The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 47: “Mask of the Phantasm”

Happy New Year! It also happens to be the 1-year anniversary of this podcast, The Arkham Sessions, a show dedicated to the psychology of Batman: The Animated Series! On rare occasion, we’ve strayed from the classic BTAS episodes to analyze other Batman content (Tim Burton’s 1989 film, Batman, and the recent DC Animated Movie, Assault on Arkham). To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of our show, we decided to analyze the most requested topic from our listeners, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm! In this special episode, we delve into this extremely beloved animated mystery movie released in 1993 with our explanations about Batman’s struggle with love, relationships, revenge, and morality. Click the audio clip below to listen to the full episode, with some special commentary and audio clips from our listeners!

 

Mask of the Pha211_batman_mask_of_the_phantasm_1024ntasm is known for its introduction of Andrea Beaumont, Bruce Wayne’s love interest during his transformation into the Batman. Ten years after their separation and her disappearance, she returns to Gotham City, reigniting their relationship, but also sparking some feelings of remorse, regret, and confusion between the two of them. Meanwhile, a mysterious new vigilante is murdering central members of the city’s prominent mob.  We discuss some important issues related to Bruce’s psychology and, for the first time, we dig into his history as a young adult to better understand his present state. Is Batman truly incapable of maintaining a relationship while pursuing his superhero mission, or is this simply a strong-held belief based on his hardships and losses? How does Andrea’s mission as a masked vigilante (spoiler!) differ from Bruce’s mission– if she’s willing to murder only those who attacked and destroyed her family, do her goals justify her methods? Listen to our special episode and share your own thoughts and analyses below!

Special thanks to our friends who contributed questions and commentary! Livio Ramondelli, Bernard O’Shea, Eric O’Sullivan, Barbra and Bryant Dillon from Fanboy Comics, Jaime Greene, and Prime Primeson!

Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook.

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4 Responses to “The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 47: “Mask of the Phantasm””

  1. sreil003 says:

    So, I just came across this podcast series and have been mainlining it because it combines two of my loves: B:TAS and Psychology (finished my BA last year). If there were dinosaurs in it too, I’d probably just die from the awesome.

    At any rate, I’m not sure if it was noticed how Andrea saved Bruce at the end by disappearing with the Joker. I think it was pretty clear with all that had transpired during the final showdown that Bruce could not prioritize his own life and safety while Andrea and Joker were present. He was ready to go up in fire until she removed herself and the Joker from the equation. Once they’re gone, being there, or more importantly, dying there suddenly loses purpose. Off the top of my head, it’s the only time I can think of when Bruce was willing to sacrifice himself that’s not directly in exchange for the life of another.

    I get the feeling that she would have stayed and taken Joker with her if Bruce wasn’t there, but she wasn’t willing to kill him too, hence the vanishing act.

    Side Note: I was super excited earlier in the series with the idea of 3 identities being assigned to Batman. I had thought of it in a similar way, but as 2 public and 1 private identity with the only key difference being that I referred to the private identity as ‘Master Bruce’ instead of just ‘Bruce’. I figure Alfred always addresses the private identity, but whether or not that’s who responds is another matter.

    All right. Done geeking out.

    • Andrea says:

      Great observations about the final act of Mask of the Phantasm! Thank you for geeking out with us! – Andrea

    • Andrea says:

      Love your insights! Really appreciate the feedback and your thoughts thus far – and glad to hear the Bruce Wayne/Bruce/Batman identity theory holds up! Thanks for being a listener and keep it coming!

      P.S. We love dinosaurs, too. -Brian

  2. Skyler Sneathen says:

    It is indeed CANON! Years later with the series finale of Justice League they give the history and origin of Batman Beyond as a scheme by Amanda Waller & Cadmus to create their own Batman as Bruce Wayne won’t be around forever. Terry McGinnis’ family was to be originally offed, but weren’t. Waller even hired an assassin, The Phantasm, an aging Andrea Beaumont who doesn’t go through with it saying this goes against what Batman stands for.
    Furthermore, I forget the exact name of the series, but there is a TAS comic book in it, The Phantasm drew a laughing Joker to the sewers but does NOT kill him, noting the person who killed her father is LONG GONE, this ain’t the same person really anymore, so she leaves him there.

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