Batman: The Animated Series

Season 2 Episode 6

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Aired Saturday 9:00 AM Dec 25, 1993 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
74 votes

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Episode Summary

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Bruce Wayne must face his past as Batman faces the shadow of it in this feature about vengeance gone wrong.

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  • Batman to the Past

    This film is one of my favorate animated (american animated) films ever and I personally felt was one of the last great ones we'll ever have. The Phantasm villian whom is a great new villian sort of Darth Vader like, is creapy, menicing, from that mask down to that voice. The Joker fit in with the film as the subvillian. Usually having two villians in the same film isn't always a good idea but this film balanced them both out perfectly because it knew who was who and for what reason.

    This film plot is great it really has the noir and tragic senability, since we see what is currently happening is corilated to Bruce's past. I really love how Bruce's past is revealed it's almost similar to Frank Miller's graphic novel "Batman: Year One". Batman's/Bruce's past has always been sort of engmatic, as much as I love the character there was always a lot I don't know about him, this was one of those passages in his life that truely put Bruce's humanity in the light.

    It was interesting to see Bruce actually have a love relationship which is rare in the Batman series and I always felt was a fundamental weakness in the series where Batman/Bruce focused on his lifestyle a lot but never his personal life enough. The way it plays out you acutally believe it from the emotions that are cared out, I even like how the Andrea character is played out thanks to the voice acting of Dana Delany. One of the interesting and emotional moments was seeing Bruce visit his parent grave and it a rainy night. We see he is having second thoughts about becoming Batman and is thinking of a different future, but that by doing that he is breaking a promise. It really put a tear in my eye just seeing the emotion he's going though when you see him actually have tears in his eyes in his need to know if he's doing the right thing.

    Both the past and present really contrast with one another as we see what dreams Bruce and Andrea had back them. But the dreams they held then are gone now due to whatever decision one or the other made in the past which makes it all the more tragic. And that is one of the themes in the film, it really went to show what shapes the future, the three way conflict on who a person is now to who there were then and what they could become. But most of all how one single choice can really become a big turning point into what someone will become. When I saw the one factor on what made Bruce finally complete his path in becoming Batman, I couldn't help but wonder what if things did go the other way, what if Andrea didn't leave would Bruce and Andrea had that happy life togther may'be even of raised a family. Personally I felt they could of gone that direction and been content with it but we'll never know and that's what makes it sad. In a way this sort of reflects what most people feel sometimes, depending on what direction your life is going you can't help but ask questions like what if I didn't go that direction or what if I did ask that girl out? And that's the thing about life you never really know, it's truely the littlest things that can lead to the biggest conclusions.moreless
  • creepy new villain dirty DA's and the Joker...need anything else?

    This (tho it was a movie) is in my super top 5 of DCAU .... "stuff". hhe. Now this is Batman! The first time I saw this movie I was completly uninformed about Joker appearing when I saw him it was like wwwaaawhh!! I mean...the Phantasm is such an incredible villain and mix..."her" with the Joker was a really nice touch. A movie that doesn't get you boring...the flashbacks with the first Batman "but not Batman" mission...the first time Bruce wear the batsuit and Alfred saying....MY GOD!!! it was just amazing. It was Long Halloween for the Valestra mob! MOB! YES...getting the mob involved here was also a great touch, as it was all the cop shooting and haunting Batman. I always get wowed when I hear Bullock saying...FREEEZEEE!!! 10/10moreless
  • This episode chronicles the life of Batman. There are many flashbacks, reveling a lot about Bruce's past and his relationship with Andrea Beaumont. It even reveals part of the Joker's past.moreless

    The episode starts off in present time, where Batman first confronts a new villian, The Phantasm. The Phantasm has just killed a gang member and leaves Batman to take the blame for it.

    The episodes goes back several years in Bruce's past and shows how he meets Andrea Beaumont. She becomes the love of his life, as we go into other flashbacks during the episode.

    Back in present day, more of the certain gang members are being killed. Batman is being blamed for their deaths, and the authority is cracking down on him. In fact, Batman is nearly killed after a major strike attack from the police force.

    Much to his surprise, Andrea is the one to rescue him, even though they had been broken up for many years.

    By then, Batman has figured out that what tied all of these now murdered gang members together, was Andrea's father. The only member who hasn't been killed yet is the Joker.

    In the past, we see a scene where Andrea's father is surrounded by the now deceased gang members. He owes them money and promises them it within 24 hours.

    Realizing he can't get the money in time, he takes Andrea with him as he flees to Europe. That marked the end of Bruce and Andrea's relationship.

    In present time, we see The Phantasm hunting down the Joker. As we have come to know, the Joker is always a step ahead. He has already figured out the identity of the Phantasm. He knew all along that Batman was not the one killing the gang members. The Phantasm pulls off the mask and reveals that she is Andrea.

    In the past we see a scence where Andrea is walking home, years after they escaped from the gang. The Joker (before he was known as the Joker)surprises her by walking out of their house. Andrea rushes in and lets out a scream, indicating that her father had been killed.

    Back in present time, she still attempts to kill the Joker, but of course, he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Batman, who has also figured out the Phantasm's identity, comes to her aid.

    One of the final scenes shows Andrea holding on to a beaten up Joker. The whole place is wired to explode, thanks to the Joker. Andrea turns to Batman and says that she is going to end it all. Then suddenly she vanishes in a cloud of smoke with the Joker.

    In the final scene, we see Andrea standing alone on a boat, indicating that she survived the explosion. Another man on the boat starts a friendly coversaton with her. When he realizes that the conversation is going nowhere, he asks her if she wants to be alone. She responds with, "I am."

    The episode was very interesting and I recommend it to all Batman fans.

Lloyd Bochner

Lloyd Bochner

Mayor Hamilton Hill

Edward Asner

Edward Asner

(voice) Roland Daggett

Bob Hastings

Bob Hastings

Commissioner Jim Gordon

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Alfred Pennyworth

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Bruce Wayne / Batman

Robert Costanzo

Robert Costanzo

Detective Harvey Bullock

Guest Star

Vernee Watson-Johnson

Vernee Watson-Johnson

Additional Voices/Woman at Party/Reeves' Secretary

Guest Star

Jane Downs

Jane Downs

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Richard Moll

Richard Moll

Harvey Dent

Recurring Role

Robert Costanzo

Robert Costanzo

Detective Harvey Bullock

Recurring Role

Loren Lester

Loren Lester

Dick Grayson / Robin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • This movie seems to take place in the begging of series due to Alfred looking a bit younger in this movie.

    • Newspaper Headline
      Radomski to press "I'm innocent!"
      Eric Radomski is one of the creators of the series

    • One of Valestras pictures show him with Mayor Hill

    • Seen on Batman's computer:
      O'Neil Funding Corp.
      Adams Tool and Die
      Puckett & Peterson

      The companies are named for comics writers and artists. O'Neil & Adams worked on many DC books including Batman. Puckett and Peterson wrote on the most recent incarnation of Batgirl.

    • Regarding the Jake Napier alias, the TNBA episode "Beware the Creeper" states that the Joker utilized many a different alias, among them Jack Napier. Thus, in BB: ROTJ, Batman didn't know the real identity of the Joker.

    • They never really have explained what happen to the Joker. The assumption is that Batman's love rejects revenge and turns in the Joker. It's also not explained how Batman clears his name. Interestingly, Batman figures out that the Joker is Jack Napier, hitman, but when he looks up the Joker in BB: ROTJ it says "identity unknown."

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Bruce Wayne: (Athis parents' grave) It doesn't mean I don't care anymore. I don't want to let you down, honest, but... but it just doesn't hurt so bad anymore. You can understand that, can't you? Look, I can give money to the city - they can hire more cops. Let someone else take the risk, but it's different now! (thunder and lightning) Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I didn't see this coming. I didn't count on being happy. (thunder and lightning) Please! Tell me that it's okay.

    • Joker: Tsk, tsk. And to think those tax money would pay these jerks.
      Arthur: You!
      Joker: That's right, Artie. Bring in the press, why don't you. What a photo op! The councilman and his wacky pal.
      Arthur: You're no friend of mine.
      Joker: Oh, Artie, I'm crushed! How and ho the mighty forget. Don't you remember? You, me, Sally and the gang?
      Arthur: What are you talking about? I never met them or you. I work for Beaumont. I didn't know what he was doing.
      Joker: But you knew it afterwards and put it to good use, eh? (chuckles)
      Arthur: What do you want?
      Joker: To find out who's iced the old gang.
      Arthur: Haven't you read the papers? It's Batman.
      Joker: (Presses his joy buzzer) Wrong. It ain't the bat. Nope, nope, nope. I've seen the guy. He looks more like the Ghost of Christmas Future. No where near as cute as Batboy.
      : You're saying it was someone else?
      Joker: Yeah, someone wouldn't mind seeing our old pals out of the way.

    • Joker (to the Phantasm): Whoops! Ha! I guess the joke's on me. You're not Batman after all. Looks like there's a new face in Gotham and soon his name will be all over town... to say nothing of his legs, and feet, and spleen, and head...

    • Bruce: (Talking about Andrea) I couldn't save her, Alfred.
      Alfred: I don't think she wanted to be saved, sir.

    • Joker: For once, I'm stuck without a punch line.

    • Joker: (to the Phantom) You're harder to kill than a cockroach on steroids.

    • Alfred: (while patching Bruce's head) There are certain advantages to having a sturdy cranium, Master Bruce. But then, hard-headedness was always your virtue.

    • Batman: Do you still follow your dad's orders?
      Andrea Beaumont: The way I see it, the only one in this room controlled by his parents is you.

    • Batman: You think you know everything about me, don't you?
      Alfred: I diapered your bottom - I bloody well ought to, sir!

    • Andrea Beaumont: (sees Bruce hurt) Hey, what happened to you? Trip over some loose cash?

    • Bruce: Thanks for the handkerchief, Arthur. You know where you can stick it...

  • NOTES (9)

    • The Phantasm would not appear again until The Justice League Unlimited episode Epilogue which takes place in a flashback.

    • This was nominated for a Annie Award for Best Animated Film.

    • This movie was actually supposed to be the first in a series of BTAS movies, but subsequent production never got underway for any sequels.

    • Siskel & Ebert gave this movie 'Two Thumbs Up' in 1995, two years after the movie was released.

    • Alfred's line at the end of the film -- "Vengeance blackens the soul, Bruce" -- is the only time in the entire animated continuity that Alfred calls him by his first name, not by the usual title of Master Bruce.

    • Vreeland and the women that are fawning over Bruce in the begining also appear in "Holiday Knights."

    • Dana Delany eventually went on to do the voice of Lois Lane in the Superman animated series.

    • The character of Veronica Vreeland has a daughter called Bunny, later seen on the Batman Beyond Premiere episode "Rebirth" as a young actress who Bruce saves from a gang of criminals.

    • "The Phantasm" might appear to be based on "The Reaper", villain who appeared in the "Year Two" comic book series, this character was Gotham City's former vigilante, one that killed his victims as well. He also was the father of Bruce Wayne's love interest and wife-to-be, establishing a certain parallel to this movie. His looks and weapons were similar, except he worn a red armor outfit, and his face was even more skull like.