Post Traumatic Super Hero Movie Syndrome #2: Mask of the Phantasm


Welcome back to the second edition of Post Traumatic Super Hero Movie Syndrome. This time I saw Mask of the Phantasm so you know what that means.

Right off the bat I notice this movie has a terrific soundtrack. This was a good sign for this movie. I was not wrong. The movie starts out with a group of men in suits being shown fake money. BAM! Batman breaks in to stop them and they run away. They almost make it when a mysterious figure who they mistake as Batman, who is actually the Phantasm, appears and kills them all. When Batman finally gets there, he finds their car was crashed into the window of a nearby building.

It moves from there to a press conference. Of course there’s a city official, named Arthur, who doesn’t like Batman and wants to blame the murders on him. On the other hand you have Commissioner Gordon who always seems to have Batman’s back defends Batman and refuses to believe he is the murderer. When you finally hear Bruce Wayne speak its good to know its Kevin Conroy, who I will never get tired of hearing.

Cut to a party, Bruce Wayne with women surrounding him. As to be suspected there is one women who knows how Bruce is and tries to get them to back off. Arthur calls him out for surrounding himself with women he has no chance with. He mentions that there was one woman in his life that he actually cared about, Andrea.

The movie flashes back to Bruce visiting the grave of his parents when he meets a woman talking to a grave. It shows Bruce’s first time stopping crime wearing a mask and sweats. ┬áBack at home, Bruce is practicing Jiu Jitsu when Alfred tells him he has a visitor, Andrea. He is surprised when he finds out that she knows Jiu Jitsu as well having tripped him.

Back to the current time a round man in a suit, by the name of Mr. Bronski, visits the grave of the man previously killed by the Phantasm, who he believes was killed by Batman. He is surprised when a mysterious figure, the Phantasm, who he thinks is Batman approaches him. In a panic he runs and ends up in an open grave. The Phantasm pushes an angel statue into the grave killing Mr. Bronski.

An elderly man sitting by a fire has a panic attack and needs his oxygen when he reads that Batman is killing the people in his criminal ring. Again, Arthur demands Batman be caught for these murders. Gordon, on the other hand refutes this and suspects someone else is committing these crimes.

Batman visits the grave of his parents when a woman notices him there. He runs off when he realizes its Andrea. Later on during his runs as Batman he notices Andrea and Arthur are having dinner. It flashes back to Bruce and Andrea on a date going on the World of the Future ride. A conversation between the two of them leads her to take him to see her dad, Carl Beaumont.

During their visit, a man with a pointed chin wearing a bowling hat, named Mr. Vilestro, came in, needing to discuss business with Carl. Later Bruce sees a group of bikers hassling a man with a box of money. So of course he has to help the guy in distress right in front of Andrea. The mix of wanting to fight crime and being with Andrea makes Bruce very irritable. Bruce visits his parents grave again to explaining the struggle in his mind to them.

Back in the present Arthur meets with the man with the oxygen tank in an attempt to confirm Batman is killing off his people. Later that day Batman finds a picture of Carl with Mr. Vilestro and suspects something is going on. Flash back to before, Bruce proposed to Andrea and she accepts. Before they get the chance to tell her father, they find a pair of shady men in suits who work for Vilestro are outside who demand Andrea comes inside. Shortly after, Andrea returns the ring to Bruce through Alfred with a note that says she was leaving with her father. Upset by this, he delved into becoming Batman.

Back in the current time, the man with the oxygen tank, now referred to as Sal “The Wheeze” Valestra visits the World of the Future ride. He is surprised when the Joker approaches him. He tells Joker that hes scared for his life and needs help. Cut to the Phantasm breaking into a house looking for the Joker only to find Joker’s camera revealing in fact that it is not Batman who has been doing the killing. Due to this now Joker knows there’s a new villain in town.

While escaping, the Phantasm is caught by the eyes of Batman. Before they are done fighting a police helicopter notices Batman and opens fire on him because they think he is the murderer. He runs but not before getting hit a few times. He leads the attention of the police away from him by pointing the grapnel gun at them with his cape attached. He hides for a bit inside the building while the police look for him. After a while he flees and is found by Andrea in a red car who saves him and takes him back to her apartment.

Later Arthur is visited by the Joker. Arthur still believes Batman is the one killing all these people. The Joker corrects him saying that hes seen the murderer and in fact it is not Batman but someone else. Before he leaves, he sprays Joker toxin, Arthur who ends up in the hospital in a laughing fit. During his visit to the hospital, Arthur is visited by Batman. With a little persuasion, Arthur spills his guts about selling out Carl Beaumont.

The Joker who is currently living inside the World of the Future ride is visited by the Phantasm. He convinces the Phantasm to unmask revealing that it is Andrea. The Joker switches a fan on that starts to suck her into it. Batman shows up riding on the Batcycle and drives it into the fan saving her from impending death. Andrea explains to Batman that Vilestro killed her father leading her to become the Phantasm. They end up in a room with a model of Gotham City. The Joker flies in on a jetpack and grabs Batman. When Batman breaks free, he realizes that the Joker has wired the whole place to explode. Andrea announces to Batman that she is going to stay with the bomb and the Joker. Batman leaves the building just in time before the building explodes thinking that Andrea is dead. It is revealed to the audience that she is on a cruise ship somewhere and has gotten away.

This was an absolutely terrific movie. For the first time ever we see a love interest that really gives Bruce Wayne a whole new depth. Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne sure as hell helped a lot as well. If you are a fan of Batman, animation, or just plain superheroes in general you will love this movie. This may be the best Batman movie bar maybe The Dark Knight.

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Buy it on Amazon: DVD/Instant Video.

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