- Ah, but we both know our play isn't over, Bruce. And ultimately I will emerge as the hero of our bitter comedy.
- — Tommy Elliot src
Thomas "Tommy" Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne who, out of jealousy, decided to take him down, using the moniker Hush.
Born a child of wealth and privilege, young Thomas Elliot was close friends with Bruce Wayne. The brash child was one of the only children at school brave enough to approach Bruce, whose family's reputation kept his peers distant. Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, was happy to see the two bond, and believed that Bruce had finally found a friend that he could relate to. Thomas and Bruce enjoyed playing games of strategy, Thomas always seemingly outmaneuvering the otherwise brilliant Bruce.
One weekend, Dr. Wayne took Bruce and Thomas with him on a trip to Metropolis, where he was attending a medical conference. On arrival, the boys were instructed by Dr. Wayne to wait outside the hotel near the car while he and Alfred checked in, but Bruce and Thomas saw the formerly retired superhero Green Lantern flying overhead. They followed, and subsequently witnessed a battle between Green Lantern and his old nemesis, the Icicle. When Bruce and Thomas got back to the hotel, Dr. Wayne was angry with the boys for disobeying him. As a result, Bruce and Thomas were grounded — having to spend the whole weekend in their hotel room.
Thomas's father Roger Elliot was an alcoholic who would physically abuse young Thomas. His mother Marla, who came from more humble beginnings and married into the Elliot family's wealth, was unwilling to risk losing her acquired social status and wealth and instead stayed with Roger, continuing to expose her son to her husband's abuse. She forced Thomas to memorize war strategy and Aristotelean philosophy so that he could better defend himself against his father's abuse and learn to strategically maneuver and avoid his wrath.
At age 10, Thomas attempted to engineer the death of his parents and gain their wealth by cutting the brakes on their car. The ensuing car accident was blamed on Roger's drinking problem, although detective Slam Bradley suspected that Thomas might be involved. Both were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital and rushed into surgery, where Dr. Wayne was unable to save Roger, but did succeed in saving Marla. Marla's recovery at the hands of Bruce's father became the beginning of Tommy's grudge against the Waynes, and particularly Thomas Wayne himself. After the accident, Marla became very possessive and controlling of Tommy, as he was the only family she had left and her only tie to the Elliot name.
Later that year, Bruce's mother managed to convince Marla to send Tommy along with Bruce to summer camp. A few days into the program, Thomas nearly confessed to Bruce about murdering Roger Elliot when Marla showed up unannounced at the campsite, demanding that Tommy return home with her, which caused the children to mock him, calling him a "momma's boy", leading to Thomas violently lashing out at them.
After the camping incident, Tommy spent the rest of the summer at a clinic for anger issues, under the supervision of Doctor Jonathan Crane. While hospitalized, Tommy began to have increasingly paranoid thoughts, and began to believe that his friend Bruce had conspired with Marla to ruin Tommy's summer. It was at this point that Tommy's grudge against the Waynes also included his former best friend Bruce. Crane recognized that Tommy had sociopathic tendencies, but rather than keep him at for treatment, he found the boy interesting and expedited his release. Later in life, Scarecrow would serve as one of Thomas's mentors as Hush.
Soon after Tommy's hospitalization, Bruce's parents met an untimely demise and Thomas felt that justice had been served. Afterward, Marla continued to closely control Thomas, holding the promise of funding medical school over his head if he continued to acquiesce to her every demand. Thomas remained in Gotham and cared for her throughout her illness with cancer, despite her increasing mental instability and insanity. In the meantime, orphaned Bruce spent his time traveling the world, presumably training. Thomas envied Bruce's freedom, and his mother constantly comparing him negatively to Bruce furthered his grudge against his former friend.
Thomas eventually found love in the form of Peyton Riley, a mobster's daughter. Marla, disgusted by her background, refused to meet Peyton, leading to a heated argument in which Thomas yelled at Marla for never protecting him from his father's abuse. That night, Marla wrote Thomas out of the family will, cutting him off and ending his medical school dreams. Peyton, who was present at the moment, murdered the lawyer who had overseen the will, destroying his documents and effectively reversing Marla's changes. At the same time, Thomas, in a rage, smothered his mother to death with a pillow. Upon finding out what each other had done, they concocted a story to justify their deaths and Thomas claimed the Elliot fortune for himself. A couple of days later, Thomas broke up with Peyton, leaving to travel the world and claiming that he refused to ever be tied down again.
Main article: Batman: Hush
Thomas was working as a neurosurgeon in Philadelphia when Edward Nashton came to him as a patient with brain cancer. Riddler then went off on his own and used one of Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pits to heal himself. Nygma later approached Thomas to try and sell him information about the Lazarus pit, assuming the doctor would be interested in its miraculous ability to cure cancer, but instead Thomas - who had figured out Nygma's identity by now and realized he had connections to Gotham - asked him for help to get revenge on his old friend, Bruce Wayne. Riddler agreed, and while researching Bruce Wayne, the madness caused by the pit, which he refered to as "clarity", allowed him to make the connection that Bruce Wayne is Batman. After sharing this information with Thomas, Thomas took on the identity of Hush and began plotting his revenge on Bruce. Jason Todd also confirms Bruce's identity to Hush.
Hush convinced and manipulated several other of Batman's Rogues Gallery to help him attack Bruce, although he never shared his knowledge of Batman's true identity. When Elliot finally revealed his plans to a physically and emotionally tired Batman, the Dark Knight was saved only by the intervention of Harvey Dent, whose Two-Face personality had been unwittingly removed by Elliot when he repaired his disfigured face. Dent shot Hush twice, causing Hush to fall into the Gotham Bay and disappear.
Main article: Batman: War Games
Shortly after, Hush made an alliance with Prometheus and started looking for Riddler, to get revenge after he used him. When the gang war broke out in Gotham, Hush was apporached by Black Mask, who wanted to recruit Hush, but Elliot refused. After that, Penguin also tried to recruit him by telling him that he knew Riddler's location. Hush tried to force the truth out of Penguin and learned that he was lying just to get Hush to join him.
In order to free himself from unwanted attention, Hush approached Black Mask and offered him a bargain. Hush asked Black Mask to stay away from his business and in exchange, Hush revealed to him the location of the Batcave. However, Hush lied to Black Mask and told him that the Batcave was the Gotham Clock Tower.
Heart of Hush
Main article: Batman: Heart of Hush
Hush's return was hastened when he heard rumors of the Black Glove's upcoming attack on Batman. Believing that it his right alone to kill Batman, Elliot sought outrace the Black Glove. Setting the Sacred Heart Convalescent Home as a base of operations, Hush made an alliance with the Scarecrow and kidnapped Selina Kyle to remove her heart from her body. Batman found Hush and tried to retrieve Selina's heart from him, but Hush paralyzed Batman and then revealed that he had performed plastic surgery on his own face in order to look nearly identical to Bruce Wayne. With Bruce at his mercy, Hush prepared to kill him and then, posing as the real Bruce Wayne, he would destroy Bruce's empire, life, family and friends.
Hush revealed the help he got from Mr. Freeze to create the machine that would keep Selina's heart alive and then he left Batman at the hospital. With his new face, he tried to trick Alfred into the Batcave, but the butler resisted and fought Hush until Batman arrived at Wayne Manor. Their fight took them to the Batcave, where Hush was utterly impressed by the place. On a final stand, Hush confronted the combined forces of Batman, Alfred, Nightwing and Robin and decided to leave to fight another day. However, on his escape attempt, Hush tried to leave on the Whirly-Bat, but ultimately crashed against the ceiling of the cave, leaving no trace behind.
Upon Selina's recovery, she enlisted the help of various friends including Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Oracle, and Holly Robinson to uncover all of Thomas' bank accounts and hidden money stashes, and then robbed him of every single penny of his treasured inheritance. She also exposed him to the authorities and Slam Bradley, who started looking for Elliot with renowed interest. Hush, now broke, injured and defeated, couldn't help but wander the streets of Gotham as a wanted criminal and a random derelict.
Elliot tried to commit suicide and jumped off a bridge. A few days later, he was saved by some fishermen and they recognized him as Bruce Wayne, due to his surgically altered face. Elliot started building a new life for himself using Bruce's identity and after a few more crimes, he regained some of his lost fortune. During one of his international travels, Elliot went to Vietnam to get more money from companies owned by Bruce Wayne. However, his plan failed as people started getting suspicious of him and he tried to escape, but he was chased and captured in the jungle by several thugs. They tied Hush and delivered him to their boss, Catwoman. Elliot was tortured and beaten by Catwoman's thugs and some of the jungle animals. After a few days, Catwoman delivered Elliot to Nightwing and Robin, who took him back to Gotham and locked him in a special cell at the top of Wayne Tower.
Hush notes how Gotham has fallen apart in Batman's absence, and ponders how to use this to his advantage. Elliot fakes experiencing the spontaneous combustion of the public being caused by Firefly, and when Alfred Pennyworth arrives at his cell to assist, Elliot overpowers him and escapes. Tommy then publicly re-emerges as Bruce Wayne, stating that he will donate a billion dollars a month to the city of Gotham until their financial crisis is over. By posing as Bruce Wayne, Elliot initially believes himself to be untouchable by Wayne's children, as he can now claim control of Wayne Enterprises, as well as knowing the true identities of the Batman Family. However, Elliot soon discovers himself to be underestimating them, as Dick and Damian along with the Outsiders and assorted other super-heroes explain to Elliot that he will forever be watched and controlled by them, and should he step out of line, that there will always be someone ready to take him down. With no other option available, Elliot reluctantly agrees to be Grayson's puppet posing as Bruce Wayne, thus preventing the public from realizing he was dead.
Though this has prevented Elliot's original plan of sapping the Wayne fortune, he has not allowed it to halt his scheming altogether. Hush notably appeared as a member of the Gotham Shield Committee, and around Gotham quite frequently, often attempting to make connections. When Ra's al Ghul arrived in Gotham, promising to ruin the Wayne family in retribution for Red Robin's actions against him, he immediately sought out Hush. Faced with the prospect of Elliot using Ra's al Ghul's support to turn on the Batman Family again, Red Robin activated a contingency plan set in place by Wayne to transfer control of Wayne Enterprises to Drake if something like Hush's case were to occur, leaving him with no official standing in the company.
Hush continuously attempted to push the boundaries of his new role as Wayne for the Batman Family - such as recommending that convicted criminals should be allowed back on the streets - while confident in the knowledge that, even if he provokes them to kill him, he could die knowing he left them with a permanent mark.
Despite this fact, the Bat-Family would still use Hush to their convenience, and when Vicki Vale threatened to reveal the whole truth about Batman, Elliot was forced to impersonate Bruce with her and convince her that he was in no way involved with Batman. While his performance was good, Vale wasn't convinced and Elliot was returned to his penthouse prison.
However, this plan backfires when criminal Jane Doe — a woman who lost her face in an accident — became obsessed with Wayne after his role in her release, to the point that she infiltrated his life by taking the face of his new assistant, and subsequently cut off Elliot's new face with the intention of becoming Wayne herself, but when the true Wayne returned he finally ended both Doe and Hush's plans. With Wayne's public revelation that he has been Batman's financial backer for years rendering Hush's knowledge of Batman's identity irrelevant, he was sent to Arkham Asylum.
During the events of Batman: Gates of Gotham, Hush was freed from Arkham by a new villain named the Architect. As this is happening, Red Robin, Dick Grayson, and Blackbat come to the realization that the Elliot family is connected to a series of bombings that destroyed three historical Gotham bridges.
Powers and Abilities
- Genius Level Intellect: Thomas Elliot is a neurosurgeon possessing a genius level intellect.
- Medical Science: Although he specializes in brain surgery, Elliot is also a proficient plastic surgeon, having repaired the extensive scar tissue on the reformed villain known as Two-Face, as well as performing cosmetic surgery on his own face to mimic Bruce Wayne's.
- Deception: Elliot is a master strategist and manipulator, responsible for setting in motion a grandiose series of events aimed at confounding the Batman.
- Tactical Analysis
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced)
- Batman: Hush
- Batman: Hush Returns
- Batman: Heart of Hush
- Batman: Hush Money
- Batman: House of Hush
- Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond
- 96 Appearances of Thomas Elliot (New Earth)
- 70 Images featuring Thomas Elliot (New Earth)
- 14 Quotations by or about Thomas Elliot (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Thomas Elliot (New Earth)
- Batman #609
- Batman #611
- Detective Comics #847
- Detective Comics #846
- Detective Comics #848
- Detective Comics #849
- Detective Comics #850
- Batman #619
- Batman Annual #25
- Batman: Gotham Knights #56
- Batgirl #56
- Detective Comics #852
- Batman #685
- Batman: Streets of Gotham #3
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #8
- Red Robin #12
- Batman: Streets of Gotham #14
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman and Robin #1
- Batman: Gates of Gotham #1