WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman: Hush, available now for digital download.
Batman: Hush is the 13th installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, adapting the 2002 storyline from Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee. Running from Batman #608 to #619, it detailed Bruce Wayne's torment at the hands of the mysterious villain Hush, who knows everything about Batman, his allies and exactly which enemies to manipulate to make life a living hell.
As expected, while some of the lore is kept intact, the animated flick diverts from the source material in key ways. With that in mind, let's look at the major changes from the comic pages to the small screen.
BANE IS SWAPPED IN
In the comics, Killer Croc's the first pawn Hush uses to start his mind games with Batman. He kidnaps Edward, the son of a wealthy family, and demands a $50 million ransom, which the Gotham police try to deliver. This leads to a brutal brawl, with Batman coming out on top and the ransom stolen by Catwoman. Batman fights him after he escapes custody, tracking Croc to another of Hush's pawns: Poison Ivy.
The film does this differently because it's actually Bane who's the kidnapper. Batman battles him the same way, although Bane is using a Super-Venom here. While Croc wanted the money for more altruistic means (escaping Gotham for a better life), Bane's all about purchasing more Venom. Interestingly enough, Amanda Waller and Batman butt heads over Bane here, as she warns the Caped Crusader about interrogating her prisoners, while he taunts her about her Suicide Squad -- a specific jab not included in the books.
CATWOMAN'S OVERALL ROLE
Selina Kyle does find out who's under the cowl in both the comics and the movie, but in this animated flick, she actually moves in with Bruce, similar to Tom King's recent run. They even become a couple, fighting crime together, which Loeb didn't have at all. Also, while Catwoman did run afoul of Tim Drake in the Batcave in the books, the film tweaks this dynamic by having her accepted by Nightwing and Alfred, but hated on by Damian.
Another change is made when Batman tries to choke Joker to death when he shoots his childhood friend, Tommy Elliot, in an alley. The comics had Catwoman and Jim Gordon helping pull the Bat off, but in the film, it's just Gordon. Interestingly, the Bat and Cat broke up in the comics when Batman decided he couldn't trust her by the time the story ended, but it was also because he didn't want to lose anyone he cared about to enemies who figured out his identity. In the flick, though, Catwoman ends things when she realizes Bruce will never walk away from vigilantism, not even for her.
THE LEAGUE OF ASSASSINS
The comics had Batman obtaining information from Talia al Ghul (LexCorp president) in Metropolis regarding an ethylene compound Ivy was using. He suspected her dad, Ra's, of working with Hush after realizing a Lazarus Pit had been breached. So, he kidnapped Talia and had the Cat watch over her while he feuded with Ra's in Africa. Lady Shiva would eventually come to free Talia, leading to a fracas with her, Talia and the Cat, all while Batman discerned that Ra's really wasn't the villain he was looking for.
The movie alters this drastically because Batman gets the ethylene info from Lex (who's an unofficial League member after Reign of the Supermen), whereas Talia and Ra's don't factor into the plot at all. Shiva does have a minor role early on, though, meeting Batman to share info on the Lazarus Pit and warning him the splintered and troubled League is monitoring his actions closely, setting up a potential arc later on.
BATGIRL'S GIVEN MORE PROMINENCE
In the comics, when Hush cut Batman's line and he fell in an alley, Huntress was the one who saved the Bat from thugs. The film changes that up, as Batgirl and Catwoman join forces to save Bruce's skin here, even fighting each other for a bit. As for Barb, she's given more agency this time around. She crashes Bruce's car as part of a ruse to get him taken in for Tommy to operate on.
The books didn't have much for Barb to do other than helping Bruce figure out his former mechanic, Harold, had been co-opted. She was Oracle there, which informed why Bruce wanted to kill Joker in the aforementioned alley scene, as it was retribution for crippling her. The film doesn't follow the Oracle and Harold arc, instead having Batman deduce the truth about Hush's location using intel from Tommy's computer on surgeries regarding a certain rogue. Still, Barb gets much more air time in the adaptation, as she's seen as a true street-level superhero.
NIGHTWING TEAMS UP WITH THE CAT
The comics had Catwoman and Huntress butting heads due to Hush continuing to manipulate them, culminating with Scarecrow revealing himself as a pawn too in an assault on the duo. Batman intervened, though, as he had simply used the women as bait so he could have Hush's other minions come out the shadows.
The movie flips the script here by having Cat and Nightwing checking out Tommy's grave, which results in Scarecrow attacking and using his fear gas on Nightwing. Cat eventually saves Dick from the madman, using a special serum on him and convincing the ex-Robin she's really ready to be part of the Bat-family.
JASON TODD ISN'T INVOLVED
The comics threw fans for a loop with Hush unmasking as Jason Todd, cutting Batman's line with a Batarang in the alley where Bruce found Jason trying to steal his car. Other clues were seeded hinting Jason was the villain, but when Bruce battled him after he held Tim hostage, it turned out to be Clayface. Later on, Riddler (Hush's partner) admitted there were bigger plans for Jason as his body was dug up and kidnapped, building to his official return.
This film doesn't use Jason at all, as he hasn't been seen since Under The Red Hood. Clayface mimics the Riddler in jail, not Hush. As for Hush's initial attack on the Bat, he uses a sniper rifle and not a Batarang, like Jason did. Using Jason would have convoluted the plot a bit more, and it's clear the DCAU wants to keep the Red Hood for another day.
THE HUSH REVEAL
In the books, Tommy was revealed to be the true Hush. Jealous of Bruce's life and a generally deranged person who tried to murder both his parents as a kid to inherit their estate. He'd track Bruce his entire life, becoming obsessed with using all these pawns against him. He'd eventually partner with the Riddler, who used the Lazarus Pit and joined with Tommy to make the game challenging. The finale saw Riddler hiding in prison so he could have an alibi, which left Hush vulnerable for the surprise hero of the story, Two-Face, to shoot him and drop him into the Gotham river, where his body went missing.
The film changes this big time because, when Tommy's shot by the Joker in the alley early on, it's not a piece of misdirection -- he really dies in the alley. Hush is actually the new identity of the Riddler, who went mad after the Lazarus Pit, but still pieced together Batman's identity. He had a previous grudge against Tommy, who couldn't remove his brain tumor, and so with a question mark engraved on his forehead, Riddler decides to exact revenge on the surgeon, all the villains who saw him as a C-lister and, of course, Batman for hiding in plain sight as a billionaire. The finale saw the Bat and Cat teaming up against Riddler, with no Gordon or Two-Face acting as an additional cavalry.
Directed by Justin Copeland, Batman: Hush stars Jason O'Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Sean Maher, Bruce Thomas, Stuart Allen, James Garrett, Maury Sterling, Geoffrey Arend, Vanessa Williams, Jason Spisak, Adam Gifford, Dachie Alessio, Peyton List and Tara Strong.