FFlashback – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Our Batman retrospective turns to the best Dark Knight film you’ve probably never seen, Mask of the Phantasm…


The One Where: In this cinematic spin-off of Batman: The Animated Series, the Dark Knight is being framed by a vicious new vigilante The Phantasm. Meanwhile, Bruce’s estranged lover Andrea Beaumont returns. Can Batman clear his name and sort out his love life?

Star Turns: For many people, voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker off Star Wars) are the definitive takes on Batman and The Joker. The pair are both at their best here – though as The Joker plays a supporting role, Conroy steals the show. His lighter, more human performance as Bruce is a world away from his formidable growl as Batman. Shout out to Dana Delany – she makes Andrea probably the most likeable of Batman’s film girlfriends.

Best SceneBTAS is known for tugging at the heart, and Mask is no different. A terrific scene that flashes back to Bruce’s beginnings as Batman will truly get you welling up. Having fallen in love, Bruce is considering abandoning his one-man quest for justice. Unsure what to do he breaks down at his parents’ graves in the rain. “I didn’t count on being happy…”

Verdict: Can I be controversial here? For me, Mask of the Phantasm is the best Batman film ever. Not necessarily the overall best movie to star Batman, but the one that best represents the character. Showcasing his detective work, his no-killing rule, the duality of his personality and his commitment to crime-fighting, none of the live-action films get Batman as well as this one. Add in some gorgeous dark deco animation, a glorious score from Shirley Walker and an engaging, character-driven story, and you have the Citizen Kane of superhero animation.

Holy interesting trivia, Batman! Spoilers for Justice League: The Phantasm doesn’t appear again until JL episode ‘Epilogue’ where it is revealed that Amanda Waller hired the assassin to kill the parents of Terry McGinnis (the second Batman). 


6 thoughts on “FFlashback – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

  1. It’s a brilliant movie! I wouldn’t say it’s the best of all but it surpasses the live action stuff. Dark Knight Returns 1 and 2 are stunning, that first part outshone Dark Knight rises which was out in theatres at the same time and went a little unnoticed. Killing Joke will be amazing aswell, I can’t wait for that!

    Phantasm gives a new dimension to Bruce that we never see anywhere else.
    Conroy and Hamil are the best actors for bats and the joker, whenever I read comics it’s their voices I hear.
    I love all the Bruce Timm stuff. The later movies from BTAS weren’t as great but the bar was set so high with this one.
    Great story and I love the tie in to the hidden trivia. I ofc knew that already but what comic book geek doesn’t love continuity!!


    1. It does, doesn’t it? Ah, I really need to see DKR – I’ve heard a lot of good things about it! Yeah, Killing Joke looks really great.

      I agree, Phantasm is a brilliant twist on Batman’s origins, and I think Batman Begins owes something to it. Same here – they just nail the characters so well.

      The later movies aren’t as good, but at least the TV shows kept up the quality. BTAS, Justice League, Beyond… all terrific. Haha yeah, it was a great little nod back to the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you must to to DKR it’s wonderful. They done Year One as well which was really well done but I had never read that story, all I knew was it wad another Frank Miller story.
        The Flashpoint Paradox was another wonderful movie. Actually just go through the entire DCAU Bruce Timm movies there are some real gems. I just wanted thr newest one Justice League vs Teen Titans. Not the best title and not the line up I wanted but for an original story is was rather well done.
        As you can tell I love the animated stuff. Haha!!!


      2. Yeah, it’s on my to-see list, definitely. I have seen Flashpoint Paradox – that was cool. Do you watch The Flash TV show at all?

        And haha yes something did give me that idea!


      3. I do but I’m behind on my tv shows right now. I have everything ready to watch but I’ve been busy with other stuff. I have the final eps of the season for most of the comic book stuff, flash arrow legends supergirl shield…just not gotten around to it.
        Flash this season has be great!


      4. Ah right, I understand that – we are just so spoilt for choice for superhero shows nowadays.

        I love The Flash! It gets even better as it goes on, so you’ve got some good stuff to look forward to.

        Liked by 1 person

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