Thomas Elliot (Hush)

Tommy ElliotLast episode of Gotham introduced us to another new character, this one…shorter than we’re used to see him. In The Mask, young Bruce Wayne finally comes back to school, but things are not easy at all, and he immediately finds a bully who mocks his dead parents: it’s Tommy Elliot, portrayed by Cole Vallis. It’s because of Tommy’s bullying that Bruce asks his butler and tutor Alfred Pennyworth to teach him how to fight, and while we’re all happy that the hateful kid got his mouth punched at the end of the episode, we know it’s not over yet, not at all. Even if it’s unknown what they’ll make of the character in the show, in the comics he grows up to become one of the deadliest threats ever for Batman, a relatively recent villain, but one to remember nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Tommy Elliot was born in Gotham City, heir of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in town. Albeit the Elliots had a public image of philantropists and benefactors, at home things were pretty different: Tommy’s father, Roger, was a violent and abusive man, while his wife, Marla, was a frail woman bent to her husband’s will, who didn’t say anything against hushcomics1Roger not to lose her fortune, and who only taught Tommy old military strategies and Aristotle‘s philosophy suggesting him to use them to “strategically” avoid his father’s wrath; Tommy grew up despising them both. In school, Tommy didn’t have many friends, but he was (almost) the only one who approached Bruce Wayne, son of Thomas and Martha Wayne, a kid let alone by all his peers because of his family’s reputation. Tommy became friends with Bruce, the only one he had: together, they played the strategic games Marla had taught her son, and Tommy always won, meanwhile trying to teach his friend to use the adversary’s strengths against him. Eventually, years of abuses paid off, and Tommy decided to kill his parents and to inherit their fortune (he was just ten): he cut the breaks of his father’s car, knowing that the following accident would have been blamed on Roger’s alcoholism. Roger died, but Thomas Wayne, a surgeon, managed to save Marla’s life, thus preventing Tommy to inherit. Marla became overprotective and possessive over Tommy, knowing he was the only tie she had left with Elliots’ name: Tommy started to hate the Waynes, especially Thomas, knowing the surgeon had prevented him to be free as he wanted. Marla exasperated Tommy to the point that, when she broke in a summer camp wanting to take him home (camping was “too dangerous”), he had a nervous breakdown and beat the other children mocking him “momma’s boy”. To “help” her son, Marla had him internalised in Arkham Asylum for anger management, under the lovely supervision of Dr. Jonathan Crane. Crane saw the boy had sociopath tendencies, but didn’t treat him, considering him “interesting”: he let him go after a few weeks.

When the Waynes were murdered, Tommy rejoiced, believing justice had been served. He started hating Bruce as well, believing in his paranoia that he had conspired with his mother to ruin his summer. Things went even worse: Marla got ill with cancer, and Tommy promised to stay with hushcomics2her and take care of her in exchange of the funding of a medical school. When Tommy fell in love with Peyton Riley, the daughter of a mob boss, Marla had a quarrel with her son, and she eventually wrote him out of the will, breaking her promise of a medical school as well. After realising this, Peyton killed the lawyer who had supervised the process and destroyed his documents, while Tommy smothered Marla with a pillow: they discovered what they had done, and decided to cover each other. Eventually, Tommy left Peyton as well and left Gotham, studying to become a neurosurgeon. Years after, Dr. Elliot met a patient with brain cancer, who actually was Edward NygmaThe Riddler. Recognizing the villain (who meanwhile got healed by the Lazarus Pits), Elliot decided to pay him to kill Bruce Wayne, but The Riddler offered him a precious knowledge instead: he told him Wayne was Batman, and offered him an alliance to bring him down. Elliot accepted, and created for himself the identity of Hush, the avenger of all the injustice he had been suffering at the Waynes’ hands. Together with Nygma, Hush started paying many villains to attack Batman simultaneously: first, he had Clayface transform into Tommy Elliot’s “dead body”, thus making Bruce believe The Joker had killed his old friend; than he had Poison Ivy use her mind-controlling pheromones to have Catwoman and even Superman battle Batman. He also used other rogues such as Killer CrocTwo-Face and his old psychiatrist Crane, now Scarecrow, but also usually “good guys” such as Huntress. He entered in contact with Jason Todd, the long-thought-dead second Robin, who gave him precious insights on Batman’s psychology. Hush also “bribed” Batman’s ally Harold Allnut, making him plant many mind-confusing bugs in the Batcave. Surrounded, isolated, exhausted, Batman was finally a ripe fruit for a vengeance that had awaited far too many years: Hush had now only to reveal himself before delivering the finishing blow, thus making his former best friend acknowledge who was the one who, once again, had beaten him in strategy.

Tommy Elliot is, simply put, a sociopath: he’s unable to see behind his own paranoia, according to which the Waynes were accomplishes of his parents in the effort of destroying his life since he was a child. Unfortunately, he’s also an extremely brilliant man, a brain surgeon with genius-level intellect, a master strategist eager to put his abilities at the service of his personal vendetta. As Hush, he’s been instructed by some of the most lethal villains on the planet, gaining excellent athletic skills and mastership over several martial arts; he’s also a skilled marksman, able to shoot at incoming Batarangs to avoid them. With all Batman’s abilities and none of his ethics, Hush is among the most dangerous threats the Dark Knight has ever faced, a vengeance-ridden psychopath who’s able and willing to destroy both Bruce Wayne and Batman.

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1 Comment

  1. […] and used it to force Bruce to meet her…but the one she met at dinner was actually a decoy, Tom Elliot, and Vicki realised this as well; she tried to force a meeting with the real Bruce, but the only […]


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