Dr Destiny William Shakespeare once wrote in his play, Hamlet: 'To sleep perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause'. My God! What a load of old toss! I'd rather watch this 45 minute animated adventure made in 2004. Wouldn't you?

Justice League - Only A Dream

Now if you were a member of the over-worked Justice League, who would you stop from breaking out of jail first? A gang of super-powered villains perhaps? Or would it be the crooked con-artist known as John Dee?

Correct. That's what the League thinks too! The gang, right?

However, after Green Lantern and Batman take down Volcana and Firefly, whilst Superman, Flash, and Hawkgirl, beat up Grundy, Luminous, and Copperhead, guess what the aforementioned Mister Dee manages to do to himself in the meantime?

No. Not that. He doesn't take on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! Although it does look like he could. Huh? Rather, he transforms himself into the skull-faced villain -- labelled Doctor Destiny -- with an ESP machine housed within the prisons infirmary. Furthermore, now that he has the ability to control people's dreams -- as you do -- the bad doc sets his sights on his ex-girlfriend and the Justice League, attempting to take them on, one, by one, by one.

But don't fret though, dear reader. As luck would have it, two of our heroes -- Batman and Martian Manhunter -- are both able to stay awake, whilst the other members mistakenly dose off to sleeps-vile -- leaving it up to them to slap everybody back to reality.

Still, that's most probably explains why what next transpires all comes into play when the dreamers all have a very surreal nightmare. As Batman drinks coffee - a telepathic Martian sticks like toffee - Destiny receives a slap on the head - and at the end of the day the rest of the hero's finally get out of bed.

Ironically enough, whilst I am writing this review on 'Justice League - Only a Dream', I'm starting to feel rather tired. Granted, not so tired that I want to dissolve face down onto my keyboard, praying that the Sandman will take me off to slumber land A.S.A.P.. Oh no. Although I'm not too far off, dear reader! I just want to inform you how good this cartoon is first, OK? And then I can.... zzzzzzzzz

Batman and Doctor Destiny in Justice League - Only A Dream

Doctor Destiny in Justice League of America
Oh, bugger! What happened? Did I zone out? No. Not yet. Can't do that! I need to at least present you with some facts about the main villain of the piece, huh? (1) Doctor Destiny was created by writer, Gardner Fox, and artist, Mike Sekowsky, in Justice League of America, #5, volume 1, June, 1961. (2) The doc's original origins were very science based; and involved him creating a device that was able to warp reality to his will. Later on though, his origins were updated; and involved his mother -- Ethel, the former mistress of Sandman's nemesis, Roderick Burgess -- giving him Morpheus' 'Dreamstone' to fuel his device. (3) During the course of his many-many battles within the DC Universes, Doctor Destiny has evolved from a mad genius to just plain mad. (4) Even though the doc does pose a striking resemblance to Skeletor -- who is the main villain from 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe' -- you have to remember that he was created over twenty years before Skeletor was. (5) Did you know that Doctor Destiny shares the same name as Queen Elizabeth the 1st, Welsh consultant -- John Dee -- who was once a mathematician, an astronomer, an occultist, and a navigator too? (6) After the death of Superman in the 'Doomsday saga', this pain in the ass perverted reality once again, thus forcing the mourning Justice League to fight him in a dictatorial future not like our own. Eventually he was defeated by a comatose Blue Beetle, who was recovering from the doomed opus at the time. (7) Although it's not too apparent when you look at him, Doctor Destiny has brown eyes, brown hair, and originates from San Francisco, California. (8) Not only has this caped villain appeared in this cartoon, but he has also shown his bony-face in 'Justice League Unlimited', plus an episode of 'Smallville'.

Doctor Destiny in the SeventiesDoctor Destiny 1st Apperance Doctor Destiny After the Doomsday Saga

Alright. So where was I? Have I finished writing my review on 'Justice League - Only a Dream' yet? Huh? What do you mean I haven't? Oh! OK. So let me just start off by saying that I really did like watching this cartoon. It was very well constructed as a tale in its own right, and also managed to spread a little personality into the mix as well. Thus making the overall adventure that much more pleasurable to follow.

I'm Not Skeletor, I'm Doctor Destiny
For instance, I loved all of those scenes where the heroes had some time to shine in the spotlight. Like when Batman bought some himself a cup of coffee to stay awake, or when the 'dreaming heroes' showed their own inner most fears through their dreams. Moreover, I did get a kick out how Batman and Martian Manhunter were the saviours of this tale; both of them staking their ground in their own stoic way, whilst showing the true meaning of the word 'hero' without any additional bravado or 'paraphernalia'. 

However, to contradict my positively if I may, there were two aspects about this adventure I wasn't very keen on. Firstly, that whole opening gambit about the 'super-villains escaping' did feel slightly secondary to the main strand of the story, inadvertently giving it that 'get on with it' vibe. And secondly, I thought that the ESP angle to Doctor Destiny's 'origin' were too far removed from his own 'original origins', and felt very disposable within the confines of this very personable adventure.

Still, apart from those two little gripes, overall 'Justice League - Only a Dream' was really good animated adventure to watch. And it supercharged my batteries just enough, I was able to complete this posssssszzzzzzzzzzz.........

Doctor Destiny and The Flash in Only A Dream