Bruce Wayne and the city he loves have changed dramatically following the events of “The Joker War,” but Batman and his mission are eternal. But not everyone thinks that should be the case... The mysterious vigilante known as Ghost-Maker has known Bruce since they were teenagers, and he’s made his decision. It’s time Gotham City had a new hero.
This issue sees the formal introduction of Ghostface Killah… I mean Ghost-Maker! The past connections that Tynion has mentioned recently begin to establish themselves as we explore yet another unknown element from Bruce’s pre-Batman training period. While this particular trick is not an uncommon one– that of introducing new elements from the past– Tynion manages to keep it from being tired by integrating a number of other elements as well. We see Babs back in the Belfrey playing her Oracle role, but even more so, filling the Alfred void that Lucius tried and ultimately retreated from. With no Wayne fortune to lean on, we’re seeing a far more stripped down, low-tech Batman that will instead be forced to rely more on his skills and, perhaps far more importantly, his family. After years of seeing Bruce slowly stripped of his family and isolated, it’s incredibly refreshing to see the family re-entering the narrative in varying roles.
The design of Ghost-Maker was done by rising star Jorge Jimenez, although the art for this particular issue is split among Carlo Pagulayan, Carlos D’anda, and Danny Miki. The design is quite clever on closer examination. It seems to physically manifest the distinct differences between the Bat and the Ghost by constructing a white and mirrored facede that reflects Gotham’s brutality back on it through Ghost-Maker’s more extreme measures. Meanwhile, the Bat is dull, matte, reflective of nothing and actively non-reflective of Gotham. Intentional or not, the effect creates a wonderful narrative wrinkle, at least for me, where the light becomes the enemy of Gotham.
Across the board, the post-“Joker War” era for Batman feels like it offers an incredibly fresh voice that pays respect to the past while keeping an eye to the future. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Across the board, the post-"Joker War" era for Batman feels like it offers an incredibly fresh voice that pays respect to the past while keeping an eye to the future. I can't wait to see what comes next!
Batman #102: “My third eye blinks with no hesitation…”
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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