Dr. Fate

Created by Gardner Fox & Howard Sherman

+ History

Dr. Fate's origins begin over 10 billion years ago. Here, not long after the formation of the universe were born two elemental forces — the Lords of Order and Lords of Chaos. came into beingn of universe struggle for supremacy. One group becomes known as Lords of Order, while the others are Lords of Chaos. (Who's Who Update '88 #2) On the world called Cilia, the Lords of Order manifested themselves as the first sentient race in the universe, a race of energy beings. After millennia, circa 3500 BCE, one of the Lords of Order, descends to Earth from Cilia and became Nabu the Wise, an advisor to the pharoahs of ancient Egypt. (JSA #42)

Nabu became the keeper of several powerful talismans. In the 26th century BCE, he created the Scarab of Kha-ef-re with the help of a time traveler from the 20th century. This was an attempt to overthrow Vandal Savage, who was at that time the pharoah called Khafre. (Regardless, the Scarab was lost for 4,500 years before being rediscovered in the 20th century by archaeologist Dan Garrett, who became the first Blue Beetle) (Time Masters #6)

Nabu's most powerful talisman, the Amulet of Anubis was created a few centuries later (c. 2025 BCE), but the circumstances are not certain. According to the devious creatures called Flaw & Child, Nabu commissioned the Amulet of Anubis from The Cutter, of the magical Gemworld. (JSA #42) Another tale asserts that in the Egyptian city of Bubastis, the mad priest Khalis slayed his followers in the name of the god Anubis, who then granted Khalis the Amulet of Anubis as a reward for his service. (First Issue Special #9) Whatever its origin, this Amulet then became home to the Lords of Order.

During the reign of pharaoh Ramses (c. 1260 BCE), Nabu became a royal adviser and court magician. He was humbled in battle with the Spectre, who killed Ramses for his crimes against the Hebrews. (Spectre v.3 #14) He was also on hand when a Thanagarian starship crashed. From it Nabu recovered a portion of the anti-gravity metal that powered the ship, called "Nth metal" by the dying Thanagarian pilot. Nabu and his ally, Teth-Adam used a portion of the Nth metal to forge a war gauntlet called the Claw of Horus, which they predicted would be instrumental in a battle thousands of years in the future. (JSA #22)

Some time after these events, Nabu realized that his mortal form was weakening. He placed himself in suspended animation in a tomb in the Valley of Ur to await a new mortal host. The tomb lay undiscovered until 1940 when it was uncovered by archaeologist Sven Nelson and his 12-year-old son, Kent. Sven was killed soon after unearthing the vault and Nabu inhabited Kent's body. The merger of these two aged Kent's body to that of a 20-year-old and they formed the first Dr. Fate. Fate weilded two talismans: the Amulet of Anubis and the newly-created Helm of Nabu. Through the Helm, Nabu could advise Kent in the mystical arts, but could also possess Kent's body (Kent's mother, spiritualist Celestine Babcock, died when he was young.) (Secret Origins #24)

Early in his career, Dr. Fate met the Spectre (Spectre v.3 Annual #1) and both of them were founding members of Justice Society of America, in 1941. (All-Star Comics #3) Shortly after becoming Dr. Fate, Kent also met and began a relationship with a young woman named Inza Cramer. Unbeknownst to both Kent and Inza, their strong affinity had a higher purpose: they were originally intended to merge to form Dr. Fate, but Nabu withheld this information from them so that he could maintain his control over Kent.

Ironically, one of Dr. Fate's primary foes, Ian Karkull, was responsible for the extended longevity of many JSA members. On June 28, 1941, Dr. Fate destroyed Karkull, releasing a burst of "temporal energy" that showered everyone present (Atom, Dr. Fate, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman, Johnny Thunder, Sandman, Spectre, Starman and non-members Hawkgirl and Joan Williams). (All-Star Squadron Annual #3)

Shortly after this, Kent realized that the Helm of Nabu allowed Nabu to take complete control of him. He decided to stop wearing the Helm for a while, replacing it with a half-helmet instead. The change cost him most of his magical power, but he retained some super-strength, invulnerability and the power to fly. (More Fun #72, All-Star Squadron #23) He donned the Helm once more in order to find the missing Spectre (#23), but then the Helm was soon sent hurtling through "an infinity of dimensions" in a battle against Kulak. (Squadron #28)

Doctor Fate was active with the Justice Society and its wartime incarnation, the All-Star Squadron through the early 1940s. His participation waned after the war, and at some point before February 1945, Kent recovered the Helm of Nabu. In the late '40s, Kent and Inza married and took up residence in a tower in Salem, Massachusetts. Kent later gave up his career as a physician to follow in his father's footsteps as an archaeologist. (Flash v.1 #306)

Through the years, Dr. Fate remained faithful to the JSA and participated in many team-ups with the Justice League. In fact, Kent was on-hand to help form a second Justice League. (Legends #6-Justice League Intl, v.1 #7)

His time with the League was short-lived. Nabu had helped sustain Nelson's body for years until his power was curtailed. Eventually, Nelson gave up his will to live but Nabu continued to use Nelson's dead body as a host and insisted others call him "Kent."

Then, Eric Strauss and his adoptive mother, Linda, served the Lords of Order — together and separately — as Dr. Fate II. (Dr. Fate v.1 #1-4) Like Kent, Eric was rapidly aged to adulthood and he married Linda soon thereafter. Linda discovered that she could also form Fate by herself and assumed the mantle solo for a time (Dr. Fate v.2 #8) The pair appeared helped the JLI during the Millennium (J.L. Int'l, v.1 #10) and Linda joined the JLI as Fate, staying on for a whole 2 months (Justice League America #31-JLE #8) Both Eric and Linda were killed, and then reincarnated in new bodies. (Dr. Fate v.2 #24)

Even death could not separate the lovers for long. Inza had committed suicide shortly after the Crisis, but when Kent died not long afterwards, their spirits were reunited inside Fate's Amulet of Anubis. In the world within the Amulet they lived an idyllic family life with a young son named Kent Junior, who was apparently entirely illusory. Kent and Inza were together again when they were resurrected in new bodies, with Inza briefly taking the role of Dr. Fate III alone. They died again after being aged to senescence in Zero Hour. They had no children and no other living relatives.

Before leaving the mortal world, Kent and his wife Inza passed the mantle onto Jared Stevens. (Book of Fate #1) Jared called himself simply, Fate. He was killed by Mordru. (JSA #1)

Soon after Jared's death, Dr. Fate was reborn in the body of the child of Hawk and Dove (Hank Hall and Dawn Granger) — a child of Chaos and Order. This child possessed the soul of Hector Hall, who became Dr. Fate IV. (JSA #4) Nabu served as a guide to Hector via his Amulet and Helm. At first, Hector also believed that Kent and Inza resided within the Amulet, but this may be a false construct of Hector's desires. Nabu began to assert more and more control over Hector, eventually taking over completely just as the JSA was battling Black Adam in Kahndaq (Hawkaman v.4 #24) But with the help of his lost wife (Lyta, hidden inside the amulet) Hector regained control and has banished Nabu to the depths of the Amulet. (JSA #63) He is guarded by the spirits of past Dr. Fates.

Dr. Fate's half-helmet first appeared in More Fun #72. The entire series titled Fate (1994) has been removed from continuity. It was wiped clean by the subsequent Book of Fate series.

In the DC/Marvel Amalgam universe cross-over (1996), Dr. Strangefate was Charles Xavier, JLA member.


+ Powers

Appearances + References

  • All-Star Comics #3-21
  • Showcase '96 #4-5


  • More Fun Comics #55-98 (1940-44)
  • Dr. Fate v.1, 4-issue limited series (1987)
  • Dr. Fate v.2, 41 issues (1988-92)
  • Fate, 22 issues (1994-96)
  • Book of Fate, 12 issues (1997-98)