Doctor Fate
Textless cover of JSA: All Stars #3. Art by John Cassidy, Mark Lewis, and David Baron.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceMore Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
Created byKent, Inza:
Gardner Fox (writer)
Howard Sherman (artist)
Eric, Linda Strauss:
J. M. DeMatteis
Shawn McManus
Kent V.:
Steve Gerber
Khalid Nassour:
Paul Levitz
Sonny Liew
In-story information
Alter egoKent Nelson
Eric/Linda Strauss
Inza Cramer Nelson
Jared Stevens
Hector Hall
Kent V. Nelson
Khalid Nassour
Team affiliationsJustice League
Lords of Chaos and Order
Justice Society of America
Justice League International
Justice League Dark
Sentinels of Magic
PartnershipsPatrons: Nabu, Hauhet, Shat-Ru, Chaos, Thoth, Bastet
Sidekicks: Stitch, Salem the Witch Girl
Partners: Kirk Langstrom, Inza Fox, Jack C. Small, Petey
Notable aliasesFate
Legacy of Fate
Sorcerer Supreme[1]
Earth's Mightiest Sorcerer[2]
Mighty Sorcerer[3]
  • Various mystical powers gained through the magical artifacts (Helmet of Fate, Amulet of Anubis, Cloak of Destiny); powers typically include spell-casting, illusion casting, astral projection, etc.
  • Knowledge of the supernatural
Doctor Fate
Series publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatLimited series
Creative team
Writer(s)Immortal Doctor Fate
Paul Levitz
Vol. 1
J.M. DeMatteis
Vol. 2
J.M. DeMatteis
William Messner-Loebs
Vol. 3
Christopher Golden
Vol. 4
Paul Levitz
Artist(s)Immortal Doctor Fate
Joe Staton
Vol. 1
Keith Giffen
Dave Hunt (cover artist)
Vol. 2
Keith Giffen
Dave Hunt
Vince Giarrano
Vol. 3
Don Kramer
Vol. 4
Sonny Liew
Ibrahim Moustafa
Tony Harris (cover artist)
Inker(s)Immortal Doctor Fate
Michael Netzer
Vol. 1
Dave Hunt
Vol. 2
Dave Hunt
Lovern Kindzierski
Vol. 3
Prentis Rollins
Vol. 4
Sonny Liew
Colorist(s)Immortal Doctor Fate
Adrienne Roy
Vol. 1
Anthony Tollin
Vol. 2
Anthony Tollin
Peter Gross
Vol. 3
John Kalisz
Heroic Age Studio
Vol. 4
Lee Loughridge
Editor(s)Immortal Doctor Fate
E. Nelson Bridwel
Nicola Cuti
Vol. 1
Dennis O'Neil
Vol. 2
Dennis O'Neil
Stuart Moore
Vol. 3
Peter Tomasi
Stephen Wacker
Vol. 4
Brian Cunningham
Andy Khouri
David Wohl
Collected editions
Doctor Fate: The Blood Price ISBN 978-1401261214
Doctor Fate: Prisoners of the Past ISBN 978-1401264925
Doctor Fate: Fateful Threads ISBN 978-1401272418

Doctor Fate (also known as Fate or collectively as the Legacy of Fate) is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The first version was originally created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, debuting in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940). Several incarnations would appear throughout the character's history as attempts to revitalize the character.[4][5][6]

In the DC Universe, the sorcerous legacy was originally conceived as a protector against the forces of evil by Nabu, a cosmic being whose memberships includes the Lords of Order and Mesopotamian deities.[7] In time, Nabu would choose to empower mortal agents to act on his behest and Lords of Order, most famously selecting Kent Nelson, whose struggles with the role included lacking personal agency and the detrimental effects on his marriage. Other characters, such as Inza Cramer and Hector Hall, would succeed Kent in the role, acting as independent supernatural-based heroes, demon hunters, or are supported by a different cabal of magical entities. Several years after the New 52 reboot, DC Comics introduced its latest and second-longest-running incarnation, Khalid Nassour, the Muslim grandnephew of Kent Nelson chosen by Egyptian deities and archangels.

The character has appeared in various incarnations across multiple forms of media based on both the comics and original characters; the Kent Nelson version notably appeared in the television series Smallville, in which he was portrayed by Brent Stait, and the DC Extended Universe film Black Adam, in which he was portrayed by Pierce Brosnan. The Khalid Nassour version debuted in the Young Justice animated television series alongside others based upon pre-existing characters not typically associated with the character's comic book interations, including Zatara, Zatanna, and Traci 13.


In a 1987 interview, Fox recalled the genesis behind Fate, stating, "Doctor Fate (I originally called him Doctor Droon, but the name was editorially changed) was one of my favorites. I created him and even sketched out the original costume he would wear - but that costume was changed by artists over the years, for one reason or another. To my knowledge, I wrote all the Dr. Fate yarns that appeared, up until 1968, when I left comic book writing to a great degree. I always liked the supernatural; I read Lovecraft, Derleth, Sax Rohmer, Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Whitehead, all the others, Fate was a derivation from my imagination influenced by those writings"[8]

Publication history

Golden Age

The first character to debut as Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson, who appeared in his own self-titled six page strip in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940), during the Golden Age of Comic Books. The character was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, who produced the first three years of monthly Doctor Fate stories.[9] After a year with no background, his alter ego and origins were shown in More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941).[10] Stories during the Golden Age included his love interest, Inza, who was known variably throughout the Golden Age as Inza Cramer,[11] Inza Sanders,[12][13] and Inza Carmer.[14][15][16][17]

When the Justice Society of America was created for All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940), Doctor Fate was one of the characters National Comics used for the joint venture with All-American Publications. He made his last appearance within the book in issue #21 (Summer 1944), virtually simultaneously with the end of his own strip in More Fun Comics #98 (July–August 1944).

Silver Age

Aside from the annual JSA/JLA team-ups in Justice League of America that began in 1963, Doctor Fate appeared in other stories through the 1960s and 1970s, including a two-issue run with Hourman in Showcase #55–56; two appearances with Superman in World's Finest Comics #201 (March 1971 and #208, December 1971); an appearance with Batman in The Brave and the Bold #156 (November 1979); and a solo story in 1st Issue Special #9 (December 1975), written by Martin Pasko and drawn by Walt Simonson. Doctor Fate and the rest of The Justice Society returned to All-Star Comics in 1976 with issue #58, for a two-year run ending with issue #74 and Adventure Comics #461-462 in 1978, and Adventure Comics #466 related the untold tale of the Justice Society's 1951 disbanding. During this period, Inza Cramer's name as such was amended.[18]

Bronze Age

Doctor Fate's origin was retold in DC Special Series #10, and Doctor Fate again teamed up with Superman in DC Comics Presents #23 (July 1980), and featured in a series of back-up stories running in The Flash from #306 (February 1982) to #313 (September 1982) written by Martin Pasko (aided by Steve Gerber from #310 to #313) and drawn by Keith Giffen.[19]

Beginning in 1981, DC's All-Star Squadron elaborated upon the adventures of many World War II-era heroes, including Doctor Fate and the JSA. The series ran for 67 issues and three annuals, concluding in 1987. Doctor Fate made occasional modern-day appearances in Infinity, Inc. throughout 1984, the same year which witnessed the 22nd and final annual Justice Society/Justice League team-up.[20] Doctor Fate also made a guest appearance in a 3-issue 1985 crossover in the pages of Infinity, Inc. #19-20 and Justice League #244. Doctor Fate then appeared in the four-part special America vs. the Justice Society (1985) which finalized the story of the Justice Society, featuring an elaboration of the events of Adventure Comics #466 and a recap of the Justice Society's annual team-ups with the Justice League. In 1985, DC collected the Doctor Fate back-up stories from The Flash, a retelling of Doctor Fate's origin by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, and Michael Nasser originally published in Secret Origins of Super-Heroes (January 1978) (DC Special Series #10 in the Indicia), the Pasko/Simonson Doctor Fate story from 1st Issue Special #9, and a Doctor Fate tale from More Fun Comics #56 (June 1940), in a three-issue limited series titled The Immortal Doctor Fate. Doctor Fate appeared in several issues of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, after which Doctor Fate briefly joined the Justice League.[21]

Modern Age

Soon afterward, in 1987, the Doctor Fate mini-series was released, featuring the debut of Eric and Linda Strauss, who would replace the character Kent Nelson as Doctor Fate, after he was seemingly killed off by the antagonist of the book.[22] Later, DC Comics would release a Doctor Fate ongoing series focusing on both characters acting simultaneously as Doctor Fate, the first twenty-four issues having been written and drawn by J.M. DeMatteis and Shawn McManus, starting in the winter of 1988. The series focused on magically-aged-up Eric and Linda acting as Doctor Fate under the guidance of Nabu, who has inhabited and taken the identity of Kent Nelson. Despite their differences in personality and both Eric's immaturity and his true age, Linda is portrayed as having feelings for Eric, which are mutual.[23] The character of Eric Strauss was seemingly killed off later in the run, making Linda Strauss the sole Doctor Fate for a time.[24] The character would also briefly become a permanent member of the Justice League International.[25] Eventually, Linda and Eric's characters were dropped as Doctor Fate, the last arc of the story revealing their fates as having been reincarnated into the bodies of Eugene and Wendy DiBellia, while Nabu is revealed to have been reincarnated as Eugene and Wendy's unborn child.[26] In 1991, later issues of the series saw Kent's wife Inza take over as the new Doctor Fate, with a different benefactor, unlike her husband, starting with the 25th issue of the series. Inza's tenure as Doctor Fate differs from Nelson in her focus on social class issues and inequality, using her powers to improve one of the poorest districts in New York City while defending it from corruption and genuine malevolent evil forces. The series ended with issue #41.[27] Following Zero Hour, DC killed off both Kent and Inza and replaced them with a new character, Jared Stevens.

Stevens was introduced in a self-titled series called Fate, launched in the wake of Zero Hour in 1994.[28] The Doctor Fate character went through a radical redesign, dropping the "Doctor" title and gaining new weapons made from the previous related artifacts of Doctor Fate. Unlike prior depictions of the Doctor Fate character as a sorcerer, the character was instead cast as a demon hunter.[29] Considered an unpopular re-imagining of the character,[4] the series was cancelled after 23 issues in September 1996. The character then starred in The Book of Fate written by Keith Giffen, which ran from February 1997 to January 1998 for twelve issues as part of DC's "Weirdoverse" imprint, rebooting the character's origins and adventures. In 1999, the revival of the Justice Society in JSA allowed Doctor Fate to be re-worked once more, with Jared Stevens subsequently killed off.[30][31] The next incarnation of Doctor Fate would come in the form of Hector Hall, the son of the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. In addition to appearing in JSA, DC published a self-titled, five-issue limited series in 2003.[32] The character was killed in the Day of Vengeance limited series in 2005 as part of the lead in to the 2005 company-wide event story, Infinite Crisis.[33]

In 2007, a new incarnation of Doctor Fate, Kent V. Nelson, was created by Steve Gerber and Justiniano and served as an attempt to revitalize the Doctor Fate character. Unlike prior depictions, the character is instead no longer rooted in Egyptian/Mesopotamian mythology and is no longer associated with the Lords of Chaos and Order, due to their being killed off during Infinite Crisis. Gerber also stated his intentions of not directly contradicting previous runs while raising the subject as little as possible. The character was also the grand-nephew of the original Doctor Fate, establishing a connection to the most recognized Doctor Fate.[5][34] Due to Steve Gerber's death, the seventh issue was written by Adam Beechen using Gerber's notes. The final issue was written by Beechen, Gail Simone, Mark Waid, and Mark Evanier, who each wrote a different ending to the story.[35] The character would appear in the Reign in Hell miniseries[36] and in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #30 (August 2009), featuring in the book until its cancellation with #54 in August 2011.

The New 52

See also: The New 52

Following the events of the Flashpoint mini-series in 2011, DC's continuity was rebooted. As part of The New 52 initiative, an alternate version of Doctor Fate named Khalid Ben-Hassin was created by writer James Robinson[37] and artist Brett Booth. The character was featured in the Earth 2 ongoing series from #9 (February 2013) onwards.[38]

DC You & DC Rebirth-onward

See also: DC You and DC Rebirth

Textless cover of Doctor Fate #13 depicting both Kent Nelson and the newly created incarnation, Khalid Nassour, as Doctor Fate.

After the conclusion of the Convergence limited series in June 2015, DC launched a new Doctor Fate ongoing series, written by Paul Levitz and drawn by Sonny Liew as part of the DC You initiative, which saw an emphasis on "story over continuity", loosening the restrictions of continuity to allow for a diverse range of genres while some characters underwent status quo changes. The title focused on the newest and most recent incarnation of Doctor Fate, an Egyptian-American medical student named Khalid Nassour.[6] Created with an emphasis on diversity and to take the character in a different direction, the biracial character's inspirations included Marvel characters like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, the latter character having been influenced by Sonny Liew; Liew intended to depict a character entrusted with great responsibilities going through a journey of self-discovery in a world similar to the likes of Doctor Strange.[39] The series also would introduce a rebooted version of the Kent Nelson character, depicting him as a previous Doctor Fate, a mentor figure with some of his old histories intact. Khalid and Kent would both simultaneously act as Doctor Fate, the former being his apprentice to prepare to fully inherit the role. The series ran for 18 issues, from June 2015 to November 2016.[40]

In 2018, DC launched a second Justice League Dark series written by James Tynion IV starring a new roster led by Wonder Woman. In this roster, Khalid and Kent Nelson were revealed to be eventual new members of the Justice League, originally acting as "advisors" in the team and becoming reoccurring characters. Nassour would eventually permanently become the new Doctor Fate instead of Kent Nelson in the "Lords of Order" storyline. Nassour would also receive a new redesign as Doctor Fate.[41] Nelson's character would be later killed off in the "A Costly Trick of Magic" storyline, leaving Nassour as the sole Doctor Fate character. While the original 2018 series was cancelled in 2020, the Justice League Dark series was re-purposed as a backup issue to the mainstream Justice League title, the backup issue being written by author Ram V, featuring a new storyline, with Khalid remaining a reoccurring member of the Justice League Dark subdivision.[42] Khalid would also appear in several title crossovers such as Superman, Teen Titans Academy, and The Flash.

In 2021, Khalid Nassour would appear in major storylines such as the Justice League Dark: The Great Wickedness storyline, depicting a status quo change in which the Helmet of Fate is damaged from a previous battle with the villain Upside-Down Man, and is inhabited by a new entity.[43] Connected to the Future State crossover event depicting an older Khalid Nassour having lived through the aftermath of the events of the "Great Wickedness" storyline, the entity is revealed to be the Egyptian goddess, Hauhhet.[43] Nassour would also play a role in the Justice League/Justice League Dark crossover involving the return of the character Xanadoth.



Within the DC Universe, most incarnations of Doctor Fate (varying in terms of individual ability) often credited to being among the most powerful practioners of magic in existence due to being in possession with three magical artifacts, chiefly the Helmet of Fate.[3][44][29] Various incarnations are considered peers to fellow supernatural superhroes and powerful entities including Zatanna,[45][46][43] the Phantom Stranger[47] and Wotan, the latter whom typically serves as the character's archenemy capable of directly challenging him.[48] At different times, incarnations of the character was expressed to be both among the ten most powerful beings on Earth[49] and later among the top five most powerful beings in the universe.[50]


Most incarnations of Doctor Fate are also supported by a patron entity who can serve guiding spirits comparable to that of a artificial intelligence, giving advice to the bearer and protecting the wearer by casting spells with intent on preserving them or warning them of imminent threats.[51][52][53]

In current comics, the most recent patron is Hauhet, the Egyptian godess whom replaced Nabu. Her agenda and goals are currently unknown.[54] The eponymous Chaos of Lords of Chaos once acted as the secret intelligence behind Inza Cramer's tenure as Doctor Fate, granting her access to magic variant known as "Chaos magic". The entity arguing that he wished to showcase that his bretheren are not synonymous with all the evil in the universe. Despite his stated reasonings, however, the character was implied to have been the source of Inza's odd mental state and having used his abilities to influence both Kent and Inza into having martial problems shortly after Inza acted as the sole Doctor Fate.[55][56]

Nabu's patronage

The most well-known and common of the patron entity, Nabu, typically is depicted as a patron who often plots to usurp control of his bearers, often supplanting their personal agency and will for his own and being the most well-known cost to bearing the helm with his influence upon it to the magical community of the DC Universe.[57][58] Within the comic books, the character varies in the lengths he takes to manipulate and supplant his bearers; incarnations such as Kent and Hector proved to have enough strong willpower to resist Nabu's attempts to manipulate their body and will although the latter was the one to have most of his free-will in spite of Nabu's patronage.

In recent stories, the combined efforts of Justice League Dark and other magic users later barred Nabu form being capable of controlling his bearers and rendered him mostly immobile, with him now forced to have a bearerer who willingly bears the helm in order for him to act.[59] This limitation remained until his disappearance after the defeat of Upside-Down Man, where he was later replaced by Hauhet.[54] The Khalid Nassour incarnation is depicted as being notably exempt from Nabu's, in part due to his connection to the legacy being fasciliated by Egyptian deities and the Nabu later agreeing to cede his power to the Khalid out of respect.[60]

Commonly depicted weaknesses

The possess several weaknesses dependent on the incarnations; some versions of Doctor Fate and their powers are centered around the helm, with removal of the helmet removing or limiting their powers severely.[61] Some versions are also unable to cast counter spells that have been already cast, due to various rules of magic, able only to instead protect themselves from the effects.[29][62] Divine sources can also disrupt the abilities bestowed to Doctor Fate's incarnations, such as their healing abilities.[63]


Kent Nelson

Main article: Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson)

The first and original incarnation of Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson was created by Gardener Fox and Howard Sherman during the Golden Age of Comics Books. Known often as the primary and most well-known incarnation of the character, Nelson serves as both the main character and major supporting character to several of the Doctor Fate titles over the years.

Born as the son of an archaeologist, Kent was an American of both Swedish and British descent who ventured with his father into a tomb in Mesopotamia, discovering the human body of Nabu but at the cost of his father's life. Nabu would pity the child and train him in the ways of magic before making him Doctor Fate, an agent of the Lords of Order. Kent would begin a superhero career specializing in magic and was a founding member of the All-Star Squadron and Justice Society of America as well as bonded with his partner and eventual wife, Inza Cramer. Later revisions to his history altered his relationship with Nabu, portraying him as an overbearing, controlling figure that manipulated a young Kent Nelson into being his agent while slowly supplanting his free will with his own.[29] In modern continuity, he is succeeded officially by his grand-nephew and apprentice, Khalid Nassour.

Altered by Nabu, Kent possesses a level of immortality, invulnerability, and telekinetic abilities on his own. In tandem with Nabu's artifacts, he gains potent spell-casting capabilities and magical powers, making him among the most powerful sorcerers of his time and the most powerful incarnation of Doctor Fate.[3] He also possesses profound knowledge in the mystic arts, is a certified archaeologist & physician (the latter in some continuities), holding a doctorate degree in both.[64][65]

Eric & Linda Strauss

Eric and Linda Strauss as Doctor Fate. Art by Jim Fern.

Main articles: Eric Strauss (character) and Linda Strauss

The second incarnation of Doctor Fate, both Eric and Linda Strauss's characters debuted in Doctor Fate #1 in July 1987. Created by J.M Dematteis and Keith Giffen, the characters were created to replace the original incarnation of Doctor Fate.

Born to wealthy parents Rebecca and Henry Strauss, Eric Strauss was selected as a future agent of order, growing up aware of the existence of the Lords of Order and having a level of mystical awareness although it gave rise to an abnormal personality. He would have a bond with his future partner, Linda Strauss, whom became his step-mother after Rebecca committed suicide on account of the abuse she received from Henry. Soon, Linda herself was subjected to abuse at his hands but endured it for Eric, whom she found herself having a strange fascination with. At the age of ten, Eric was chosen as Nabu's next agent of order to inherit the Doctor Fate mantle, substantially increasing the boy's age in a similar manner to what occurred with Nelson before. This time Eric's mind did not mature.[66] He would act as Doctor Fate alongside Linda, the two often merging to become Doctor Fate. Nabu goes on to possess Kent's corpse to personally advise them.[66] Overtime, despite Eric's mind being similar to a child of ten years old, Linda developed romantic feelings for her step-son while Eric reciprocated such feelings. Eric is eventually killed on Apokolips during a battle with Desaad, forcing Linda to become Doctor Fate on her own.[24] Linda is killed soon afterward by the Lords of Chaos and the two reincarnated into new bodies, living out their new lives with one another.

Together, both Linda and Eric mystically merge with one another to become a being called "Doctor Fate", the act causing the various artifacts (Helmet of Fate, Amulet of Anubis, Cloak of Destiny) to appear due to the artifacts operating as part of the merger. The dominant consciousness when merged determines the appearance. Their joint act as Doctor Fate is considered to be among the most powerful mystical beings on Earth although they lacked knowledge compared to their predecessor. Both Linda and Eric can also act independently as Doctor Fate, although they possess only half of their power.[44]

Inza Cramer Nelson

Main article: Inza Cramer

Inza Cramer-Nelson (also Inza Saunders) debuted in More Fun Comics #55 in 1940, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman. Originally, the character was created as a love interest for Kent Nelson, the original character to have starred as Doctor Fate. She would eventually become the fourth character to bear the Doctor Fate name and the second female character to become Doctor Fate.

. As Doctor Fate, Inza's methods are more proactive although she becomes more reckless in their use, stemming a temporary separation from Kent. The two reconcile their differences upon learning Inza's patron as Doctor Fate originating from a Lord of Chaos, making her an agent of chaos. The Chaos Lord revealing himself to have subtly influenced some events enough to cause the two to have strife against one another and enjoyed having the Lords of Chaos be a force of good, reasoning that even Chaos Lords did not find evil as favorable. The Chaos Lord would relinquish the powers bestowed to Inza back to himself although she would replace her chaos magic with magics stemming from life and continued acting as Doctor Fate, with Nelson acting alongside her.[55][56] When operating as separate Doctor Fates, Inza wears the helmet and Kent's original costume while Kent wears the half helmet and costume he used in the late 1940s.[67]

Jared Stevens

Fate #1 (November 1994) featuring Jared Stevens. Cover art by Anthony Williams and Andy Lanning.

Jared Stevens debuted in Fate #0 in 1994, created by John Francis More and Anthony Williams. The character was created as the fifth incarnation of the Doctor Fate character. The characer differs from all other incarnations, having a radical re-designed and re-imagined as a demon hunter although the revisions to the character made it unpopular.[4] The character's backstory was also revised twice, his original origin in the Fate comic title and the Book of Fate re-imagining his origin.

After retiring, the Nelsons hire smuggler Jared Stevens to recover the helmet, amulet, and cloak from an Egyptian tomb. When the Nelsons try to collect the artifacts, they are murdered by two demons. During the battle, Jared attempts to use the amulet as a weapon, which then explodes and imbues him with various magical abilities and a red ankh-shaped scar over his right eye. Jared's injuries force him to use the cloak as a wrap for his right arm and to melt the helmet into a set of ankh-shaped darts and a dagger for use as weapons. After defeating the demons, Jared is contacted by Nabu, who attempts to make Jared the new Doctor Fate. Jared refuses and escapes, becoming a demon hunter using the alias "Fate". During his battles, he teams up with the supernaturally powered team of fugitives Scare Tactics, Etrigan the Demon and other forces to combat threats from the realm of Gemworld.[citation needed] Jared is later murdered by Mordru, who attempts to kill all the agents of the Lords of Chaos and Order and claim Fate's artifacts for himself.[68] Jared's equipment reverts to its original forms and returns to the Tower of Fate upon his death.[69] During the Dark Nights: Death Metal storyline, Jared is briefly seen among the superheroes that were revived by Batman using a Black Lantern ring. His appearance implies he was involved as an incarnation of Doctor Fate after the New 52 although the exact history has yet to be explained.[70]

Hector Hall

Main article: Hector Hall

Hector Hall. Art by Stephen Sadowski.

Hector Hall first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (September, 1983) as the son of Golden Age heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl, both characters whose stories include reincarnation as a central part of their fictional history. The character would eventually be reworked into the next incarnation of Doctor Fate in JSA #33 (October, 1999).

After Jared's murder, the mantle of Doctor Fate, along with a restored helmet, amulet, and cloak, is passed to a reincarnated Hector Hall.[71] The Justice Society is reformed to protect the newly reborn Hector, who is being sought by Mordru so that he can use the boy's body to unlock the magical potential of Doctor Fate's artifacts for his own benefit.[72] Hector's new body is the biological son of Hawk and Dove (Hank Hall and Dawn Granger), who are agents of Chaos and Order, respectively, which makes Hector an agent of balance instead of one side or the other.[73] When the Spectre goes on a quest to extinguish magic, he banishes Hector and his wife to a snowy mountain landscape for all eternity, which they are only able to 'escape' by entering the Dream realm, although this essentially kills their bodies and means they can never return to Earth.[74]

Like other Doctor Fates, Hector's possession of the Nabu's mystical artifacts makes him among the most powerful sorcerers in the DC Universe. Unlike incarnations preceding him, Hector mostly retains his agency even with Nabu inhabiting the helmet and doesn't require the use of ankhs when using his magical abilities. Hector is stated to potentially be the most powerful incarnations of all incarnations of Doctor Fate before him.[75]

Kent V. Nelson

Main article: Doctor Fate (Kent V. Nelson)

Kent V. Nelson. Art by Travis G. Moore and Dan Green

The latest incarnation of Doctor Fate prior to the New 52 reboot, the character debuted in the first issue of Countdown to Mystery in 2007 as an attempt to revitalize the character; unlike other Doctor Fates, the character lacks any connections to Nabu and either of the Lords of Order or Lords of Chaos, as the two factions were killed off in a previous storyline. In addition, the character's powers is not tied to any known mythology, making the Doctor Fate character exclusively a mystic superhero.[5][34]

A psychiatrist and the grand-nephew of Kent Nelson, Kent V. Nelson would lose his status following his infidelity leading to a divorce, leading to depression and losing his license following negligent practices in the workplace. Eventually, the Helmet of Fate, seeking a new host, would choose him as the next incarnation of Doctor Fate. The character would become a member of the Justice Society of America, struggling with upholding the legacy of spell-casters with his initial lack of magical expertise.[76][77]

Kent V. Nelson possess the typical powers of Doctor Fate, allowing him to cast spells and perform various magical abilities through the Helmet of Fate. These abilities includes a half-helmet state, a "battle variant" (the classical costume of Doctor Fate),[76] and can access a "library" of spells through the helmet despite lacking Nabu.[61] In his early depiction in the Justice Society of America title, he was a novice sorcerer capable of casting general spells.[61] Overtime, his skills became advanced enough to be hailed with the "Sorcerer Supreme" title.[1] Additionally, Kent V. Nelson was a skilled psychiatrist prior to losing his license to practice.[76]

Khalid Nassour

Main article: Doctor Fate (Khalid Nassour)

Khalid Nassour. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan.

The current incarnation of Doctor Fate, Khalid Nassour first appeared in June 2015, starring in a Doctor Fate solo series, created as another attempt to revitalize the character, this time using the Egyptian-related background of the character.[39] The character's journey & world would be inspired by Marvel Comics' Spider-Man and Doctor Strange[39] and is notably one of DC Comics's first Muslim characters to headline a solo series.[78] Unlike the other incarnations, the character's designation as Doctor Fate comes from both a cultural connection to Egyptian deities and a religious connection to archangels instead of Nabu.[63]

The grandnephew of Kent Nelson through his mother's side[63] and beginning as medical student,[6] Khalid Nassour is an Egyptian-American who was bestowed the Helmet of Fate and named the next Doctor Fate by the Egyptian goddess, Bastet.[63] An inexperience Doctor Fate, Khalid would eventually be apprenticed by both Nabu and Kent Nelson, both Kent and Khalid using the codename for a time.[63] Eventually becoming a member of the Justice League Dark, Khalid would become the sole Doctor Fate in the final arc of Justice League Dark when Nelson perished in battle with Upside Down Man, having completed enough of his training to be considered one of the world's foremost magicians.[79] Later, Khalid would be depicted as both a medical school graduate and a member of the Justice Society of America.[52]

Khalid possess natural magical abilities bolstered by the Helmet of Fate and other associated items, including the Staff of Power.[63] Initially, he was portrayed as a rudimentary sorcerer guided by Nabu and the Helmet of Fate's power.[63] The character would later be apprenticed under Kent Nelson, his skills becoming more advanced and formidable.[79] While his powers through the Helmet were initially provided by Nabu, Hauhet later becomes a patron of the helmet after it was damaged, granting him different powers; Hauhet's influences allows him to see the future at a cost of some of his sight although a possible future depicted its fully repaired state of allowing Khalid to see and experience future timelines without consequence.[80] Khalid is also a skilled physician, holding a medical degree.[52]

Equipment and resources

Mystical artifacts

Helmet of Fate

The Helmet of Fate[81] (sometimes called the Helm of Fate, Helmet of Nabu, Helmet of Anubis, Helmet of Thoth, or Helm of Thoth) is a magical Corinthian helmet that grants the bearer godly level powers and is considered one of the most powerful magical artifacts in the DC Universe. While most continuities establish it to be a creation of Nabu, the fourth Doctor Fate series presents a different origin, the helmet instead associated with Thoth and is presented with an altered origin, the object of power being rooted in the DC's version of Egyptian mythology; being a creation of Osiris and Thoth's hand, it was created to trap Nabu, who once served alongside Thoth for reasons not revealed.[63]

In the original continuity, the helmet acted as a repository of magical power, granting its wearer the power to manipulate magic and cast spells. The helmet also contains a vast library of spells from which the user can draw.[61] Additionally, the helm possess an intelligence, whether derived from Nabu or otherwise, in which can incapacitate or mentally break those whom it rejects, typically preventing usurpers and villains from exploiting the helm for their own purposes (i.e Glorious Godfrey and Wotan).[82] After the New 52, the nature of the helm's power change; the helm was instead created with Nth metal, granting it mystical properties, as well as some anti-magic properties against those of magical origin.[83] The helm additionally possesses the power to trap entities within its separate world[57] and is both durable and capable of regenerating from damage.[84][85]

However, the Helmet of Fate is not completely impervious, as powerful entities (e.g., Arion, and Brimstone) have shown the ability to damage the helmet enough to require regeneration, showcasing a vulnerability to powerful forms of magic and applications from the Firestorm matrix.[85][84] The helmet also can be overloaded with magical power, rendering much of its power inert; this happened during the A Costly Trick of Magic storyline, when Nabu and Nelson sacrificed themselves to create a spell powerful enough to injure Upside-Down Man, leaving Khalid's incarnation of Doctor Fate unable to call upon its powers.[79]

Amulet of Anubis

The Amulet of Anubis (sometimes called the Amulet of Nabu or the Amulet of Thoth) is an amulet that was once bestowed to Anubis's most devout follower, being created by the death god himself. The amulet itself is automatically granted to those who bear the Helmet of Fate, bestowed to them alongside the magical cloak. The amulet affords several abilities, including resistance to psychic/astral probing, allows for mind control, and bolsters a user's magical power.[86] While seldomly used by Doctor Fate himself, the amulet also allows for the wearer to call upon the decease spirits, allowing him to commune with spirits[87] as well as houses its own universe separate from the main universe, allowing the wearer to hide their existence or to trap powerful entities within.

The amulet's history was revised several times; in one story, the Amulet of Anubis was a powerful artifact forged by the Lords of Order at the dawn of time, being so powerful the Lords of Chaos formerly sought the artifact themselves. Eventually, it came into Nabu's possession to be granted to his chosen agent.[88]

Cloak of Destiny

The Cloak of Destiny is a magical cloak with mystic properities; the cloak is both fireproof[89] and highly resistant towards some forms of magic in the DC Universe; Jared Stevens notably used it to suppress the chaos magic that infected his arm.[90]

Other artifacts


Tower of Fate

The Tower of Fate (also called the Fortress of Fate) is the magical dwelling bestowed to bearers of the Doctor Fate mantle. The tower acts as a nexus point of magic and reality on Earth. It has no doors or windows, being only accessible by magic. The inside of the tower appears as a twisted maze of stairways and hallways in which the laws of physics do not apply.[93] The Tower holds a large collection of arcane texts within its personal library, including materials saved from the Great Library of Alexandria prior to its burning. In addition, the Tower itself possess mystical defenses, including once having a protector in the form of Typhon, a Lord of Chaos who was an enemy of Doctor Fate and later protected the Tower from intruders.[94]

Book of Fate

The Book of Fate is a tome relating to the comprehensive history and knoweldge of the Lords of Chaos and Order, usually in the perspective of the latter. The book would first appear in the aformentioned series, the Book of Fate, in which some issue begins with an except from it. The Book of Fate would also make mention in the 2022 storyline Justice League storyline League of Chaos, where a new entry made by Nabu reveals all knowledge and mentioning of the being "Xanadoth" was purposelly erased from even the sacred tome, remarking of her terrifying strength that required both the Lords of Chaos and Order to band together in a temporary alliance to defeat her, the goal of limited the scope of her power, and her eventual reemergence in the modern day.[95]

Other versions

Doctor Chaos

First appearanceNew Adventures of Superboy #25 (1982)
Created byMartin Pasko & Kurt Schaffenberger
TeamsLords of Chaos
AbilitiesMagical abilities derived through the Helmet of Chaos
AliasesDr. Chaos, Chaos, Bert Belker, Lana Lang

Doctor Chaos is a villainous sorcerer who acts as the evil counterpart of Doctor Fate. Created by Martin Pasko and Kurt Schaffenberger, the character first debuted in The New Adventures of Superboy #25 in 1982. Doctor Chaos bears a similar appearance to Doctor Fate although the color scheme of his attire is reverse.

In the original story, the first version of Doctor Chaos is Burt Belker, a wealthy, college student studying archaeology and one of Lewis Lang's assistants who briefly dated Lana Lang. During one of their expeditions, Lewis and Burt discover a sumerian helm (revealed later to be the Helmet of Chaos) and makes their discovery known in Smallville. When he donned the helm, he is taken over by the entity residing in it and comes into conflict with Superboy. Briefly, the chaotic entity also empowers Lana Lang with intentions of making her his consort. Eventually, Superboy defeats Doctor Chaos by exploiting his weakness to copper.[96] A new version of Doctor Chaos later appears briefly in the 2019 Justice League of America comic series; This version acts as a guardian of the Chaos Realm, the base of operations from which the Lords of Chaos convene in. Doctor Chaos is swiftly killed shortly after villainess Queen of Fables escapes from her imprisonment and the sorcerer attempts to bar her from returning to the mortal plane. The identity of the person behind Doctor Chaos remains unknown.[97]

Alternate realities versions

Dick Grayson (Flashpoint)

Main article: Dick Grayson

In the Flashpoint series, Dick Grayson eventually suceeds Kent Nelson (who is a member of Haly's Circus as fortune teller "Dr. Fate") shortly after his death at the hands of the Amazons, who members (inclduing a evil version of Starfire) hunts them down to use the Helm of Fate against the Atlanteans. This version is also assisted by Deadman and although Dick named himself "Doctor Fate", the character hasn't been depicted as bearing the helm within the story.[98]

Khalid Ben-Hassin

Main article: Khalid Ben-Hassin

In 2013 several years after DC Comics rebooted the DC Universe through the New 52, a new incarnation of Doctor Fate would be created for the Earth 2 series; the incarnation of the character known as Khalid Ben-Hassin' is of Egyptian descent raised in the United States. The character's descent was intentional by James Robinson, wanting an Egyptian character to hold the mantle Doctor Fate while still allowing to be Western but not making him a caricature. Unlike other versions of Fate prior to 2013, his spell-craft abilities are also centered on invoking Egyptian deities. Alongside his creation also came a re-design and reintroduction of the classic Doctor Fate archnemesis, Wotan.[99]

Doctor Strangefate

First appearanceMarvel Versus DC #3 (1996)
Created byRon Marz, José Luis García-López, Kevin Nowlan
TeamsJudgemet League Avengers
AbilitiesPsychic powers; magical abilities derived through the artifacts: Helmet of Strangefate, the All-Seeing Eye, and the Cloak of Levitation.
AliasesDr. Strangefate

Doctor Strangefate is a sorcerer from the Amalgam Comics universe; he is an amalgamation of Doctor Fate and Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange, with the alter ego of Marvel Comics' Charles Xavier. Dr. Strangefate makes his first appearance in Marvel Versus DC #1 (1996).

In the Amalgam Universe (designated as Earth-9602), Dr. Strangefate was originally Charles Xavier, a powerful mutant telepath who later learned the mystic arts through Nabu the Ancient One, who was also the Lord Supreme of Order in the universe. Xavier would later take the Helmet of Strangefate, becoming an unconventional hero, helping establish the Judgement League Avengers. He is also served by his servant, Myx, and employs agents who he has previously helped in the past, who are now indebted to him: Shulk (amalgamation of Hulk and Solmon Grundy), Jade Nova (amalgamation of Jade and Nova), and the White Witch (an amalgamation of Zatanna and Scarlet Witch), who has a crush on Dr. Strangefate. While being among the most powerful beings in his universe, Strangefate instead prefers to have others act in his stead and only personally acts in more dire situations.[100]

Alternate future versions

Doctor Fate of the 31st Century

A future version of the character debuted in Supergirl #33 (2019), first created by writer Marc Andreyako and artist Kevin Maguire. This version of the character is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, appearing in a possible future in the 31st century after the alterations of reality made by Doctor Manhattan were undone during the Doomsday Clock event. Unlike other versions of Doctor Fate, the Legion of Super-Heroes' Doctor Fate is portrayed as a six-armed, male alien sorcerer. Doctor Fate assists the Legion of Super-Heroes in mystic matters and is the one who warns the Legion and the United Planets of the coming Great Darkness, the true source and embodiment of darkness in the DC Universe. He also assists the Legion of Super-Heroes in defeating the future version of Mordru, who plots to kill Superman (Jon Kent) with help from Rogol Zaar.

The character later appears briefly in the Justice Society: The New Golden Age storyline, where Degaton alters times to kill him alongside other Doctor Fates throughout the timeline.[52]

Sofie (Doctor Fate of the 31st Century)

A future, female version of the character briefly appeared in The New Golden Age #1, first created by writer Geoff Johns. This version also exists in the 31st century (specifically during the year 3022) although unlike the previously seen Dr. Fate of the 31st Century, this version is both a member of the revived Justice Society alongside two new incarnations of the Green Lantern and Atom Smasher. It is also unknown if she was the Doctor Fate that preceded or succeeded the alien character from the 2020 Legion of Super-Heroes title.

Shortly after reviving the Justice Society, Sofie laments she is unable to see the future. Per Degaton then appears, snapping her neck and killing her before proceeding to kill the other two heroes. Degaton also reveals that she was originally fated to have a granddaughter inherit the Dr. Fate legacy until his intervention.[52]

Supporting cast

Main article: List of Doctor Fate supporting characters

In other media

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See also: Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) § In other media, Doctor Fate (Khalid Nassour) § In other media, and Nabu (comics)



Brent Stait as Doctor Fate on Smallville.



Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate on Black Adam

Video games


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