had been allowed to escape the asylum. At that moment the Joker arrived, and Hush begged Batman not to leave him.
The issue (and the Batman: Gotham Knights series) ended unresolved. Hush returned in the later Man-Bat miniseries, and was later shown remembering how painful removing the pacemaker alone was, and how the time between Gotham Knights and "Heart of Hush" almost totally was spent recovering from the damage suffered, confirming that Batman did desert Hush at the conclusion of "Payback".
Heart of Hush
After a long absence, Hush returns in Detective Comics #846-#850, in the story "The Heart of Hush", which ties together with Batman R.I.P.. In this arc, Hush is portrayed in a slightly different thematic fashion than in his prior appearances. Beyond being merely a manipulative sociopath, his past as a surgeon is made into a major aspect of his modus operandi. In the first issue, Hush makes it known he will not let anyone else kill Batman, as he sees that as his right. In the second part, Hush has teamed up with the Scarecrow, who had contact with Elliot as a child. Hush performs routine plastic surgery on his own face, only later revealing the result is nearly identical to Bruce Wayne.
Hush then ambushes and subdues Catwoman after she scratches off a portion of his facial bandages, recoiling in horror at what she sees. He then cuts out her heart, putting her on life support supplied by Mr. Freeze and delivering her to Gotham General Hospital. Hush comments to himself that it was Batman's desertion of him during the pacemaker incident that inspired this current plan.
While Selina is left in Doctor Mid-Nite's care, Batman squeezes the location of Hush's headquarters from Scarecrow. Hush, however, ambushes him by showing him the room containing Selina's heart, alive and pumping, at which time he pumps Batman with a paralyzing gas. He then confesses to Bruce his plan: using his newfound resemblance to Bruce, he will kill and disfigure him to steal his identity, then he will retire with the Wayne fortune.
However, Batman is able to stave off the effects of the paralysis gas, recover Selina's heart, and warn Alfred Pennyworth of Thomas' deception. Hush manages to get into the Batcave where he nearly kills Batman, but Alfred's continuing interference and the arrival of Nightwing and Robin turn the tide. Hush retreats on the Whirly-Bat (a one man helicopter), but his bandages become tangled in the rotor and it explodes.
Batman and his allies can find no trace of Hush save some bloody bandages, and count him dead. Selina Kyle, not taking chances and seeking some form of closure for her predicament and her current condition (Doctor Mid-Nite made clear that it is unlikely she'll be ever able to regain her physical prowess), has Oracle, Holly Robinson, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Slam Bradley track down Hush's secret bank accounts and stashes of cash and cut them off. Tommy Elliot, wounded but alive, limps off to plot his next move.
Posing as Bruce Wayne, Hush travels to Australia and Vietnam, looting Wayne's cash accounts in the companies he owns there. He is captured by Catwoman who knows perfectly well he is not the real Wayne. He's then given in custody to Nightwing and Robin who, rather than bring him into police custody, keep him contained in a secret safehouse to preserve their secrets. Elliot, still wearing Bruce's appearance, decides to fake his surrender, merely acting for the right moment to escape.
After R.I.P.Following Bruce Wayne's 'death' in the final confrontation with Darkseid, Elliott attempted to escape and resume his original plan to take control of the Wayne fortune, but with Grayson, the Outsiders, and multiple other heroes keeping an eye on him, he has been forced to simply pose as Bruce Wayne in order to conceal Bruce's death and avoid association between him and Batman's recent 'change'.
This strategy continued until Red Robin was forced to take official control away from Elliot when he tried to form an alliance with Ra's al Ghul. Elliot's attempts to use Wayne's influence to release dangerous criminals back onto Gotham's streets eventually backfired when the criminal Jane Doe- a woman who lost her face in an accident- becomes obsessed with 'Bruce Wayne' after his role in her release, to the point that she infiltrates his life by taking the face of his new assistant, and subsequently cuts off Elliot's new face with the intention of becoming Bruce Wayne herself, only for this effort to be undone when Batman catches her and Hush. With Bruce Wayne's recent public revelation that he has been Batman's financial backer for years rendering Hush's knowledge of Batman's identity irrelevant, he is sent to Arkham Asylum.
While Hush is a modern character, there is a history of bandage-faced men in Batman comics. The Crime Doctor's first appearance in Batman #77 was as an underground surgeon who could change his identity with masks.
In Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Harvey Dent's face is repaired through plastic surgery, but his violent alternate personality resurfaces while he wears bandages that cover his face.
Powers and Abilities
- Thomas Elliot is a neurologist possessing a genius level intellect, as well as a master of disguise. Although he specializes in brain surgery, Hush is also a proficient plastic surgeon, having repaired the extensive scar tissue on the reformed villain known as Two-Face. Elliot is also a master strategist and manipulator, responsible for setting in motion a grandiose series of events aimed at confounding the Batman. It also appears that Hush is an expert marksman. During his first physical encounter with Batman, he easily defends himself by shooting away Batarangs as they come sailing towards him. Hush often utilizes these skills in his determined quest to destroy Bruce Wayne.
- As seen in HEART OF HUSH, Elliot is also a gifted surgeon, removing Catwoman's heart and placing it in a machine constructed by Mr. Freeze to keep it beating. He also performed surgery on his face by looking in a handheld mirror to change its features in his wishes. Elliot's status as a world-class surgeon is coupled by the fact that he has shown capability of extraordinary medical breakthroughs.
- Strength level: Hush keeps himself in top physical form. He possesses great physical strength, often augmented by his hatred of Bruce Wayne.
In other media
- Hush is voiced by Sam Neil in DC Universe Online.
LEGO Batman: The Videogame
- Main article: Hush (Lego Batman: The Videogame)
Batman: Arkham series
- Main article: Hush (Arkhamverse)
- In-story, the name Hush is derived from the popular lullaby "Hush Little Baby".
- Behind the scenes, the name "Hush" came from the writers of the comic, who would respond, "Hush!" to the many people who asked them who the new bad guy was.
- In 2005, Hush received his own action figure as part of the Batman: Hush series collection.
- It is worth noting that he is very similar in appearance to the way Two-Face looked in Frank Miller's elseworld story Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. He also appears in the story dressed identical to him. This may be a coincedence or not.