I got recommended this character by a friend, however, the only knowledge I have of Fate is from animated continuities, the DCAU, and Young Justice. Both of which use Kent Nelson. So, I was hoping if someone knowledgeable on the character would fill me in on what makes Doctor Fate an interesting character.
Getting into Doctor Fate
- JSA: Justice be Done
- JSA: All Stars (first volume by Geoff Johns and David Goyer, avoid the newer series)
- Doctor Fate (five-issue miniseries)
- The rest of Geoff Johns' JSA run
Kent V. Nelson:
- Dr. Fate: Countdown to Mystery
- Reign in Hell
- Justice Society of America: Bad Seed
- Justice Society of America: Axis of Evil
- Justice Society of America: Supertown
I recommend the Hector Hall stuff the most. I would recommend Kent Nelson or Erica and Linda Strauss stuff, but it's extremely hard to get this days. Maybe in Comixology (I haven't checked).
Avoid Jared Stevens at all costs.
This is all moot in the "New" 52. as, to my knowledge the character hasn't been introduced yet, but what I always found intriguing about Dr. Fate is that his alter-ego, Kent Nelson, was essentially a slave. His parents are killed, in the midst of exploring an Egyptian tomb, that releases Nabu- the sorcerer who powers the Helmet of Fate. Nabu takes Nelson under his wing, and trains him in the mystic arts, eventually getting him strong enough to don the Helmet of Fate. From that point on, Kent Nelson is a pawn in the war between Order & Chaos. You have to remember that he's a child, who has just suffered the traumatic loss of his parents when Nabu, arguably the cause of his parent's death, steps in to raise the boy. Nelson is conditioned, throughout his life, to become this champion of Order against Chaos, but this isn't a life he chose. It was thrust upon him by an almost Godlike mystical being. Over the years, Nabu's persona began to overwrite Nelson's personality, when wearing the Helmet of Fate, to the point where Dr. Fate was really Nabu, using Nelson's body as his host. What's really terrible about this is that Nelson was aware of what was happening, but still put on the Helmet of Fate because he had no choice. Dr. Fate was all that stood between the world and the forces of Chaos. No man of conscience could just stand by and let the world be overrun by darkness, when he had the tools to prevent it. Nelson was willingly Nabu's puppet, but towards the end of his life he really resented it. I always felt it made the character quite fascinating.
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