This week DC comics released Batman 104. Ghostmaker won the battle against Batman, Harley and Clownkiller, but a battle does not win a war. Batman suffers defeats all the time, but criminals never have what it takes to finish the job. Then again, Ghostmaker does not belong in the typical class of criminals – or vigilantes. Where Batman uses rules and family, Ghostmaker sees those as weaknesses. In Batman 104 he sets out to prove this to Batman once and for all.

Batman, Harley and Clownkiller wake up from their drug induced sleep inside the walls of Arkham. Oddly enough we see Ghost mending Batman’s wounds. When he talks to Batman, he speaks as if they are old friends and as if he ALMOST cares, but of course caring goes against Ghost’s code, or lack there of, yet ironically, his one mission seems to be to convince Bruce that his way is the best. Sounds like caring to me.

Ghostmaker thinks he engineered the perfect test to prove his point once and for all. Clownhunter sits up free of restraints while Harley and Batman are strapped down. On a side table sits a katana. It appears this test will play out in Bao’s head. Harley may be one of Gotham’s good guys now, but that won’t stop Bao from seeking revenge for what she and Joker did to her parents long ago.

I really like how Harley now features heavily in the Batman title. After losing her comic, she has become too important a character to let simply drift into the ether. She seems to enjoy her new home her, well…maybe enjoy is too strong a word.

Batman 104 – Mounting a Rescue

On the outside, Barbara, who had been in contact with Batman during the fight, continues to attempt to track him down. When in trouble she turns to her dearest friend, Nightwing. Nightwing gives us a nice tale of his one encounter with Ghostmaker. His story really helps add even more depth to the relationship between Bruce and his ruthless counterpart. He also tells Barbara that her searching won’t amount to anything with the way Ghostmaker operates.

Leave it to Batgirls 2 and 3 to find an answer. I refer to Spoiler (Steph Brown) and Cassandra Cain. I love Spoilers line about ‘If there can be a billion Robins, I don’t see why we can’t have three Batgirls.’ While I don’t know the specific how or whys, a clue spelled out in plants wreaks strongly of Poison Ivy. Once again showing Harley saves the day whether she means to or not.

Batman 104 – Final Thoughts

I really like this issue. We get some more insight into the seemingly complicated relationship between Bruce and Ghostmaker. We also see a good chunk of Batman’s supporting family involved, and yes. Harley now belongs in that group. While nothing more than throw away lines, there were some humorous quips in here too.

Help is on the way, but can they reach our heroes in time? If they do will they even be enough to stand up to Ghostmaker? Of course the biggest question for next issue is who will stop Bao from beheading Harley?!