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Quote1 Do I look like a Bat to you? I am the Ghost-Maker. I am better than Batman, and I am here to prove it. Quote2
Ghost-Maker src

Minhkhoa "Khoa" Khan[1] is the Ghost-Maker, a vigilante who trained with several of Batman's mentors around the world. A rival of the Dark Knight since his youth, he is a radical crime fighter who will not hesitate to kill if deemed necessary and sees crime-fighting as an art rather than a duty.

Origins

Minhkhoa Khan was the son of a wealthy Singaporean business owner in the exports industry. When he was eight years old, a psychologist diagnosed him as a psychopath, as he was unable to feel empathy or fear. [2] His family was physically threatened until they sold their company to the uber-wealthy Midas crime family. In one of these meetings, a young Khoa watched as of one of the Midas shot his mother dead in front of him and his father. Determined to destroy the Midas family and make them feel the worthlessness they did to his parents, Khoa set off to become a crime-fighter and get revenge.[1]

A fifteen year old Khoa began his training in a street fight against a jade brawler somewhere in Singapore, who ultimately beat him. The brawler took pity on Khoa and informed him of a martial arts temple in the Paektu Mountains of North Korea run by Takibi Kirigi. Khoa swore that he'd never let anyone take pity on him again and snuck aboard a freighter traveling to the South China sea to make his way to the temple.[3]

Shortly after starting his training at Kirigi's temple, Bruce Wayne, who was traveling the world on a similar journey as Khoa to become a crime-fighter. Khoa introduced himself to Bruce as "Anton" and formed a friendship with his classmate upon learning of their common goal to become crime-fighters. Khoa and Bruce spent the next eleven months training under Kirigi, learning nearly every form of martial arts from across the globe. When Bruce was about to leave the temple and continue his training, Khoa suggested that the two leave together and use the list of experts Bruce had acquired to continue their global training and become a crime-fighting duo. While Bruce initially turned down Khoa's offer, he had a change of heart after Khoa saved him from a group of students who had been sent to Kirigi by his anonymous benefactor. After defeating the students, Khoa and Bruce left to continue their training.[4]

Khoa and Bruce made their way to Moscow, hoping to find ex-KGB and former FSB agent Avery Oblonsky. After staking out an FSB office, Khoa and Bruce were caught and thrown in jail where they were tortured for thirteen days. After attempting to break out, the two were stopped by Oblonsky, who revealed that being held in prison was a test of their mental fortitude. Oblonsky began training Khoa and Bruce in the art of disguise, espionage, and spycraft. Khoa and Bruce often competed against one another during Oblonsky's training exercises, with Khoa being more skilled at the art of seduction. One assignment involved the two having to get an American couple charged with marijuana possession out of a Russian jail. Khoa simply bribed the cops and got the couple released from jail, beating Bruce in the process. During Oblonsky's final exercise, Khoa and Bruce were tasked with infiltrating a gala at a US Embassy and retrieving a book containing a list of SVR safe houses. While Khoa managed to retrieve the book first, Bruce ultimately managed to pickpocket the book from Khoa in the end.[5]

Khoa and Bruce spent time in the snowy mountains of India where they trained with a tracker named Koyta, helping him bust opium distributors and gun runners. The pair were eventually joined by Rhea Sinha, an assassin-in-training with whom Khoa formed a brief romantic interest.[6][7]

Khoa and Bruce's next training course was in Northern British Columbia in Canada under Luka Jungo, a world-class marksman and former assassin, who Oblonsky recommended. The two spent weeks training in archery in order to hone their marksmanship skills. One night, Jungo told Khoa and Bruce about his time as a government hitman and made them promise to never use their marksmanship skills to kill anyone. After weeks of training with firearms, Jungo began to notice that Khoa enjoyed killing animals a bit too much and deduced that he was a psychopath. One day while out hunting, Jungo held Khoa at gunpoint out of fear that he would use his newfound skills to become a killer. Panicked, Bruce disarmed Jungo by shooting him in the arm, an opportunity Khoa used to shoot Jungo dead. Horrified at what Khoa had done, Bruce attacked Khoa. Khoa managed to subdue Bruce before claiming that he was a coward who didn't have what it takes to truly stop criminals. Khoa had the chance to shoot Bruce, but instead left him unconscious.[8]

Over the next few years, Khoa continued his training around the world alone, occasionally running into Bruce where the two would engage in fights to test their skills, which would end with Bruce besting Khoa in combat; Bruce would later claim that once he turned twenty years old, he won these fights every time. One of these fights occurred after Khoa followed Bruce to Dublin and clashed over the right to learn from Tommy Tivane, the world's greatest knife-thrower. Another one of these encounters occurred in Metropolis.[9] Khoa also killed one him and Bruce's masters, Ouahbi, in Morocco in self-defense when he tried to kill Khoa after realizing he had been training a psychopath, similar to how Jungo had tried.[10] He later trained with the Desert Kings in the Gobi Desert for two months; when Bruce went there the next year, he followed him and tried to initiate another fight. Bruce rejected him, as it was the anniversary of his parents death and he wished to be alone, but eventually relented after Khoa claimed that this sentimentality made him weak.[11] In one instance while stopping a bank robbery in Spain, Khoa and Bruce discussed the idea of one day passing on their skills to other proteges in order to continue their mission.[1] Khoa trained under Don Miguel in tactical driving in Rio De Janeiro. When Bruce studied under Miguel, Khoa attempted to kill Bruce by cutting his brake lines. Khoa made another attempt to kill Bruce in Mexico when he slipped Bruce psilocybin while he was fighting a pack of jaguars. Khoa trained under Skyspider in Shanghai on how to scale buildings using grapple lines. When Bruce trained under Skyspider, Khoa made a final attempt to kill Bruce by cutting his grapple lines.[12]

When Bruce was nearing the end of his travels and training under Dr. Daniel Captio, Khoa was attacked by the Still, a enforcer for Ra's al Ghul, who beat him half to death. After Bruce defeated the Still and knocked out Captio, he and Khoa departed to Abu Dubai after the Still informed them of who Ra's al Ghul. After following several leads across the United Arab Emirates about where to find the League of Assassins, the two made their way to Lazarus City in the middle of the Arabian Desert. After Ra's introduced himself and explained his mission to Khoa and Bruce. The duo spent the next few months training under Ra's in martial arts, as well as receiving tutelage from Ra's daughter, Talia. Khoa and Bruce's training continued until Ra's paired the two against one another, believing that only one of them would be worthy of claiming the title of Ra's' heir. After Khoa lost the fight to Bruce, Khoa warned Bruce that Ra's had ballistic missiles. After Bruce sabotaged Ra's WMDs, Khoa saved from being killed in the explosion and left him on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The two made an agreement that they would stay out of any city the other was operating in, with Bruce warning Khoa to stay out of Gotham.[13][14]

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Ghost-Maker in his youth

Despite his nature and their disagreements, Khoa was concerned for Bruce and stopped him in Argentina before he left back for Gotham City in a last attempt to appeal to him. Khoa implored him to realize that there is no way he can save everyone, and that operating with this singular focus would eventually wear his soul down to nothing. He asked Bruce to instead join him in southeast Asia where they would systematically destroy criminal underworlds, offering to do the same to Gotham once they had the resources. Disgusted with Khoa's outlook, Bruce warned him not to come to Gotham and Khoa agreed, as he had no interest in the city; in return, it was agreed that Bruce would not step foot where Khoa was operating.[15]

Early Career

Taking the name "Ghost-Maker", Khoa followed through with his plan; mostly operating within Southeast Asia, he would spend a year taking down criminal operations in whichever city he went, leaving a massive body count and no trail for authorities to discover him. Khoa also managed to amass a fortune by living off the coffers of the gangs he dismantled. While operating in Singapore, he would eventually cross paths with Bruce (now operating as "Batman") when he tracked down a Gotham criminal who had fled there. Batman begrudgingly agreed to allow the latter to handle the criminal, per their agreement; on the way back, Bruce would confide to his protégé that although he was still furious with Ghost-Maker's selfishness, he also missed being friends.

Batman Incorporated Vol 3 3 Textless Haining Variant

Ghost-Maker and Phantom-One

Around the same time the second Robin was killed by the Joker, Ghost-Maker confronted and subsequently killed the married criminals Mr. and Mrs. Menace. The couple asked who'd look after their son and Ghost-Maker took up the responsibility. He let the boy live in a mansion, provided tutors, staff, and trainers, but never revealed his real name or face. Though his personal motivations were uncertain, the boy came to believe that Ghost-Maker saw an opportunity to make a better sidekick than Batman. He had the boy train 24/7 and turned him into the vigilante sidekick Phantom-One.

The two worked well together, but Ghost-Maker's psychology was ill-suited to rearing a child. He kept his sidekick locked inside the mansion, unless they were going on a mission. Phantom-One grew to think that his mentor looked down on him and hated sharing the spotlight. After three years, the duo encountered the villain Palladium. During their fight Phantom-One rushed ahead, causing an explosion and trapping himself under rubble. Ghost-Maker was faced with a choice; attempt to save Phantom-One, or save the lives of the ten civilians who had been endangered because of Phantom-One's impatience. In his mind, it was simple math and he chose to save the civilians. By the time he'd completed the task, the building had collapsed on Phantom-One, leading Ghost-Maker to think his protégé was dead. Whether over guilt for the death of his sidekick or anger at losing to the villain, Ghost-Maker made sure that Palladium met his end, repaying him in kind for his crimes.[16][17]

Bruce later tracked down Ghost-Maker and offered him a position within Batman Incorporated, but this enraged him and resulted in another fight.[18]

Eventually, Khoa obtained his long-awaited revenge on the Midas family by taking down Madame Midas, the family's current head. As he defeated her, he repeated the same gloating words she had told him the day his family was attacked.[1]

Fighting for Gotham

After the Joker War, Ghost-Maker broke the pact in order to step into Gotham as its new protector, disappointed in how Bruce handled its criminals. He activated his Ghostnet to absorb and analyze all the network infrastructure of Gotham's criminal underworld, and begun processing an action plan to dismantle it. He soon found that a new vigilante was his main obstacle in applying this plan -- a teenager named Bao Pham, going by the alias of "Clownhunter". Given the fact the boy was also a ruthless killer endangering civilians, Ghost-Maker chose him to be a symbolic victim for Bruce to realize his mistakes.[10]

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Ghost-Maker battles Batman for the fate of Clownhunter

Upon his arrival, Ghost-Maker killed all of the Grinners, a gang of Joker supporters, at their headquarters called the "Smile Bar". He then located Clownhunter while the latter was trying to blow up Harley Quinn's apartment; Batman came to the boy's rescue and the two engaged in combat. Bruce explained that Bao is a teenager who witnessed his parents being killed by the Joker five years before (a murder that Harley was present for), and that he would rather rehabilitate him than kill or imprison him.

Disappointed that Bruce had not changed, Ghost-Maker tranquilized Bruce, Harley, and Clownhunter and trapped them in a room of Arkham Asylum, leaving only Clownhunter unrestrained in order to force Bruce to handle him. However, the plan did not work as Harley managed to break through to the teenager by explaining her resolve to atone. Batman related that although it was true that not everyone can be saved, caring for people like Harley and Bao allowed them to get better and make a difference. Although Batman has come close to death many times and his work would probably never be done, he believed the success he has had with rehabilitating people over the years prove that empathy has its place.

Satisfied with Bruce's answer for the time being, Ghost-Maker initially intended to leave, but Bruce believed he would need help in a rapidly-changing Gotham and asked Ghost-Maker to stay with him -- as long as he does not kill. Seeing it as an interesting challenge, Ghost-Maker accepted.[15]

Fear State

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Ghost-Maker and Batman work together

The first major case the two tackled was that of the Unsanity Collective, a high-tech, radical transhumanist movement that had been stealing tech throughout the city.[19] As Batman tracked down the organization's leader, Ghost-Maker saved Harley Quinn from the police and brought her back to his base: "The Haunt". Intrigued by Harley, Ghost-Maker questioned her on her ideals and pasts. They were quickly interrupted by Bella Garten and Oracle, the later of whom sent them to help Batman.[2] After saving Batman from the Magistrate agent Peacekeeper-01, Ghost-Maker learned that The Scarecrow had been manipulating the Unsanity Collective the whole time.[20]

Alongside Batman and Harley, Ghost-Maker saved several members of the Unsanity Collective, including a young child. He protected them again when they were pursued, by the Magistrate, to the underground jungle of Eden.[21][22] With the Unsanity Collective saved, the Magistrate defeated, and Scarecrow back in prison, Ghost-Maker is recruited to train Clownhunter.[23] After helping Batman stop Firefly, he and his new trainee leave Gotham.[1]

Batman Incorporated

Batman Incorporated Vol 3 1 Textless

Ghost-Maker leads Batman Incorporated

Having felt that his world had changed too much, Batman asked Ghost-Maker to lead Batman Incorporated. A decision that was met with anger from the other members of Batman Inc. Ghost-Maker's first mission as leader was to dismantle the rest of Lex Luthor's experimental crime-fighter programs. The first stop was Kazbek, Chechnya, where the team encountered Gray Wolf. They discover that Lex Luthor had been funding a local scientist who was experimenting on Kazbek citizens with Lazarus Resin. They shut down the operation and Ghost-Maker invites Gray Wolf to join the team.[24]

Ghost-Maker and Batman Incorporated participated in the war between Talia al Ghul and Deathstroke. He lead the team as they provided protection to targeted members of Deathstroke's Secret Society and kept constant surveillance on Deathstroke himself. He protected the Society members in The Haunt.[25] While rescuing Black Spider, Ghost-Maker forced Clownhunter to fend off six League of Assassins members on his own. While the boy defended himself well, Ghost-Maker had to step in before an assassin could kill Black Spider.[26] When Deathstroke launched his assault on the Haunt, Ghost-Maker dueled the assassin himself. Ghost-Maker was winning, but was forced to yield when Deathstroke threaten to kill Clownhunter. Deathstroke destroyed the Haunt and left with the Society.[27]

Ghost-Maker, Batman, Robin, and Batman Inc. followed Deathstroke to the League of Assassin's headquarters in Nepal. Ghost-Maker joined the battle between the League and the Society, where he encountered a previous romantic partner: Angel Breaker.[28] When the true orchestrator of Talia and Deathstroke's war, Geo-Force, was revealed, Angel Breaker fled. Before he could get caught in the ensuing destruction, Ghost-Maker evacuated with the rest of Batman Inc.[29]


Abilities

  • Acrobatics
  • Archery[30]
  • Computer Hacking: Ghost-Maker has a network implanted in his suit called the Ghostnet. Thanks to it, he was able to infiltrate the networks of Gotham's criminal underworld. He also tricked an expert hacker like Barbara Gordon, and Batman told Barbara to shut her systems down when he saw the Ghost-Maker was in town, as his Ghostnet could take over Oracle's computers. [10]
  • Firearms: Ghost-Maker is a master marksman, having trained under Luka Jungo - a former F.I.S. agent who was considered the world's greatest marksman.[30]
  • Interrogation
  • Intimidation: Ghost-Maker heavily intimidated a crooked GCPD agent for information about Clownhunter.[10]
  • Investigation
  • Martial Arts: Ghost-Maker is a master martial artist, having trained with many mentors of Batman. He is skilled enough to match Bruce in combat.[11] He is trained in multiple forms of martial arts, stating he wanted to try three new forms of martial arts on Bruce, when challenging him.[11] Ghost-Maker even gained the upper hand against Deathstroke, during a brief encounter.[31] Although, Ghost-Maker did confirm that Slade was not acting like himself.[32]
  • Medical Science: He was able to stitch up Batman's scars and apply anaesthesia in order to do so.[18]
  • Meditation: He uses his self-indulgence in the pleasures of the flesh as a form of meditation, managing to solve crimes in his mind in the meantime.[34]
  • Peak Human Condition: He's able to sustain a fight against Batman on the same level of the Dark Knight. He did it multiple times in the past, and also trained with many of the Caped Crusader's mentors.[10][11]
    • Peak Human Agility
    • Peak Human Durability
    • Peak Human Reflexes
    • Peak Human Speed
    • Peak Human Stamina
    • Peak Human Senses: Ghost-Maker is capable of fighting while wearing a bandana over his eyes without issue.[35]
  • Stealth
  • Tactical Analysis
  • Tracking
  • Hunting
  • Driving: Like Batman, Ghost-Maker was trained by Don Miguel in stunt car driving in Rio De Janiero.[36]
  • Escapology[37]
  • Disguise: Ghost-Maker was trained in the art of disguise by Avery Oblonsky, an ex-KGB operative.[38]
  • Weaponry
    • Swordsmanship: Ghost-Maker is a master swordsman, capable of matching Batman in a sword dual, even being able to tag him.[15]
  • Multilingualism: Ghost-Maker is fluent in multiple languages, among them are English, Russian,[39] Shanghainese,[40] and Chechen.[24] He also knows Morse Code.[41]

Other Characteristics

  • Psychopathy: Khoa was diagnosed with psychopathy at the age of eight, which largely prevents him from feeling empathy or fear.[2] Despite claiming to lack the ability to have concern for any human,[11][15] he has occasionally expressed sympathy and anger over the treatment of others.[1]

Equipment

  • Ghost-Maker Suit[34]
  • Ghostnet: a private network Ghost-Maker installed on his suit, giving him several hacking skills. Through it, he was able to infiltrate the networks of Gotham's underworld and develop a plan to take down the entire criminal structure of the city.[10]
  • Icon: An artificial intelligence programmed by Ghost-Maker himself to assist him in his activities. Icon is installed on the Ghost-Stream jet.[34]

Transportation

  • Ghost-Racer: An automobile that is still outpaced by the Batmobile.[2]
  • Ghost-Cycle: A motorcycle used by Ghost-Maker.[19]
  • The Ghost-Stream: A custom-built radar-invisible jet fighter.[34]

Weapons

  • Double Swords


  • According to Ghost-Maker, only five living people have ever seen his full face and only three know his birth name.[15][2] Batman is part of both groups, and in turn, Ghost-Maker also knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne.[19]
  • Ghost-Maker generally keeps his eyes obscured by a piece of fabric whenever his mask is off; it doesn't seem to have any effect on his vision or abilities.
  • Ghost-Maker is a hedonistic man who indulges in good food and drink, and sex with both men and women, using it as a meditation technique.[34]

Related

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Batman 2021 Annual (Volume 3) #1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Batman (Volume 3) #105
  3. Batman: The Knight #4
  4. Batman: The Knight #4
  5. Batman: The Knight #5
  6. Batman: Urban Legends #11
  7. Batman: Urban Legends #12
  8. Batman: The Knight #6
  9. Batman: The Knight #8
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Batman (Volume 3) #102
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Batman (Volume 3) #103
  12. Batman: The Knight #8
  13. Batman: The Knight #9
  14. Batman: The Knight #10
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Batman (Volume 3) #105
  16. Batman Incorporated (Volume 3) #3
  17. Batman Incorporated (Volume 3) #5
  18. 18.0 18.1 Batman (Volume 3) #104
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Batman (Volume 3) #106
  20. Batman (Volume 3) #110
  21. Batman (Volume 3) #111
  22. Batman (Volume 3) #116
  23. Batman: Fear State: Omega #1
  24. 24.0 24.1 Batman 2022 Annual (Volume 3) #1
  25. Batman (Volume 3) #123
  26. Shadow War Zone #1
  27. Deathstroke Inc. #9
  28. Robin (Volume 3) #14
  29. Shadow War: Omega #1
  30. 30.0 30.1 Batman: The Knight #6
  31. Deathstroke Inc. #9
  32. Robin (Volume 3) #14
  33. Batman: The Knight #4
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 Batman (Volume 3) #107
  35. Batman (Volume 3) #105
  36. Batman Incorporated (Volume 3) #1
  37. Batman Incorporated (Volume 3) #2
  38. Batman: The Knight #5
  39. Batman: The Knight #5
  40. Batman Incorporated (Volume 3) #2
  41. Batman (Volume 3) #110
  42. Batman: The Knight #10
  43. Batman: The Knight #10
  44. DC Pride 2023 #1
  45. Robin (Volume 3) #14
  46. Robin (Volume 3) #14
  47. DC Pride 2023 #1



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