on January 20, 2003
At 264 pages, you can settle down to a nice read. The timeline is post-No Man's Land, and you get to revisit the Batman rebuffing everyone's help even when he is thrown into Blackgate Prison. A coupe of new costumes are thrown at us, including a new side-kick, and that is surprising.
Bruce Wayne/Batman is the conflcited Dark Knight again, more believable than if he were a cheerful happy trooper. But he's misbehaving even more than even in No Man's Land, sharing little and leaving his colleagues little to go on in his defense.
The media clamours about his overwhleming guilt, although I didn't feel it was conclusive enough. Apparently Bruce Wayne is fair game in this town, so his alter-ego has been well camouflaged. As the fathful crew gathers, you gather that Batman has been acting a little odd recently and they are left to grapple with their doubts.
This volume (August 2002) is followed by a much thinner Bruce Wayne: Fugitive Vol 1 (Dec 2002) and Vol 2 (out in March 2003).
The drawings and impact of the storyline do nont rakn amongst the Batman classics but I enjoyed the book and how can you miss this!
on December 27, 2002
The plot here is that Bruce Wayne is framed for a heinous murder that not only led him to have no faith in himself, but forgetfulness of his other partners such as, Nightwing, Robin, and Oracle.
The artwork was average, with some honorable areas of work done which displayed perfect proportionment, and with the negative effect of a lot of disproportioned faces, such as Sasha Bordeaux's face during the trial in the converse with Alfred--she expressed a face that made her look like she was a total clown--not herself. And same goes for Delvin, the secret service guy, when Oracle put the picture of him on her screen...he looked like a 35 year old woman who gained 30 pounds compared to himself.
The story wasn't enthusing. With the new character, Spoiler, and Canary, it made it whole lot more confusing--needed to look back into the book at those characters, especially when they were discussed again in later sections. The conclusion was absurd and rushed due to the fact that conflict arises and Bruce Wayne is ultimately obliterated. I also heard that Bruce Wayne: Fugitive wasn't included for the genuine conclusion. And what is that plan Wayne' and Alfred had about the cologne? Boy, some plan they had--you'll get there at the end and say to yourself: "Oooook".
I'm going to conclude by saying that Greg Rucka should have included the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive Compliation into this graphic novel. How can you forget something that vital? By the way, get this graphic novel if you want to see the side of Bruce Wayne that has never been respected and rather egregious because it's not the Batman I know and will hopefully not be remembered.
Time to read an exhilarating, new graphic novel: Anarky-- hopefully this won't be Batman the sinister the writers had made him be.
on December 16, 2002
I know that there are a fair number of comic book fans that were not impressed with Bruce Wayne: Murderer. I read this TPB with that in mind and was pleasantly surprised. This is a great story with decent artwork - well, most of it anyway. The biggest problem with this TPB is, as another reviewer pointed out, all of the title jumping. Why can't DC just do a Batman story and keep it in Batman & Detective Comics? Being familiar with the DCU, I knew who most of the characters were, but who the heck is Spoiler? And it seems like everyone and their brother knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman now. Having Robin as a sidekick is one thing, but having a whole army of mostly kids following you around is downright silly - Robin, Spoiler, Batgirl, Nightwing, Oracle, and now Sasha. Sheesh.
Anyway, don't let my ranting deter you from reading this book. It really is worth it. Unfortunately, the bean counters at DC decided to release the follow-up story, Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, in two separate, smaller TPBs.
on August 31, 2002
Bruce Wayne - Murderer? is something that I've always wanted to see. Will Bruce's secret be revealed? Will he give up the cape and cowl? And, did he really murder Vesper Fairchild?
Greg Rucka has always been one of my favorite authors. His work on the No Man's Land saga was incredible, as well as his novelization of it. Although I have not read Rucka's non-Batman mysteries (Finder, Keeper), I hear they are excellent as well. The plot of Bruce Wayne - Murderer?, coupled with Rucka's writing style was a perfect match.
I'm not going to give anything away, but the great thing about this story is it really makes you believe that Bruce could and would kill Vesper Fairchild. The conclusion (Bruce Wayne - Fugitive?) has yet to be put into Trade Paperback, but I will be first in line to get it when it does.
Overall, you shouldn't miss this great twist in the Batman mythos. Rucka's writing (and lest we forget the other writers, such as Chuck Dixon and Ed Brubaker), with the excellent artistic talents of Scott McDaniel, Rick Burchett, and others, make this an excellent read.
on August 29, 2002
The problem with Batman graphic novels assembled these days is that they involve crossovers into the other Batman Family books. The story premise is a good one with Bruce Wayne being framed for murder. However, the story crosses over into Robin, Nightwing, Birds Of Prey, and Batgirl and gets extremely confusing, especially with the army of writers and artists involved.
Crossovers into other Batman family books to present major story arcs have been done for the past fifteen years. Sometimes it has worked (Knightfall), but more often, it does not. The main story becomes overly complicated, there are too many extraneous characters to follow (Black Canary in this one), and the plot becomes disorganized. Not only did they have a story to present, but they also had to somehow involve Batgirl, Oracle, and Black Canary. I can see the use of Nightwing and Robin, especially given their importance to the mythos and their confrontation with Batman was quite powerful. However, the story is left dangling, setting up a probable "Bruce Wayne - Fugitive" GN.
This volume has good artwork and a great idea that was not well executed. In the future, DC should narrow these major arcs to appear in Batman and Detective only.
on August 27, 2002
... and I can't tell you how thrilling it is, for a change, to deal with a story that is primarily about what the Batman does best: detection.
BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER is about many things, but on the surface it only poses one question: how far is faith worth following?
After a long night of chucking bad guys, Batman and Sasha Bourdeaux (his latest in a growing list of sidekicks) return home ... Sasha a few moments later than her mentor. However, in one of the upstairs rooms, Vesper Fairchild -- one of Wayne's many conquests -- is found shot to death. A 911 call circumstantially points all fingers to the billionaire-playboy, and, thus, Batman is thrust behind Blackgate Prison's slim bars ... a place where he's housed so many of the city's treacherous underworld.
In the interim, all of the principles in the Batman universe -- Robin, Oracle, Batgirl, and Nightwing, primarily -- are left to explore the possibility of whether or not the man who has meant so much to them in their lifetimes COULD have committed the deed. Bruce Wayne's not speaking. He's not declaring his innocence, leaving second-guessing to overcome second nature, and the merry band of Batfamily members will be forever challenged and possibly changed by the graphic novel's climax.
Once again, DC Comics has produced evidence that graphic storytelling can be so far advanced than what it has long been considered: folly best left to juveniles. This book explores adult themes in an entirely adult reality, and the consequences of a single act may irrevocably change the world of Gotham, for better or for worse. Smartly, the storytellers let the reader decide, and they don't force feed morality down the throat.
While BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER isn't a complete tale (it's only a set-up for a series of events to follow), it could be read as a stand alone tale ... the paradigm has shifted in the Batman universe, and Bruce Wayne -- long considered the true 'mask' character in the playboy/crimefighter duality -- is gone, leaving our hero to face the grim reality of his never-ending battle to free Gotham from the clutches of pure evil.
on May 18, 2004
Ususally when a superhero is framed for a crime, they usually clear their name in the max: 3 issues. Not with Batman. The story bring to us a hard look when someone as you can say: Majestic and Obsessive as Batman is on the recieving end of the long arm of the law. Only other comic icon that had is public identity framed and had a very, very hard time clearing was Spide-man. Unlike Spider-man, Batman decides to abandon is "Bruce Wayne" persona which to me shows how unstable and chaotic his mind is. It true that "Bruce Wayne" is really a mask and Batman is his true self. The dark (Knight) side of comes out slowly when he was in prison and like all powerful beings, He wouldn't be contained for long.
The few things I didn't like about the story was some of the artwork and that so-called "fight" between him and dick (Nightwing). Other than this it's a good story to read.
on September 5, 2003
This collection has a couple of its moment and the story starts off great but sadly, dwindles in the middle due to the appearance of too many players. All of a sudden, Spoiler, Canary and many other memebers of the Bat-family jumps in and causes major confusion of a great story. But despite that, the stories are decent, particularly the ones where Bruce Wayne is in jail and has no more masks to hide behind. And the final story is any comic-readers dream when Batman goes toe-to-toe w/ his former partner. This story takes a disturbing look at the man behind the mask and despite all the problems that he has faced head-on, Batman decides to run from this one.
on January 2, 2003
This is a very interesting and important book in the Batman mythos.
However, there are just way too many kids in the bat-club. I swear, theres a new costumed person every couple of pages (exxageration). Seriously though, this collection will have readers considering who is wearing the mask, Batman or Bruce Wayne? Is he just as mentally ill as those who he has put away? and Why does just about everyone in Gotham have to wear a mask these days?
The story is really great, But now I see how frustrated Joker was in No Man's Land.... All of these costumes are like a distraction (besides robin (nightwing) and robin jr.) just give me Batman.
on November 14, 2002
This book is very good. It gets off to a great start with Batman: The 10 Cent Adventure, then explores other members of the Bat-Family's Point of Views. One of the best issues is Batman #599, part 7 of Bruce Wayne: Murderer. It shows how Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman feels in a prison cell. The best issue, though, is Batman #600. It's the last issue in this TPB. I won't tell you much about this issue because that would be spoiling a lot. So go out and get this book!