Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Batman 2021 Annual #1 Review


Don't Ghost(maker) Me!

Writer: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, James Tynion IV
Artist: Ricardo Lpez Ortiz, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: November 30, 2021

DC Comics continues giving backup stories Annuals, and that's what we get here in Batman.  Yep, this is a Ghostmaker story continuing from the backups that showed a glimpse at one of Ghostmaker's greatest fights as he went through a gauntlet of baddies to get to... Madame Midas.  Now, if you didn't read those backup stories, James Tynion will fill you in enough that you can jump on here, but the big question is if you did read them, will you care enough to buy this Annual?  Of course, I don't speak for everyone, but here is my answer in review form...

The issue is framed as a discussion between Batman and Ghostmaker as they take down Firefly.  Ghostmaker wants to hear Batman's most outstanding feat, and after Batman says he doesn't play like that, Ghostmaker tells his own.  It ties directly into the past backups, and by the end, we do find out why Ghostmaker has such a hardon to take down Madame Midas.

As I said above, Tynion (re)introduces the villains Ghostmaker has already fought. I might argue that you are better off coming into this cold because those backup stories lead to these lame baddies going down very quickly.  Sure, they get some shit-talk in, but it is the video game cliche of fighting your way to the big boss, and that's just what it is.

Tynion is leaving for his pile of Substack money soon, so this also feels like a last-second Hail Mary to get information out there if anyone wants to play with Ghostmaker later.  We quickly get his name and origin and set up Madame Midas as the villain of his story, whether she remembers it or not.

It all ends with Ghostmaker not telling Batman the fine details, but Batman realizing it...because he's Batman.  I like the bromance between Ghostmaker and Batman, and it's a shame we didn't get more of that in Tynion's run, but I'm not going to cry too much since it was his decision that nixed it.

Overall, I don't care much about Ghostmaker and the backups, and this Annual didn't change that opinion.  He's an okay character, like the other 5,087 characters that Tynion threw at us the past year or so. Unfortunately, most of them didn't have any time to breathe, and giving me last-second details isn't going to elevate them enough to get that excited.  By the way, during the time you took to read this paragraph, Tynion probably tried to introduce five new Batman characters before someone told him his run was over. Maybe one was called Disstrack or something.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman 2021 Annual #1 gives Ghostmaker fans one last bit of information before Tynion leaves DC Comics, and while I'm not sure we needed an Annual to do this, time had run out.  The issue looks good and has some good action and interaction, but I'm just not sure it was necessary.  I guess that depends on whether you needed more Ghostmaker in your life.


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