"Ghost Stories, Part 1": Gotham City. Old Town. Present day


Quote1.png You're missing the whole scale of the thing. I'm not saying the winner takes the boy... the winner takes Gotham. Quote2.png
Ghost-Maker

Batman (Volume 3) #102 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 3) with a cover date of January, 2021. It was published on November 3, 2020.

Appearing in "Ghost Stories, Part 1"

Featured Characters:

  • Batman (Flashback and main story)

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Ghost Stories, Part 1"

Gotham City. Old Town. Present day

A mysterious new vigilante is questioning a dirty cop, after tying him up and hanging him upside-down. He tells him that when he came to Gotham as a teenager he thought he could grow here, but he found out Gotham City is just too corrupted and twisted. It just drives you insane. If Batman ever cared about its population, he would have payed them to get away to somewhere safer, then he would have burned the place to the ground, starting over. For him it's never been personal, it's just that Gotham does not work. After explaining his motives to the man, he tells him he already infiltrated all the criminal networks in the city thanks to his Ghostnet, and developed a clean-up plan. But there's a hole in the net, a kid called Clownhunter.

This kid is trying to make justice on his own, and the cops are letting him doing it. And that's wrong. Worse than that, it makes his plan not working properly, so he'll have to tell him where this kid is. The cop tells him he does not know, and that the Bats don't act like this. As he pierces the agent's shoulder with a sword, the man tells him he is clearly no Bat. He's the Ghost-Maker, and he's in Gotham to show to everybody he is better than the Bat.

In another part of Gotham City

Batman is trying to dismantle a particular gang active in Gotham: the Grinners. Criminal exposed to several of the Joker's creation, they all have a partial facial paralysis and a total admiration for the clown prince of crime. Oracle is telling to Bruce some info, things he probably already knows, so Barbara wants to know why Bruce contacted her. Is it because now he will have to repair his suits on his own? Bruce tells her that he needs to know the status of the Grinners' hideout, before getting into a death-trap. Babs is happy to be back as Oracle: the city is changing so fast, she cannot decide in which role she's more useful. Oracle tells Batman that all seems quiet inside, and that he can step in. She also knows why he's attacking the Grinners: he wants to take out potential victims of the Clownhunter.

As he enters the place, he finds that the Grinners are already all dead. Barbara discovers a loop in the surveillance system, which made her think it was all normal, with the people inside still alive. Was this opera of the kid called Clownhunter? It looks too complex for him. Batman notices a symbol on the wall, and tells Barbara to shut down her entire system. Babs is a little disturbed by the thing, and would like some explaining, but Bruce tells her it's personal and that she should just do what he told her.

Dublin, Ireland. Many years ago

A man gets thrown out of a pub, breaking the glass. A young Bruce Wayne was the man who threw him: he wants to become the victim's mentor. Bruce looked out for him: he's Tommy Tivane, wanted in sixteen countries and probably the best at handling knives. Bruce wants to learn from him, and he is showing him he would be good material as a pupil. As Tivane gets ready to counter, another young man steps out of the shadows, with a mask: a young Ghost-Maker. Bruce tells him to get away, but the Ghost-Maker tells him he is already the pupil of Tivane, and that if he wants to get his place he'll have to defeat him in combat. Bruce tells him he was going to break his bones if he ever met him again, after what he did to their master in Morocco. He'll take two birds with one stone.

Gotham City. Little Santa Prisca

Harley Quinn is trying to rent an apartment in Little Santa Prisca, and someone is watching her from the distance: it's the Clownhunter. His next target seems to be Harley herself, after all once a clown, always a clown. As he studies how to build a rocket launcher from scrap, the Ghost-Maker reaches him, telling him he's really enjoying his phone's browser history. The next generation is always bolder than the previous. But he also informs him that he does not come from Gotham, but from the outside: in his place, killers are not thrown back with the others once they're caught. They gut them up.

As Ghost-Maker prepares to execute Bao, Batman comes to rescue him. The two salute each other, then Batman tells the Ghost-Maker they had a deal: Gotham was his town. The Ghost-Maker tells him he's not doing his job: the city is rotting. And why he did not incapacitate this kid? At least he should have locked him up, but no, he's still out killing people. Ghost-Maker wants to strike another deal: a duel, and the winner not only decides what to do with Clownhunter, but takes Gotham for himself.



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