Batman scribe James Tynion IV has revealed that his newly created Ghost-Maker villain has a special connection to the early history of The Dark Knight. Ghostmaker-8

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The villains origins were detailed in the latest edition of his Empire Of The Tiny Onion newsletter, where Tynion recalled how, when he “had first gotten wind of the creation of the Middle Grade and YA lines that DC Comics was developing“, he was inspired “to do a book with the energy of a Shonen Manga, that told the story of Bruce Wayne travelling the world and training to be the world’s greatest crime-fighter.”

Though Tynion stated that he never “wrote up a pitch document”, he did “remember laying out the core cast in a notebook” and specifically described “a cowardly thief style character, a young woman who may or may not have escaped from Themyscira, but the character that had really instigated the whole idea was Bruce’s Rival”

“The key to that idea was to create a Zuko to Bruce’s Aang,” Tynion explained. “The Gary Oak to his Ash Ketchum. The Draco Malfoy to his Harry Potter.”

James Tynion IV Introduces New Villain Ghost-Maker as Batman's Oldest Rival

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Though this particular story pitch “never went anywhere”, after seeing the positive reception to new characters Clownhunter and Punchline, Tynion realized that he “needed to bring in another character into the last story of 2020” and found his mind “going back to The Rival.”

Joker War's Clownhunter

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However, Tynion also admitted that his “initial ideas for that character were pretty basic.”

“The rough concept I had played around with in the Shonen series pitch was that young Bruce was a bit of a scamp, more of a Robin type character, so his rival would be the more serious type,” he said. “But that dynamic wouldn’t work in the present. He needed to be something more. He needed to be a fascinating inverted mirror to Batman.”

Tynion also admired how artist Jorge Jimenez “took all of that and worked some magic, putting together what I think is one of the absolute coolest new Superhero designs I’ve seen in the last few years.”

Interestingly, Jiminez also designed the new suit that Batman will wear in issue #100, and judging by the color scheme’s resemblance to Ghost-Maker’s, it’s possible the two outfits will have some sort of connection.


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Tynion concluded his discussion of Ghost-Maker by announcing that the character”has a brief cameo appearance at the end of Batman #100, and then enters the story in earnest in Batman #102,” and teasing that there “might already have something we’re building in secret with the character.”

Batman #100, written by Tynion, is on sale Oct. 6th.

Do you think Ghost-Maker’s early connection to Batman is an interesting plot development? What do you make of their design? Let us know on social media or in the comments down below!

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    JB Augustine

    Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover all things DC and Godzilla. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.