Even after many takes on the Caped Crusader’s origins, Mask of the Phantasm remains unrivalled
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm released in December 1993, and to this day is the best adaptation of Batman’s origin story. It was released as a cinematic sequel to the widely popular Batman: The Animated Series and the cast remained the same, except for the inclusion of a few new characters.
The iconic duo Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill lent their voices for Batman and The Joker and the movie was the first ever Batman Animated film to be widely released in theatres. Unfortunately, it wasn’t successful during that time, but found success as the years went in and fans have grown to appreciate the complex characters and the completely different reason for Bruce Wayne to don don cowl.
An old love, a new nemesis
The movie takes place ten years after Bruce began his war on crime and shows him faced with a dilemma on whether he should continue fighting crime. It’s very similar to Nolan’s The Dark Knight where Batman, no matter what he did, couldn’t stop people from dying or getting hurt. Amidst all this, Bruce’s ex-fiance, from before his Batman days, Andrea Beaumont returns to Gotham. At the same time, he has to face another vigilante who has been taking the Gotham underworld by storm: The Phantasm.
What’s different about this movie was that Bruce actually wanted to give up after his first night of fighting crime. So he decided to lead a more normal life and proposed to Andrea. But Andrea and her father had to leave Gotham for unknown reasons and Bruce, in a desperate fit, decides to become the Batman. The Batman is the product of a failed childhood and a failed adulthood as well, and that gives the movie a more tragic feel.
If you haven’t seen this yet, please do, as it’s fantastic from start to end.
(Cover: Mr. Movie)