Batgirl (2000-2006) #24
Hahaha I was so tense the first time I read this, even knowing how good Cass was at her job. All I can think about is her breaking into that government facility and giving Babs a near heart attack.
Keep in mind, of course, that this is at…
Vis-a-vis Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive, I actually like how the story worked in the Batgirl title itself. I believed in the dynamics of Cass, Bruce and Cain. Of course, if you didn’t read the Batgirl series during this period the whole conclusion of the Bruce Wayne:Murderer/Fugitive saga must have seemed like a giant clusterf!ck. This is especially obvious in the collected editions of the storyline where many of the Batgirl issues are not included.
So what you get is this - Lex Luthor, President of the US, angry that Bruce Wayne foiled his attempts to take over the real estate of Gotham following No Man’s Land hires David Cain (through a third-party) to kill Bruce’s ex, Vesper Fairchild with a gun that Bruce suddenly owned (with the reasoning that Bruce decided he just wanted to buy a gun to see what it felt like to own one - WTF?). Shoddy policework by usually smart supporting players like Crispus, Maggie, Renee end with Bruce in Blackgate with the rest of the prison population (where he is attacked thanks to crooked guards) as is his bodyguard, Sasha Bourdeux, who is actually killed in prison (well she’s not, she’s given plastic surgery and joins Checkmate - again WTF?). Bruce escapes prison (because he’s Batman) and leaves Sasha to rot. He doesn’t care to prove who actually killed Vesper (does THIS sound like Batman - WTF?) and doesn’t want to return to being Bruce Wayne at all. The rest of the Batfamily which has been trying to solve the case is themselves all WTF? at this with Babs questioning whether Bruce did the crime and only Dick and Cass insisting this is something he would never do (Cass barely knows Bruce at this point but has a better grasp of his ideals better than Babs or Tim who are unsure). It is eventually CASS (along with Dick) who uncovers that it was Cass’s father who set Bruce up. There’s a fight, Bruce recovers his senses, Cain - a man who has killed hundreds without getting caught - turns himself in for the crime (seriously - WTF? again) because he wanted Bruce to prove Cass deserved to be with him. Which this storyline DID not do at all because he was all “I’m Batman 24/7 now” and literally batsh!t crazy during most part of it and it was the rest of the Batfamily who solved the case. Bruce’s case is dropped (though Sasha is still supposedly “dead), the police never pay for their incompetence (because they are important supporting characters) and Vesper’s murder is rarely, if ever, brought up again. Even Cain eventually easily gets out of prison.
And if you were not reading Batgirl during this time you would have only a dim idea of who David Cain was, his fixation on his daughter, his hatred of Batman and why the hell he would be stupid to turn himself in for what was otherwise a flawless frame-job.
In many ways DC pre-Didio was better than it is now, but the post-NML early 2000s was not a good time for Batman.