|First appearance||More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940) (May 1940)|
|Created by||Kent, Inza:|
Gardner Fox (writer)
Howard Sherman (artist)
Eric, Linda Strauss:
J. M. DeMatteis
|Alter ego||Kent Nelson|
Inza Cramer Nelson
Kent V. Nelson
|Team affiliations||Justice League|
Lords of Order
Justice Society of America
Justice League International
Justice League Dark
Sentinels of Magic
Legacy of Fate
|Series publication information|
|Writer(s)||Immortal Doctor Fate|
|Artist(s)||Immortal Doctor Fate|
Dave Hunt (cover artist)
Tony Harris (cover artist)
|Inker(s)||Immortal Doctor Fate|
|Colorist(s)||Immortal Doctor Fate|
Heroic Age Studio
|Editor(s)||Immortal Doctor Fate|
E. Nelson Bridwel
|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) is the name of multiple superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The original version of the character was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, debuting in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940). The character has appeared in various incarnations, with Doctor Fate being the name of several different individuals in the DC Universe as part of a sorcerous legacy with several attempts to revitalize the character.
In the DC Universe continuity, Doctor Fate was originally conceived as a force fighting against evil by the supernatural being Nabu, a cosmic being affiliated with the Lords of Order, Mesopotamian deities, and a chief enemy of the Lords of Chaos. Over time, Nabu instead empowered mortal agents to act on his behalf and the Lords of Order, the first being Kent Nelson, the Strauss family, and various others. Other versions of the character differ, acting as solely supernatural-based heroes, affiliated with the Lords of Chaos, or demon hunters. Several years after the New 52 reboot, DC Comics introduced its latest and second-longest-running incarnation, Khalid Nassour, the grandnephew of Kent Nelson chosen by ancient Egyptian deities and archangels. In the 2020s, the character was given magical apprentices in the form of his sidekicks Stitch and Salem the Witch Girl.
The Doctor Fate character has appeared in various incarnations across multiple forms of media based on both comic and original characters. The Kent Nelson incarnation has appeared in several media, such as the television series Smallville, in which he is portrayed by Brent Stait, and the DC Extended Universe film Black Adam, in which he was portrayed by Pierce Brosnan. In animated media, several incarnations of Doctor Fate have appeared in the Young Justice animated series; Nabu, Khalid Nassour and Kent Nelson's versions of Doctor Fate have appeared in the animated series alongside other original incarnations based on pre-existing characters such as Zatara, Zatanna, and Traci 13.
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. After a year with no background, his alter ego and origins were shown in More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941). Stories during the Golden Age included his love interest, Inza, who was known variably throughout the Golden Age as Inza Cramer, Inza Sanders, and Inza Carmer.
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 in the book in issue #21 (Summer 1944), virtually simultaneously with the end of his own strip in More Fun Comics #98 (July–August 1944).
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 #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.
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.
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. in 1984, the same year which witnessed the 22nd and final annual Justice Society/Justice League team-up. 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.
In 1987, the Doctor Fate mini-series was released soon afterward, featuring the debut of Eric and Linda Strauss, who would replace the character Kent Nelson as Doctor Fate after being seemingly killed off by the antagonist of the book. Later, DC Comics would release a Doctor Fate ongoing series focusing on both characters acting simultaneously as Doctor Fate, the first twenty-four issues 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, whom has inhabited and taken the identity of Kent Nelson. Despite their differences in personality and both Eric's immaturity and true age, Linda is portrayed as having feelings for Erica which are mutual. The Eric Stauss character was seemingly killed off later in the run, making the Linda Strauss character the sole Doctor Fate for a time. The character would also briefly become a permanent member of the Justice League International. Eventually, Linda and Eric's characters were dropped as Doctor Fate, the last arc of the story revealing their fates to have reincarnated into the bodies of Eugene and Wendy DiBellia while Nabu reincarnates in Eugene and Wendy's unborn child. 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. Following Zero Hour, DC killed off both Kent and Inza and replaced them with a new character, Jared Stevens.
DC eventually replaced the existing Doctor Fate 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. 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. Considered an unpopular re-imagining of the character, 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 the Doctor Fate character to be re-worked once more and subsequently killed off the Jared Stevens character. The next incarnation of the Doctor Fate character 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. 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.
In 2007, a new incarnation of Doctor Fate, Kent V. Nelson, was created by Steve Gerber and Justiniano and serves 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 disassociated with the Lords of Chaos and Order due to 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. 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. The character would appear in the Reign in Hell miniseries and in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #30 (August 2009), featuring in the book until its cancellation with #54 in August 2011.
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 and artist Brett Booth. The character was featured in the Earth 2 ongoing series from #9 (February 2013) onwards.
See also: DC You and DC Rebirth
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. 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. The series also would re-introduce a rebooted version of the Kent Nelson character, depicting him as a previous Doctor Fate with some of his old histories intact and as a mentor figure. Both Khalid and Kent would 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.
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 became 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. Nelson's character would be later killed off in the "A Costly Trick of Magic" storyline, leaving Nassour as the sole Doctor Fate character in present times. While the original 2018 series was cancelled in 2020, the Justice League Dark series was instead re-purposed as a backup issue to the mainstream Justice League title, the backup issue written by author Ram V featuring a new storyline with Khalid remaining a reoccurring member of the Justice League Dark subdivision. 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's "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. 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. Nassour would also play a role in the Justice League/Justice League Dark crossover involving the return of the character, Xanadoth.
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. 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. 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.
Main articles: Eric Strauss (comics) 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. He would act as Doctor Fate alongside Linda, the two often merging in order to become Doctor Fate. Nabu goes on to possess Kent's corpse in order to personally advise them. 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. 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.
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.
In a scheme to lure in Doctor Fate, Inza was kidnapped by the scientific villain, Wotan. Inza and Doctor Fate meet, the woman enamoured with a life potentially filled with adventure and would accompany Doctor Fate as his partner. Eventually, Kent Nelson revealed his identity to her and she would support him when he became a medical doctor, accompanying him as a nurse. At some point, she also pursued a doctorate in archaeology similarly to her husband. Later, the two would marry, the magics of the Tower of Fate keeping them young. Overtime, their marriage became strained due to Nabu's influence on Doctor Fate and Inza coming to resent having to be in a passive role within the Tower of Fate, resulting in a loss of a social life. Despite later having some romantic feelings for another man, Inza ultimately remained faithful to Kent with intent on working through their marital problems.
Eventually, Inza and Nelson would be killed in the wake of the cosmic event known as kali yuga, the Lords of Chaos empowered and weakening Nabu, rapidly aging both of them and the strain being too much for Inza to bear. Eventually, Nelson too was killed and in the aftermath, the two would live out their afterlfie within the Amulet of Anubis for a time, the pair creating the life they missed out in their lifetime in the dimension, including a child. Eventually, the pair are resurrected into younger bodies and Inza becomes the sole Doctor Fate for a time, unable to merge with Nelson. 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. 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. Sometime later, the Nelsons and the JSA face the supervillain Extant during Parallax's attempt to change the history of the universe. Extant uses his time manipulation powers to rapidly age Kent and Inza to their proper physical ages. Extant also scatters the helmet, amulet, and cloak. The aged and depowered Nelsons then retire.After the New 52 reboot, Inza would make a minor appearance in a flashback, establishing her as Nelson's wife like the previous continuities. The flashback also implies her history being similar to her depiction in the Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Golden Age.
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. 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. 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. Jared's equipment reverts to its original forms and returns to the Tower of Fate upon his death. 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.
Main article: Hector Hall
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
Main article: Doctor Fate (Kent V. Nelson)
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.
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.
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), and can access a "library" of spells through the helmet despite lacking Nabu. In his early depiction in the Justice Society of America title, he was a novice sorcerer capable of casting general spells. Overtime, his skills became advanced enough to be hailed with the "Sorcerer Supreme" title. Additionally, Kent V. Nelson was a skilled psychiatrist prior to losing his license to practice.
Main article: Doctor Fate (Khalid Nassour)
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. The character's journey & world would be inspired by Marvel Comics' Spider-Man and Doctor Strange and is notably one of DC Comics's first Muslim characters to headline a solo series. 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.
The grandnephew of Kent Nelson through his mother's side and beginning as medical student, Khalid Nassour is an Egyptian-American who was bestowed the Helmet of Fate and named the next Doctor Fate by the Egyptian goddess, Bastet. 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. 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. Later, Khalid would be depicted as both a medical school graduate and a member of the Justice Society of America.
Khalid possess natural magical abilities bolstered by the Helmet of Fate and other associated items, including the Staff of Power. Initially, he was portrayed as a rudimentary sorcerer guided by Nabu and the Helmet of Fate's power. The character would later be apprenticed under Kent Nelson, his skills becoming more advanced and formidable. 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. Khalid is also a skilled physician, holding a medical degree.
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 reintroudction of the classic Doctor Fate archnemesis, Wotan.
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.
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.
With access to various magical artifacts, all incarnations of Doctor Fate (excluding Jared Stevens due to the nature of his powers & non-spell casting abilities) possess sufficient magical power that allows them to be considered among the most powerful magical users on Earth in the DC Universe, with the character being said to possess numerous magical abilities considered nearly unstoppable. These abilities include spell-casting, flight, teleportation, invisibility, necromancy, and more. Some versions of Doctor Fate also have the ability to mystically merge both body and souls with another also selected to be Doctor Fate, creating a magical being that calls themself Dr. Fate and has access to greater power.
Despite their powers, the characters 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. 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. Divine sources can also disrupt the abilities bestowed to Doctor Fate's incarnations, such their healing abilities.
The Helmet of Fate (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 in order to trap Nabu, who once served alongside Thoth for reasons not revealed.
In the original continuty, the helmet acted as a reponsitory of magical power, granting it's wearer the power to manipulate magic and cast spells. The helmet also contains a vast library of spells from which the user can draw. 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).
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. The helm also is said to be powered by nature, allowing the bearer to fuel their powers through nature or allow the manipulation of the natural elements (wind, earth, water, fire, and lightning). The helm additionally possesses the power to trap entities within its separate world and is both durable and capable of regenerating from damage.
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. 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.
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. 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 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.
The Cloak of Destiny is a magical cloak with mystic properities; the cloak is both fireproof 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.
|Name||Brief Description||Bestowed Powers||Incarnation|
|Nabu||The guiding force and primary patron of most incarnations of Doctor Fate, Nabu is a Mesopotamian deity, one of the Lords of Order, and mentor of several incarnations of Doctor Fate.||Nabu's patronage allows for the bearer to have potential access to all of his knowledge, magical energy and power, and can assist his bearers with his insight and thoughts. However, this leaves a host vulnerable to Nabu, who can also usurp control of his bearer's will and body by force.|
|Shat-Ru||A Lord of Order who attempted to punish Kent and Inza for their failure of completely eradicating the forces of chaos from Earth but later became their ally. Overtime, he bonds with the two and begins accepting humanity despite their flaws.||Shat-Ru's patronage allowed a user to forge a connection to the Lords of Order in a similar method to witchcraft through the use of familiars, granting him magical powers and the ability to cast spells comparable to his time as Doctor Fate under Nabu's patron.||Kent Nelson|
|Chaos||One of the Lords of Chaos, Chaos would claim that his influence over his bearer was subtle and allowed free will due to believing the evil she fought being an opponent to the Lord of Chaos's objectives inherently along with amusement over the confusion of the Lords of Chaos fighting evil.||Chaos's patronage allows his agent to practice chaos magic, allowing them to perform magical feats powered by imagination; Later establishment of chaos magic refer to this form of magic as a form of magic that requires no system (sigils, chanting, etc.) to perform.||Inza Cramer Nelson|
|Thoth||In the New 52 continuity, the Helmet of Fate's origin was revised during the 2015 Doctor Fate series (renamed the Helmet of Thoth), it's powers originating from the Egyptian god, Thoth, with Nabu acting as the Helmet's guiding intelligence & spirit.||Thoth's patronage to the helmet allowed for native control over the elements (wind, earth, fire, water, electricity) and healing abilities. Like other iterations of the helmet prior, Thoth's patron also granted a level of enhanced intellgience and spell-casting.|
|Hauhet||Some time after the Helmet of Fate having been damaged during a battle with the entity referred to as the Upside-Down Man, the Helmet of Fate lost much of its power for a time but mysteriously gained newer abilities. It is revealed later by Wonder Woman that the Egyptian goddess, Hauhet, currently inhabited the Helmet in some manner.||Due to her divine sphere of influence within space and time, she allows the user seeing through multiple timelines while costing some of the bearer's sight to see into the future. An alternate future event showscases her patronage's full potential, allowing the bearer see both different timelines and experience them individually without costing the bearer's sight.||Khalid Nassour|
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. 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.
|Character name||First appearance||Brief Description|
|Kent and Inza Nelson's friends and allies|
|Tilda and Tooly Wilson||Doctor Fate (1988–1992) #26||Neighbors of Kent and Inza during their stay in New York City upon their second attempt at living a life on Earth following their resurrection from the Amulet of Anubis. Their niece is Debby Niles, a New York police officer who befriends Inza. Both Tilda and Tooly are supporters of Inza's Doctor Fate, believing her to be a force of good helping the disadvantaged in their particular neighborhood.|
|Shat-Ru||Doctor Fate (1988–1992) #25||A Lord of Order who annexed himself from his brethren in an attempt to punish Doctor Fate, believing Nelson to have humiliated the Lords of Order with his inability to enforce order onto Earth. Trapped in Nelson's old body by Inza, he eventually becomes a reluctant ally of Kent and Inza, posing himself as Nelson's grandfather. He is notable for his characterization of hating humanity in general. Despite that, he fell in love with the human, Dorothea.|
|Debby Niles||Doctor Fate (1988–1992) #30||An African American police officer who is the niece of Kent and Inza's neighbors, Tilda and Tooly Wilson. While initially skeptical of Inza's Doctor Fate incarnation, she later befriends Inza after learning she is Doctor Fate from their souls interacting with one another in a near-death experience and the two become best friends.|
|Mary Louise Wilson (née Grant)||Doctor Fate (1988–1992) #25||An elderly woman who was born over a century ago, acting as a host to the Egyptian entity known as T'giian, a Lord of Kemet. She is freed from T'giian's control from Inza's actions as Doctor Fate. Later, the two would merge when Mary was hospitalized as T'giian tricked her into being her host. However, Mary would learn that despite T'giian's insistence, her will was powerful enough to override T'giian, giving her powers. She serves as a parallel to Doctor Fate (particularly Inza), having similar magical abilities to a Lord of Chaos derived from an Egyptian entity, having been alive for over a century similar to Inza. When merge, she refers to herself as "Mary T'Giian".|
|Dorothea||Doctor Fate (1988–1992) #31||A young woman who became enamored with Shat-Ru's denouncement of humanity and his philosophy from his perspective as a Lord of Order, initially unaware of his true nature and developed feelings for Shat-Ru despite his apparent elderly age while being in Kent Nelson's body. She would later learn and accept his nature as a Lord of Order and initiated a sexual relationship when he admitted to having developed feelings for her.|
|Hector Hall's allies|
|James Bolling||Doctor Fate (2003) #1||A member and the de facto leader of the Salem Coven; An African-American professor and teacher of the mystic arts, he guided his coven to being one of Doctor Fate's allies in Salem. He would later help Hector defeat the villain known as The Curse.|
|Anita||Doctor Fate (2003) #1||A member of the Salem Coven and one of Bolling's students; she was, along with the Bolling, the one whom first met Hector Hall in person shortly after moving to Salem as Doctor Fate and shares a close relationship with Kym. She is killed during The Curse's takeover of Salem.|
|Kym||Doctor Fate (2003) #3||An African-American member of the Salem Coven and one of Bolling's students who shared a close relationship with Anita. She is also an ally of Hector Hall.|
|Kent V. Nelson's family|
|Marisa Nelson||Countdown to Mystery #1 ) (November, 2007)||Nelson's ex-wife and mother of his daughter, Laryn. She divorced Nelson upon learning of his infidelity with a younger woman.|
|Laryn Nelson||Countdown to Mystery #1 ) (November, 2007)||Kent V. Nelson's young daughter. He would distance himself from Laryn for years after his divorce from Marisa, something he regretted.|
|Kent V. Nelson's friends and allies|
|Maddy||Countdown to Mystery #3 ) (January, 2008)||A skilled psychic whom Nelson visits soon after donning the Helmet of Fate in an attempt to learn more about it, using her skills to serve others despite skeptics often not believing her. Also a skilled practitioner in the magical arts, she assists him in his understanding of the Helmet of Fate despite being jealous of the Helmet choosing him, finding him to be an amateur sorcerer with little actual ability and understanding.|
|Inza Fox||Countdown to Mystery #4 ) (February, 2008)||A witty cartoonist and comic book artist working for the fictional Pain Comics who saves Nelson while in his hallucinogenic episodes and helps him. She coincidentally shares the same first name as his great aunt. Through her comic book series "Killhead", Nelson believes Inza to have suffered abuse through her ex-boyriend and has coded her own story of abuse through her characters. He would begin to develop feelings for her.|
|Khalid Nassour's family|
|Elizabeth Nassour||Convergence: Aquaman #2 ) (July, 2015)||The mother of Khalid Nassour and the niece of Kent Nelson. Like her uncle, she is also a renowned archaeologist. She is initially unaware of her son's duties as Doctor Fate but later suspects it due to her son's frequent disappearances and supports him. In the Young Justice series, she is instead named "Jane Nassour" and is both homo magi and a descendant of Arion. Despite this, she is also presented as having given up magic upon converting to Islam and disapproves Khalid's decision to honor his homo magi roots.|
|Mohammed Nassour||Convergence: Aquaman #2 ) (July, 2015)||The father of Khalid Nassour. A former doctor in Egypt, he immigrated to America from Egypt after marrying Elizabeth and worked as a cab driver, unable to be re-certification in the United States. He is aware of his son's identity as Doctor Fate and supports him in balancing his hero and personal life as well as Khalid's goal to become a doctor. Being of Egyptian descent, Mohammed also has knowledge of Egyptian lore and mythology, characterized as having pride in his heritage. He also makes a brief appearance in the Young Justice series, also supporting Khalid in his endeavors of balancing his Islamic faith and his homo magi heritage.|
|Khalid Nassour's friends and allies|
|Bastet||Convergence: Aquaman #2 ) (July, 2015)||A fictional depiction of the Egyptian goddess of the same name. She is the goddess responsible for choosing Khalid as the next Doctor Fate due to his pharaoh bloodline. While she is initially skeptical of choosing Khalid from his reluctance of accepting the role, she comes to believe she chose a capable champion and guides him in his path as Doctor Fate. She tends to inhabit the family cat, Puck, to communicate with Khalid and helps protects his personal life when his duties as Doctor Fate interferes with it.|
|Hauhet||Justice League Dark 2021 Annual #1 ) (January, 2022)||A fictional depiction of the Egyptian deity of the same name. Hauhet replaces Nabu as the resident spirit within the Helmet of Fate when Nabu disappeared. The Egyptian deity over space and time, her influence in the Helmet allows Khalid the ability to see through other timelines at the expense of losing his sight for each time he uses the ability. Khalid is initially unaware of her presence until Merlin attempts to usurp control of magic. Hauhet also appears in the Future State event, revealing herself to be an ally of Nabu and repairs the Helmet back to full power after Nelson's sacrifice against Upside-Down Man damaged the artifact.|
|Stitch||Teen Titans Academy #1 ) (May, 2021)||A non-binary animated ragdoll who becomes Khalid's apprentice some time after the death of Kent Nelson. They are a student at Teen Titans Academy and later founds Young Justice Dark, a younger counterpart of Justice League Dark.|
|Khalid's love interests|
|Shaya Halim||Convergence: Aquaman #2 ) (July, 2015)||Khalid's girlfriend aspiring to be a doctor like Khalid himself.|
|Akila||Doctor Fate (vol. 4) #3 ) (October, 2015)||Khalid's childhood best friend and an activist with goals of protesting against wrongdoings from people in Middle Eastern countries despite her family frowning upon her activities. Unlike her family, the Nassours typically support her endeavors and prefer her over Shaya. She tries to get Khalid into activism, unaware that his rejection of it stems from his double life as Doctor Fate. She also harbors romantic feelings for him.|
|Villain||First appearance||Fictional biography||Notable members|
|Lords of Order||(retcon): More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
(actual): DC Special Series #10 (Jan 1978)
|A group of mystical beings and godly entities representing the concept of order in the DC Universe; the group typically acts in tandem with various incarnations of Doctor Fate, often acting as an agent for them or a balacing force between them and their cosmic opposites, the Lords of Chaos.||Nabu
|Salem Coven||Doctor Fate (vol. 3) #1 (2002)||A Wiccan coven of magical practitioners whom offer their services to Hector Hall shortly after becoming Doctor Fate. They later assist Hector Hall during a crisis involving the malevolent entity known as "The Curse".||Professor Bolling
|Egyptian Pantheon||Convergence: Aquaman #2 (July, 2015)||The fictional depiction of the ancient Egyptian deties; In the modern era, the Egyptian deities (namely Bastet) would choose the new Doctor Fate in the form of Khalid Nassour, a descendant of previous pharaohs. The majority of the Egyptian gods are portrayed as allies of Khalid and working in tandem with the Archangels.||Osiris
Thoth / Zehueti
|Character||First appearance||Brief Description|
|Lords of Chaos and affiliated agents|
|Mordru||Adventure Comics #369 (June 1968)||Considered among the most powerful of all the Lords of Chaos; adversary of Doctor Fates and other characters and teams, including Amethyst, Arion, and Legion of Superheroes. A master of dark and chaos magic, he aims to dominate all of existence under his rule with the power of the Lords of Order and Chaos.|
|Anti-Fate||Doctor Fate #1 (July, 1987).||A former chief psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum, Dr. Benjamin Stone was chosen by the Lords of Chaos as their agent and was corrupted specifically be the Lord, Typhon, to become an antithesis of Doctor Fate.|
|Xanadoth||Superman (vol. 5) #23 (September, 2020)||A powerful Lord of Chaos, Xanadoth once ruled her fellow Chaos Lords until they rebelled and sided with the Lords of Order to depose of her rule and erased records of her history. She is later revived by an artifact containing her essence when it was collected by Department of Extranormal Operations agent, Veronica Bissett, and plots to subert the unvierse into her own variant of chaos. She becomes an enemy of Khalid Nassour, Superman, Justice League, and Justice League Dark.|
|Totec / Malferrazae||The Flash #306 (backup feature)||A fictional depiction based upon Xipe Totec, the Aztez god of ritual flaying and agriculture, lord of seasons, regeneration and crafts. In the DC Universe, "Totec" is the name given to Malferrazae by the Aztecs whom were unaware of his true name and affiliation with the Lords of Chaos and is identified as the Aztec God of War. After losing his power derived from the Aztec's worship upon their decemation at the hands of the Conquistadors, he existed as a statue witihn his shrine, using his limited powers to compel others to sacrifice in his name until he gained enough power to free himself. Malferrazae comes into conflict with the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate, later using Inza as a hostage to gain an advantage, spawning a demonic creature that was a manifestation of her jealousy to Kent Nelson. Eventually, the creature representing Inza's jealousy of Nelson choosing his duties as an agent of the Lords of Order over her turns on him, allowing Kent to defeat him.|
|Lords of Order and affiliated agents|
|Arion||Warlord #55 (March, 1982)||An Atlantean demigod and a fellow Lord of Order whose one of the few to possess a physical body. A corrupted version of Arion would come into conflict with Nabu after he is turned insane due to exposure to the Tear of Extinction and exposure to Khaji-Da. Arion's original state is later resurrected by Merlin during Khalid Nassour's lifetime as Doctor Fate, placed under mind control by Merlin.|
|Ynar||The Flash #310 (June, 1982)||A renegade Lord of Order who became disillusioned with the battles between the Lords of Chaos and Order, he teams up with another likeminded Lord of Chaos to end the conflict between the two by force, pitting him at odds with the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate.|
|Malevolent entities & deities|
|Anubis||1st Issue Special #9 (December, 1975)||A fictional version of the Egyptian god of the same name, he is the deity that empowers one of his faithful followers, Khalis, placing him at odds with both Nabu and later the first of the sorcerous line of Doctor Fate, agents of the aforementioned Lord of Order. Anubis most notably has enmity with the Khalid Nassour incarnation of Doctor Fate, as the pharaoh's blood running through his veins allows him to invoke power over him as he seeks to gain power and influence beyond his cosmic station and influence in wake of the weakening of his fellow Egyptian gods.|
|The Curse||Doctor Fate (vol. 3) #1 (2002)||The child of the Babylonian god of war (implied to be Nergal), the Curse (having forgotten his birth name) was a cruel and powerful demigod and sorcerer who once subjugated Mesopotamia and later attempted to take over Egypt until being stopped by Nabu. Unable to fully destroy him, Nabu instead destroyed his physical body and tapped his spirit inside a warrior helm. Needing a host to act, the Curse would choose Justin Guilder, a master thief who competed with Hector Hall for the affections of a woman named Caitlin. Confronting Doctor Fate and the Salem Coven, he is eventually defeated by the former. The Curse is one of the few non-Lords of Chaos enemies who uses chaos magic.|
|Evil scientist, sorcerers, and other adversarieis|
|Khalis||1st Issue Special #9 (December, 1975)||The mummy of an ancient priest and a follower of Anubis who was mummified and buried alive by Nabu and the original holder of the Amulet of Anubis and its terrifying power. He comes into conflict with the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate when he was revived and sought back the power of Anubis's amulet.|
|Wotan||More Fun Comics #55 (May, 1940)||A powerful sorcerer an arch-enemy of Doctor Fate, notably Kent Nelson's incarnation. Originally a woman from a primitive tribe who was raped and beaten nearly to death by her tormentors, she learned magic from an old sorceress and became determine to understand the purpose of humanity and its suffering. The woman would eventually learn how to transfer her soul into other bodies and took the name "Wotan", adopting the Germanic and Norse mythology despite having no association of it. Wotan uses both magic and scientific skills in their pursuit of power and curiosity.|
|Ian Karkull||More Fun Comics #69 (August 1941)||A scientist who gained the power of sorcery and a shadow form.|
|Justin Guilder||Doctor Fate (vol. 3) #1 (2002)||A master thief whom gained the powers of the entity known as the Curse after witnessing his resurrection by a culitist eager to gain more formidable power. Using his affections for a woman named Caitin and his jealousy of Hector Hall, Justin is manipulated into becoming the Curse's host. Unlike other dark entities, the Curse treats Justin mutually and becomes one with him. Justin's body (save his severed head) is destroyed during the Curse's battle with Doctor Fate.|
|Character||First appearance||Brief Description|
|Clock||More Fun Comics #81||A crime lord.|
|Joachim Heese||Doctor Fate Vol. 2 #1||An occultist.|
|Kingdom||Fate #0||A demon who controls the Dreadlands.|
|Mr. Who||More Fun Comics #73||A crippled master criminal who created Solution Z which gave him an assortment of powers.|
|Octopus||More Fun Comics #80||A criminal who established the "Carnival of Crime".|
|Villain||First appearance||Fictional biography||Notable members|
|Lords of Chaos||(retcon): More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
(actual): DC Special Series #10 (Jan 1978)
|The cosmic opposite of the Lords of Order and ultimate rival to the Lords of Order and their empowered agents. The Lords of Chaos exists as an enemy to all Doctor Fates, working to ensure to bring about an age known as "Kali Yuga", a period in which chaos and reigns supreme in the known universe.||Mordru
See also: Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) § In other media, Doctor Fate (Khalid Nassour) § In other media, and Nabu (comics)