‘Batman’ 2021 Annual: The Ghost-Maker Saga Reviewed

by Tito W. James


Ghost-Maker’s backstory is revealed in the most bombastic and badass way possible.

This level of action Is what I’d love to see more of from Superhero comics.


The Batman 2021 Annual written by James Tynion IV with linework by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz caught my eye with its anime-infused aesthetic. The oversized one-shot has Ghost-Maker recounting his greatest fight to Batman. Because Ghost-Maker is a cyberpunk ninja-looking guy, the way he tells the story is equally over the top.

Tynion and Lopez Ortiz co-plotted this story to focus on action and it delivers in full. I’ve expressed many times that I’ve found the 20-page format to be too short to deliver a satisfying action sequence in a big superhero book. The extra page count in the annual allows the fights to breathe and the reader can really appreciate the characters’ movements and strategy.

The tone of the comic is off-the-wall crazy fun. Every page had me cracking a smile as Ghost-Maker boss-rushes his way through a squad of anime-influenced baddies. I never thought I’d read a Batman comic with a shapeshifting psycho school girl, but such is the pop culture landscape we’re living in, and I couldn’t be happier.

While the action does take center stage, there is an emotional core to the story. Despite Ghost-Maker’s insistence that he’s an emotionless badass, I wound up feeling for the guy. This level of bombastic fun is what I want from action comics but rarely find. When so many superhero comics are concerned with intricate plots and tie-in events, it’s nice just to have a solid kickass adventure.

Well done, gentlemen. You just made me a fan of Ghost-Maker.

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