Book review

Batman | Bruce Wayne: Murderer?
Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon, Greg Rucka,
Devin Grayson, Kelley Puckett

DC Comics / Titan Books

Batman | Bruce Wayne: Murderer?Are we about to turn heel on The Dark Knight now that the Marvel Universe is en vogue? Despite the ever decreasing 'coolness' of the movies' churned out on his behalf, you couldn't blame us really.
    But wait! From out of the corner of the DC Universe comes this extraordinary tale. Bruce Wayne - a murderer? Classy premise for a novel - which turns out to be even classier in the flesh.

With Bruce standing accused of murdering his journalist ex-girlfriend who had discovered his true identity, the plot soon becomes flooded with partners, ex-partners and manservants, but not a supervillain in sight. I have to hold my hands up at this point: I lost interest in Batman many moons ago and was more than bit confused to find that Robin, Nightwing, Oracle, Batgirl and Black Canary are all part of the 'team'. What is this? JLA?
    Despite the uncertainty with which I met these characters, the background stories reveal themselves in a very subtle fashion and the web of intrigue results in a great story that will restore even the most cynical cynics' faith in the Batman. Bruce Wayne: Murderer? is told at a sonic pace, with total disregard for traditional genre storytelling. The scenes within the prison are almost worth the cover price alone, but that's not to say the remainder is lacking. With a superb finale - dare I say 'shock ending' - that I never saw coming, there's enough evidence here to more than suggest that there's still life in the Batcave worth investigating - even for the casual observer.

Highly recommended to anyone who has spent time away from Gotham and is in the mood for becoming better aquainted again. The definitive one sitting read? Close. Very, very close. But when The Dark Knight Returns set the benchmark all those years ago, did it set a completely unreachable standard for the pilgrims?

:: Sion Smith

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