The Phantasm is a Batman villain scarcely used as a character, despite her introduction in 1993. Recently, however, Batman author Tom King has teased the character’s introduction into DC Comics’ mainstream continuity with the launch of January’s Batman and Catwoman title. The Phantasm is a very interesting choice to include in this series, especially considering her past relationship with Bruce Wayne. Considering that there is not a lot of history to her character though, many fans simply don’t know much about her. To help rectify that, here is our list of 10 things you need to know about The Phantasm.
10 Her Real Name is Andrea Beaumont
Andrea Beaumont grew up in a fairly wealthy home. Though it is unclear how much she knew of her mother, it is known that her mother passed away while Andrea was still very young. However, she still had a relatively positive relationship with her father, businessman Carl Beaumont. While much of her early days are unknown at the moment, it is understood that Andrea had a relatively happy childhood. As she got older, she would go on to attend Gotham University. Here, she would have her first encounter with famed billionaire, Bruce Wayne.
9 She is Bruce Wayne’s Ex-fiance
Shortly after meeting Bruce at Gotham University, the two would form a romantic relationship, quickly falling in love with each other. During this time, Bruce contemplated whether or not to honor his promise to his parents and become Batman, or if he wanted a life of happiness with Andrea.
Bruce would eventually come to decide in favor of his own happiness and propose to Andrea. Shortly after she said yes, however, her father fell into trouble with several of Gotham’s mob bosses. This led him to flee to Europe and take Andrea with him, as he believed she would be less of a target overseas. Heartbroken, Bruce would let her go and shortly become Batman after.
8 How She Became a Villain
Since Andrea left for Europe with her father, it meant that she was also in constant danger. Eventually, her father’s wrongdoings caught up with him and the mob found out where he was hiding. A hitman was sent to their house while Andrea was out. As she came home, she saw the man leaving and found her father dead inside. This motivated Andrea to seek revenge on the mob and eventually don a costume of her own. After a ten year long wait, Andrea finally returned to Gotham as The Phantasm.
7 She Has No Actual Powers and Abilities
While it may appear that The Phantasm has all kinds of supernatural powers, Andrea Beaumont is actually just as powerless as Bruce Wayne. Her suit has tech built in that allows her to quickly disperse clouds that allow for cover and easy escape. Because of this, she also serves as an interesting parallel to Bruce Wayne, as she could easily be viewed as a Batman who kills. Even in the movie, people initially believe that Batman has crossed a line and begun killing. Despite their differences, it is interesting to see the similarities between her and Batman and how they go about delivering justice.
6 She is an Antihero
Despite a lot of Andrea’s methods, she is still technically considered an antihero. She does what she does to avenge her father’s death, usually only targeting the men responsible for it. Of course, this attack and quest for revenge puts her on Batman’s radar, leaving the two to cross paths once again.
Furthermore, in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), it is revealed that Jack Napier—usually considered to be the definitive identity for the Joker—was the man hired to pull the trigger on her father. This eventually puts the Joker in her crosshairs leading Batman to save his arch nemesis.
5 She Was Inspired By the Villain, “The Reaper”
If Andrea’s Phantasm costume seems familiar, that’s likely because a lot of her look is pulled from another DC villain, The Reaper. The Reaper, or Judson Caspian, was created by Mike W. Barr and Alan Davis and made his first appearance in Detective Comics #575.
Much like The Reaper, The Phantasm dons a black cloak, skull-like mask, and scythe hand. Andrea wears a significantly less amount of red, though. She also has a normal, gloved left hand, while The Reaper carries around two scythes on both hands. Despite a few key differences here and there, it is safe to say that Andrea’s take on the costume falls much more in line with what people usually associate the Grim Reaper with.
4 She Has Already Appeared in Other Comics
While Tom King may be introducing the character into DC’s mainstream continuity this January, Andrea has still had her share of comic book appearances. Though minor, she still pops up in the Batman & Robin Adventures comics and even has an entire arc as the villain in the Batman Beyond Universe title.
Though her character never exists outside of the animated universe’s continuity, it is nice to know that she will eventually come to have a larger presence in the DCU going forward. Furthermore, considering her past relationship with Bruce, it will be very interesting to see how King explores the dynamic between him, Andrea and Selina.
3 She Has Appeared in Other Shows
Following her massive debut in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Andrea wouldn’t see too many appearances in other forms of media or animation. However, Andrea would reappear briefly in the Justice League Unlimited episode, “Epilogue.” This episode flashes forward to where Terry Mcguinness is an adult. Though he is still Batman, Mcguinness approaches an elderly Amanda Waller who explains that he was always destined to become Bruce’s successor.
In a flashback sequence, it is revealed that Andrea was hired as The Phantasm to murder Terry’s parents when he was younger. She couldn’t go through with the job, though, leaving Terry on a much brighter path than what could have been. Though it could have been under better circumstances, it was still nice to see Andrea return, as it explains that the studio hadn’t completely forgotten about her. It was also a very clever way to tie the Phantasm movie to the rest of the animated series.
2 She is Alluded To in the Arkhamverse
2013 saw the release of Warner Bros. Montreal’s Batman: Arkham Origins. The game serves as a prequel to Rocksteady’s popular Batman: Arkham series and featured a younger Batman as he comes to establish himself as Gotham’s protector and the World’s Greatest Detective.
Though The Phantasm herself doesn’t make an appearance, there is still a very clever easter egg alluding to her character. In the game’s Batcave, letters from Andrea to Bruce can be seen and explain that she has gone to look for her father. These letters show a great tease of how Andrea could be used in a future Batman: Arkham game. Despite not truly being featured in the game, it is still an excellent nod to her character and how she fits into the Batman mythos.
1 She Was Created For the Movie
Part of the reason the character has very little history is due to the fact that she was created for the original animated movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Andrea had never been seen before in any other media, yet the movie did so well that she was able to make the jump to the show, and now the comics. Since enough of her backstory is fleshed out in the film as well, creators also didn’t feel the need to continue to develop her character.
Originally intended as a made for TV release, executives at Warner Brothers liked the film so much that they gave it a theatrical release. This film went on to receive great reviews while also inspiring a whole new generation of Batman fans. With an all-new villain in the spotlight, Andrea helped make the movie’s story so intriguing while also showcasing a different side to Bruce Wayne.