Jan 29, 2018

The Bat, the Girl, and How He Came to Be

Whenever they ask me what are my favorite Batman movies, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm always comes out in my top 3. It is right there together with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The Bat, the Girl, and How He Came to Be
On Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
by Migs Acabado

I was a big fan of the Batman: The Animated Series growing up. It introduced me to Batman’s world. I remember watching every episode during Friday night right after the X-Men animated series. I quickly became familiar with the characters, and the series proved to be very successful with a movie being made in 1993. What is special about this movie is its story. It delves into Bruce Wayne’s past, on how he met his first love and on how he almost never became Batman.

The movie begins with members of the crime family being hunted down by a mysterious Phantasm which they thought was Batman. The Phantasm then proceeded to kill the heads one by one. At the same time, Bruce’s first love, Andrea Beaumont returned to Gotham.

In flashbacks, we see how they fell in love and how that love fell apart. Bruce was very happy with her, and the happiness caused him to not want to avenge his parents anymore. He confessed to his parents at their grave that love was not part of the plan and he didn’t expect to be happy. He later asked Andrea to marry her and she accepted.

However, due to some deal that Andrea’s father made to the crime lords, they needed to flee the country. With that, she backed out on his marriage proposal and she abandoned Bruce. With Bruce feeling angry and lonely, he became the Dark Knight and carried on with the plan.

In the present day, it appeared that the Joker was also involve with the family and Phantasm is also after him. Batman was able to deduce that Phantasm was really Andrea. At the end of the movie, she and the Joker were caught in an explosion. Batman thought that she died, but she survived and got aboard a ship away from Gotham.

The first time that I watched it as a kid, it had little effect on me. I thought it was just a movie version of the series where typical superheroes beat the new villain and the classic villain. But when I watched it as I got older, I fell in love with it. This is the Spider-Man: Blue for Batman. This is about Batman’s lost love. This is also the first time that I saw Bruce Wayne giving up crimefighting for a girl he loves. I never thought an animated movie would have this kind of story.

I heard the movie’s theme “I Never Even Told You” a few weeks back so I decided to watch the movie again. I can still relate with the story. It reminded me of two heartbreaks: a love that I lost a decade ago and when my last relationship ended two years ago. Both times, I thought it was the end of me . But I was wrong. Every one of us has a first love. During that time, we think that love lasts forever. And when the time comes that you have to go your separate ways, it feels like the end of the world. What happened in the movie is somewhat true. You learn a lot of things when you’re heartbroken. It may not be as big as Bruce’s decision, but it’ll help you in making your future decisions. I may not have become Batman or Spider-Man but those experiences made me tougher and stronger.

Alfred said to Bruce in the movie that it was too late to save Andrea. Whenever a love has ended, it is too late to save it. We have to move forward.

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