Meet Gotham’s new vigilantes in “Ghost-Maker/Clownhunter”

Meet Gotham’s new vigilantes in “Ghost-Maker/Clownhunter”

Gotham is a city of pain. The Batman comics have made this point repeatedly. We’re also intimately familiar with the Dark Knight’s philosophy regarding violence: killers don’t deserve to be killed. But of course, not everyone is Bruce Wayne, and not all Gothamites’ experiences would lead them to adopt the same beliefs. This is where two of Gotham’s new vigilantes come in, Ghost-Maker and Clownhunter. Created during the two years of James Tynion IV’s existence. Batman, Ghost-Maker and Clownhunter are two Asian American vigilantes who represent the growing diversity of the Bat-Family.

The premise:

Ghostmaker/Clown Hunter by James Tynion IV collects a series of backup stories about both characters, in addition to other one-shots published during Tynion’s run. Clownhunter is a Vietnamese American teenager named Bao Pham who first met Batman the night the Joker murdered his parents in their family restaurant. Adopting the persona of Clownhunter, Bao bravely but brutally confronts the Joker’s henchmen with a disjointed outfit consisting of knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet with a mohawk and a baseball bat with a Batarang – his Bat – attached to it. Bat.

Ghost-Maker (Minkhoa Khan) and Batman go way back, a relationship later explored in Chip Zdarsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Batman: The Knight series. While Bruce has an aversion to killing, Ghost-Maker does not, as he is a psychopath and does not feel empathy. And while psychopathy has a bad reputation in Batman comics in particular, it doesn’t make Ghost-Maker a bad person. He simply experiences the world differently. As the Ghost-Maker, Minkhoa wants to prove that he can be a better and more effective vigilante than Batman himself.

Let’s talk talents:

As the title of the book tells us, James Tynion IV is the main author of the adventures of Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker. During his stay on Batman, Tynion introduced a plethora of new characters to Gotham City. Arguably, Batman thrives more when he’s surrounded by colorful characters, and that’s exactly the type of energy Tynion possesses. Batman brought. Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker are two of my favorite new characters from the Tynion series, as they each fill a niche character type that I didn’t see elsewhere in the DC Universe.

Tynion is joined by Ed Brisson, who wrote the Batman Secret Files: Clown Hunter #1 and the Batman 2022 Annual #1 one-shots. Brisson’s work on the Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker stories led to the launch of his Batman Incorporated series with artist John Timms. Batman Incorporated centering on a protege from Ghost-Maker’s past who wants nothing more than revenge on his former mentor, which is exactly the type of drama we crave in a Bat-Family book. So, if you enjoy this collection of Ghost-Maker and Clownhunter stories, don’t miss this one by Brisson and Timms. Batman Incorporated.

The book’s artists are James Stokoe, Ricardo López Ortiz, Rosi Kämpe and John Timms. James Stokoe’s illustrations of the first two Clownhunter stories are not to be missed. It presents Clownhunter’s origin with a visceral energy that’s impossible to look away from. The same can be said for López Ortiz’s work on the Ghost-Maker backup stories. It renders the technological underpinnings of the character with a cyberpunk twist.

Some reasons to read:

  • Clownhunter is punk rock through and through. Its design suits the fact that it’s just a seventeen-year-old kid from the Narrows, while still generating its own visual interest. He feels like someone you might know.
  • As much as we love Nightwing and Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl for their stylish fighting prowess, Clownhunter’s methods as a scrappy brawler are a refreshing change of pace. Since the death of Jason Todd, Batman has been meticulous in training his charges, but Clownhunter is all the rage. This brutal energy makes him unpredictable on the page.
  • Likewise, Ghost-Maker’s design stands out beautifully. Her look was designed by Batman artist Jorge Jiménez, who drew inspiration from his love of manga to give the character his unique costume. For a city as dirty as Gotham, one of the bravest things you can do as a vigilante is wear a white suit. His puffy outfit practically makes him float on his panels. I have a Ghost-Maker figurine sitting near my desk as I write this.
  • Since it’s AAPI Heritage Month, one thing I appreciate about Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker is that they aren’t burdened by expectations of being “good representation.” They are not there to meet the expectations of the model minority and that is what makes them so human. As an AAPI myself, all I want to do is see nuanced characters from my community, and Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker deliver on those fronts.

Why it’s worth it:

Look, Batman’s influence is significant in the DC Universe, but he’s not the only vigilante working in Gotham City. And while my love and interest in Batman has no ceiling, I understand when other fans say they feel a little oversaturated with him. This is why stories focusing on individual members of the Bat-Family seem crucial. There are an infinite number of stories that can be told in Gotham without Batman. only be said without Batman. And this is certainly one of them.

If you’re looking to see a different side of Gotham through the eyes of two new characters, then Ghostmaker/Clown Hunter by James Tynion IV is your book. The book is also a launching pad for the stars Batman Incorporated series, so there are more adventures to follow these characters if you love them as much as I do. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker in the future.

Ghost-Maker/Clownhunter by James Tynion IV is available at bookstores, comic book stores, libraries, and digital retailers as a softcover graphic novel. It can also be read in full on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Jules Chin Greene writes about comics for, and his work can also be found on Nerdist, Popverse, and Multiverse of Color. You can follow it Twitter and Bluesky to @JulesChinGreene.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Jules Chin Greene and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be taken as confirmation or denial of DC’s future projects.