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Quote1 If Access is not eliminated, everything I've accomplished, all I've built could come crushing down. Quote2
-- Doctor Strangefate

Appearing in "The Decrees of Fate"

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Locations:

Items:

  • Helmet of Fate
  • All-Seeing Eye

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "The Decrees of Fate"

The issue opens to Access running in a sewer. A voice over from Doctor Strangefate explains that Access does not truly understand what he is, but carries the keys to the destruction of everything that exists.

Access monologues that he knows neither where he is, nor what he is supposed to do. He points that he had enough to worry about even before he stumbled on the "thing" chasing him. Figuring that the mysterious creature is gone, Access stops running. At this moment, the creature surfaces from the sewer water and proclaims that it has caught Access. The creature identifies himself as Abominite. He quickly identifies his reasons for attacking Access: the sewer is his home and he considers Access an intruder.

A scared Access attempts to reason with his attacker but Abominite still attempts to kill the intruder. The attacking hand of Abominite passes through a transparent image of Access, as Access' powers activate and randomly transport him elsewhere. The scene shifts to Doctor Strangefate who is getting dressed. He summons his floating cloak and wears his helmet. His face is not revealed.

Strangefate addresses his servant Myx and orders him to summon "all three of them". Myx obeys and mystically summons Strangefate's chosen agents: Skulk, Jade Nova, and the White Witch. He briefly introduces the trio, giving both real identities and codenames.

Strangefate explains to the trio that he once again has need of their services. He reminds them that past circumstances has placed each of the three in his debt. So he has the right to task them again. He says that their mission is to seek out a man and deliver their target to Strangefate. Jade Nova is frustrated that Strangefate thinks that all three of them are needed for such a simple mission. She proclaims that she can probably complete the task on her own. The White Witch agrees, though she considers herself the only agent needed for this mission.

Strangefate proceeds to give more details about the mission. He summons a magical image of Access and explains that this will be the trio's target. He explains that the man is called Access and that he is an outsider and a wild card. His current location is New Gotham City. The full extent and nature of Access' powers is uncertain, but he wields might on a universal scale. Strangefate proclaims that Access is more dangerous than any of their previous foes, including Mephisatanus and Baron Wotan.

Jade Nova expresses disbelief that just one man can be that much of threat. She asks for additional information but her master explains that this all they need to know. The Witch points that to her this major threat looks like a sweet boy. Skulk is more concerned about what would be Access' fate once captured. He asks Strangefate whether Access will be imprisoned in Arkham. Strangefate cryptically answers that he has a more "severe" solution in mind, since Access theatens the very fabric of their reality.

Still not convinced that Access is a genuine threat, Jade Nova proclaims him to be as threatening-looking as Santa Claus. She again offers to fly solo on this mission and take him out. Strangefate looses patience with her and counter-offers to take her out of the mission. He has other available agents to replace her with, like the "Arcane woman". Jade Nova backs down. Strangefate explains that he chose the three of them because they are the most reliable of his agents. None of them has failed a mission yet, and he hopes they will not fail this one either. Fate commands Myx to send the trio on their way, and Myx mystically teleports them away. Before they leave, the Witch re-assures her master that they will get his man.

Once they leave, Myx has a question to ask. If Access is such a dire threat, how come Strangefate relegates the task of capturing him to his agents? Why not face the threat himself? Strangefate points out that he does not expect them to succeed in the mission. But his "pawns" (as he calls them), will help determine the strengths and weaknesses of their target. Strangefate will consequently know what to expect from Access before actually engaging him.

Myx finds this way of thinking to be a familiar aspect of his master. In his view, Strangefate prefers to sit on high and orchestrate, gaining his ends through manipulation. Strangefate still points that Myx has no full grasp of their situation. The circumstances are completely different and at stake are all Strangefate has accomplished in his career.

The scene shifts back to Access. He is lost in New Gotham City and monologues that cosmic beings and combined universes are too much for him to handle. At this point, Skulk (still in human form) approaches from the shadows. He muses that Access looks lost and alone in the world. He claims that he knows what that is like, being an outcast and being hunted. He offers to help Access with this and grabs one of the younger man's arms. Access seems both scared and annoyed, asking Skulk to stay away.

Skulk briefly stands back. He monologues that it would have been so much easier if Access would just come along. Then it would not come to "this", but "it always does". He then transforms to a monster-like form and attacks with brute strength. Access run from him and stumbles into Jade Nova. She transforms from her regular human form to one seemingly built out of green flame. By this point, Skulk reaches Access again and the two agents start co-operating. Jade Nova uses her power to create energy constructs to wrap Access in chains. Access randomly teleports again, leaving the two agents behind.

Access realizes that his powers cause him to teleport whenever he is in trouble. But he still has no idea how this is accomplished or how to control it. He does not have much time to think as the White Witch approaches him. She pushes him on the ground and climbs on top of him. She kisses him and Access gets knocked out. An amused Witch muses that one shouldn't send a girl (Jade Nova) and a monster (Skulk) to do a woman's job.

The scene shifts to the Tower of Strangefate. The Witch delivers the unconscious Access and explains that the other two agents are probably still looking for him. She asks for a reward, but Strangefate offers none to her. He asks her to revive Access and she does so. Strangefate asks Myx to escort her out.

Strangefate then uses mystic bonds to trap Access. He introduces himself and proclaims himself to be the "protector of this universe". Access pretends that he does not know that there can be more than one universe, though Strangefate is not convinced. Strangefate knows that Access is the lone survivor of the two universes that preceded the current universe. He also knows that within Access are the keys for the restoration of these universes. But this act will destroy Strangefate's own universe and this is why he acts in this manner.

Access is genuinely surprises that Strangefate knows so much. He asks how is this possible. In response, Strangefate claims that he is the most powerful entity in the new universe. It was Nabu the Ancient One who instructed Strangefate in the sorcerous arts and granted him his helm. But even before that, Strangefate had considerable psychic abilities. He can read Access' mind like an open book, though he claims that this mind is unlike any other from this universe.

Then Strangefate states his intentions. To preserve this universe and his own place in it, he will eliminate Access. Access responds that nothing in this universe is supposed to exist. He struggles to escape though he can not move at all. Strangefate points that, while in his sanctum, Access can not teleport.

Strangefate uses a talisman in his uniform, called "the All-Seeing Eye" to gaze to the core of Access' being. He attempts to erase everything that makes Access and to destroy the shards of the previous universes carried within the captive. Access screams in agony. But then Strangefate stops, as he is shocked. The shards are not within Access at all and he does not know where else they could be. He was not prepared for this and does not know what to do.

The mystic bonds no longer hold Access who manages to stand up. He explains that he hid the shards. He proclaims that his intent is to use them to terminate the new universe and restore the two older ones. He then runs to the window, attempting to escape. Still shocked, Strangefate can only ask him to not take his world apart.

Access breaks the window and starts falling from a great height. He attempts to teleport willingly for the first time and apparently manages to do so before reaching the ground. Back in the sanctum, Strangefate is left contemplating his failure. He vowed to protect this universe and serve as its protector. He knows he has failed on both counts. His goals were to create a better world, but these plans are now gone. He drops his mask and his face is revealed: Charles Xavier. He leaves his sanctum and proclaims: "it's over". The story ends there.

Notes

  • The unseen character Mephisatanus is supposed to be an amalgam of Mephisto and Lord Satanus. Both characters are demons who have faced several heroes, and both have at times rules parts of Hell.
  • The unseen character Baron Wotan is supposed to be an amalgam of Baron Mordo and Wotan. Mordo is an archenemy of Doctor Strange and Wotan an archenemy of Doctor Fate. Both are powerful magic users, though Mordo is relatively young and Wotan is an ages-old immortal.
  • The unseen character Nabu the Ancient One is supposed to be an amalgam of Nabu and the the Ancient One. Nabu is the patron of the line of heroes using the codename Doctor Fate and he was the mentor of the original Golden Age character, Kent Nelson. The Ancient One was the mentor of Doctor Strange.
  • The character Hyena appears on a wanted poster somewhere in New Gotham City.
  • The All-Seeing Eye used by Doctor Strangefate resembles the Eye of Agamotto.

Trivia

  • The scenery of the Sanctum of Doctor Strangefate is elaborate and detailed, but none of the items depicted receive an explanation of their meaning. This still hasn't stopped some reviewers from forming theories about certain items.
    • One panel depicts Strangefate next to a large book, that might be magical in nature. A few online sources suggest that this is a cameo for the Book of the Vishanti.
    • There is a sword with the Superman insignia on it. This is probably the Sword of Superman, a mystical item which debuted in 1984 as a new weapon for Superman of Earth-One. It was apparently sentient, magical, predated Superman and influenced part of his origin.
    • There is another helmet in Doctor Strangefate's collection. Various commentaries on the issue point that its design resembles both some versions of the helmets of the Iron Man Armor and the helmet of DC armored villain Monarch.
    • The warhammer in Stangefate's collection that Jade Nova lifts seems to be Mjolnir. One side of the hammer is damaged, which some commentators connect to the damage Mjolnir received in a battle against the Destroyer.
    • Next to the warhammer is a giant coin. Some commentators have connected the item to Two-Face's Coin, a coin wielded by incarnations of villain Two-Face since 1942. Other think this is a version of the Giant Penny. Originally a souvenir Batman gained from a 1947 battle with minor villain Penny Plunderer, it has since decorated the Batcave in most of its versions in media. Some stories even connect the two coins.
    • One item of the Sanctum is a falcon statue. Some commentators suggest that this was based on the Maltese Falcon. Originally the item everyone seeks in the novel "The Maltese Falcon" (1929), this falcon statue has since appeared in the adaptations of the book in film and theater. It has become famous enough to often appear in works of fiction otherwise unrelated to the novel.
  • Mephisatanus might have relatives deriving from his template Lord Satanus. Satanus is the brother of female demon Lady Blaze and their father is the benevolent immortal Shazam.
  • Baron Wotan might have unspecified connections to the Asgardians. The DC character on which he is based is named after Odin. "Wotan" is the Old High German version of the name "Odin". It is cognate to Old English "Woden".
  • Nabu the Ancient One might have unspecified connections to the Annunaki. The DC character is an immortal Lord of Order. He is named after and partly based on Nabu, the Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom and writing. Nabu is featured in mythology as a son of Marduk and Sarpanit.
  • While the original story featuring Doctor Fate had Nabu as a Mesopotamian immortal, several later stories connected him to Ancient Egypt. He has incorporated some aspects of the Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth.
  • The identity of Doctor Strangefate as Charles Xavier was kept secret until the final pages. Reportedly Ron Marz wanted a shocking secret identity for Strangefate and Xavier was available. No other writer involved in Amalgam Comics had plans for Xavier.

See Also

Footnotes



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