DC's Batman/Catwoman comic has made its debut. Aside from the miniseries giving the spotlight to the controversial modern Batman and Catwoman love affair, writer Tom King also plays with a big, beloved, piece of Batman lore: Mask of the Phantasm. Before Batman/Catwoman launched, King let it be known that he would be bringing back the character of Andrea Beaumont/Phantasm for the series. That was an especially big twist since Beaumont dramatically sacrificed her own life to die in a blazing inferno battling The Joker. Read below to see how King explains Andrea Beaumont's return, and continues the story of Batman: The Animated Series movie.
WARNING: Batman/Catwoman #1 SPOILERS Follow!
Batman/Catwoman takes on Tom King's usual non-linear narrative style, with the story dovetailing between three main timelines:
- Batman and Catwoman's past, during the early days of their respective careers.
- Batman and Catwoman in the present, trying to help Andrea Beaumont find her missing son.
- And Elderly Catwoman in the future, taking a road trip in hopes to settle a grudge.
In the present-day timeline, King gives a pretty succinct explanation of what happened after Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, during a scene of Batman and Catwoman discussing Andrea Beaumont's return. As Catwoman remarks that Bruce has a lot of lovers become killer vigilantes, she also inquires about Andrea and the final events of Mask of the Phantasm. Bruce explains that Andrea is still hiding from Joker, only coming back to Gotham to find and protect her son.
In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Bruce Wayne/Batman had to hunt down a mysterious masked killer named "The Phantasm" who had a scythe attached to one hand, and a penchant for Gothic theatrics. It turned out that Phantasm was Andrea Beaumont, a wealthy girl Bruce met and fell in love with at college, nearly breaking his vow to be a crimefighter in order to marry Andrea. Unfortunately, her father was a money-man who double-crossed the mob and had to flee the country; the mob eventually caught up, and sent hitman Jack Napier to kill Andrea's father. Andrea trained for ten years to become Phantasm and exact vengeance on all those that conspired against the Joker - including a final battle with Jack Napier, who had become The Joker. As stated, Andrea's lust for vengeance saw her fighting Joker in a blazing inferno. At the end of the film, she left Bruce a locket to hint she was still alive, as she boarded an ocean liner to leave the country.
A dark twist in Batman/Catwoman #1 comes when Joker apparently discovers and kills Andrea's son. That trauma has Andrea dig up her Phantasm gear, ready to go after Joker again and finish what she didn't in Mask of the Phantasm. However, the future timeline reveals that Catwoman is on a mission to track down an elderly Joker, who is masquerading as a normal-looking retiree in a mundane trailer park. From the early hints, it seems Joker and Andrea's fight will end in a tragedy that could scar Batman and Catwoman forever.
No doubt longtime fans of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm will have some thoughts about this in-canon sequel story unfolding in Batman/Catwoman. How about you?
Batman/Catwoman #1 is now on sale.