Title: Batman: Bruce Wayne.
Story arc: Murderer?
Series: Batman: Bruce Wayne, Fugitive #0.
Writer(s): Chuck Dixon, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Devion Grayson & Kelley Puckett.
Penciller(s): Scott McDaniel, Roger Robinson, Rick Burchett, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lieber, Damion Scott, Pete Woods & Trevor McCarthy.
Inker(s): Andy Owens, John Floyd, Jesse Delperdang, Robert Campanella, Mick Gray, Klaus Janson, Andrew Pepoy, Rodney Ramos, Rob Leigh & Rob Stull.
Colourist(s): Jason Wright, Gregory Wright, Wildstorm FX, Lee Loughridge, Roberta Tewes, Gloria Vasquez, Noelle Giddings & Patricia Mulvihill.
Letterer(s): John Costanza, Willie Schubert, Bill Oakley, Todd Klein & Albert T. Deguzman.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: August 1st 2002.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
It must be quite complicated to hide your identity from the world as you go off as a masked vigilante to rid crime from the streets of your city. At least for Bruce Wayne, a public face known by just about everyone as a billionaire philanthropist who lost his parents at a young age in a gruesome crime, there’s no hiding his activities without leaving a trail of hints that he might be up to something sinister in his spare time. Maybe that’s why he does his crime-fighting at night, sacrificing sleep and sanity for a good cause. Or is it just part of his bat-schtick? Launching a massive crossover event, some of the best talents in the business join forces to deliver an intriguing and mysterious story centered around a terrifying crime where Bruce Wayne might be the perpetrator behind it all. With all eyes on him now, how will he get Batman’s help to squeeze out of this predicament this time around?
What is Batman: Bruce Wayne: Murderer? about? Fighting crime alongside his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux, who has come to learn of Bruce Wayne’s secret upon a little digging, they discover one of his past love interests laying cold on the floor of Wayne Manor riddled with holes. With the GCPD bursting through the doors, they find Bruce Wayne embracing the murdered Vesper Fairchild in his arms, unable to understand who would have done such a terrifying thing to her. As they’re both arrested and sent to Blackgate Penitentiary, it is up to the Bat Family to piece together the clues to try and figure out who is trying to frame their mentor or if he had finally reached his breaking point. Will this be the end of Bruce Wayne’s life in Gotham City?
“Because there is no Bruce Wayne.”
— Ed Brubaker
The mystery is in the air. The tension is high. Everyone has heard of Bruce Wayne’s arrest and his reputation is now threatened. The volume approaches this premise tactfully and attempts to stretch it out until the final issue as it hops from one hero to another to give readers a different perspective of how everyone is taking in this tragedy. While some members of the Bat Family are convinced of his innocence, others have their doubts, and there’s nothing like a little bit of doubt to gets things heated up between one another. Set after the events from No Man’s Land, the various writers and artists of this volume tried to establish a tense atmosphere within Gotham City by giving new and old characters, like Spoiler, Batgirl, Oracle, and even Nightwing, the chance to express their point of view regarding this event. While some writers do a better job in capturing a sense of confusion and frustration in these heroes, others barely scratch the surface with their stories and give us a more dull emotional exploration of various characters connected to Bruce Wayne or Batman.
Although this remains a crossover event, the impressive team of artists did a stunning job in maintaining a cohesive artistic vision throughout this story arc. From one issue to another, a similar tone and style captures the darker noir setting and immerses readers into a world plunged in disarray. There’s a very cartoon-like artistic vision that is employed in this story but it still remains adult in nature through its focus on characters in their darkest state. Every character conveys their emotional frustration with grandeur and expresses themselves without holding back any punches, whether it’s through short and explosive fight sequences or bursts of emotional dialogues. From GCPD detectives to Dick Grayson, the focus thus allows readers to quickly grasp the tension caused by this odd murder mystery. Unfortunately, nothing gets answered in this volume, leaving the resolution to be explored in the following story-arc: Batman: Bruce Wayne: Fugitive.
Batman: Bruce Wayne: Murderer? is a drawn-out yet intriguing premise revolving around a murder where Gotham’s billionaire philanthropist is accused of murder.