Detective Chimp gave the helmet to Captain Marvel, telling him to toss it randomly into space so that fate itself would choose the new Doctor Fate. After passing through many hands, the helmet finally came to Kent V. Nelson, a homeless former psychiatrist, who is also a grandnephew to the Original Doctor Fate. Nelson at has a hard time believing in magic at all, but after a confrontation with a demon Negal, and help from two women named Maddy and Inca, he accepts his role as Doctor Fate.
Kent was later one of the magicians who took interest in the war between Neron and Satanus in Hell, and opted to intervene. He petitioned Lady Blaze to put an end to the war and return order to hell, but she would hear none of it and attacked him. Though an upstart, Fate still manages to overpower and severely harm Blaze, making his getaway as she tends to her wounds. As Satanus seals up Hell in order to consolidate his power and hunt down those who oppose him, Fate meets up with other magicians trapped in Hell and together they formulate a plan to escape. Fate serves as an anchor for Nightshade and Doctor Occult as they try to find a way through the shadows back to Earth, and they manage to escape despite the intervention of Lobo. In the aftermath of Reign in Hell, Doctor Occult mentioned that Fate as begun to take his role as a guardian of magic more seriously.
When the JSA was attacked by a powerful group of villains, Jay Garrick had no other choice than to bring the still-inexperienced Kent Nelson to the battle field. Fate bluffed the villains to a standoff, which the villains, aware of his predecessor's vast power, but unfamiliar with his own rookie status, fell for, giving the JSA time to regroup and force the villains to run. Unfortunately, while the society was busy fighting the villains, back at the headquarters Mr. Terrific was fatally wounded and Doctor Mid-Nite was unable to save his life. Unwilling to accept that, Green Lantern petitions Fate to resurrect him, which Fate, after a few hours of tedious preparation, attempts to. Unfortunately, while he is trying to bring back Mr. Terrific, Brownstone comes under attack by the same band of villains, and Nelson and Mr. Terrific are buried by the debris. Clawing himself out and angered by the attack at this critical moment, Fate effectively ends the battle by casting an area spell, forcing all the heroes into a state of bliss, rendering them unable to fight anymore. He later finds out his spell worked and Mr. Terrific has returned to life. After the battle Kent elects to stay with the Society, just as his predecessors have done in the past. Kent V. Nelson helps the Justice Society until he decided to go off and hone his spellcasting abilities, making his team mates assume him M.I.A even though he was not.
Doctor Fate possesses a variety of different mystical powers. Generally, even without wearing the Helmet of Nabu, the host can fly, has resistance to harm, has minor telekinesis, and has greater-than-human strength. At his most powerful, Doctor Fate is an accomplished sorcerer, able to rival most other wizards in the DC universe. Doctor Fate has been seen firing bolts of mystical energy, teleporting across the universe, creating solid objects out of energy and transforming objects into other kinds of mater. The full limits of his magical skills are not known and his abilities have varied greatly from one appearance to the next depending on the needs of the story. At perhaps the peak of his abilities he was able to assume control of Jason Blood, Highfather, Darkseid and Orion and harness their powers to take on the Anti-Life entity. In this instance, he was strong enough to annihilate a reality in order to halt the advancing of the entity using a "Mystic Firebreak". Even as powerful as Doctor Fate is, he has been shown to be on the losing side of the long battles with the Spectre, as shown in the Day of Vengeance series.
Helm of Nabu
The helmet that Doctor Fate wears focuses the Doctor Fate identity. It was originally used to house Nabu's spirit and allowed him possession of the host, later only allowed him to advise the host instead. The helmet is what provides the link to Nabu and by not wearing it, as Kent Nelson did at one time, Doctor Fate loses much of its power and knowledge.
Putting on the helmet usually results in its wearer being clad in the other raiments of Doctor Fate, unless the person with the claim to the helmet wishes to prevent it. Villains seeking the power of Doctor Fate have plundered the helmet, in which case the result is typically that the wearer goes insane when they try to put on the helmet.
Amulet of Anubis
The circular device on the collar worn around Doctor Fate's chest and shoulders is the Amulet of Anubis, which gives it's bearer vast magical abilities. The amulet houses the souls of many who have worn the vestments of Fate. In JSA, the amulet contained the image of a farmhouse with the souls of Kent and Inza Nelson, Eric and Linda Strauss, Jared Stevens and Kid Eternity inhabiting it. This dimension has been used as a refuge for the Justice Society Of America to regroup in battle or access the advice of the previous Doctor Fates. Mordru was imprisoned in the amulet for some time.