Batman is getting another new adversary for his rogue’s gallery of villains, and that has lit the speculation fire for Batman #100 & #102.
James Tynion IV has already brought the Clown Hunter to life in the “Joker War” storyline, and now he’s adding another villain to the mix.
In the pages of Batman #100, Ghost-Maker will make his debut. It appears this will be a brief look at the new character because Tynion confirmed that we will have a full look at Ghost-Maker two issues later in Batman #102.
In issue #100, not only will Batman have a debut villain to spar with, but the Caped Crusader is getting a new costume. Batman is returning to the Silver and Bronze Ages with a brighter blue look as opposed to the modern black and gray. Personally, I am a fan of the gritty dark color schemes, and it sounds like this will be a one-time-only costume change as the new suit will reportedly be explained in the story.
VARIANTS, VARIANTS, AND MORE VARIANTS
Like all hyped comics, there are numerous variant covers to choose from when it comes to #100. My email has been filled with solicitations for different artists doing their take on the Dark Knight. I will not attempt to catalog every variant because I am certain to miss some, but here are a few to keep your eye on.
The one I see the most often is the Jorge Jeminez 1:25 ratio variant. This one features Batman’s new suit on the cover and is currently selling for about $50-$60. There’s also the Francesco Mattina variant with Joker and Batman battling on the cover. It is a beautiful piece for any Batman fan, and you can preorder that one for about $5.
My personal favorite is the Lee Bermejo variant. It echoes of The Dark Knight Returns, and Bermejo’s realistic art style brings Batman and Joker to life. Second to that is the Bermejo team variant which has been dubbed the “purple glove variant.” While the former will only cost you close to $20, the “purple glove” is frequently listed in the $70 range.
Batman #100 is slated for an October release date.
THAT FIRST COVER APPEARANCE
Be prepared for the impending debate: which one is Ghost-Maker’s true first cover appearance?
In Batman #102 solicitations, there are ample variants for this issue as well by basically the same artists from #100. However, there will be more than one with Ghost-Maker featured on the cover. Which will be released first? That remains to be seen.
After scouring eBay, I am leaning toward the Mattina variant, but I am partial to his work. This issue won’t release until November, and I will have a follow-up with a more detailed breakdown closer to then.
NEW CHARACTERS KEEPING THE MARKET AFLOAT?
These days, it is hard to get terribly excited about a new character. Between Marvel and DC, there is a new addition to the mythos nearly every month. I have reached the point of needing a scorecard to keep track.
In the end, there is no arguing the results of this “new addition” approach to comics. Sales spike when a character is introduced, and it is common for them to reach multiple printings due to their popularity. Now that those subsequent printings are the current rage in the collecting world, one printing begets another.
From Marvel and DC’s perspective, this is good business. In the grand scheme, what is good for business is good for fans. With all the talk of declining comic sales, anything that spurs the market keeps the industry’s heart pumping.