All that Glitters…(Convergence Part One)
Credits: Keith Giffen (writer), Ron Wagner (penciler), Bill Reinhold (inker), Gaspar (letterer), Mike Danza (colorist)
Summary: Following a series of disagreements, the Conclave dismantles. Later, Fate’s apartment is invaded by shock troopers for the House of Emerald. They claim he’s harboring a fugitive, but can’t find any evidence. After they leave, Fate discovers a gem in his refrigerator. The gem turns into Topaz, who warns Fate of a conspiracy to destroy the Conclave. The Emerald soldiers return to fight, and once Topaz realizes Fate is unwilling to help him, he disappears. When the Emerald soldiers also leave, Fate is arrested by local police.
Irrelevant Continuity: This begins a crossover with the other DC “weirdoverse” titles, Night Force, Challengers of the Unknown, and Scare Tactics.
Review: Perhaps the most enjoyable issue of the series so far, the reader now has an idea of what Keith Giffen can do when he isn’t indulging in endless weirdness for weirdness’ sake. The Conclave, for the first time in this specific series, are actually clearly defined (an arbitrating body dedicated to resolving “disputes of any mystical nature”), which goes a long way towards making this issue tolerable. Not every aspect of the story makes perfect sense yet (Sentinel has discovered two peaceful alien races who’ve slaughtered each other, while a U.S. Senator is apparently puking out these aliens in his toilet), but there’s a basic plot here that’s easy to grasp -- a group called the “Gemlords” have manipulated the Conclave and staged a coup, which is setting the stage for their bid for world domination. This works as a painless premise for a storyline, and there’s enough room for Giffen to showcase more of Fate’s obnoxiousness, which is actually entertaining this time (his continued attempts to brush Topaz off and just ignore this mission are pretty funny). This is the rare occasion that a crossover helps a title gain focus; not that I’m particularly interested in a “weirdoverse” crossover, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.