- You can pretend all you want, Ghost-Maker, that you brain chemistry means you're only doing this for glory. But I know you better than that.
- —Bruce; Batman 2021 Annual
In Dublin, Bruce asks an expert knife thrower, Tommy Tivane, to be his teacher. Tommy says that Bruce must think he's something, when someone says that Bruce really does. Bruce recognizes Minhkhoa, who calls him a spoiled brat who cries himself to sleep over his dead parents. He beat Bruce there, and says he should find his own master. Bruce attacks and says that he swore to take him out for what he did to their master in Morocco. Minhkhoa says that Bruce needs to stop living in the past, and think of the present, or he's never going to be able to hit him. He says that Bruce is going to have to beat him if he wants the teacher, and Bruce says to just shut up and fight him.
In the Gobi Desert, Bruce senses Minhkhoa coming near, and tells him he can't fight him tonight. Minhkhoa says that's not how it works, but Bruce says he'll fight him in the morning. Minhkhoa sits beside him, and says he isn't normally like this. Bruce says that he almost sounds concerned, but Minhkhoa says he doesn't feel things like that. He just wanted to break a few of Bruce's bones before moving onto his next teacher, but Bruce has sucked the fun out of that. Bruce says it's the anniversary of when his parents died, and tells Minhkhoa to leave him to train. Minhkhoa says he's not training, but brooding, and that the point of the exercise is to be conscious of every grain of sand. Bruce realizes that Minhkhoa already trained with the Desert Kings and they slip into silence. Minhkhoa says he's sorry, and Bruce says that Minhkhoa doesn't feel like that, but Minhkhoa says that's not what he's sorry for. He thinks Bruce is going to fail, and it's going to be because his emotions make him vulnerable. He could have killed Bruce at any moment right then, and sees his caring as a weakness. Bruce says that it doesn't and the two proceed to fight.
Bruce is about to leave for Gotham, when Minhkhoa arrives and says that he's not ready. Bruce isn't interested in hearing it again, but Minhkhoa just keeps going. He says that they're both crazy, and Bruce points out that he's not the psychopath. Minhkhoa believes that's why Bruce is going to die, and Bruce asks why that's his problem. Minhkhoa reminds him of how they used to talk about making the world better, that they were the only two smart enough to do it. Bruce asks why he thinks Bruce can't do it, and Minhkhoa says it's because he's trying to fulfill the promise of an eight year old boy. He can't save himself as a boy, no matter how many skills he's learned. Bruce is sick of hearing it, and goes to leave, but Minhkhoa grabs his arm and stops him. He tells him that he can't save everyone, and taking every loss is going to whittle him down to nothing. He needs to let go of his parents, let go of Gotham, of Bruce Wayne. He asks for Bruce to stay and work with him, but Bruce says no. He has no interest in not caring, and says that there's something broken in Minhkhoa. And he's mad it's not broken in Bruce. Minhkhoa punches him and tells him to take it back, but Bruce just tells him to leave. He's about to use his real name, but Minhkhoa says he's not allowed to say his name or see his face ever again. They make a deal to never set foot in each other's cities, and Bruce thinks that's fine. He never wants to see Minhkhoa again.
Bruce and Dick chase down a villain to Singapore, but are met by Minhkhoa. Bruce steps out and has an argument that Dick can't hear. Bruce returns to the Batplane and says that Minhkhoa will extradite the villain to Gotham, before punching the control panel. Bruce apologizes, and Dick asks why he's so upset over Minhkhoa. Bruce explains that when he was training he was lonely until he met Minhkhoa. They'd become close, and Bruce eventually told him why he wanted to fight crime, only for Minhkhoa to become angry and nearly kill him. He'd been angry that Bruce wasn't doing it for the art of crime fighting like her thought, and throughout the years they would continuously fight. They eventually agreed that Minhkhoa wouldn't come to Gotham, and Bruce would never go into any city Minhkhoa set up in. Minhkhoa will get the villain and send him home. Dick asks if Bruce misses his friends, and Bruce says yes.
Bruce enters the Smile Bar, only to find every one of the patrons dead. Barbara questions how, when Bruce finds Minhkhoa's symbol. He says that it was a message and tells Barbara to go dark. She tells him not to cut her out, but he tells her this is personal.
Minhkhoa is about to kill Clownhunter, when Batman shows up and punches him in the face. Bruce says that they had an agreement, that Gotham was his city, but Minhkhoa just tells him to do his job then. He thinks Gotham deserves better as he tries to kill Clownhunter, but Bruce won't let him do so. Minhkhoa suggests they settle this like they did when they were younger, but Bruce won't play a game for the kids life. Minhkhoa wasn't talking about the kid, but Gotham.
The two fight as Barbara chimes in, but can't get a look at Minhkhoa. She asks who he is, and Bruce says that he's Minhkhoa, and he shouldn't be here. Minhkhoa brings up that Bruce used to make fun of his name, and needing a mask and pseudonym to fight crime. He asks how long it took him to start calling himself Batman, and Barbara asks what he's saying. Bruce says he's still mad when Bruce made fun of his name when they were 15, and even more so that Bruce has beat him in every fight since they were twenty. Minhkhoa says that he's only been in Gotham for twelve hours, and already taken out several criminals before even getting off his plane. He proceeds to chase down Clownhunter, but Bruce stops him before he gets the chance. Minhkhoa thinks he needs to shock Bruce into realizing that he's failing, and is going to kill Clownhunter just to make him. Bruce says Minhkhoa is a psychopath, and Minhkhoa says that's exactly why he's better than him.
Minhkhoa throws Bruce through Harley's apartment, and attempts to apprehend her and Clownhunter. Bruce interrupts and gives all the longer plans he had for the criminals, and says that Minhkhoa doesn't understand what Gotham needs. Minhkhoa questions why he would let Clownhunter live, but Bruce argues that throwing him into Blackgate means he wouldn't get help. Minhkhoa says he needs to be permanently taken care of, but Bruce said he's 17 and watched his parents get killed. Minhkhoa believes that Bruce's emotions get in the way of the work, and knocks him out.
Bruce wakes up to Minhkhoa stitching his injuries, and is glad that he's awake. Bruce is about to ask where they are, but Minhkhoa says that Bruce can already tell. Bruce says they're in Arkham, and Minhkhoa says that they're at the one place Bruce truly belongs.
Minhkhoa leaves them all alone, and Bruce eventually gets Clownhunter to stop trying to kill Harley and the kid leaves. Bruce tells Harley to leave, since he needs to have words with an old friend. Minhkhoa appears and says that he could easily get the kid, and Bruce is aware of that. He's not much of a target. The two start to fight, and Minhkhoa asks what it was supposed to prove. Bruce says it wasn't about proving anything, just that he genuinely doesn't want the kid to destroy his life. He could have easily killed Harley, but then she would never have had a chance of becoming a better person. Minhkhoa says that not everyone can be saved, but Bruce believes most people can. Minhkhoa thinks Bruce only sympathizes because Bruce also lost his parents, but Bruce also understands as someone who's helped a lot of kids. He's getting older, but he's not done trying to save Gotham. Caring hasn't killed him yet. Minhkhoa points out that he's gotten closer than most, and Bruce asks if Minhkhoa hasn't. Bruce thinks they've been fighting for to long, and Minhkhoa agrees that they don't have to anymore.
Minhkhoa decides to leave Gotham in the morning, and stick to the old agreement. He jokes that he was kinda hoping that Bruce would come at him with one of his cars, which he was always jealous of, and Bruce says he's making a new one. Minhkhoa asks if it's flying, but Bruce says it's still on the ground and meant for speed. Minhkhoa surmises that it's not a tank, and Bruce says that it's not. Bruce asks him to stay to make Gotham better, and Minhkhoa asks why. Bruce explains that he's lost a lot of recourses and allies, he could use all the help he can get. Minhkhoa says he won't stop telling Bruce what he's doing is wrong, and Bruce is okay with that, since he hasn't had much of it since Alfred died. He's also not going to wear a bat, and Bruce didn't expect him to. His only rule is that he can't kill, and Minhkhoa thinks that's limiting. Bruce says it makes the job harder, but understands if Minhkhoa doesn't want to risk failing. Minhkhoa sees how it is, and decides to take the "challenge". Minhkhoa points out that some of the kids are watching them, and Bruce says he told them to stay down. He suggests he say hello, but Minhkhoa is getting an alert that the Gotham Symphony Orchestra is being held hostage.
The two share a smile and start to run as Minhkhoa bets he can make if before Bruce. Bruce will take it, and Minhkhoa says that he's actually richer than Bruce now. Bruce says that means, he's the one buying dinner.
The Cowardly Lot
Minhkhoa arrives to Bruce's location, and asks if he's just supposed to leave the thief's tied up and hope for the best. Oracle interrupts to suggest they make themselves scarce. Minhkhoa suggests a sparring session and that he can make it back first. Bruce takes that bet and they swing off.
In the garage, Minhkhoa asks if Bruce's neighbor has been ranting about Bruce to the reporters again. Bruce is pretty sure he waits for them to show up, and Minhkhoa says that of course he does, because he hates Bruce. Minhkhoa thinks Bruce acts like he's never had neighbors before, and Bruce says that the nearest house to the manor was a mile away. Minhkhoa thinks the neighbor would hate him even more if he knew what was passing for a Batcave, and Bruce says it's all he needs while he prioritizes mini caves around the city. Minhkhoa says that Bruce also needs to remember to clean up after himself, and Bruce says he'll get to it when he's done dealing with the Unsanity Collective, which Minhkhoas takes to mean in a few years.
Minhkhoa says that if Bruce isn't going to spar with him, then he'll just go find something more fun to do. The two start to spar, as Bruce lists off all of the news organizations the Unsanity's hit, and Minhkhoa suggests that they're punishing those that don't give them good coverage. Bruce thinks someone is using them to change the mood of the city, and Minhkhoa asks what they want. Bruce says that they want to make Gotham afraid.
Minhkhoa is getting his ship in position when he sees several bombs going off in the building Bruce is in. He says it's clever and Harley asks what he means. Minhkhoa explains that Bruce is setting them off in morse code and needs to get into position. Bruce jumps out of the building and Minhkhoa dives out of the ship. He catches Bruce and the two land on a nearby building. Bruce thanks him, but Minhkhoa starts to lecture him on what Bruce would have done if he wasn't there. Bruce says he would have figured something out, but Minhkhoa doesn't believe him. The two run back to the ship, where Minhkhoa patches up Bruce. He says he has an extra Batsuit in the back for when Bruce is ready, and Bruce asks if he stole on of his Batsuits. Minhkhoa decides they can have that conversation later.
After getting attacked, Bruce asks Barbara to get in contact with Minhkhoa, much to Barbara's annoyance. She patches him in and Minhkhoa guesses that the reports of his death weren't true and Bruce asks what Minhkhoa and Harley did with the Unsanity Collective. Minhkhoa explains the situation with Ivy and Bruce says that if everything is stable, to meet him in the garage. He needs his help, and Minhkhoa says he's on his way.
At the garage, Minhkhoa remarks on how crazy things happen in Gotham, but assumed that being on the ground would make it feel oridinary. But it really does just keep going. He thinks it's a challenge to keep himself going through the exhaustion, and gets why Bruce has so many protege's. Bruce tells Minhkhoa to focus, and asks what he knows about mind control. Bruce believes Crane might have planted something in his brain, and would be to dangerous in the field if he was compromised. Minhkhoa thinks Bruce has a high opinion of himself and asks about the device he put on. He explains that it's meant to be a device for short range telepathy, and Minhkhoa calls it a Bat-Mind-Control Helmet. He asks why Bruce is asking him for help and Bruce explains that the device has a chance of frying the moral centers of someone's brain. Minhkhoa sees that only a psychopath will do, and Bruce jokes that he might just be more okay risking Minhkhoa than anyone else. Minhkhoa suggests that he's going to plant an inferiority complex in Bruce's head, but Bruce says he won't because then he'll never know if he wins against honestly or because he's cheating.
They enter Bruce's mind, and Minhkhoa suggests to start with the dirty stuff. Bruce says that Minhkhoa needs to be more gentle, and Minhkhoa gives up on trying to enjoy the experience to look for Scarecrow. They find memories of Bruce being tortured and Minhkhoa asks if Bruce remembers any of this. Bruce doesn't and Scarecrow interrupts them. Minhkhoa asks if he's actually addressing them, and Bruce realizes that the memory isn't his, but implanted in his mind. He has trouble keeping focused and Minhkhoa thinks they've found the subliminal programming. Minhkhoa asks if we just kill the memory Bruce, or if that will kill him, but Bruce doesn't know. Minhkhoa says to write some instructions next time, but Bruce suddenly disappears.
Minhkhoa finds Bruce who is in a different state of mind and attempts to attack Minhkhoa. Minhkhoa reminds Bruce of who he is, and Bruce slowly starts to come out of it. He reminds Bruce that they're in his head now, and Bruce thanks him that. He tells him to take them back, but Minhkhoa takes him somewhere else. Bruce asks where they are and Minhkhoa tells him to use his brain. Bruce realizes that it's Gotham University, but not where he went there, and asks whose memory it is. Minhkhoa admits that it's his memory and explains that when Bruce told him that not feeling emotions held him back, he went to Crane to help him understand fear. Bruce had told him to understand empathy better, and somehow went to Scarecrow for that. Minhkhoa says that he doesn't have to be mean, but tells him to listen to Crane's words on Fear State. He explains that Crane would only be able to instate in the event of a massive terror attack and Bruce brings up the Joker War. They exit the memories and Minhkhoa and Bruce realize that Crane's ideas made it back to Simon State, who wants the Fear State so that it would be ready for him.
Bruce and Minhkhoa are up against Firefly, when Minhkhoa asks if Gotham has firefighters, or if everything is done by vigilante's. Bruce tells him not to underestimate Firefly, and Minhkhoa says he won't as long as Bruce admits that Firefly isn't close to the top of his rogue's gallery. Bruce says that he doesn't rank them, but Minhkhoa says to stop being stoic since they could do this in their sleep. He asks what Bruce's proudest moment as a crime fighter is, but Bruce says that it's the cases where the people he cares about lives were on the line that matter the most to him. Minhkhoa thinks that's a boring answer, and that just because he doesn't care, doesn't mean he isn't proud of his greater feats. Bruce says that Minhkhoa can pretend all he wants that he's incapable of caring and only doing it for glory, but he knows him better than that. Minhkhoa says that he does it for the artistry and starts to tell the story of his greatest feat.
As Minhkhoa is finishing up the story, Bruce asks what happened at the end. Minhkhoa jokes that he had her arrested, but Bruce knows Minhkhoa isn't telling him the truth. Minhkhoa doesn't want Bruce ruining it with his outdated morals, and isn't looking for a lecture. Bruce points out that Minhkhoa spent a lot of time on one crimelord, and there's a reason why the victory matters to him so much. Why he cares. Minhkhoa thinks back on his reasons, but says that Bruce's theory doesn't make sense. He doesn't care about anything. Bruce wants to talk more, but Minhkhoa then suggests a race, which Bruce takes him up on.
- Minhkhoa says he didn't know Bruce when he first came to Gotham.
- Minhkhoa believes Bruce should burn Gotham to the ground and start over.
- Minhkhoa says he's better than Batman and here to prove it.
- Dick mentions that Bruce asked Minhkhoa to be part of Batman Inc, but it didn't go well.
- Dick says that Bruce has never had a relationship like the one he had with Minhkhoa.
- Bruce tells Minhkhoa not to kill, and Minhkhoa promises to only maim, but Bruce tells him not to do that either.
- Bruce tells Barbara to call Minhkhoa, since he's resistant to fear toxin.
- Minhkhoa says he created the Haunt to top the original Batcave.
- Minhkhoa asks Barbara how he can clean up Bruce's mess.
- Minhkhoa tells Barbara to inform the Batfamily, that if they both die it's Bruce's fault.
- Minhkhoa says that he likes Bruce's friends.
- Bruce orders Minhkhoa to open the doors of the ship so they can evacuate.
- Minhkhoa remarks on how Bruce barely sleeps.
- Bruce suggests he and Minhkhoa go through all the stuff in the boxes sometime.
- Minhkhoa hopes killing the memory Bruce is a metaphor, and he won't get stuck in Bruce's mind forever.
- Minhkhoa mentions that he made a promise to a dear friend not to kill anyone.
- Bruce mentions that Minhkhoa told him about Ivy's vines wrapped around the city.
- When Babs suggest Bruce train with Khoa, Bruce tells her that he left Gotham to train Clowhunter.
Batman 2021 Annual
- Minhkhoa says that Bruce should be quiet and listen to his story.
- Bruce is annoyed at Minhkhoa's morals.
- A flashback shows Bruce and Minhkhoa sparring.
- Dick – “But you miss your friend?”
- Bruce – “Yes”
- — Batman #104
- Bruce – “Thank you, Ghost-Maker.”
- Ghost-Maker – “That was wildly irresponsible. If I hadn't been in position-”
- Bruce – “I would have figured something else out.”
- Ghost-Maker – “Oh, would you have?”
- — Batman #110
- Ghost-Maker – “I have an extra suit of yours in the back when you're ready.”
- Bruce – “You stole on of my batsuits?”
- Ghost-Maker – “We can have that conversation later.”
- — Batman #110
- Bruce – “There's a reason this victory matters to you. A reason why you care.”
- Khoa – “Your theory does not make sense. I am The Ghost-Maker. I don't care about anything.”
- Bruce – “Khoa...”
- — Batman Annual 2021
- Bruce – “I just...what am I doing? I'm on a-a mission, but I don't even know toward what. I keep falling short and I'm worried I'm going to just-just slink back to Gotham as a failure. Maybe Avery is right...maybe I can't become someone else. Maybe I'm...I'm...”
- Khoa – “I-hey...I know it may not seem like it but, you don't have to be the best at everything. You're amazing Bruce. I thought I was alone in the world...but you...”
- — Batman: The Knight #5
This section is in need of major improvement. Please help improve this article by editing it.
GhostBat is considered a rare pair among Batman/DC Comics fans. This is due to Minhkhoa only being around for less than a year, which means that he hasn't caught on in comic fandom yet. The small fandom for the pairing generally joke that the two are exes, given their closeness, but also how often the give petty insults to each other. A common comparison is Minhkhoa being Bruce's "anime rival", given how they mirror similar pairings.
There are a total of fifteen fics split between two tags, on AO3.
- Bruce is one of the five people on the planet to know Minhkhoa's real name, and is one of three to know his birthname.
- Bruce has so far, also been the only character to say Minhkhoa's real name, and also use the nickname "Khoa" with him.