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Summary:  Arrested as part of a LexCorp investigation initiated by the Justice League, small-time criminal John Dee spent his days in prison concocting elaborate fantasies of destroying the League and becoming one of their greatest enemies.  His dreams of revenge become reality, however, when he develops phenomenal mental powers after prolonged exposure to an ESP-generating machine called the Materioptikon.  Using his abilities to create a new, imposing identity for himself, John Dee—know known as Dr. Destiny—telepathically invades his enemies' subconscious' and traps them in a series of nightmares.  As J'onn J'onzz struggles to free them from the skull-faced phantom, Batman must track Dee to his hideout while struggling with his own rapidly-encroaching fatigue.

JL Roll Call:  Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hawkgirl

Featured Characters:  Dr. Destiny, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl

Villain:  Dr. Destiny

Supporting Villains:  Copperhead, Firefly, Luminus, Solomon Grundy, Volcana


Cartoon Network on “Only a Dream”:  “When members of the Justice League are trapped in a nightmarish dream world controlled by the evil Dr. Destiny, they are forced to confront their own darkest fears" (courtesy of Cartoon Network).

Stan Berkowitz on “Only a Dream”:  “It reminded me a lot of an episode of the old Batman series, especially when you see a guy has nothing; there’s nothing about him that’s interesting, but he has ambitions.  He’s set up for a crime where he was only a minor part of it, his wife leaves him, and you see his motivation to take that chance with the experiment in the prison.

“Oh, and to toot my own horn a bit, there’s a song in the episode that Batman hums, I wrote the lyrics for it.  I got this call from ASCAP [The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers] telling me I had to join them now.  So, suddenly, I’m a composer.  For someone who’s tone deaf, that’s a pretty big deal" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

Bruce Timm on “Only a Dream”:  “Dr. Destiny is a character who had been in the comics a long time, and we’re always on the lookout for villains who can convincingly take on the Justice League.  Even though his powers are really mental manipulation—attacking them in their dream world—it certainly gave us an opportunity to explore some creepy visuals.  Also a chance to explore what makes our heroes tick by going into their dreams and find out the things that they’re afraid of.  There was a lot of real creepy imagery in that show.  I’m thinking especially of the sequence, after Dr. Destiny has gotten his new mental powers, where he goes back and gets some revenge against his wife.  That’s one of the nastiest sequences we’ve ever done.  It’s also one of the most off-beat cliffhangers we’ve ever done, with the Justice League just drifting off to sleep, creepy children’s music playing in the background.  Not exactly your thrill-packed cliffhanger, but really slow and quiet and creepy" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

Butch Lukic on “Only a Dream”:  “There are times when double entendres like the ‘flamethrower’ one between Volcana and Firefly are too over the top, [but] this one seemed all right.  If you’re young enough, you won’t get it.  If you’re old enough, you might sit there and chuckle" (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine).

Butch Lukic on Superman in “Only a Dream”:  “Superman has to have certain worries or concerns over abuse of his power.  As people, we’d be concerned over the same thing.  You’re with your girlfriend and, all of a sudden, your heat vision comes on by accident" (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine).

DarkLantern on Hawkgirl in “Only a Dream”:  “Hawkgirl’s claustrophobia adds another bird-like quality to her character, doesn’t it?  I’ve never known a bird that likes being caged—particularly in a real small one" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

DarkLantern on “Starcrossed” foreshadowing:  “If Dr. Destiny put up the mental shield [in Hawkgirl’s mind], why didn’t he put it up for the other Justice Leaguers once he knew what J’onn was up to?  [And] if Destiny didn’t put it up, then how did Destiny break through it to enact the claustrophobic dream?  Almost as if the barrier was…geared for J’onn, wasn’t it?" (courtesy of Toon Zone).




Screen Grabs from "Only a Dream"



Commentary coming soon!


Images courtesy of Toon Zone.

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