Batman vs. Ghost-Maker
Batman isn’t the only head vigilante anymore. As the city continues to pick up the pieces after the Joker War, a new threat approaches Gotham. The vigilante known as Ghost-Maker has come to Gotham to deliver his own brand of justice. As he begins leaving a trail of dead criminals, Batman realizes who he is and why he has to work quickly to stop him. By the time Bruce finds him, Ghost-Maker descends on Clownhunter. Now the two well-armed vigilantes clash over the life of Gotham’s version of the Punisher. Who will win?
**Some Spoilers Below**
We open with a flashback as Bruce meditates in the desert. The man who would become Ghost-Maker approaches him with two katanas, challenging him to a duel. Bruce initially refuses, as he just wants to have a quiet night to remember his parents, but soon takes the blade, ready to fight. In the present, Batman and Ghost-Maker throw down on the rooftops of Gotham as Clownhunter makes a run for it. While they fight, the new vigilante reveals to Bruce that, through his Ghost Network, he was able to bring down several criminals before he even got off his plane.
This issue is about 95 percent action, and it felt really nice. After the past few issues of massive exposition dumps and setting up this new age, we get a chance to sit back and watch the fists fly. Batman and Ghost-Maker are matched in combat expertise, so each page of their fight is more impressive than the last. Even Clownhunter gets a fight with Harley, which is honestly funny. Not because of any slapstick, but because of how clearly outclassed the new vigilante is in comparison.
Just because this issue is mostly action, it doesn’t mean we don’t have character moments. The best part of the issue is Ghost-Maker revealing what he did before he got off the plane. It shows that he is a capable vigilante like Bruce, but more vindictive to get the verdict. This moment gets even better when Bruce reveals that he knew about the crimes. He only let them continue happening as a way to try and cut the evil out at the true root cause. It’s a nice piece of back and forth dialogue that really cements the differences between the two. I can’t wait to see them fight more as the story progresses.
We have a trio of artists working on illustrating the issue, which can honestly be a little jarring. While the styles are very similar, they have just enough differences to throw an unprepared reader off. All three art styles are fine, especially in how they showcase the battles, but it’s hard to get invested without that consistency.
In the end, this issue was a nice break from the back to back information dumps we’ve gotten. Batman’s new adversary is shaping up to be memorable, with his style of crimefighting and intertwined origin with Bruce. He’s a perfect opponent in this post-Joker War Gotham, and I can’t wait to see more. The only downside this issue has would be the multiple artists coming at it with their own styles. Hopefully, the future issues iron that problem out. That would honestly turn this good comic into an excellent one.