Carl Fowler, also known as Nostromos, was a professional actor who became a con man and acted as a prophet to guile the Gotham City Elite into paying him for life protection.
Carl Fowler was once a professional actor. At some point in his life he had been arrested and convicted of petty larceny. When he was released from prison he did not return to the stage and seemed to fade into obscurity. In actuality Fowler had been biding his time in order to try his acting skills to a different scene: the Gotham City Elite. Acting as a prophet and donning the name "Nostromos", Fowler began making deathly predictions that his partner Lucas,a former special effects artist, would then act out, "proving" the predictions true. Using the gullibility of the Gotham Elite to his advantage, he began arranging for more and more disasters to occur, including sinking gambling cruise ships, igniting oil fields, and causing cave ins. Each "correct prediction" improved Fowler's reputation among those who were "warned" not to invest in those ventures, and as his prestige among Gotham's elite mounted, so did his money.
His scams quickly turned grander, and Nostromos' "predictions" got bolder. After some time, he tricked the Elite into believing an economic collapse was imminent, and conned them into creating a super-fund to "protect" themselves to rebuild both their own fortunes and society. In truth, it was merely designed to leave the followers clueless and Nostromos and Lucas very wealthy. However, the single clause was that Nostromos needed authorization from Ethan Clark.
When Ethan fell prey to Nostromos' "vision", he began making entire life decisions based around Nostromos, and even joined a secret brotherhood. He became so obsessed that he urged his friend Bruce Wayne to join at an upcoming party Ethan planned to hold in Nostromos' honor. At the party, Nostromos "communicated" with the spirits of the astral plane. While in truth he was improvising the entire ordeal, his "predictions" left the group awestruck as Bruce himself was in danger. Using cheap parlor tricks, Nostromos levitated Bruce's drinking glass, and shattered it.
Bruce may have been skeptical, but Nostromos wasn't about to let an Elite out of his realm of influence. He arranged for Lucas to sabotage Bruce's elevator, leaving him at the risk of death. However, Bruce was able to escape as Batman, and claimed that he got off the elevator before it fell.
Nostromos' "prediction" almost backfired, which could have exposed the whole charade to the brotherhood. Nostromos had not predicted Bruce would die, rather he was in danger (which was factually correct), and saved face by saying fate had intervened to save his life. A humbled Bruce apologized for being skeptical, and was recommended for membership in the Brotherhood by Ethan. During their meeting at Ethan's home, Ethan's daughter Lisa burst in, protesting the idea and vowing to begin her own investigation. Bruce invested $10 million in Nostromos' organization in order to convince everyone of his true beliefs (causing Alfred to dryly remark why he worries about household budgeting). Shortly thereafter, Nostromos urged the Elite to transfer all the money they could to the super fund, and used another trick to show news footage of civil unrest, rioting, looting and tenement fires, claiming "The Great Fall" had begun.
Nostromos then beckoned Ethan to withdraw the money and convert it to gold bullion. Though Ethan initially rejected, upon seeing Lisa held hostage (captured during her investigation), he quickly succumbed. However, Batman had already set up his own theatrics, and attempted to lure Lucas and Nostromos away. As Lucas battled the Dark Knight, Nostromos sent his planetary model machine haywire, placing Lisa in grave danger. Though he attempted to escape, Nostromos was stopped by Batman, who rescued Lisa shortly thereafter. Fowler and Lucas were then arrested, and the money was returned to the Elite.
Equipment and Abilities
Carl Fowler had no metahuman abilities. His only talent was that of an actor, which he used to fool the Gotham Elite. Not a physically intimidating man, Fowler left the majority of the grunt work to his partner Lucas.