Appearing in "Courage"
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Flashback and main story)
- Batman Family
- Vesper Fairchild (Flashback only)
- Sasha Bordeaux (Flashback only)
- Gotham City Police Department (On a TV or computer screen)
- Michael Akins (On a TV or computer screen)
- Jonathan Kent
- Martha Kent
- Gotham City
- Washington, D.C.
Synopsis for "Courage"
After visiting Vesper Fairchild's tombstone and remembering the good times spent with her, Batman is ready to join the Bat-Family on the Batcave. Nightwing goes along with him and on their way, Bruce reveals some details about the murder of Vesper.
At that moment at the Gotham Airport, a mysterious man has arrived and after taking a bag full of money he listens to his instructions from a cellphone and in the end he disposes of it and gets going.
Batman and Nightwing arrive at the batcave, where the rest of the team where waiting for them and Bruce apologizes with them and explains that he has been broken since the shooting of Jim Gordon and the stroke of Lucius Fox made it all worse for him. He then starts explaining all that happened since the murder of Vesper. He tells them how he felt completely lost after watching the woman he loved, shot dead in Wayne Manor and after some investigations, he discovered that it was all part of two plans. One to hurt Bruce Wayne and the other to hurt Batman. They go through all the evidence they gathered including Nightwing's infiltration in the batcave to prove that someone has done it before, Oracle's discovery about Bruce's journal and Vesper annotations being altered and left to be discovered with ease, and Batgirl's discovery about Vesper being hit by a technique called the nerve strike, which was created by one person and passed to two other people: Bruce and Cassandra. After investigating a drug dealing business, Batman uncovered it as a smoke screen for something bigger. A government agent called Robert Amherst was in charge of the operation and after Batman caught him, the man revealed that the murder of Vesper was a direct order from Lex Luthor, but there isn't physical evidence to prove it. The team wants to know the whereabouts of Amherts, but Batman assures them that he is in a place where nobody can find him. Continuing with the story, Batman reveals that after some research, he discovered that they hired a professional assassin who was believed to be dead, but is still alive and active. The killer is David Cain, former mentor of Bruce and father of Cassandra.
At that moment, Cain arrives at the hotel he was told to go and he gets the package provided by his employers. Once in the hotel, Cain is told to assasinate one person considered an inconvenience in the whole operation, but he has to make it look like a suicide. Cain was sent to Gotham to murder Sasha Bordeaux, who is still a prisoner at Blackgate Penitentiary.
Back in the batcave, Bruce explains his team what is their next move to catch Cain and he asks Cassandra to stay out of it.
Moments later, Robin keeps an eye on the entrance of the hotel where Cain is staying until he watches the man walking out the back door. Robin gets down on him but he soon discovers that the man is just a decoy. Oracle, who is in the batcave, coordinating the whole operation from the batcave, tells Nightwing to keep an eye open to any unusual activity in the nearby buildings and Nightwing finds the shadow of a man looking through a window. He breaks inside the place through that same window and he activates an automatic machine gun, which he disables in no time, but Cain has left the room and is going upstairs to the roof. Nightwing follows him and Robin joins the chase after a while. Cassandra, who was watching it all from the Batcomputer, next to Barbara, suddenly disappears and decides to join the chase as well. After a desperate run, Cain is finally cornered when he takes a dark alley and comes across the figure of Batman standing in front of him. The man is now surrounded by Nightwing, Robin and Batman, and in desperation, he starts pleading for mercy. They realize that the man is just another decoy and that they have been chasing the wrong man the entire time.
Barbara is completely shocked and wonders where could Cain be and before she could think of any reasonable answer, Cain, who is standing right behind her, speaks to her in a menacing voice. Barbara tries to attack the man, but she is no match for Cain, who kicks her off her wheelchair and explains that he knew all about their plan since he taped their frequency once he got inside the Batcave. Cain threatens Barbara and deems them as fools for not having realized that little fact, but before he can attack her, Batman jumps over him and they start fighting each other. Batman explains that he knew what Cain did with the frequency and that he was prepared for that situation. It is then revealed that the "Batman" that cornered the fake Cain was in fact Alfred disguised as Batman.
Meanwhile in the Batcave, Cain and Bruce beat each other, but in the end, Bruce's combat prowess and his rage against Cain gives him the upper hand. Once Cain is subdued, Batman asks him why did he decided to hurt him by killing Vesper and ruining both Bruce and Batman. Cain explains that after the government contacted him and targeted Bruce, he realized that Bruce and Batman were one and the same and he decided to test him, to see if he was good enough to guide his daughter and to prove that he is a monster, no different from Cain himself. Batman beats Cain a little more until the man is completely destroyed, but he stops thinking that he won't be different from Cain by finishing him off. Cassandra, who was near the cave, returns and watches as her father crawls covered in blood, but she does nothing about it. Barbara asks Bruce what is he going to do about Cain and Bruce replies that he won't do anything, but that Cain will do it himself and Cain, with nothing left in him, agrees.
Days later, Cain goes to the police and turns himself in, confessing the truth about the murder of Vesper and giving details that only the real killer would have known. Bruce Wayne is spared from guilt, but to the public eye, his whereabouts are still unknown.
The news get to Lex Luthor, who wants Amherst located and investigated, but Mercy tells him that they have not been able to locate him for weeks, as he seemingly has disappeared.
At that moment, Amherst wakes up tied to a restraint bed and a doctor examining him. The doctor calls him Jones and tells him that he has been unconscious fo a few days, but that he won't hurt anyone there. Amherst starts screaming that he is a government agent and that he doesn't belong there, but the doctor just closes Jones' cell as many other patients start screaming that they don't belong there as well, and the doctor just keeps walking the maddening halls of Arkham Asylum.
- This is the 18th and final part of the storyline titled Bruce Wayne: Fugitive. The previous chapter is Batman: Gotham Knights #31.
- There is an aftermath to the Fugitive storyline that finishes some stories left undisclosed.
- There is a special thanks at the beginning to Kelley Puckett, Greg Rucka, Devin Grayson, Chuck Dixon and Matt Idelson. Each one of them contributed to the Fugitive storyline on the titles they were working on.
- This story makes references to past comics part of the storyline. The issues are Nightwing (Volume 2) #69, Birds of Prey #41 and Birds of Prey #43.
- It is revealed that Vesper Fairchild used a perfume combination of Quintana Valore and Chanel No. 5.
- Martha and Jonathan Kent can be seen among the many tourist that arrive at Gotham along with David Cain from Metropolis. Some of the tourists have the Superman Symbol on their belongings.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
|Bruce Wayne: Fugitive Crossover|
This comic issue is a part of the Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive story that went through every Batman Family title in 2002. Bruce Wayne was framed for the murder of his love interest Vesper Fairchild and forced to go on the run from the law so he could prove his innocence. This adventure almost completely compromised his identity from the inside.