Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Phantasm Makes Their Full Batman Catwoman Debut

In Batman/Catwoman #1, writer Tom King brought a beloved character from the animated universe onto the pages of comics by bringing back Andrea Beaumont/Phantasm with the story centering around the Joker killing Andrea's son, a trauma that prompts Andrea to suit up again as Phantasm to finish what she started years ago by ending the Joker once and for all. While the first issue teases Andrea's return as the vengeful killer, it's this week's Batman/Catwoman #2 that truly sees the Phantasm return in all its terrifying glory.

In the issue -- in the "present-day" timeline -- various henchmen of the Joker start turning up dead. It doesn't take long for Batman and Catwoman to deduce that it's Andrea, back to work as Phantasm, taking people out one by one, presumably until she gets to The Joker himself. Of course, readers don't have to wait to figure it out. A page early on in the issue gives readers their first full look at Phantasm, suited up and complete with a bloody scythe.

While Andrea's return to killing and the Phantasm is clearly a huge driver of the story, the issue goes a bit further and starts to truly hint that it's not just Andrea's trauma that is a driving force behind why, in a "future" timeline when Batman is dead and she and the Joker are both old, Selina pays the Joker a visit in order to kill him. While Selina tells the Joker that she "can't ever get Andrea out" of her head and that she begged Bruce to let her kill him over the years, there is much more to the story. Back in the present, Selina appears to be keeping secrets from Bruce. It's something that hasn't ever gone over particularly well when it comes to the relationship between Catwoman and Batman and while Selina is determined to end the Joker, it may not be just to get justice for Andrea after all this time.

"Phantasm has come to Gotham City! Andrea Beaumont, the one-time love of Bruce Wayne, is looking for her lost child, and she’s pretty sure The Joker is involved. So, who better to have as an ally than Batman? And what better way to get to Batman than through Catwoman? It’s a knotted history for this costumed quartet, spanning past, present, and future. What The Joker did to Selina Kyle at the beginning of her career will have deadly consequences at the end of their lives. Tom King’s ultimate tale of the Dark Knight kicks into high gear as the story roars down the avenues only hinted at in the pages of Batman."

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