We learn that everyone in Gotham thinks "Ghost-Maker" is a stupid name. They're not wrong, I'll say that. There is a lot of talk-fighting. That's when people have intricate conversations that require one's full concentration while fighting. A paragraph of dialog can take place in time it takes to throw one punch.
Ghost-Maker calls out Batman for sucking at his job. He says that he's, in 12 hours, brought down corrupt judges, arms dealers etc. We also learn that Bats and Ghostie knew each other back in their training days.
Meanwhile Clownkiller attacks Harley and she brushes him off easily, saying she looks toward the future, not the past where she has a body count that must be in the hundreds.
Ghost-Maker also calls out Bruce for letting a 17-year-old who has killed dozens walk around free. Bruce says he can't send the kid to Blackgate, the guards would help him. I assume that means help him kill criminals. I guess Bruce has never heard of protective custody and maximum security.
Here's the thing. Ghost-Maker is right. Bruce let the kid go after giving him a stern warning and the first thing he did was go after Harley. The fact that she will live is based more on the fact that she's agile. If she wasn't, that's another body on Bruce's fail pile.
Bats crashes through Harley's window and then says he knows about the corrupt judges, he was giving them line to real in their boss. Now that's not possible. He also says he knows about the arms deal, he sabotaged the weapons so they wouldn't work and he was waiting to see who they were going to be sold to. He mentions he had Cassandra Caine keeping an eye on some crooks. We see her in her Batgirl outfit, so cool.
Barb is tracking the fight and Bruce tells her to stay out of Ghostie's network, because it would crush her network. So that's clue.
In all shots, past and present, Ghostie's eyes are covered, so if he's blind, you read it here first folks.
The art is nice, but the main problem is that Tynion stretches out all the exposition and action at the same time. Instead of having a page of dialog explaining positions, and then the fight. It's all one thing and both detract from each other. Also, has two swords in him by the end of the fight. You know Tynion, Batman wore body armor back in Batman #1 in 1940. So I find the idea of him just wearing tights and not body armor to be weak sauce, especially since the Batman movie came out in 1989 -31 years ago - so armor has two historical precedents. Shrugging off killing or maiming wounds through "I am Batman" will power is just a bridge too far for me.
All in all, I just found the plot and the stolen elements from early stories to be uninteresting and wish they would move on. Bruce being "poor" actually doesn't affect this issue at all. So why take away his fortune if the stories aren't going to reflect his diminshed means?
Not a great issue. But I could be wrong.
It was much better by comparison than arcs before issue #100.
You make some fair points (again) but this arc is still keeping my interest (so far). And Ghost-Maker makes some key observations, too, as you say. The standard comic book trope of long-windedness during this fighting, for me, was bearable with these 2 new players getting exposed. Yes, the "Bruce Is Broke" angle seems annoyingly pointless, ATM. Harley was a lot of fun and thumbs up 'cuz she even mentioned her Suicide Squad stint.
It was neat how they worked Orphan in Bat's crimefighting prep. The art was likable - even good to be sourced as a new banner submission. Body armour might've been a smart choice by BM knowing his foe but even then he shouldn't be invincible so maybe GM would've just darted his exposed cheek - maybe he did in that picture?
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