Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
is a storyline that ran through the Batman
titles in 2002.
After the events of Batman No Mans Land
and Officer Down
, it seemed that things were looking up for Bruce Wayne, especially as he was starting to rekindle his romance with Vesper Fairchild, a radio personality whom broke off with Bruce prior to NML. However, things quickly fell apart as Bruce would find Vesper dead in Wayne Manor with him as the main suspect. Even worse, the Bat-family has found evidence that Vesper discovered Bruce's identity and he killed her to preserve it
. However, it seems that Bruce won't have any of that and is dedicating himself to being Batman 24/7 after escaping prison. Can the Bat-family figure out the truth of Vesper's death and if they can, can they convince Bruce to come back?Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
started out in a special one-shot called Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure
, which was Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- a 10-cent comic book - before starting the storyline properly with Bruce Wayne: Murderer?
. Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
began with Batman #600
and, despite the event running for five months through the various Bat-titles, a few of them actually skipped around as only a handful of stories focused on the crime being solved.
The storyline was collected soon after in three volumes, all under the banner Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
The story provides examples of the following:
- Batman Grabs a Gun: In The 10-Cent Adventure, Bruce is seen purchasing a gun. Everyone thinks that he used it to kill Vesper. He bought it to overcome his distaste of them.
- Bittersweet Ending: Bruce is cleared of all charges and David Cain is put behind bars. However, Bruce has lost two people dear to him — the aforementioned Vesper and his bodyguard, Sandra Bordeaux, who ends up Faking the Dead to become an agent of Checkmate.
- Chalk Outline: Shown from time to time.
- Clear Their Name: Bruce Wayne decides that being Wayne is a hindrance and decides to forgo that identity and be Batman 24/7. This forces the Bat-family to solve this crime on their own.
- Death by Secret Identity: Invoked and Subverted. When the Bat-family gets a hold of Vesper's laptop, it's revealed that she had discovered Bruce's identity and they figured that Bruce killed her and erased the data, which Oracle rediscovered, to hide the fact. It's subverted because she was killed by David Cain, Batgirl Cassandra Cain's father, who knew his identity and planted he evidence to throw the others off the trail.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The entire reason the story is kicked off. President Lex Luthor, angry at Bruce for pulling out of his defense contracts to the US Government, decides to get rid of him by having one of his men hire an assassin to frame him. The person hired David Cain, none of them realizing Cain knew Bruce was Batman. David did it to get back at Bruce for taking in Cassandra.
- False Confession / Taking the Heat: Bruce's bodyguard, Sasha Bordeaux, is asked to sign a confession to say that Bruce did indeed murder Vesper. Sasha refuses and takes the bullet for her boss.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Happens in the beginning and end of the Fugitive storyline, both by Batman, once towards Nightwing and then towards David Cain.
- Prison Episode: A good deal of Murderer takes place in prison.
- Suspicious Spending: A video tape of Bruce buying a gun is found.
- That Man Is Dead: After escaping prison, Batman decides that he's not going to be Bruce Wayne anymore. It takes encounters with Superman, Catwoman, and a dying police officer who wanted to solve the Wayne Murders to rein back on that idea.
- Villainous BSOD: When Batman and David Cain duel in the Batcave, the fight is stopped when Batgirl drops in and quickly unmasks, taking the fight out of David.