The Villain Easter Egg In ‘The Batman’ That No One Has Noticed Yet (SPOILERS)

Hush In 'The Batman': New Batman Movie References Elliot Family

Warner Bros.

  • The Batman began playing in theaters in the United States on Tuesday, March 1.
  • The film features Riddler and Penguin as its main villains.
  • In classic franchise movie-making fashion, The Batman teases what villains we could see down the road.

While The Batman may be receiving widespread plaudits for its commitment to the noir genre, that doesn’t mean the film is without traditional comic book movie trappings, as there are Easter Eggs and references — both obvious and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it — that tease which villains could appear in the franchise down the road.

Editor’s note: this article contains spoilers for The Batman.

The more obvious of the villainous Easter Eggs comes towards the end of the film as Paul Dano’s Riddler finds himself locked up in Arkham Asylum. As he’s reckoning with the fact that he’s been defeated by The Batman, a familiar voice armed with familiar cackle chimes in from a nearby cell: Barry Keoghan’s Joker, who will likely feature as the main antagonist in the sequel. The other Gotham City rogue galley reference, though, is far more discreet.

As virtually every critic and fan have noticed, The Batman is a legitimate detective story, meaning a majority of the runtime is spent watching the mystery unfold. And at a certain crucial intersection of the film’s slow-burn plot, it’s revealed that Edward Elliot, a Gotham City journalist, was investing Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne for his connection to John Turturro’s mobster Carmine Falcone.

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The name Elliot holds undoubted significance when it comes to Gotham City lore, as it’s the surname of Thomas Elliot, a.k.a. Hush. Specifically, in the comics, Edward Elliot is Thomas’ Great-Great-Grandfather of Thomas and is credited as being of the men responsible for the construction of modern-day Gotham.

First introduced in 2003, Thomas Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, and from an early age, was one of the few people in Gotham City who could match his intellect. After a failed attempt to kill his parents in an effort to inherit their fortune — while Thomas’ father Roger was killed in a car accident he engineered, his mother Maria lived — Thomas began to hold a grudge against the Waynes as it was because of Bruce’s father that his mother survived the crash.

Growing up to become a neurosurgeon — one of the world’s finest — in Philadelphia, Elliot would eventually make his return to Gotham following an encounter with Riddler. Using the alias of Hush, Thomas began plotting his revenge on Bruce by manipulating several other of Batman’s rogues gallery to help him unleash his attack on Bruce.

What makes the Elliot/Hush character so fascinating, and so ripe for live-action adaptation, is that he’s essentially the exact inverse of Batman, a bizarro-world version of Batman who, driven by a sociopathic hate of his friends and family, uses his intellect and influence to undo the foundations of Gotham City. In fact, the character is such a perfect foil to the Caped Crusader — intellectually, physically, emotionally — that prior to the release of The Batman, the character was at the top of our list of villains we’d like to see in the sequel.

Ultimately though, with Joker and presumably Riddler set to feature in The Batman sequel, director Matt Reeves also introducing Hush into the fray feels like a step into over-indulgence that the filmmaker is simply too smart to make, meaning that perhaps Hush is being planned for the franchise conclusion. Either way, if there’s one Gotham City villain that feels ready-made for the universe Reeves has created, it’s Hush.

RELATED: Which Villains Should Feature In The Sequel To ‘The Batman’? Our Top Four Choices

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Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him