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DC Showcase: The Phantom Stranger
Directed byBruce Timm
Written byErnie Altbacker
Based on
Produced byAmy McKenna
Edited byChristopher D. Lozinski
Music byLolita Ritmanis
Kristopher Carter
Michael McCuistion
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
March 17, 2020
Running time
15 minutes

DC Showcase: The Phantom Stranger is an American animated short film based on the DC Comics character The Phantom Stranger, directed by Bruce Timm from a script by Ernie Altbacker and produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment.[1] The short was included as part of the home media release of Superman: Red Son.


Set in the late sixties, Marcie, a young girl who seeks enlightenment, and freedom from her controlling parents, rides in a van along with a group of hippies named Dee Dee, Violet, Harry and Ted to California. The hippies are part of a cult led by a mysterious man named Seth, however, the group is unaware that they are being watched and followed by the Phantom Stranger who states "Not all those who wander are lost. But, many are and once lost, they may truly be lost forever." and arrived at the house not far from Los Angeles once owned by a old timer movie star, now owned by Seth. The group goes inside but Marcie says she needs a cigarette break and waits outside. As she is having a smoke, Marcie, disgusted by the condition of the property as the lawn hasn't been mowed in weeks and the water fountain in the front yard was filthy and full of dead fish, cross paths with the Phantom Stranger and he advises her that appearances are not what they seem. He asks why they are visiting Seth and she says that she believe she and her friends are looking for truth, freedom, spiritual guidance in a world torn apart by war, pollution and lies. The Phantom Stranger tells her that truth lies not at the end of a road but inside those who walk the road. As she joins the others, he says that she should stay away from what is inside but when she is about to blows him off, he disappears and heads to the front door. Marcie was shocked to see an eye at the doorknob but she was just imagining things and goes in. The hippies are happy to see her and they start drinking wine when Seth appears. He begins a ceremony by magically lighting candles and they have a dance party, smoking marijuana and drinking more wine until Seth performs a ritual marking foreheads of Dee Dee, Violet, Harry and Ted with the wine from his chalice and then starts kissing them. Seth is wearing a serpent pendant around his neck and every time he kisses the hippies, it glows and they all fall to the floor and then he turn to Marcie. Just when he is about to kiss her, Phantom Stranger intervenes. The latter reveals that Seth is a soul-eating vampire and the Ouroboros Pendent he is wearing gives him eternal life and power for a limited period and had been leading unsuspecting victims to their doom for centuries. Seth and Stranger engage in a sword fight and when Stranger had the upper hand over Seth, Marcie knocked him out cold with an Egyptian statute. As Seth feeds off Phantom Stranger's magical aura, Marcie finds her friends as drained husks. Realizing that Phantom Stranger was speaking the truth, she seduced Seth saying he is a "king of ages" but need a "queen". The ruse works long enough for her to grab the pendent and smashed it to pieces. Seth, his without immortality, turns to dust and ash. Phantom Stranger was pleased with the choice that Marcie made. As they leave the house, Stranger asked Marcie what will she do now. Would she keep searching for her truth. She replies the same words he once said "Truth lies not at the end of a road but inside those who walk the road." She said she would keep traveling until she found it no matter how long or how far and bring it with her. When the Stranger disappears again, she drives off into the city but he is always looking out for her in the form of a giant silhouette in the night sky.



  1. ^ "DC Showcase Animated Shorts to Highlight Sgt Rock, Adam Strange & More". CBR. May 7, 2019.