When it was announced that Tom King would be leaving the Batman flagship title for a new one featuring the duo of Batman and Catwoman, I was excited to see what kind of stories King would tell about the couple.
When it was announced that The Phantasm would be the villain of the series, I was more excited because it is the perfect choice for an ambitious title like this one.
So Who is The Phantasm?
One of the things that is interesting about King’s choice is that Phantasm is not a character from the comics. Created by Alan Burnett and Paul Dini for the 1993 animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, the character’s real name is Andrea Beaumont. In the film, Andrea is the daughter of businessman Carl Beaumont and a student at Gotham University. After meeting a young Bruce Wayne while visiting the grave of her dead mother, the pair bond and eventually begin a relationship.
When Carl’s connection to the mafia forces them to go on the run, Andrea reluctantly breaks her engagement to Bruce and flees the country. When her father is murdered by the Joker, Andrea returns to seek vengeance on the men responsible. Disguised as the Phantasm, she systemically murders the mob bosses, drawing the attention of Batman who tries to save her from both the Joker and herself.
Andrea Beaumont Returns
Mask of the Phantasm was not the end of Andrea’s journey with the Dark Knight. The character made subsequent appearances in the comics and animation. She teamed up with Batman in Batman and Robin Adventures Annual #1 in 1996 as well as an appearance in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Epilogue” where she was hired by Amanda Waller to murder the parents of Terry McGinnis, forcing him to become the next Batman. She refuses to put another child through the same trauma Bruce faced and Waller abandons the plan.
Why bring Phantasm into this new story?
During Tom King’s run on Batman, he had Batman make the decision to propose to and marry Catwoman aka Selina Kyle. He prepared himself to make this huge change in his life and give himself the opportunity to be happy. It’s only fitting that Andrea, the woman who pushed him to choose his mission over marriage, would reappear in his life as Bruce and Selina are reunited.
Andrea’s presence will not only highlight a moment in Bruce’s life when he questioned and almost abandoned his mission for love, but also add drama to the Bruce/Selina relationship. Is Andrea targeting the couple in this arc? Or are Batman and Catwoman flung into a mystery involving Bruce’s former fiance and her murderous alter ego?
Whatever the reason for bringing Andrea Beaumont aka The Phantasm into Batman/Catwoman, I have faith in Tom King and Clay Mann to make her return a must read.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.