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Batman: The Animated Series – Prophecy of Doom Review

4 min read
“We are but radios for the cosmic transmitter, tune your receivers, hear the inner voice…”

“We are but radios for the cosmic transmitter, tune your receivers, hear the inner voice…”

What They Say:
Nostromos tries to convince Bruce’s friends that the end of the world is coming and they should transfer their money into his Brotherhood account.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While most of the villains used in the series came from the comics, we often had any number of thugs and mobsters that were created for the show as attempted foils to Batman. With Prophecy of Doom, the show gives us something a little more than just another mob boss or something along those lines. Nostromos is an original character that didn’t find his way into other mediums and has been kept to just an animated universe one. Which is fine as it’s a fairly standard kind of grift character but one played well by Michael Des Barres. He’s a pretty fun guy himself, having been popular in the ‘80s on MacGyver as well as a sting with the group Power Station after Robert Palmer left. As an actor, he’s the type that you see in a lot of shows and go “I know that guy” and all that.

Nostromos is a pretty standard grifter and with Gotham having its share of wealthy and elite, well, there are a lot of marks there. He manages to make his way in through a friend of Bruce’s, Clark, whose daughter (played by Heather Locklear) talks about how she’s convinced that Nostromos didn’t save her father by keeping him off a boat that exploded but rather caused the explosion. Bruce uses this as an in to go and see Nostromos work his show and it’s pretty amusing since it’s corny and over the top, costume and all, but the wealthy seem to be pretty gullible since they worry about so much. But Nostromos puts enough tricks into it that it really gets Bruce’s attention since he’s known quite a few tricksters himself. It’s amusing watching him being kind of mocking of Nostromos while talking through what happened, but it’s what he needs to set him on the path to figuring this out.

And that gets more serious when Nostromos and his partner, a former special effects guy with a criminal past, make an attempt on Bruce’s life in order to frighten the others into giving their money to Nostromos. Taking out Bruce isn’t exactly easy and his surviving puts a crimp in Nostromos’ plan, which is fun to watch as he acts out and especially as Bruce play-acts at being scared in order to help keep the ruse going so he can get closer to exposing Nostromos. It works a familiar path overall but I love how big it goes toward the end when Batman takes over the role and we get the clockwork battleground and the rotating planets in the building that Nostromos uses. Sending his muscle man against Batman doesn’t fare well but it does make for some good material, even if it puts the Lisa Clark character in as a damsel in distress. This was an episode that made for a better and more creative stage for the fight to take place on and it definitely helped to show some of the growth and confidence of the production team.

In Summary:
Prophecy of Doom is a fairly standard episode overall but I like that it keeps things small with the cast overall and has a lot of fun. Seeing Bruce play-act at being scared is always fun and getting Batman mocking someone is rare and delightful. The small supporting cast of the Clarks is decent, as Lisa has some good material midway through, but it’s Nostromos’ show overall as he gets to be all big and flashy. The final fight sequence is what bumps this up though as it’s creative and stylish in a lot of ways, from direction to camera placement to the visual design of it all. It’s a slow start but it hits a lot of really good points.

Grade: B+

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