Art by Alex Ross
|First appearance||Kent, Inza:|
More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
Doctor Fate (vol. 1) #1 (July 1987)
(as Doctor Fate) JSA #3 (Oct. 1999)
Countdown to Mystery #1 (Nov. 2007)
Earth 2 #9 (Feb. 2013)
Doctor Fate #1 (June 2015)
|Created by||Kent, Inza:|
Gardner Fox (writer)
Howard Sherman (artist)
J. M. DeMatteis
|Alter ego||Kent Nelson|
Inza Cramer Nelson
Kent V. Nelson
Justice Society of America
Lords of Order
Justice League Dark
Justice League International
Justice Society of America
Sentinels of Magic
Justice Society of America
|Notable aliases||Kent, Strauss, Inza, Hall, Khalid:|
|Abilities||Mastery of magic|
Doctor Fate (also known as Fate) is the name of multiple fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character has appeared in various incarnations, with Doctor Fate being the name of several different individuals in the DC Universe who are a succession of sorcerers. The original version of the character was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940).
More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940) introduced the first Doctor Fate in his own self-titled six page strip. 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).
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, which was cancelled after 23 issues in September 1996. The character then starred in The Book of Fate, which ran from February 1997 to January 1998 for twelve issues as part of DC's "Weirdoverse" imprint.
In early 2007, DC published a new Doctor Fate comic starring Kent Nelson's grandnephew, written by Steve Gerber and illustrated by Paul Gulacy. 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.
Following the events of the Flashpoint mini-series in 2011, DC's continuity was rebooted. As part of The New 52 initiative, a new 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 (Feb. 2013) onwards.
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. The title focused on the newest Doctor Fate, an Egyptian-American medical student named Khalid Nassour. The series ran for 18 issues from June 2015 to November 2016.
Fictional character biographies
The original Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson who discovered the tomb of the wizard Nabu and was trained by him in the ways of sorcery in order to fight crime and the forces of evil. He was a founding member of the Justice Society of America.
Eric and Linda Strauss
After Kent's death, Nabu chooses Eric Strauss and his stepmother Linda to be the next Doctor Fate, with Eric and Linda having to merge into one being in order to become Fate. Nabu goes on to possess Kent's corpse in order to personally advise them. The three of them are soon joined by a friendly demon called Petey and lawyer Jack C. Small.
Eric is killed on Apokolips during a battle with Desaad, forcing Linda to become Doctor Fate on her own. Linda is killed soon afterwards by the Lords of Chaos. Eric and Linda's souls are reincarnated in the bodies of Eugene and Wendy DiBellia while Nabu reincarnates in Eugene and Wendy's unborn child.
Inza Cramer Nelson
Kent and Inza, whose souls have been inhabiting a fantasy world within the amulet, are resurrected in younger bodies, but only Inza can become Doctor Fate. As Doctor Fate, Inza becomes more proactive and reckless in the use of her powers, which leads to her temporary separation from Kent.
The Nelsons learn T'Giian, a Lord of Chaos, has possessed the helmet. This provides Inza with magic derived from Chaos instead of Order, which is why Kent and Inza can't merge to become Doctor Fate. Kent reunites with Inza and helps her defeat T'Giian. Inza then discovers her new powers come from the people of Earth rather than the magic of Order and Chaos. The Nelsons start merging as the male Doctor Fate again, but the two of them can become separate Doctor Fates if needed. 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 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, the demon Etrigan 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 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.
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, 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.
Kent V. Nelson
In 2011, DC Comics rebooted the DC universe through "The New 52." On Earth 2, Khalid Ben-Hassin is the grandson of Kent Nelson. He and Kendra Saunders-Munoz are hired by the World Army to find the Tomb of Nabu. When they did, Khalid gained the Helmet of Fate while Kendra grew bird-like wings. When he is not wearing the Helmet of Fate, Khalid acts crazy in front of everyone as he claims that Nabu can still speak to him this way.
In June 2015, a new Doctor Fate series was launched, starring the Earth-0 incarnation of the character, an Egyptian-American medical student named Khalid Nassour. Khalid receives the helmet from a statue of Bastet which turned out to be his cat. It is later revealed that Khalid's mother is Kent Nelson's niece, making Khalid Kent's grandnephew.
In Justice League Dark, it is revealed that Khalid was imprisoned by Nabu (who has taken over as Doctor Fate) within a magical vase. When the vase is accidentally broken when the Justice League Dark arrive at the Tower of Fate, Khalid is temporarily freed and tries to warn them that Nabu is helping release the Otherkind but is trapped back in the vase. After the events of the Witching Hour, the vase containing Khalid is brought to the JLD's headquarters where Man-Bat uses magic to free Khalid from it and learns of Nabu and the Lords of Order's plans involving the Otherkind.
Powers and abilities
This section is missing information about powers, abilities and weaknesses from all versions of the character.March 2019)(
Doctor Fate possesses various powers due to Nabu's training, such as spellcasting, flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, and lightning manipulation, teleportation, healing, force fields, ice manipulation, immateriality, and the ability to travel between parallel Earths.
However, Fate is unable to counteract spells that have already been cast and are in effect, but is able to cancel elemental spells cast by weaker magicians. Fate is also weak to gas attacks and a lack of oxygen, and can also be overpowered and knocked unconscious. Fate's magic manifests in the shape of Egyptian hieroglyphs, such as an ankh. Fate's powers have been described as "the true conversion of energy into matter, and matter into energy".
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2020)
Doctor Fate had enemies of his own:
- Anti-Fate - A psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who got possessed by Typhon of the Lords of Chaos.
- Black Alice - A woman who can temporarily borrow magic from anyone.
- Demons Three - Three demon brothers.
- Ian Karkull - A scientist who gained the power of sorcery and a shadow form.
- Mister Who - A crippled criminal mastermind with one working eye who created Solution Z which grants him the abilities of shapeshifting, size-shifting, invisibility, limb regeneration, phasing, and an amphibious nature. He later appeared as a member of the Monster Society of Evil and a member of Alexander Luthor Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains.
- Mordru - A powerful wizard.
- Psycho-Pirate - A psychic vampire who controls things with his Medusa Mask.
- Wotan - A sorcerer.
Doctor Chaos (Earth-1)
In the Earth-1 universe, Professor Lewis Lang and his assistant Burt Belker discover a helmet in the Valley of Ur in Mesopotamia that is identical to the helmet on Earth-2 except for its blue color. This helmet contains a Lord of Chaos that possesses Burt and turns him into the sorcerer Doctor Chaos, whose costume is identical to Doctor Fate's except for a reversed color scheme. Superboy confronts Doctor Chaos and removes the helmet from Burt, jettisoning it into space.
Books of Magic
While Timothy Hunter is being guided through the world of magic by the Phantom Stranger, the two of them observe Kent, though he is unaware of their presence. Sometime later, Mister E shows Hunter a future version of the helmet that resembles a human skull and kills any of its worshippers who wear it. The helmet has given up on life itself and the war between Order and Chaos. Mister E revealed that in the past, he attempted to kill Doctor Fate and destroy the helmet but was stopped by the Justice League.
Earth-22 (Kingdom Come)
The Kingdom Come universe features a version of Nabu who is able to channel his consciousness through the helmet and cloak without the need for a host body. This version of Fate sides with Batman's group and is among the survivors at the end of the final battle.
In other media
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- Actor Brent Stait played Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate in the Smallville two-part episode "Absolute Justice", with Erica Carroll as Inza Nelson. The Helmet of Nabu reappeared in the season 10 episode "Lazarus".
- Doctor Fate's helmet made a brief appearance in the "Non Est Asylum" episode of Constantine. It is seen among the artifacts stored in Jasper Winter's house.
- Doctor Fate appears in the series Stargirl as a member of the Justice Society of America before the team was attacked and killed by the Injustice Society.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears in the DC animated universe:
- Doctor Fate appears in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Hand of Fate", voiced by George DelHoyo. Doctor Fate is depicted as a retired superhero and a former ally of Superman, disillusioned by his never ending battles against evil. After refusing to aid Superman against his enemy Karkull, he changes his mind after seeing Superman head off to battle him despite knowing he will almost certainly die. Doctor Fate then helps Superman seal Karkull, but is severely injured. While Fate is recovering, he vows to continue being a superhero.
- Doctor Fate appears in the Justice League animated series voiced by Oded Fehr. In “The Terror Beyond” Doctor Fate recruits Solomon Grundy and Aquaman for a ritual to banish the Great Old Ones and their leader Icthultu after discovering they were ready to return. The Justice League interrupt, believing him to be torturing Grundy. After a fight, Fate explains his actions and Hawkgirl suggests simply killing Icthultu. Fate agrees, and the Justice League, Fate, Grundy, and Aquaman travel to Icthultu’s dimension. They succeed in killing Icthultu, but Grundy dies in the process. In “Hereafter”, Doctor Fate appears at Superman's funeral.
- Doctor Fate appears in Justice League Unlimited again voiced by Fehr.
- Doctor Fate appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes "The Eyes of Despero!", "The Fate of Equinox", and "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth", voiced by Greg Ellis. A younger version of Doctor Fate also appears in a small cameo role in "The Siege of Starro" Part 1.
- Doctor Fate appears in the Young Justice animated series. He first appears in the episode "Denial", with Kent Nelson voiced by Edward Asner and Nabu voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. He subsequently appears in the episodes "Revelation", "Misplaced", and "Agendas". After Nelson dies in a conflict between the Team and Klarion the Witch Boy, Dr. Fate's helmet is stored within Mt. Justice. Over the course of the series, the helmet is temporarily taken up by Wally West in "Denial", then Aqualad in "Revelation". In both instances, the spirit of Kent Nelson, choosing to reside in the helmet a while longer, convinces Nabu to release the host. However, in "Misplaced", after Zatanna dons the helmet after Klarion splits the Earth between children and adults, Nabu refuses to release her due to the belief that the world needs Fate to protect against Chaos more than ever, until her father Giovanni Zatara offers to become Nabu's host in her place.
- Doctor Fate appears in Mad episodes 22 and 46, voiced by Kevin Shinick. In the "That's What Super Friends are For" segment, Doctor Fate is among the superheroes that ask Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman on why they are called the Super Friends. He quotes "You say you don't bill minors, but then you bill Shazam."
- Doctor Fate appears in a series of animated shorts as part of the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears in Justice League Action with his child form voiced by Erica Luttrell. In the episode "Trick or Threat", he alongside Batman, John Constantine, and Zatanna are turned into children by Klarion the Witch Boy so that he can lure them into the House of Mystery and steal the Helmet of Fate from Doctor Fate.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears as a member of the JSA in the opening credits of Justice League: The New Frontier.
- An evil version Doctor Fate from a parallel Earth briefly appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where he is seen as part of Superwoman's "Made Men".
- Doctor Fate appears in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Doctor Fate's helmet appears in Justice League Dark within the House of Mystery.
- A new incarnation of Doctor Fate appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Greg Grunberg. This version is an original character named Steel Maxum who was chosen by Nabu to be Doctor Fate for his fitness, but only for a short period before Scandal Savage and Knockout double crossed him and stole the "Get Out of Hell Free" card from him. This caused Nabu to kick him out of the Tower of Fate for his recklessness and irresponsibility. It is rumored by Maxum that Nabu "picked some chick" to replace him. In the present day, Maxum joins a male strip club in Branson, Missouri, as the "Pharaoh" while marked with an Egyptian Ankh tattoo on his back. Maxum is then found in the club by Amanda Waller's Task Force X team at the same time Professor Zoom and his henchmen find him. Though he is knocked unconscious by Silver Banshee, he is still retrieved by the Squad who escapes the club with him. Maxum tells the Squad about the card Waller sent them for, which allows the user to bypass Hell and go straight to Heaven. Maxum is then is kicked out of the Squad's vehicle and left behind in the streets with his undies and blanket and caught by Zoom's henchmen when he is about to be arrested for indecent exposure by a police officer. His fate after that is not revealed.
- Doctor Fate appears in DC Universe Online. In the DLC "Hand of Fate", Doctor Fate and Felix Faust became playable avatars in PVP Legends. The DLC also added new multiplayer missions, called Operations, which involve Fate and Faust leading teams of player heroes and villains.
- Doctor Fate is one of the thousands of characters that can be spawned in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced by David Sobolov, reprising his role from Injustice 2.
- Doctor Fate's costume can be seen in The Hall of Justice arena in Injustice: Gods Among Us. He also appears as a support card in the IOS App. Fate is mentioned in Zatanna's ending where he and Zatanna combined their magic to create the Tower of Fate which served as a stronghold to the Regime's enemies as Superman is vulnerable to magic.
- The Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate appears as a playable character in Injustice 2, voiced by David Sobolov. In the main storyline, he first appears in Gorilla City, being forced by the Lords of Order to fight Green Arrow and Black Canary, who defeat him. Fate then reveals to them that a great threat is coming to Earth soon. When Brainiac attacks, he is once again forced by the Lords of Order into helping the alien with his plans to destroy Earth, believing that the planet is beyond saving and this is the only to restore order. Fate fights Batman and Superman when they infiltrate Brainiac's ship, and, upon being defeated, is freed from the Lords' influence by Superman, who destroys his helmet; however, he is then killed by Brainiac with one of mechanical tentacles. In his Arcade ending, following Brainiac's defeat, Nelson approaches Zatanna and John Constantine for help, knowing that the Lords of Order will try to exact revenge on him for denying their orders. They cast a spell on him to protect him from the Lords, while the latter's daughter Rose brings his wife Inza back to life.
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- Several Doctor Fate action figures have been released, with most of them based on the Kent Nelson version of the character.
- The first Doctor Fate figure was released in 1985 as part of the second wave of Kenner's Super Powers Collection.
- DC Direct released another figure in 2000 as part of the Mystics, Mages and Magicians collection.
- A third figure was released with the Justice League Unlimited series (2004–2006) as a single figure and as part of three-pack collections.
- DC Direct released a fourth figure in December 2007 as part of its second wave of DC: The New Frontier action figures.
- Two Doctor Fate figures were released in April 2009 as part of the DC Universe Classics toyline: a Classic Kent Nelson version with regular yellow armor, and a "Chase" variant Modern Hector Hall version with gold accent armor and helm.
- The Batman: The Brave and the Bold toyline included a "Dr. Fate versus Wotan" two-pack set released in December 2009.
- At the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con International, DC Direct announced a full-size replica of Doctor Fate's helmet and amulet for release in 2005. The helmet was displayed with upcoming items during the February 2007 Toy Fair, but is still not available for purchase.
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- Doctor Fate at the DC Database
- Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Doctor Fate (Eric and Linda Strauss) at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Doctor Fate (Inza Nelson) at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Doctor Fate (Hector Hall) at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Doctor Fate (Kent V. Nelson) at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- The Helmet of Fate at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Grand Comics Database: Doctor Fate entries
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