Series: Doctor Fate
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist: Sonny Liew, with Lee Loughridge
Publisher: DC Comics
Summary from Comixology: You thought global warming was bad? Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of Dead, is preparing the flood to wash the world away. Standing in his way? An overwhelmed Brooklyn med student who’s been handed the helmet of Fate, without an instruction manual.
Doctor Fate is a character I really loved as kid. For those of you who are not familiar with him, I’ll provide a little backstory. The spirit of an ancient Egyptian wizard named Nabu inhabits a magical helmet (The Helmet of Fate, or Helmet of Nabu) and whoever is deemed worthy to assume the responsibility can put on the helmet to become possessed by Nabu’s spirit and wield all the powers that come with it. There have been a couple handfuls of people who’ve worn the helmet since Doctor Fate first debuted way back in 1940, and now, in 2105, a new worthy soul, Khalid “Kent” Nassor, has been chosen to become Doctor Fate.
I’ll admit, while he’s contributed immensely to the comic book world (specifically with DC), I’m not very familiar with Paul Levitz work. I do have the issue of Earth 2 that he wrote during James Robinson’s run and it’s great (issue #15.1: Desaad, from DC’s Villain’s month). Much like with Levitz, I’m not too familiar with Sonny Liew’s work, but I do know that this is probably his most high-profile project to date.
I noticed that they direction the story and character development seem to be going in is similar to what Marvel did with Ms. Marvel, by handing over the title to Kamala Kahn, a Muslim teenager. Khalid is a young adult in college who appears to be half-Egyptian, half-White, and all American. It’s a strong direction for the character, and I sincerely hope that people will back him with even a fraction of the support they’ve showed Kamala.
The artwork is very intriguing. Liew’s style reminds me a *little bit* of Jeff Lemire’s style. It’s cartoonish, and sometimes creepy. If you take a look at these preview pages scattered throughout this review you’ll see what I mean. I really like it. It gives the series really unique visuals that none of the other post-Convergence books have. It stands out in the best way possible.
There is one thing I should mention though… The story picks up rather abruptly in this issue and it turns out there’s a prequel mini-comic available for free online here: DC Sneak Peek: Dr. Fate (2015-) #1
I highly recommend that you read that before reading this issue. It helps the story make a little more sense.
The creative team on this book is building a new world out of an old character and they’re breathing new life into it all. Doctor Fate has always been a fairly underrated, although well-respected, character and I hope this series will be welcomed by the new generation of comic readers. If you’re a fan of Jeff Lemire, or just like the idea of a Golden Age character getting a modern, 21st century, make-over, then you should definitely give this series a shot.
Doctor Fate will be going up against the ancient Egyptian god Annubis, so how about something that really relates. Like, Greek death metal band Septicflesh’s “Annubis”, for example…