The Phantasm Is Heading to Batman/Catwoman

Not long after an off-brand version of The Phantasm -- known as The Reaper -- made an appearance in DC Bombshells, a new take on the character is apparently coming to Batman/Catwoman -- wearing the costume from the beloved animated movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Whether or not the new Phantasm is Andrea Beaumont is anybody's guess, but it would make sense; she having previously had a relationship with Bruce Wayne, and being a morally ambiguous costumed vigilante, would make her a perfect counterpoint to the character of Catwoman, who not only co-headlines the book with Batman but has been a key player throughout Tom King's run on Batman.

While Beaumont herself has not made her way to the comics yet, a character called Phantasm and wearing a costume not entirely dissimilar to hers appeared briefly in New Titans in the '90s. Beaumont debuted in Mask of the Phantasm and later had an epilogue in the DC Animated Universe. Versions of the character have appeared in Elseworlds-style stories over the years but she has never made her way to the main line continuity. Given the success DC has had with Harley Quinn, that is perhaps a surprise -- but also something it seems Batman/Catwoman's creative team of Tom King and Clay Mann are planning to change.

Batman/Catwoman will launch next year to help King finish the story he began in the ongoing, monthly Batman comic. After rumors emerged that King was being removed from the title, DC revealed that King and Mann were shifting to Batman/Catwoman to finish King's epic. That title will introduce The Phantasm shortly after Detective Comics #1000 brought the Arkham Knight into the main continuity, effectively broadening the DC Universe to include two major players from outside media in a short period of time.

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Beginning in January 2020, DC’s ongoing Batman title, currently shipping twice-monthly, will return to a monthly schedule, allowing DC to incorporate the monthly Batman title into the larger DC universe and continuity and more easily tie in to event stories. Batman's creative team has not yet been announced. The series will ship alongside a 12-issue Batman/Catwoman series by King and Mann. The rest of the Bat-office (Detective Comics, Catwoman, Nightwing, and Batgirl) will have no immediate changes to their creative teams or shipping schedules.

“We’re making changes to our comic book publishing line to set DC up for continued success,” said DC’s editor-in-chief Bob Harras. “We’re starting with the bestselling Batman comic after ‘City of Bane’ wraps up in December. ‘City of Bane’ is an incredible story and an integral part of our overall ‘Year of the Villain’ campaign, and a new Tom King and Clay Mann Bat/Cat series in 2020 fills the gap once Batman begins to ship monthly.”

Featuring art by Tony S. Daniel, ’City of Bane’ kicks off in Batman #75 on July 17th, 2019, when, after three years being broken down by Bane, Bruce Wayne falls to his lowest point. Bane’s minions have moved into Gotham City, taken control and are ruling with an iron fist…and Batman is nowhere to be found. This extra-sized anniversary issue kicks off a storyline that ties together all the threads of the first 74 issues of Tom King’s epic Batman run. ’City of Bane’ will run 11 issues with artwork by series regulars Daniel, Mikel Janín and Mann, concluding in December 2019 with Batman #85.

Batman and Catwoman is a chance to do what Morrison and Quietly did in Batman and Robin: launch an ambitious, accessible, beautiful, thrilling new series that concludes years of stories and defines what Batman is, can, and will be,” said Tom King. “This will be a comic about what the best Batman comics are always been about, how our greatest hero turns fear into bravery, pain into hope, trauma into love. It’s the story I always wanted to tell, and I’m telling it with the man I consider to be the greatest artist in comics, my brother Clay Mann.

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“It’s tough to leave Batman,” added King. “It’s a gift and a joy to be on that book. But I’m leaving it to work on the biggest, most ambitious projects of my career, comics I get to make with the best collaborators in comics. And that’s a gift and a joy too.”

“We’re excited for fans to get more of what they love from DC,” said Harras. “With Joëlle Jones continuing on Catwoman, a new creative team on Batman, plus titles like Detective Comics, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood: Outlaw, and Batman and the Outsiders, our Gotham City protectors and the talent behind them will continue to offer great stories that cater to the tastes of as many Bat-fans as possible in 2020 and beyond.”

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