The Ghost-Maker is easily one of the most intriguing characters to make it to the pages of DC’s Batman comics in recent years. We know almost nothing about him but he’s just so cool! We do know that he’s one of Bruce Wayne’s oldest friends. The character has been pretty interesting so far, working as a combination of Jason Todd / Red Hood and Damian Wayne / Robin (who’s busy having his own adventures right now).
Bruce and the Ghost-Maker have a history together and they’re not exactly on the best of terms. They initially met when they were both traveling around the world, finding masters to train them in their respective superhero paths.
At one point, they were the closest of friends. Unfortunately, they had a falling out once Ghost-Maker found out that Bruce’s crusade against crime is just a way to get revenge for his parent’s deaths. But despite the bad blood between them, they’ve teamed up now to protect Gotham City.
Unfortunately, it looks like Gotham doesn’t want their protection, even though the city needs it now more than ever.
**SPOILERS for Batman #108 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles**
In Batman #108, the people of Gotham honor “a real hero” of the city. No, it’s not Batman, it’s Sean Mahoney — the man who will be Peacekeeper-01.
Peacekeeper-01 was introduced in the pages of DC’s Future State line of books. These stories provide a glimpse of possible futures and the vision it showed for Batman looks more and more inevitable with each new issue of the main series. In Future State: The Next Batman, Gotham City is now run by the Magistrate, a corporate police state headed by enhanced soldiers called the Peacekeepers. And leading them all is Sean Mahoney, the new hero of Gotham City.
Batman #108 also reveals that Saint Industries has been experimenting with robotics. That’s eventually going to lead to the creation of robot cops called Cybers. The issue also shows Barbara Gordon / Oracle confirming that the villain Scarecrow / Jonathan Crane is still alive and working with Simon Saint, head of Saint Industries. Readers already knew about this but now the Bat-family is also in the know.
So where does Ghost-Maker come into all this? Well, he doesn’t and that’s what’s worrying. Throughout Future State, we see many of Batman’s allies and enemies. The Batgirls are part of a resistance headed by Nightwing. Red Hood and Ravager are bounty hunters, Oracle is a prisoner of the state, and Catwoman is working to find Batman. Even Harley Quinn is accounted for as a prisoner of the Magistrate, directly supervised by Scarecrow. But we never see hide nor hair of Ghost-Maker.
We may, however, have some clues as to what actually happened to Batman’s latest partner in heroics. In Future State: The Next Batman and Future State: Dark Detective, we find out that the fascistic Magistrate has been waging war on masked heroes and villains. They do this using their enhanced soldiers, their extensive surveillance network, and by keeping the people of Gotham in a constant state of fear.
How they managed two of those things has become pretty clear by now. They’ve been using the Scarecrow’s help to spread fear and Batman #108 reveals that Saint Industries has some very advanced cybernetic technology. But how did they end up putting a whole city under surveillance? Besides his impressive martial arts skills, the Ghost-Maker also uses an advanced computer system of his own called the Ghostnet. This system may become the basis for the Magistrate’s network for all we know.
If that is the case, then how did the Magistrate get their hands on that tech? Chances are the Ghost-Maker may end up betraying Batman and siding with his enemies.
In Future State, the Magistrate begins their regime by trying to kill Batman. That’s really just the obvious first step when you think about it. But they don’t just attack Batman in his costumed identity, they go after him as Bruce Wayne. Someone told them who Batman is and that someone could be Ghost-Maker.
One of the biggest differences between Bruce and Ghost-Maker is their threshold for violence. Every Batman fan knows that Bruce would never take a life if he could help it but Ghost-Maker has no such qualms. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that he might actually agree with the Magistrate’s methods.
We still don’t know so much about this character. For all we know, he may be just as bad as some of the worst villains who have haunted Gotham City. However, if he is a good guy at heart like Bruce seems to think he is, then that opens up an even more scary possibility. Maybe the Ghost-Maker was killed before the Magistrate’s reign began. Maybe the Peacekeepers are going to take him out early on so that he won’t be a problem for them once they start their rule.
From everything we’ve seen of the character, it’s clear that Ghost-Maker is a deadly fighter, perhaps more dangerous than Batman even. If the Peacekeepers actually manage to kill him, that would make them even more of a threat than we originally thought.
It would be a shame if this were the case. James Tynion IV has introduced some really cool characters since he took over the main Batman title. And the Ghost-Maker is definitely at the top of that list. With any luck, Tynion might find a whole other direction to take the story in that can prevent these horrible futures from coming to pass.
What do you think of the Ghost-Maker and his future in DC Comics? Do you think DC should go ahead with the Magistrate’s takeover or prevent that future altogether? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.