Credits: Keith Giffen (plot & pencils), Alan Grant (script), Bill Reinhold (inker), Gaspar (letterer), Mike Danza (colorist)
Summary: War’s human avatar enters the bathroom, shortly after Fate uses his daggers to unlock his chains. War reveals the Four Horsemen’s plan to destroy the world, confident that Fate can’t stop them. When the four “philanthropists” appear onstage, a disguised Fate uses his daggers to kill three of them. War stops time and engages Fate in battle. After Fate kills him, time returns to normal, leaving Fate at the mercy of the security guards.
I Love the ‘90s: The heightened security at the event is compared to the last time “Clinton had a haircut,” which might be a reference to Bill Clinton’s famous haircut on an airport runway. Later, Fate says his disguise makes him feel like “Michael Jackson on a particularly bad day.” I think this is a reference to the heavy makeup he’s wearing to cover his face tattoo.
We Get Letters: The editors continue to defend Fate’s retconned origin with the dubious claim that it’s allowed this series to be friendlier to new readers.
Review: So the Four Horsemen arc has developed for four months now, and it ends with the hero assassinating the villains in their civilian identities while from a safe distance. Yes, that’s an anti-climax, but it’s perfectly in-character for Jared Stevens, and Giffen still gives himself room for a few sick visuals. I’m not a huge fan of Giffen’s art from this era, but he undeniably draws incredible demons, so the Fate vs. War fight is pretty entertaining. (I still would’ve preferred Ron Wagner’s version, though.) Some of the setup for the story, particularly War and Famine’s dinner date preceding the conference, is also executed quite well. If Giffen could’ve kept the Four Horsemen as interesting throughout the entire arc, or perhaps shortened this storyline by an issue, the book could have picked up a decent momentum by this point.