The following article contains spoilers from Batman Incorporated #2, on sale now from DC Comics.
Ghost-Maker’s role as the leader of Batman Incorporated has already become tumultuous. Aside from some heroes questioning whether he is fit to lead, Batman Incorporated #2 (by Ed Brisson, John Timms, Rex Lokus, and Clayton Cowles) makes it clear that his mysterious past has come back to haunt them all. The issue ended with the introduction of Ghost-Maker’s first sidekick, Phantom-One.
It seems that Ghost-Maker mimicked Batman in more than just techniques; he took on a Robin of his own. Much like Batman’s partnership with Jason Todd, it seems that things did not end well with this secret sidekick. In Ghost-Maker’s case though, his errant partner claims his mentor killed him. If so, then Ghost-Maker managed to worsen the story of Jason Todd, by training his own protégé, only to turn on him.
Ghost-Maker’s Robin is Out for Revenge
After ending his fight with Skyspider, Ghost-Maker tried to get her to trust him, so he could protect her. However, once she saw that he had taken on a new student in the form of Clownhunter, she declined his offer, believing him unable to protect anyone, citing some unknown incident involving another student of his. Though Clownhunter tried to press the issue, Ghost-Maker refused to answer, but it became clear that he had an apprentice prior to him, and something went horribly wrong.
However, fans wouldn’t have to wait long for this mysterious figure to make himself known. Calling himself Phantom-One, he “rescued” Clownhunter from Ghost-Maker, and explained that he was also once his student before he killed him. While the exact circumstances are still unknown, it’s clear that Phantom-One has a deep-seated resentment towards his former mentor, enough so that he’s apparently killing off Ghost-Maker’s teachers, and trying to frame him for doing so.
Ghost-Maker and His Robin Have a Troubled Past
While much has yet to be revealed, Phantom-One’s accusations aren’t outside the realm of possibility. Ghost-Maker has proven to be deadly when he needs to be. It’s really not that outlandish to believe that he might also extend that policy to his own partners if he felt it was necessary. The man once tried to kill Batman, who was his traveling companion for many years. It tracks that he’d be ready to turn on any ally if it suited him. Ghost-Maker seems oddly tightlipped about it, implying there is a painful history, something that is unusual for him. Perhaps he did try to kill Phantom-One, as the rogue sidekick claims, but the context isn’t all there.
Ghost-Maker isn’t someone who just kills for pleasure, there is always a reason behind it, meaning Phantom-One either crossed him or simply had no choice. Either way, it is Jason Todd all over again, but with a much worse outcome. Jason died because Batman wasn’t there for him, but Phantom-One died because Ghost-Maker was there. The two stories parallel one another, but as Ghost-Maker is a deadlier version of Batman, it tracks that the death of a student of his would be worse than dying in the line of duty. Now that tragedy has come back to haunt him, Ghost-Maker will need to address it if he wants to save his new sidekick from his old one.