So Here comes the first Graphic Novel Review of 2017 from me and it’s from one of my favorite Batman books . The review will comprise of the 600 paged Batman : Bruce Wayne , Murderer ? and I’ll post the review of it’s follow up ,the 700 paged Batman : Bruce Wayne, Fugitive? sometime in next week.
Written by a collaboration between Greg Rucka, Kelley Puckett, Chuck Dixon and Drawn by the vast number of artist that include Devin Grayson, Ed Brubaker, Pete Woods , Trevor McCarthy , Steve Lieber , Phil Noto , Lonardo Manco , William Rosado , Dave Johnson , Rick Burchett , Roger Robinson , Scott McDaniel , Rick Leonardi , Damion Scott , was a whodunnit story with Bruce Wayne standing as a suspect and set during a time that was one of the most darkest of the Batman timeline .
Book Details :
Set following the events of No Man’s Land and soon after Batman being abandoned by Alfred, Barbara, Tim and Death of Jason and Jim Gordon being in a coma following a misadventure during his time with Batman.Batman now , has become even more grim than he ever was , dealing justice to the scum of Gotham with very little after thought . Batman now wants to work as alone as he can , he’s not however alone as a new partner supports him , maybe even loves him . But one night Bruce Wayne is found standing near the dead body of Vesper Fairchild , his ex-girlfriend , he has the murder weapon in his hands and police have a 911 call that incriminates Bruce . Has Bruce finally crossed the line? has he done it?
What I liked :
A lot , while not a new concept , after all a similar story was done with Dick Grayson just few months before release of this one . This effort however excels where the efforts of Nightwing failed, because of the mystery created and executed .
For majority of the book , the author succeeds in creating a doubt among the readers , they are made to question whether Bruce Wayne is actually the culprit . This is done masterfully as even before this story-line Bruce had shown many signs of making erratic decisions something that led to his own alienation from nearly every asssociate he ever had .
Meanwhile the whole Bat-family* seems to be convinced that maybe Batman has actually done it and even Bruce , in a prison , refuses to accept or deny the responsibility of the crime . This result in a strained relationship between the Bat-family.
*except Dick Grayson
The paperback also consisted of other side stories involving Nightwing, Birds of Prey , Red Robin , Spoiler etc . and each story was related to the mystery of the Murder conviction of Bruce Wayne and at the same time managed to stay on its own as a good stand alone story .
What I didn’t like :
Easy – The art !
The sketches and coloring was one of the worst I have ever seen , Part of the reason is that the story was told via 8 different titles , ergo While some issues had artists who managed decent artwork ,others had absolutely horrible ones , specially the ones working on Nightwing & Birds of Prey .
Despite the very inconsistent and plain Bad Art work , the Story is intense and keeps you guessing . The story obviously didn’t reveal whether or not Bruce has actually done it but it made a very interesting scenario where even the hardest of hardcore fans will start questioning whether Bruce is innocent and not to forget the marvelous display of the strained relationships between various members of the Bat-family . In my honest opinion this is a must read for Batman fans at least