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Batman: Bruce Wayne - Fugitive (New Edition) Kindle & comiXology
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|Length: 448 pages|
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Bruce being a jerk is actually pivotal to this story and the one before it, and it's important to understand that though it's never ok to treat people the way Bruce does in the Murderer/Fugitive storyline, it's not something that's coming out of nowhere (Especially when Bruce Wayne from pretty much Crisis on Infinite Earths onwards has been written as a man struggling to form real, healthy emotional connections with others). So moving further into the story itself this volume is picking up from where the new edition of Murderer left off. As a side note, if you have the original volumes (three in total) that were released back in like 2002 and 2003 then you don't NEED to buy this new one. It collects all of the same issues, along with a few that weren't formerly collected. So overall it is a more complete volume and look at the story, but it doesn't drastically change anything. If you don't have the story already though then definitely pick up this volume. It's great! The mystery of who exactly murdered Vesper Fairchild and whether or not is was Bruce Wayne continues to unfold! Spoiler Alert: Bruce didn't kill her. And one thing I have to praise this storyline for is the identity of the true killer and the mystery behind it. I've often see fans claims that Batman stories don't do enough to showcase Batman being the World's Greatest Detective. Besides the fact that I consider that criticism to be false that shouldn't be a complaint that people have here. The ENTIRE Bat Family rises up to the occasion and puts on their detective caps to try to find out just what's going on. My only complain with the collection is that it's impossible for people who have only read this and the Murderer trade paperback to figure out who the true culprit behind the murder is.
The best mystery stories in my opinion are those in which the reader has some small chance of figuring things out for himself along the way. The mystery shouldn't be too easy by any means, it can even be fairly hard, but by the end, once things are wrapped up, it should be possible for the reader to look back over the story and see new clues that he wasn't aware of before, so that he can realize that had he noticed one or two more things he could've solved it on his own, just like the story's hero did. That's not really possible here and i'll tell you why. Though this is an event comic, chronicling a larger storyline that lasted over a year, it's not entirely self-contained. To be clear, the events that led to the real criminal behind this crime having a grudge against Batman and therefore that would let you think of him as a suspect, don't happen in here. They instead happen earlier in Chuck Dixon's run on Batgirl and are therefore not solely part of just the Batman title alone. So the culprit really isn't someone that's going to come to your mind if you haven't read anything Dixon wrote beforehand. That's not a major flaw I have with the storyline itself however, just a small point to note. This event instead takes place during Ed Brubaker's run on Batman, with some of the elements tying into it naturally, but not necessarily the identity of the murderer.
The thing I like about this more than anything is that you get a variety of different characters with their own storylines. Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, the officers of Gotham PD, Sasha Bordeuax, and of course Batman. They're all caught up in the murder case of Vesper of course, but for various reasons they're required to operate alone or with just one or two other people until near the conclusion of the story. I think that's great as it allows us to really see each character flourigh on his or her own, making their stories that much stronger. Furthermore, you can't beat something like this, where so many affiliated characters are included in one story and they all get to shine, without having to make the other characters look bad. That's great! Dixon was writing Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, AND the Birds of Prey (Featuring Oracle) in the years surrounding this time (Though not necessarily all at the same time), so it therefore makes perfect sense that he has able to capture the voice and character of each so well. They are literally HIS characters from multiple different comic books that he was writing at the time being thrown together in an event that he helped map out. There's really no reason that this couldn't have been great. The emotional content of this story is also very high. You can feel Sasha's despair and fatigue as she is forced to languish in prison while everyone else roams the streets. You can really feel Dick's pain as he is pushed aside by his father figure, as he tries to stand by the belief that Bruce Wayne would never commit murder, even though the evidence (At first glance) points towards the fact that he did. It's all very, very good and it makes the point near the climax where Bruce Wayne takes off the mask of Batman and apologizes to his friends, to his family, for everything he's put them through that much more satisfying.
As I said previously, this is one long storyline dealing with the murder of Vesper Fairchild, but there are some smaller adventures told in-between, in which you have Batman hunting down a criminal not related to the murder case at all. This plays into the emotional aspect of the story as Batman at first, as shown in the Murderer trade paperback, isn't interested in clearing his name as Bruce Wayne at all. However, every story notes the murder in some way and continues to lead towards the resolution where Bruce reconciles with his allies and then finally deduces who the real murderer is. I don't want to go anymore in-depth as I really think this is something you need to buy and fully experience yourself without knowing every single thing that happens within it, but suffice to say that this is a good storyline overall, maybe one of my favorite Batman events in the character's history. I highly suggest you purchase it.
Highly recommend buying Volume 1 (Batman - Murderer) before you get this follow up comic book. T'was a good read indeed.
It is a well written story and leaves you wanting more.