on March 23, 2014
I just received the revised copy for Batman: Bruce Wayne Murderer (2014 Edition), and I think all is well now.
This collection have:
Batman. The 10 Cent Adventure
Detective Comics 766-770
Nightwing 65-66, 68-69
Gotham Knights 25-29
Brids of Prey 39-41
I'm including pictures of the new table of contents, the back of the book, and the beginning of Purity (1 of 3) that was absent on the other edition.
So I just received the new Batman: Murderer tpb, the first of two TPB re-collecting the Murderer/Fugitive arc. The original trades edited issues (usually secondary titles like Batgirl) to only include pages relevant to the overall Murderer/Fugitive storyline, but left out entire important issues (like Batman 604) altogether. The solicits for the new trades looked good, but, as is pretty much always the case with DC nowadays, the solicits are purely theoretical and rarely (if ever?) an accurate listing of what is actually in the book. I had hoped that they'd just include everything, as I'd rather choose what issues or pages to skip than not be given the choice.
The new Murderer TPB unfortunately is another case of the solicits being wrong. It includes Detective Comics 769-770 but skips Detective Comics 768, the first of Greg Rucka's three part "Purity" storyline. The solicitations listed Detective Comics 766-767 as being in the new Murderer tpb (and they are), and 768-775 as being in the upcoming new Fugitive collection. They clearly decided to include more issues, but 768, for whatever bizarre reason, went AWOL and is not included in the new trade (though it was in the old trades). Even the Table of Contents is wrong, mislabelling 769 as "Purity Part 1" instead of part 2.
It's almost as if there's someone in DC's Collected Editions whose job it is to make sure any potentially "complete" collections leave at least one issue out. It's really unendingly frustrating. Why go through the trouble to reprint an already collected story and do it right if you're, you know, still going to leave stuff out? (Kind of like not even having a summary page, let alone the actual issues, from the Knightquest: The Search storyline in the recollected Knightfall TPBs, so there's no explanation for how Bruce Wayne heals from his Bane-induced injuries.)
on July 19, 2014
you can ignore the previous low ratings. The version of this graphic novel currently being sold is now revised and you can buy it without any doubt. The five stars? Story is great! Bruce Wayne has been arrested for killing an old flame and can't provide an alibi because he was out as Batman when it happened. So now everyone in Gotham questions whether he did it or not, even his allies start doubting him.
We get a good look into Batman's psyche and we even see the grounded relationships he has with his "family".
There are a few references mentioned throughout the book, so I suggest reading Nightwing: The target,Batman: Joker's Last Laugh, and Batgirl Vol. 3: Death Wish, as well as issues Batman: Gotham Knights, Edition# 16 and Batman Gotham Knights #17 (Batman Gotham Knights, Volume 1)(which is not collected in trade). But only read if you desire to understand some of the minor references. Not completely necessary.
... and I can't tell you how thrilling it is, for a change, to deal with a story that is primarily about what the Batman does best: detection.
BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER is about many things, but on the surface it only poses one question: how far is faith worth following?
After a long night of chucking bad guys, Batman and Sasha Bourdeaux (his latest in a growing list of sidekicks) return home ... Sasha a few moments later than her mentor. However, in one of the upstairs rooms, Vesper Fairchild -- one of Wayne's many conquests -- is found shot to death. A 911 call circumstantially points all fingers to the billionaire-playboy, and, thus, Batman is thrust behind Blackgate Prison's slim bars ... a place where he's housed so many of the city's treacherous underworld.
In the interim, all of the principles in the Batman universe -- Robin, Oracle, Batgirl, and Nightwing, primarily -- are left to explore the possibility of whether or not the man who has meant so much to them in their lifetimes COULD have committed the deed. Bruce Wayne's not speaking. He's not declaring his innocence, leaving second-guessing to overcome second nature, and the merry band of Batfamily members will be forever challenged and possibly changed by the graphic novel's climax.
Once again, DC Comics has produced evidence that graphic storytelling can be so far advanced than what it has long been considered: folly best left to juveniles. This book explores adult themes in an entirely adult reality, and the consequences of a single act may irrevocably change the world of Gotham, for better or for worse. Smartly, the storytellers let the reader decide, and they don't force feed morality down the throat.
While BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER isn't a complete tale (it's only a set-up for a series of events to follow), it could be read as a stand alone tale ... the paradigm has shifted in the Batman universe, and Bruce Wayne -- long considered the true 'mask' character in the playboy/crimefighter duality -- is gone, leaving our hero to face the grim reality of his never-ending battle to free Gotham from the clutches of pure evil.
on August 1, 2002
Includes Batman 599,600 - Robin 98,99 - Birds of Prey 39,40 - Batman GK's 25,26 - Batgirl 24 - Batman 10 cent adv - Detective 766,767 & nightwing 65,66.
on March 31, 2014
Revised copy corrects all the errors listed blow however I still find the story loses steam about half way through the book. The issues written by Ed Brubaker are excellent however this is a case where DC budgeted to many issues for this storyline with to little plot. Overall this is a nice collection but it is not one of the stronger Batman events. Without the strong presence of Ed Brubaker's issues this might be a 2 or 3 star collection but it reads well and while 4 stars is a bit generous, a fair rating for the revised collection.
DC has taken a beating lately for their treatment of tpb editions, some deserved, some not. For the anthology editions, which focus a writer or artist, I get why issues which complete story lines or are part of a longer story get omitted. The treatment of the Knightquest tpb, a little questionable, but given the size of each edition I'm not sure where the 7 missing issues could have fit. And at least they had the sense to omit the entire side story. Ultimately, I think DC should take a page from the marvel omnibus series and include text wrap up pages, which help frame or resolve story lines which were part of a bigger story and give context to where the series is at that point in time.
This edition of Bruce Wayne Murderer boggles the mind. I was not familiar with the original story, so when I saw complaints online regarding missing issues and reading order, I took it with a grain of salt and was really enjoying the tpb. About 2/3 of the way through, things go seriously wrong. the missing issue is pretty jarring, it is part 1 of a 3 part story. This omission makes little sense as it it appears to be part of the core story!
Even more problematic is the reading order. I literally could not decipher what was happening in the last 6-7 issues, it was like they were arranged in a completely random order. I don't know if this is a problem with the original reading order or an editors decision, however because the blog posts which address the recall specifically identify a new table of contents and reorganized issue order as part of the revision, I'm guessing the later is the culprit. Even if you are a more casual reader, wait for the reprint, this version is a complete bust.
What I cannot complain about is Amazon itself, I received a full refund for something that was the publishers fault, no return necessary. This is why I purchase so much through the service, five stars for customer service.
This thick, involving compilation of the various installments in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" event that stretched across the family of Batman comic books a few years back has much to recommend it, but has a few flies in the ointment, too. On the plus side, there are plenty of pages to keep you busy (more than 250), the various artists do a nice job, and the story is decent, delivering solid mainstream superhero melodrama, no more and no less.
Chief among the negatives, however, is a kind of cut-and-paste quality to the whole affair, as this book doesn't compile full comic books that furthered the plotline, but only the specific pages within the original comics that spotlighted the story. So, while you get the occasional full issue of "Batman", "Detective Comics", "Robin", "Nightwing", etc., in this collection, you more often get small snippets from those issues, amounting to five or six pages each, before we move onto- more often than not- another small snippet. Things aren't as choppy as they could have been, but I wasn't crazy about the whole editing process employed here.
Also lacking is any kind of set-up at the outset... you know, one of those two-page text prologues peppered with drawings of the various players that most trade paperbacks now include to orient the reader, instead of just throwing us into the proceedings cold. I eventually figured out who all the various obscure characters were (just how MANY sidekicks and former sidekicks has Batman accumulated over the years?), but that could have been taken care of with a few short paragraphs at the beginning.
Finally, after 250-plus pages, there's no resolution. The central murder mystery is still unsolved, and the fate of Bruce Wayne is still very much up in the air. To learn more on those fronts, you'll have to pick up the various "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" trade paperbacks. Good news in that area: they're cheaper than this volume (though thinner).
So, there you have it. You get a decent story that shows us a few things that we haven't seen a million times before (chief among them, Bruce Wayne in prison fighting off thugs), polished art of various styles, and facinating supporting cast members (once you get to know them). Just be aware of the shortcomings- which are somewhat annoying but not dealbreakers- and you should enjoy this novel-length comic book epic well enough.
on December 22, 2014
(I got the new, updated version, so no complaints there.)
***MINOR SPOILER ALERTS***
The story starts out with a bang--quite literally at that too. Bruce and his bodyguard--her knowing that he's Batman--are out on patrol in the wee small hours of the morning. When they return, him having arrived before his bodyguard, they're stunned to see the body of Vesper Fairchild lying on his bedroom floor, cops already on the scene as he picks up her lifeless body.
The story moves at a good pace from there, however, since we're also dealing with Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, and Batgirl (as well as Spoiler) the story takes different turns and has at times a disjointed feel. The story with Tim Drake's roommate getting kidnapped has an odd temporal displacement, as Robin discusses his doubts about Bruce's innocence with Oracle and Nightwing, then later, we're back to the kidnapping episode, with Tim Drake waking up after having been knocked out while chasing the roommate's kidnappers.
Then there's a breakout at the Bludhaven prison and the two prisoners that brokeout come back later on in the overall story, but without much else happening. Throw in a Bruce escaping--which is not explained or showed (probably will be detailed in Fugitive)--dealing with bad heroin, then zombies, and the end of the story takes some odd twists before finally coming back to Robin and Nightwing finding out clues as to a potential break in of the cave.
I'm wondering if this new edition that has more than the previous entry includes some of these seemingly extraneous stories or not. I'm a Batman fan and enjoy reading the trades. This one had been excited to begin with, disappointed towards the end, and had some redeeming value on the last few pages.
Get it if you enjoy Batman, but you're not missing much if you don't. I will more than likely get Fugitive just to finish it out and if it fills in the blanks. Also, I gotta know whodunit! HAHA
on January 20, 2003
At 264 pages, you can settle down to a nice read. The timeline is post-No Man's Land, and you get to revisit the Batman rebuffing everyone's help even when he is thrown into Blackgate Prison. A coupe of new costumes are thrown at us, including a new side-kick, and that is surprising.
Bruce Wayne/Batman is the conflcited Dark Knight again, more believable than if he were a cheerful happy trooper. But he's misbehaving even more than even in No Man's Land, sharing little and leaving his colleagues little to go on in his defense.
The media clamours about his overwhleming guilt, although I didn't feel it was conclusive enough. Apparently Bruce Wayne is fair game in this town, so his alter-ego has been well camouflaged. As the fathful crew gathers, you gather that Batman has been acting a little odd recently and they are left to grapple with their doubts.
This volume (August 2002) is followed by a much thinner Bruce Wayne: Fugitive Vol 1 (Dec 2002) and Vol 2 (out in March 2003).
The drawings and impact of the storyline do nont rakn amongst the Batman classics but I enjoyed the book and how can you miss this!
on February 3, 2015
Great lead-in to the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive series. The new edition is a little too faithful in reproducing all of the comics that contain any story piece, which ends up establishing a bunch of plot threads that don't pan out or resolve within this series, and that's a little distracting.
on September 5, 2003
This collection has a couple of its moment and the story starts off great but sadly, dwindles in the middle due to the appearance of too many players. All of a sudden, Spoiler, Canary and many other memebers of the Bat-family jumps in and causes major confusion of a great story. But despite that, the stories are decent, particularly the ones where Bruce Wayne is in jail and has no more masks to hide behind. And the final story is any comic-readers dream when Batman goes toe-to-toe w/ his former partner. This story takes a disturbing look at the man behind the mask and despite all the problems that he has faced head-on, Batman decides to run from this one.