Batman: Bruce Wayne: Murderer? by Chuck Dixon

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.
PublisherDC Comics.

: Paperback.
Release Date: August 1st 2002.
Pages: 264.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781563899133.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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.




24 thoughts on “Batman: Bruce Wayne: Murderer? by Chuck Dixon

  1. On a technical note, do you have a premade template for all those listings with the colorists, inkers, etc? and do you have to enter them in all manually? Because that’s enough work, in my eyes, for a whole review itself 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahah you’re the first to even ask that. With the block editor shenanigan, the “copy post” function does help me maintain the basic template of my posts but I actually manually enter and hyperlink all the names. At this point, it has become a routine/habit. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It works perfectly and saves me loads of time. Of course, I have to erase the actual review and “metadata” that needs to be adapted to each new content but it otherwise saves me the trouble of adding all the things that don’t change from one review to another (e.g. the title graphics, the seperators, the quote section, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting – yet another series, along with Fugitive, that I’ve had sat on my shelf for years and not got round to reading yet! I really need to stop buying books, I can’t read them quick enough haha. Looking forward to this one, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah good thing you’re in the middle of No Man’s Land though! You can follow that up with this event Murderer and Fugitive to better understand why some people are the way the are, who some of these newer are, AND where some of these new heroes come from! Thanks for reading, sir! 😀


  3. Awesome review Lashaan! I’ve heard of this and the follow up, Fugitive, but like No Man’s Land have never read it…in all honesty I’m put off by the overwhelming number of different writers and artists (you know how much I value consistency in comics). Still it’s good to hear some artistic similarity is maintained but I still can’t say it’s at the top of my list to check out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my friend! I can’t blame you for not having checked these out yet. Took me a while too for similar reasons. I’m not sure if the resolution in Fugitive will give us a good story overall but I hope it does, considering how “popular” this event used to be, especially in hopes of being as big as No Man’s Land. To be seen what Fugitive will deliver now. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The premise really does sound interesting.
    Your opening made me think of all of us. Currently, we all seem to wear masks. I hear about people not being able to tell who’s who because of the mask ALL THE TIME! Personally, I think it’s rather silly to not be able to make out who’s who just because half of their face is covered. “My husband didn’t recognize our son.” Wait… what? Umm… maybe your husband needs to see a doctor… Anyway, it’s a great opportunity for heroes to emerge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah for people to not be able to recognize blood relatives is indeed astonishing! Funny that you drew a parallel with ongoing events but it’s true. Many do become “different” people with a mask on, unable to observe emotions, everything does feel a lot less intimate at the end of the day!


  5. Though they can be hit or miss, these collaborations between so many creators can also be very interesting, seeing how well they mesh together. I like the idea of a murder mystery and I’ll be curious to know your thoughts once the entire thing is wrapped up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. I can’t say they’re my favourite but they’re fun to have occasionally just to build up a larger event that implicates more than one hero. I too am quite curious to find out the resolution of this whole murder mystery, especially with Batman being all grumpy these days (in this story arc).


  6. this sounds intriguing. I was already curious to know who was the culprit. I hate it when book ends without answers. I hope next one is coming out soon. from the title I guess batman broke the jail? I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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