DCAU #18: Prophecy of Doom

IN THIS ONE... A false psychic cons millionaires out of their money.

CREDITS: Written by Sean Catherine Derek and Dennis Marks (only credited for this one story, Marks was big in 60s animation, not only writing for The Beatles and the Filmation Batman/Superman Hour, but being the voice of the Green Goblin on Spider-Man); directed by Frank Paur.

REVIEW: Though Prophecy's reach may well exceed its grasp when it comes to the animation, I think it mostly succeeds in creating interesting gags and set pieces. The sinking of the cruise ship is an example of what doesn't work, but the elevator sequence does, as does the complicated climax in the orrery, all gears and spinning planets. It's not INCREDIBLE, but its originality more than makes up for sometimes sluggish action beats. It ends on a better note than it started on, shall we say.

Nostromos is a good Batman villain in that this kind of mentalist fits the show's retro feel. He'd be at home in a Sherlock Holmes story, or something out of the Shadow, the Spider or the Green Hornet. I will say that it's a good thing he commits grand acts of sabotage and is willing to murder, or else I'd be a little hard-pressed to care about a story when Batman protects millionaires from their own gullibility. I guess that's possibly Lisa Clark's function in the story. It's obvious Bruce is interested in her and cares what she thinks of him - and she's a worthy match, strong willed and playing Batman on her own time, shame about turning into a damsel in distress - so maybe he takes an interest because it's her father who's being taken in. And maybe he played the part of yet another rich man taken in by a grifter too well, and that's why she was never seen again. Another good woman turned off by Bruce's flighty playboy persona.

IN THE COMICS: Neither Nostromos nor potential love interest Lisa Clark are comic book characters.

SOUNDS LIKE: Well, the big one here is Lisa Clark, noticeably played by Heather Locklear. Need I say more? Michael Des Barres is Nostromos, and he had a recurring role on Melrose Place too, but perhaps you remember him more from MacGyver where he played Murdoc, or more relevant to this episode, as the cult leader in Ghoulies. Lisa's father is played by recognizable TV character actor William Windom, who's done loads, including the role of Commodore Decker on Star Trek.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - A pretty good episode with some neat ideas, though the animation isn't always up to the task, and the stakes are rather weak.


American Hawkman said...

There was a Golden Age villain very much like Nostromos, but he wasn't a Batfoe.


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