Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 2 E 19 The Hand Of Fate

Released from captivity, Karkull, an ancient monster, holes up inside the Planet building and begins to transform the workers. Superman goes to retired hero Dr. Fate for help. Can the Man of Steel convince the combat-weary Fate to resume "the never ending battle"?

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Back in the Saddle: Fate returns to hero duty at the end of the episode.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Fate decides to help Superman after all.
  • Determinator: Superman himself. Becomes a plot point when this is what convinces Fate to return and help him.
    Dr. Fate: Till then I thought it was only the forces of evil that wouldn't give up. I was wrong.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Superman is set up as this, but Fate turns the tables.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Karkull, or so it's hinted.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Fate refuses to help him, Superman goes back to fight Karkull and to try to save the Planet's employees, in spite of not having a snowball's chance in a blast furnace. Played with when this very attitude is what causes Fate to come after him.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted. Karkull could actually kill Superman, and both of them know it.
  • Lovecraft Lite: You didn't think that it would be full-on Lovecraft in a Superman episode, did you? Karkull is eventually stuffed back into his can and everything returns to normal.
  • Not So Different: Unusually, Superman gets this from an ally. When he goes to Doctor Fate for help, Fate explains that he has retired from superheroics, weary from the endless battle. He tells Superman that the two of them are similar, both masters of their own fate, and Superman should join him and likewise leave behind the petty conflicts of humanity. Superman, of course, explains that they are nothing alike.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Doctor Fate has his faith in humanity restored when Superman refuses to give up in a fight against an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Retired Badass: Dr. Fate until the end of the episode.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Karkull, at the beginning of the episode.
  • Shout-Out: a shop called "The Dancing Hobbit" appears.
  • Stopped Caring: Dr. Fate, due to the unending nature of the battle against evil.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Demonstrated on the Planet employees.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Fate gives one of these to his wife when she gives Superman something that will allow him to go back into the fight. She fires back one of her own at her husband for letting him go back alone.
    Dr. Fate: You've sent him to his doom.
    Inara: What do you care?
  • The Worf Effect: The Villain of the Week actually manages to make Superman bleed.