In both Detective Comics and Batman: The Detective, Bruce Wayne is suspected of committing crimes, which to multiple arrests for the Dark Knight.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Detective Comics #1037 by Mariko Tamaki, Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Jordie Bellaire & Aditya Bidikar, and Batman: The Detective #3 by Tom Taylor, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, Brad Anderson & Clem Roberts, both on sale now
Despite being one of DC’s most dedicated heroes, life has been becoming increasingly tough for Batman. His civilian identity is increasingly being targeted not just by overarching villains but by the systems of justice he’s spent years trying to help. And it turns out it’s not even an isolated incident. Bruce Wayne isn’t just being accused of one murder but three — with both Detective Comics and Batman: The Detective both putting the Dark Knight in handcuffs at least for the time being.
Batman has been trying to adjust to an ever-changing Gotham City recently, especially in the aftermath of the Joker War depleted him of much of his fortune. He’s been forced to relocate to a brownstone in the heart of Gotham City — but this also means he now has actual neighbors to pay attention to. This comes back to bite him quicker than he may have expected in Detective Comics #1037, as he’s tied to both the murder cases of Sarah Worth and Lydia Warren. Because his neighbors saw Bruce confronted by Lydia over Sarah entering his apartment (in reality a shape-shifted Lady Clayface), the blame is shifted onto him. Bruce is quickly brought into the Gotham City Police Department as a possible suspect, and his “billionaire playboy” act does little to distract the officers from his absence during the time of the crime.
Because he can’t easily prove his innocence, Bruce is formally arrested as a suspect in the crime — with very few possible ways to escape custody and not throw more suspicion onto him. Making matters worse is Sarah’s criminal father, Mr. Worth — who arrives on the scene with a bazooka so he can try to murder Bruce as an act of revenge over the loss of his daughter. Bruce’s attempts to argue for his innocence are lost on Worth, who follows Bruce through the ruins of the building with a gun. Luckily, Bruce is able to escape the chaos and change into his Batman suit, allowing him to fully defend himself and still argue that he’s uninvolved in the case in question. However, all of this makes his circumstances in Batman: The Detective even more surprising — and almost perfectly timed to make things difficult for Batman.
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In Batman: The Detective #3, Batman is in Franche when his former mentor, Henri Ducard, is seriously wounded by the mysterious murderers who are trying to wipe out all the people that Batman has saved over the years known as Equilibrium. Bruce is able to possibly save Henri though by getting him to a hospital in France — however, within an hour of returning to his hotel Bruce finds himself confronted by the local police. Given his public connection with Henri Ducard, Bruce is seemingly the chief suspect in the case. To make matters worse, as they arrest him the police inform Bruce that the attack on Henri is now considered murder — which means at least publicly, Henri Ducard has been killed and Bruce is being charged with the crime.
It’s not a good week to be Bruce Wayne, with multiple arrests for different murders only likely drawing more attention onto him. This will make his mission as Batman all the more difficult — and could even be used as evidence that he is Batman, which the Magistrate in Future State eventually learned and used to try and ambush and kill the Dark Knight as they rose to power. Even if his innocence is proven, this will likely damage Bruce’s standing in the social scene, making his consistent disguise as Bruce Wayne less effective in the long run. This isn’t even the first time an incarnation of Bruce has been accused of murder, with the events of Bruce Wayne: Fugitive in the Post-Crisis DC Universe fully sending Batman on the run from the authorities while trying to prove his innocence.
It’s possible that between these two crimes, Bruce is forced on a similar mission to try and show the world that he’s not the killer people seem to think he’s become. If anything, this has made life more difficult for the Caped Crusader both in and out of costume — and could become another tool in the hands of his enemies to keep Batman from bringing peace to Gotham.
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