In the latest issue of Batman, it’s revealed that the Dark Knight and his newest adversary have an important history together.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman #102
It’s just been revealed in the latest issue of Batman why his new adversary Ghost-Maker is such a big threat to the Dark Knight and the reason why he’s never appeared in Gotham City until now. Batman #102 reveals that he and Ghost-Maker have quite the history together, dating back to the earliest days of Bruce Wayne’s training to become the Dark Knight. Apparently, the events of Joker War forced Ghost-Maker’s hand, and he can no longer stay out of Gotham, believing himself to be better than Batman ever could be, and he’s ready to prove it.
The events of Joker War have caused Batman to revaluate his methods as the Caped Crusader, motivating him to become a better Bat than he was before. Even so, the casualties and destruction courtesy of the Clown Prince of Crime were quite large and on another level than Joker had ever achieved previously. As a result, this has created a rise in calls of no confidence in Batman by those he protects. Furthermore, someone who had agreed to stay away has now found themselves having no choice but to enter Gotham.
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In Batman #102 from writer James Tynion IV with art by Carlo Pagulayan and Danny Miki, the new vigilante Clownhunter is out on the streets, looking to take out Harley Quinn once and for all (technically, she is still a clown despite her growth). However, The Ghost-Maker arrives with the intent to kill Clownhunter for the lives he’s taken. However, Batman stops him before he can, and fans instantly see the familiarity between the two rivals. It’s clear Batman is pretty angry that Ghost-Maker’s in Gotham. A flashback also reveals their shared past when Bruce was training to become Batman. Apparently, Ghost-Maker was training at the same time, seeking out the same teachers Bruce was.
As it turns out, there’s a lot of bad blood between the two, and Ghost-Maker also seems to have taken more of a lethal route when it comes to justice than Bruce has, which looks to be a large portion of the contention. Ghost-Maker seems to view their rivalry as a fun competition that he’s more than capable of winning, but Batman certainly sees Ghost-Maker for the true danger and threat he poses. Even so, a deal was apparently struck at some point in the past where Ghost-Maker had agreed to stay out of Batman’s city, explaining why fans have never seen him before…until now.
Now, Ghost-Maker has broken his agreement with Batman and entered Gotham, believing that he can do a better job of keeping the city safe than the Dark Knight has (though his methods will probably involve a lot of killing). As Batman defends Clownhunter from this new foe, Ghost-Maker poses a new competition for them both like back in their youth, proposing that he’ll fight Batman for the right to claim Gotham as its protector going forward. With that, the stakes are set pretty high as Batman duels with his old rival. However, fans will have to wait until the next issue to find out the outcome.
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