Continuing the story started in Batman: Bruce Wayne – Murderer?, this comic picks up right where that one ended, with Bruce Wayne on the lam while Batman continues his quest for justice. While his extended family – Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, Alfred, Batgirl, and Spoiler – all seek to prove Bruce’s innocence, Batman is busy fighting for justice and pretending Bruce Wayne no longer exists.
Yeah, Batman’s a bit of a tool in this one.
Everyone who cares about him is literally doing everything in their power to prove his innocence, and he won’t even speak to them. I’m sure at some point an explanation may be given to justify his actions, but right now he’s acting like a Bat-brat.
The best part of this comic (in my humble opinion) was when the extended Bat family was attempting to solve the mystery of, “Who Murdered Vesper Fairchild?”. The team spent countless hours pouring over Vesper’s personal files, only to learn that someone had doctored her reports, along with a journal of Bruce’s that was found in the Bat-Cave.
I love that Alfred noticed a small grammatical error in Bruce’s journal, and that this gave him his first indication that not all was as it seemed.
This, along with a few other small issues, tripped a red flag for the team, so they started to delve deeper into just how someone could have broken into the cave and gained access to Wayne Manor. This involved a lot of gadgets, smoke, and good old-fashioned detective work, but they ultimately figured it out.
Of course, they all admitted that it was possible that Bruce planted all of these things himself, so as to lead his team to believe that someone else committed the crime.
They don’t want to think Bruce did it, but they can’t deny that the facts are pretty damning.
It’s pretty heartbreaking to watch all of these people who have shown such loyalty to Batman over the years start to waver in their faith, but no one can really blame them. There’s an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to Bruce as the murderer, and he himself has yet to offer up a valid explanation, or even deny the charges.
As the mystery continues to unfold, Bruce has a minor epiphany of sorts, having a chance meeting with a former Gotham City police officer who comforted him when his parents were killed. This man’s words shook Bruce, and reminded him of the defining moment in his life, the moment that created the Batman. It also reminded him that he’s always had help, and that nobody can go at it alone 100% of the time.
The comic closes with Bruce, seemingly a bit humbled, reaching out to Oracle for help.
Of course, I’m taking this olive branch with a grain of salt. Bruce is notorious for reaching out to people when he needs something, and it’s entirely possible he’s simply looking to use Oracle’s know-how to gather up additional information, without offering up any information of his own.
Truth be told, I don’t care much for Bruce in these recent comics. His Batman side is prevailing, and he seems to be losing his humanity. He claims Bruce Wayne was his mask, but he also represented the human side of him. Without it, he is merely a faceless symbol with no real connections to the world. If he doesn’t come around soon, he’s liable to lose the trust and loyalty of everyone he’s ever worked beside.
This was a great continuation of this story, and it progresses at a fair enough pace that I’m never bored. That’s rather surprising given the fact that none of Batman’s standard Rogues (or any villains, really) appear in these pages. This is an internal conflict, but the novelty of casting Bruce Wayne as the criminal hasn’t worn off yet. The mystery deepens as his family searches for the truth. I just hope Bruce comes to his senses and realizes that these people who would give their lives for him deserve to be treated with more respect than he’s been showing them lately.