Friday, January 4, 2013

THE BOOK OF FATE #12 - January 1998

One Man’s Fate
Credits: Keith Giffen (plot and pencils), Alan Grant (script), Bill Reinhold (inker), Gaspar (letterer), Mike Danza (colorist)

Summary: While exiled from Earth, Fate and Lobo go barhopping. Meanwhile, Dr. Occult threatens Sentinel not to pursue his lawsuit against Fate, Amethyst cancels her plans for Fate, and Chaos and Order decide Fate has kept the balance between them too well. Lobo takes Fate back to Earth to drink at a bar for forgotten heroes. After Lobo passes out, Fate’s forcibly thrown outside. He wanders the alley, wondering if the universe has turned its back on him.

Irrelevant Continuity: Fate has apparently lost his powers by the end of the story, presumably after Chaos and Order choose to ignore him.

Review: Four issues after the letter column promised that Lobo wouldn’t be appearing in this title, Lobo appears in this title. I don’t think Lobo was considered that much of a sales draw by late 1997, so presumably he’s here because Giffen feels like using him again. This is largely a joke issue, mocking the public’s refusal to accept Fate as a protagonist, so theoretically Lobo wouldn’t be out of place for at least this story. It turns out that neither Giffen nor Grant has too many great jokes in mind for the character, unfortunately, so he spends the issue reciting his old punch lines and making a few references to his powerful farts. Some of the meta-humor does work, though. Amethyst outright declares her plans for Fate “cancelled” due to the universe’s lack of interest in him. Chaos and Order decide that he hasn’t tilted the balance one way or the other, making him such a dull protector of the balance he isn’t worth noticing. And Guy Gardner’s bar for cancelled DC heroes, all of whom can’t stand Fate, is amusing.

So, as it turns out, it’s okay to hate Fate. This version, at least. Good. What a waste of Ron Wagner and Bill Reinhold, though.

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