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Doctor Fate

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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 May 10th 1940 #55
Created byKent, Inza:
Gardner Fox (writer)
Howard Sherman (artist)
Eric, Linda Strauss:
J. M. DeMatteis
Shawn McManus
Jared Stevens
John Francis Moore
Anthony Williams
Hector Hall (as Doctor Fate)
James Robinson
David S. Goyer
Stephen Sadowski
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
All-Star Squadron
PartnershipsPatrons: Nabu, Hauhet, Shat-Ru, Chaos, Thoth, Bastet
Sidekicks and apprentices: Stitch, Salem the Witch Girl
Partners: Kirk Langstrom, Inza Fox, Jack C. Small, Petey
Notable aliasesFate
Fate's Legacy
Sorcerer Supreme[1]
Earth's Mightiest Sorcerer[2]
Mighty Sorcerer[3]
Mantle of Mystic Master[4]
Immortal Doctor Fate[5]
Ageless Archmage[6]
  • 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, elemental control etc.
  • Knowledge of the supernatural
Altered in-story information for adaptations to other media
Alter egoNabu (Young Justice)
"Steel Maxum" (Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay)
PartnershipsYoung Justice:
Kent Nelson
Giovanni Zatara
Zatanna Zatara
Khalid Nassour
Traci Thurston
Notable aliasesEarth's Sorcerer Supreme (Young Justice)

Doctor Fate, also known as Fate or collectively as Fate's Legacy,[7] 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). Throughout the character's extensive history, various incarnations of Doctor Fate emerged as deliberate attempts to reinvigorate the character.[8][9][10]

In most depictions, Doctor Fate is a legacy hero created by Nabu, a cosmic entity linked to the Lords of Order and Mesopotamian deities. While typically aligned with the Lords of Order and Nabu as patrons, Doctor Fate has also served other entities and worked independently as a superhero and demon hunter. In recent iterations, the Doctor Fate mantle has been occasionally connected to ancient Egyptian deities.[11] Nabu initially selected Kent Nelson, a young Swedish-American, as an agent for the Lords of Order. Kent's time as Doctor Fate was marked by challenges, including a lack of personal agency from Nabu's possession and strained relationships due to the demands of the role.[12] Despite these obstacles, Kent persevered for decades, facing formidable adversaries and becoming a respected member of prestigious teams such as the Justice Society of America.

The role was later passed on to ten-year-old Eric Strauss and his step-mother, Linda Strauss, who had a relatively brief tenure as Doctor Fate. They faced challenges, including conflicts with the Lords of Chaos and deception orchestrated by DeSaad, ultimately meeting their demise and being reincarnated.[13][14] Inza Cramer, the wife of Kent Nelson, became the fourth successor to the Doctor Fate role. Her tenure diverged from the typical focus, as she emphasized a more community-oriented approach alongside her sorcerous abilities.[15] Jared Stevens, an American smuggler, assumed the role after Inza Cramer. He acted as a demon hunter and agent of balance, facing opposition from both the Lords of Chaos and Order.[16] Hector Hall, the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, became Doctor Fate and proved to be an enduring incarnation until his tragic demise alongside other Lords of Order and Chaos. Kent V. Nelson, the grandnephew of the original Kent Nelson, took on the mantle next, despite lacking established connections and resources. He also became a prominent member of the Justice Society of America.

The current bearer of the Doctor Fate mantle is Khalid Nassour, an Egyptian-American who practices Islam. Chosen by Bastet and supported by ancient Egyptian deities and archangels, Khalid navigates the challenges of being Doctor Fate while juggling his superhero duties, social life, and studies as a medical student[17] until he graduated. He has become a significant member of the Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice Society of America, and holds the distinction of being the second-longest-running incarnation of Doctor Fate.

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 iterations, 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"[18]

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.[19] After a year with no background, his alter ego and origins were shown in More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941).[20] Stories during the Golden Age included his love interest, Inza, who was known variably throughout the Golden Age as Inza Cramer,[21] Inza Sanders,[22][23] and Inza Carmer.[24][25][26][27]

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.[28]

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 No. 313 (September 1982) written by Martin Pasko (aided by Steve Gerber from #310 to No. 313) and drawn by Keith Giffen.[29]

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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33] The character of Eric Strauss was seemingly killed off later in the run, making Linda Strauss the sole Doctor Fate for a time.[34] The character would also briefly become a permanent member of the Justice League International.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38] 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.[16] Considered an unpopular re-imagining of the character,[8] 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.[39][40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

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.[9][43] 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.[44] The character would appear in the Reign in Hell miniseries[45] 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


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[46] and artist Brett Booth. The character was featured in the Earth 2 ongoing series from #9 (February 2013) onwards.[47]

DC You & 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.[10] 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.[48] 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.[49]

New Justice


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.[50] 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.[51] Khalid would also appear in several title crossovers such as Superman, Teen Titans Academy, and The Flash.

In 2021–2022, 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.[52] 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.[52] Nassour would also play a role in the Justice League/Justice League Dark crossover involving the return of the character Xanadoth and appeared in the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earth storyline, having joined the Justice Society of America team but also serving simultaneously as a member of Justice League Dark.

In late 2022-onward, the Doctor Fate character would concurrent play a role in Justice Society of America comic title and was notably absent from the main Lazarus Planet crossover. In the Batman vs Robin prelude, the main antagonist, the DC Comics' incarnation of Nezha, briefly gained possession of the Helmet of Fate and the artifacts within the character's Tower of Fate. The helmet was ultimately shattered and is the catalyst of the event after falling into the Lazarus Pit, a recurring element in Batman stories involving Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins.[53] A tie-in to the crossover reveals his fate as being defeated and trapped by the antagonist prior to the prelude and appeared to be rescued by Nia Nal but at a cost to the new heroine.[54] The event also introduces a darker variation of the helmet known as the Helmet of Hate.[55]

In the Justice Society of America comic title, the character's status quo from the previous Justice League Dark title carries over with the Khalid later briefly joining the team and plays a significant role in the eventual defeat of Per Degaton, a time travelling Nazi villain seeking to replace the history of the team with his own, by enlisting the aid of other JSA heroes across time, including both a past version of Kent and a future version. The series would showcase different iterations of Doctor Fate as Degaton hunts the JSA across time[56] and later rectified the history of the character, restored past incarnations of the character into the current continuity, and established incarnations predating Nelson's tenure albeit without the usage of the "Doctor Fate" moniker.[57] The title also addresses timeline issues, with events like Zero Hour occurring eight years prior and the 2015 Doctor Fate series taking place one year before the comic's events[56] although several issues arise: Khalid's appearances in various other titles, notably Justice League Dark, imply his tenure to be longer than two years[58][59] and having graduated into a first year resident physician[56] despite his series depicting him starting his first year of medical school.[17] Khalid's age is also conflicted, with the timeline implying he is younger than characters whom he initially debuted as being older (i.e. Raven[60] and Dick Grayson[61]). The timeline also omits Inza's shared role as Doctor Fate during the Zero Hour event and conflicts with the tenures of all versions of Doctor Fate with the exception of Kent and Khalid's own within the DC Universe's continuity.

In 2023, the character is referenced in the Knight Terrors storyline[62] and the Khalid Nassour version appears in the Wonder Woman tie-tin.[63][64] In late 2023 and 2024, Kent would make appearances in various titles such as Green Lantern: Alan Scott and Jay Garrick: The Flash, the comic books taking place decades prior to the character's death in Justice League Dark. Khalid would also featured in the Absolute Power crossover, depicted as one of the heroes depowered by the machinations of Amanda Waller with the help of Amazo robots replicating the powers of heroes and Brainiac Queen.

Character overview


In most portrayals of the various versions of Doctor Fate, the character is a legacy hero empowered by magic to commonly take on the role of an agent of order, acting as a representative of the Lords of Order and is primarily supported by Nabu, a fictionalized representation of the Mesopotamian deity of the same name who serves as the primary patron, guiding force, and mentor to various individuals. Nabu is commonly portrayed as a patron who frequently schemes to seize control over those who bear the helm, sometimes overriding their will with his own (primarily in the Kent Nelson incarnation). This characteristic has made him widely recognized in the magical community within the DC Universe.[65][66] On occasion, other specific and the collective members of the Lords of Order have also lent patronage to several versions of Doctor Fate.[67]

In the current iteration, Doctor Fate is primarily supported by ancient Egyptian deities whose divine purview occasionally included previous incarnations whom are historically also recognized as champions of magic originating from Egypt, although the current Doctor Fate still retains his status as an agent of order. This support originally came from Bastet, Thoth, and archangels presumably affiliated with Islamic faith. The deities and angels would task Thoth's disciple, Nabu, to act as a guide within the helm. This support would also grant Doctor Fate powers originating from Thoth in particular.[17] Later, Nabu and the other entities' patronage are eventually replaced by Hauhet, whose agenda appears to be mysterious[67] but is thought to be of self-interest according to Wonder Woman, as her well-being is interconnected with the state of reality and time.[68]

Other patronages and roles


Among other prevalent elements of other incarnations, various other versions of Doctor Fate possess other patrons who assist them. The Lords of Chaos have also played a significant role for certain versions of Doctor Fate, with Chaos acting as a patron who grants his agents access to a variant of magic known as "Chaos magic". The entity sought to demonstrate that not all of his brethren are synonymous with evil and empowered the Inza Cramer incarnation unknowingly as a agent of chaos. However, it was implied that Chaos was responsible for manipulating his agent's martial problem, mental state, and limited the role to a singular being.[69][70] Different iterations of Doctor Fate have been portrayed as a demon hunter, an "agent of balance" striving to prevent the conflicts between factions leading to further cosmic consequences,[71] and an independent sorcerer affiliated with the Justice Society of America.[16]



Within the DC Universe, the character is often regarded with general reverence and trepidation, being considered commonly among the most formidable of magical users in the universe and the most notable agent for the Lords of Order, although the specific accolades of Doctor Fate incarnations vary.[72][73][16] In some versions, certain bearers of the helmet are recognized with the title of Sorcerer Supreme, denoting their exceptional magical abilities in comparison to other practitioners.[1] Additionally, notable incarnations who possess the helmet may also be referred to as a Lord of Order despite serving as designated agents of order.[74]



Mainstream comic


Since the first Doctor Fate series in 1989, the character's history has been retroactively changed to establish a legacy hero concept. Various versions of Doctor Fate have been introduced, featuring different characters who assume the mantle in an effort to appeal to contemporary audiences. In recent continuities, Kent Nelson is widely recognized as the first incarnation of Doctor Fate. However, alternative sources suggest the existence of earlier versions predating him. According to one source, ancient Egyptian deities selected champions to fulfill the role.[11] This concept is further explored in the New Golden Age storyline, where Kent Nelson clarifies that while he is the first to bear the "Doctor Fate" codename, others in the past have assumed the responsibilities associated with the Helmet of Fate centuries before him, albeit without using the specific name "Doctor Fate."[57]

Kent Nelson

Young and old versions of Kent Nelson. Art by Jesús Saíz (left image) and Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Raúl Fernández, Brad Anderson (right image).

Dr. Kent Nelson, the first and original incarnation of Doctor Fate, was created by Gardener Fox and Howard Sherman during the Golden Age of Comic Books. Making his debut in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940), Kent Nelson is widely recognized as the primary and most iconic version of the character. He has played significant roles as both the main character and a major supporting character in various Doctor Fate titles throughout the years. Kent Nelson was also a founding member of the Justice Society of America, All-Star Squadron, and different Justice League teams.

Born to an archaeologist with Swedish and British ancestry, Kent Nelson accompanied his father on an expedition to a tomb in Mesopotamia, where they discovered the preserved body of Nabu, an ancient being. Sadly, Kent's father lost his life in the process. Moved by the young boy's plight, Nabu took him under his wing and trained him in the mystical arts. Ultimately, Nabu passed on the mantle of Doctor Fate to Kent, who became an esteemed agent of the Lords of Order. Kent embarked on a superhero career, specializing in magic, and formed deep connections with his partner and later wife, Inza Cramer.[75][16] However, revisions to Kent Nelson's backstory in later iterations depicted Nabu as a domineering and manipulative figure who coerced a young Kent Nelson into becoming his agent, gradually eroding his free will and imposing his own desires upon him. In the pre-New 52 continuity, Eric and Linda Strauss officially succeeded Kent Nelson as Doctor Fate. In the modern continuity, Kent's grand-nephew and apprentice, Khalid Nassour, assumed the mantle of Doctor Fate as his official successor.[76]

Eric & Linda Strauss

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

The second incarnation of Doctor Fate, Eric and Linda Strauss, made their debut in Doctor Fate #1 in July 1987, created by J.M. Dematteis and Keith Giffen. They were introduced as replacements for the original Doctor Fate. The Strauss family takes center stage in the first Doctor Fate mini-series and the initial portion of the Doctor Fate ongoing series. Eric Strauss, born to wealthy parents Rebecca and Henry Strauss, was chosen from a young age to become an agent of order. Growing up with awareness of the Lords of Order, Eric had a unique mystical sensitivity that affected his personality. Linda Strauss, who would later become his stepmother, developed a bond with Eric. However, their family life was marred by abuse, with Rebecca ultimately taking her own life due to mistreatment from Henry. Linda, enduring abuse herself, remained with Eric due to her strange fascination with him. At the age of ten, Eric was selected by Nabu to inherit the mantle of Doctor Fate, resulting in a significant increase in his physical age, similar to what happened with Kent Nelson. However, Eric's mind did not mature accordingly. As Doctor Fate, Eric and Linda often merged to become a joint being known as "Doctor Fate", with the guidance of Nabu, who possessed Kent Nelson's corpse. Despite Eric's childlike mind, Linda developed romantic feelings for him, and Eric reciprocated those feelings. Tragically, Eric was killed during a battle with Desaad on Apokolips, leaving Linda to assume the role of Doctor Fate alone. Shortly after, Linda herself was killed by the Lords of Chaos. However, they were later reincarnated into new bodies and continued their lives together.[13][34]

In contrast to their predecessor, Eric and Linda have the ability to mystically merge and become the combined entity known as "Doctor Fate". During this union, the artifacts associated with Nabu manifest within them. The dominant consciousness determines their appearance while merged. As Doctor Fate, they are considered one of the most powerful magical beings on Earth, potentially surpassing Kent Nelson's incarnation in raw power, although they lack his experience. They can also act independently as Doctor Fate, although their power is diminished by half when separate.[77][78]

Inza Cramer Nelson

Inza as Doctor Fate. Art by Vincent Giarrano, Peter Gross, and Anthony Tollin.

Inza Cramer-Nelson, also known as Inza Saunders, made her debut in More Fun Comics #55 in 1940. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, she was initially introduced as a love interest for Kent Nelson, the original individual to embody Doctor Fate. While starting as a significant supporting character in the Immortal Doctor Fate stories, Inza later becomes the fourth character and the second female to assume the mantle of Doctor Fate. She takes on the role of the main character in the latter half of the second Doctor Fate ongoing series.

As Doctor Fate, Inza adopts a more proactive approach, although she becomes increasingly reckless in her methods, leading to a temporary separation from Kent. Eventually, the two reconcile their differences upon discovering that Inza's patron as Doctor Fate derived from a Lord of Chaos, making her an agent of chaos. The Chaos Lord reveals himself and admits to subtly influencing events to incite strife between Inza and Kent. Surprisingly, the Chaos Lord finds pleasure in seeing the Lords of Chaos act as forces of good, as even Chaos Lords do not necessarily favor evil. He returns the powers bestowed upon Inza to himself, but she replaces her chaos magic with magics derived from life. Inza continues to operate as Doctor Fate alongside Kent, wearing the helmet and donning Kent's original costume, while Kent wears a half helmet and the costume he used in the late 1940s when they operate as separate incarnations of Doctor Fate.[69][70][79] Unlike other versions of Doctor Fate, Inza derived her chief magical powers from chaos magic, enabling her to accomplish a wide range of magical feats through pure thought. At a later point, her connection to chaos magic was severed, and she drew her power from life energies instead.[70]

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 character differs from all other incarnations, radically re-imagined as a demon hunter referred to only as Fate. The character's backstory was revised in the Book of Fate series.

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 explodes and imbues him with various magical abilities, leaving 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 supernatural 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.[80] Jared's equipment reverts to its original forms and returns to the Tower of Fate upon his death.[81] 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.[82]

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.[83] 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.[84] 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.[85] 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.[86]

Kent V. Nelson

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

The final 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 connection to Nabu or the Lords of Order or Chaos, as the two factions were killed off in a previous storyline. In addition, the character's powers are not tied to any known mythology, making the Doctor Fate character simply a mystic superhero.[9][43] Kent V. Nelson was a psychiatrist and the grand-nephew of the original Kent Nelson. His divorce following marital infidelity resulted in psychological depression and the loss of his medical license due to professional negligence. Eventually, the Helmet of Fate would choose him as the new incarnation of Doctor Fate. The character would become a member of the Justice Society of America, struggling to uphold the legacy of spell-casters despite his initial lack of magical expertise.[87][88] In his early depiction in the Justice Society of America title, he was a novice sorcerer capable of casting general spells[89] but overtime time, the character was later recognized with the "Sorcerer Supreme" title.[1]

Khalid Nassour

Khalid Nassour. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan.

The eighth and current main iteration of Doctor Fate, Khalid Nassour, made his debut in June 2015, headlining his own solo series. This rendition was conceived as an endeavor to revitalize the Doctor Fate character, exploring a storyline rooted in Egyptian themes.[48] The character's narrative and setting drew inspiration from Marvel Comics' Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, and was recognized as one of DC Comics' first Muslim characters to lead a solo series.[90] Unlike previous incarnations, Khalid's identity as Doctor Fate stems from both a cultural affiliation with Egyptian deities and a religious connection to archangels, diverging from the traditional association with Nabu.[17]

An individual of biracial Egyptian-American heritage, Nassour is the grandnephew of Kent Nelson. Initially pursuing a career in medicine, he is chosen by the goddess Bastet to take on the mantle of Doctor Fate based on his direct lineage to ancient Egyptian pharaohs. This destiny marks him as a defender of magic and an opponent of Anubis. Nassour receives mentorship in the realm of magic from both Kent Nelson and Nabu, the former concurrently holding the position of Doctor Fate. Eventually, Nassour succeeds Nelson and becomes a significant member of both the Justice League Dark and the Justice Society of America following Nelson’s death.[11][91] Throughout the character's history, he is was initially depicted as a novice sorcerer before undergoing training and growth, eventually establishing himself himself as one of the prominent magic practitioners on Earth, akin to previous incarnations.[92]



In certain instances, Nabu has assumed or usurped the role of Doctor Fate via possession or projecting his consciousness into the garments and artifacts, effectively substituting for the presence of Doctor Fate. Nabu substituted as Doctor Fate following the death of Hector Hall, temporarily using Wesley Dodds as a host while also having his powers diminished. Nabu joined forces with the Justice Society to confront Mordru, who had managed to escape imprisonment at the Rock of Eternity. Nabu's strategic efforts proved effective in keeping Mordru off-balance, thereby allowing for the Society's safety and the rescue of Jakeem Thunder. With the assistance of Johnny Thunderbolt, Jakeem Thunder played a pivotal role in defeating Mordru.[93] Nabu later relinquished Dodds and during he the Day of Vengeance storyline, Nabu gathered mystics from the magical community and collaborated with them to confront the Spectre, who hased widespread destruction by eliminating the majority of the Lords of Order and Chaos. In their encounter, Nabu engaged in a battle with the Spectre, ultimately suffering fatal injuries. However, Nabu succeeded in depowering the Spectre. It was revealed that the higher powers were displeased with the Spectre's actions due to both the Lords of Chaos and Order's standing as well as his culling of them despite the Lords of Order's intent to procure a long-lasting, ideal host for him. As a result, the higher powers intervened and stripped the Spectre of his form, binding him to a temporary host.[94]

During the DC Rebirth era, Nabu assumed the role of Doctor Fate for a time. This unique manifestation involved the utilization of Kent Nelson, who had been in a state of magical stasis within the Tower of Fate. However, this arrangement came to a conclusion when the demigod Arion intervened and defeated Nabu by severing his connection through a powerful magical spell. Subsequently, Kent regained his autonomy and control over the Doctor Fate mantle, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Teri Magnus.[95] Nabu would possess Nelson once more, conspiring with other Lords of Order who similarly usurped hosts by force to rid reality of magic, sacrificing their own being and countless others to starve the Otherkind to death, whom fed of magic.[96] With the intervention of the Justice League Dark, the team succeeds in freeing Nelson and those imprisoned in the Helmet of Fate while adding a new condition for the helm with the use of chaos magic, now requiring a willing bearer and disallowing Nabu from being able to further possess others.[97]

Temporary bearers


Multiple characters within the expansive DC Universe have assumed the mantle of Doctor Fate through temporary possession of the Helmet of Fate. Notable individuals who have donned the Helmet of Fate and assumed the role of Doctor Fate briefly include Detective Chimp[98], Wesley Dodds[93], Superman[99], and Batman.[53]

Alternate realities versions


Doc Fate


An alternate version of Doctor Fate, known as Doc Fate, is shown to exist on the pulp fiction-influenced world of Earth-20.[100][101] Doc Fate is an African-American gunslinger and occultist named Kent Nelson who is based in a windowless Manhattan skyscraper. Doc Fate forms and leads a team of adventurers known as the Society of Super-Heroes, which includes the Immortal Man, the Mighty Atom, the Blackhawks and the Green Lantern Abin Sur.[102]

Khalid Ben-Hassin

Khalid Ben-Hassin as Doctor Fate. Art by Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott (left) Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund (right)

In 2013, several years after DC Comics rebooted the DC Universe through the New 52, a new alternate version of Doctor Fate would be created for the Earth 2 series; the incarnation of the character known as Khalid Ben-Hassin, who 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.[103] A stark difference from the mainstream Doctor Fate includes the Helmet of Fate within the respective universe revealed to be a form of a Mother Box grafted with magical energies and the personality of Nabu.[104]

In the Earth 2 series and respective universe, Ben-Hassin is an Egyptian-American archaeologist who is the world's foremost expert on occult and magic, having previously approached the subject from an arachological standpoint rather than believing myths to be true until Nabu (cast as an Egyptian wizard from long ago) chooses him as his vessel of chaos and order. While initially rejecting it, Ben-Hassin dons it to prevent supervillain Karel Wotan from claiming it while inspired to heroism by Earth 2's Flash, a younger version of Jay Garrick.[105] Eventually, after the invasion of Darkseid's forces and the creation of a new Earth for the survivors, Ben-Hassin destroys the Helmet of Fate saved a few shards, which he then kept in a necklace, granting him the abilities of having premonitions and visions of the future. He also becomes an ambassador on the newly created Earth for the Wonders of the World.

Doctor Fate of the 31st Century


Doctor Fate of the 31st Century, or simply referred to as Doctor Fate, represents potential future iterations of the character within the 31st Century following the reversal of reality alterations enacted by Doctor Manhattan during the Doomsday Clock event. The first version of this character made their debut in Supergirl #33 (2019) and was created by writer Marc Andreyako and artist Kevin Maguire. A second female version of the character first appeared in The New Golden Age #1, created by writer Geoff Johns.

The initial version of the future Doctor Fate is portrayed as a male, six-armed alien sorcerer who becomes a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Within the Legion, Doctor Fate fulfills the role of assisting the team in matters of mysticism. Notably, he warns both the Legion and the United Planets of an impending threat known as the Great Darkness, which represents the true source and embodiment of darkness within the DC Universe. In addition to this, Doctor Fate aids the Legion of Super-Heroes in their battle against a futuristic incarnation of Mordru, who collaborates with Rogol Zaar in a plot to assassinate Superman, specifically Jon Kent. The character also briefly appears in The New Golden Age storyline, where Degaton manipulates time and seeks to eliminate him, along with other Doctor Fates from various points in the timeline.[67]

The second female version of Doctor Fate is depicted as a member of the revived Justice Society, alongside two new incarnations of Green Lantern and Atom Smasher. The exact chronological placement of this version in relation to the alien character from the 2020 Legion of Super-Heroes title remains unknown. Shortly after the Justice Society's revival, the character named Sofie expresses her regret at being unable to see the future. At this point, Per Degaton makes an appearance and abruptly kills her by snapping her neck, subsequently proceeding to dispatch the other two heroes. Degaton reveals that he intervened to prevent Sofie from fulfilling her original destiny of having a granddaughter inherit the Dr. Fate legacy. Later, Khalid Nassour utilizes an object referred to as "The Snowglobe," which possesses time-manipulative abilities and contains the Flashpoint timeline. Using this item, Khalid manages to bring various members of the Justice Society from both the past and future to the present timeline, rescuing them moments before their deaths, including Sofie. Through the combined efforts of Khalid, Kent, and Sofie, they are able to seal away Degaton, who, due to being a temporal paradox himself, cannot be killed, into the Snowglobe.

Dick Grayson (Flashpoint)


In the Flashpoint series, Dick Grayson eventually succeeds Kent Nelson (who is a member of Haly's Circus as fortune teller "Dr. Fate" and formerly a member of Flashpoint's Justice Society of America) shortly after his death at the hands of the Amazons, who members (including an 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.[106]

John Constantine (Future's End)


In the Future's End alternate future timeline, John Constantine's body is briefly usurped become Doctor Fate briefly by Nabu. However, Constantine vies for control over his body by invoking a spell supposedly able to invoke Anubis and kill those whom are not pure of intention. Despite Nabu's insistence that he is a force of good, Constantine points out his callous methods calls his intentions into question and he is killed by the deity posing as Anubis. It is then revealed the spell invoked was a illusion made to believe the spell cast was the ancient judgement spell and the being posing as Anubis was, in fact, an Ifrit acquainted with Constantine some time prior whom he owes a favor too, granting him the Helmet of Fate provided he acts as a more benevolent force than Nabu.[107]

Brother Fate


On Earth al Ghul, a universe in the Dark Multiverse which Earth is ruled by Bruce Wayne, who is both that world's Ra's al Ghul and rules the Empire of Shadows (formerly the League of Assassins), Brother Fate is among the heroes in the universe opposing the Empire of Shadow. He killed during a conflict known as the Battle of Blackgate, which one of Bruce's sons produces the Helmet of Fate in a warped, damaged state to Bruce to confirm his death.[108]

Powers and abilities


All incarnations of Doctor Fate, with the exception of Jared Stevens, possess a collection of powerful magical artifacts.[3] With these artifacts, Doctor Fate is capable of virtually any kind of mystical feat,[109] ranging from flight and teleportation to telepathy, illusion casting, cosmic awareness, and precognition.[110] Doctor Fate is widely acknowledged as an extraordinary sorcerer, considered nearly unmatched in the art of spellcasting.[3][16] The artifacts associated with Doctor Fate also possess the remarkable ability to empower even less skilled individuals with substantial mystical power.[72] They also serve a dual purpose, enhancing their magical powers while also serving as protective measures.[111]

Helmet of Fate


The Helmet of Fate (also known as the Helm of Fate, Helmet of Nabu, Helmet of Anubis, Helmet of Thoth, or Helm of Thoth) bestows its wearer with extraordinary god-like abilities and is widely regarded as one of the most potent artifacts in existence. Constructed from Nth metal, the helmet possesses inherent mystical properties and possesses the unique ability to counteract and negate magical forces.[112] Whether guided by the residing spirit within the helm, such as Nabu, or through the helm's own discernment, the artifact is typically accessible only to individuals deemed worthy by its judgment.[72]

Throughout the publication history of Doctor Fate, the portrayal of the helm's source and methodology of power has undergone various changes: Originally, the artifact derived its power from a scientific foundation, utilizing the conversion of matter into energy and vice versa.[113] Subsequently, a supernatural connection is established and it is expressed that the helmet grants Doctor Fate the perform virtually any known mystical feats.[109] From 1989 onwards, the second Doctor Fate series also depicted the helm's power source as originating from a connection to the Lords of Order. When worn, the helm allows bearers to manifest magical effects through imagination, drawing upon the magical energies of the Lords of Order and Chaos, as well as life energies. The helmet also enables the merging of essences between hosts of different genders, resulting in the emergence of a more formidable Doctor Fate entity. Even as the Inza Cramer counterpart was powered by the Lords of Chaos, her powers remained similar.[114] In 2015, the fourth Doctor Fate series presented a different perspective on the helm's power source, establishing a connection with ancient Egyptian deities, notably Thoth, while also acknowledging a partial link to Nabu. In this iteration, the Helm grants its bearer the ability to cast spells and wield magic by tapping into the elemental forces. The wielder gains the power to manipulate and command elements such as air, earth, wind, fire, and lightning.[11][17]

Despite its formidable nature, the Helmet of Fate is not impervious to damage. It has shown vulnerability to powerful entities like Arion and Brimstone, requiring subsequent regeneration. The helmet is susceptible to potent forms of Atlantean magic, power from higher beings such as the Spectre, and advanced applications of the Firestorm matrix. It can also experience overload, resulting in temporary limitations and the inertness of certain powers.[115][116][76]

Amulet of Anubis


The Amulet of Anubis, also known as the Amulet of Nabu or the Amulet of Thoth, is a significant magical artifact associated with the Doctor Fate legacy. Its origins have been depicted in various narratives. One account states that it was created by Anubis and initially possessed by Khalis before being claimed by Nabu.[12] Another origin story suggests that the amulet was crafted from the remnants of Cilia, connecting it to the Lords of Order.[117] In the New 52 continuity, Thoth is presumed to be the creator.[17] Regardless, the amulet bestows various powers, which includes resistance to psychic and astral probing, mind control, and magical power enhancement,[12] necromancy[118] and contains its own separate universe apt for trapping entities.[7][117]

Other artifacts and resources


The character also possess numerous other known artifacts. The Cloak of Destiny is a cape with magical qualities that renders is fireproof and counters the magical abilities originating form the Lords of Chaos.[119][120] Others include the Orb of Nabu, serving as a scrying glass and allows him Fate search for hidden threats by reacting to his brainwaves. Although not explicitly magical, it provides valuable insights for the bearers[121] In addition to possessing powerful mystical artifacts, Doctor Fate has access to various resources, including the Tower of Fate. This fictional structure serves as Doctor Fate's primary dwelling and is considered a nexus point of magic and reality on Earth. The tower is only accessible through magic and lacks doors or windows.[11] Inside, it appears as a twisted maze of stairways and hallways where the laws of physics do not apply. The Tower of Fate houses a vast personal library containing arcane texts, including materials salvaged from the Great Library of Alexandria. It is fortified with mystical defenses.[122] Doctor Fate also possesses the Book of Fate, a tome that contains a comprehensive history and knowledge of the Lords of Chaos and Order, predominantly from the perspective of the latter.[123]

Weaknesses and limitations


Doctor Fate's weaknesses vary depending on the incarnation. One common weakness is their dependency on the mystical helmet, as removing it limits or eliminates their abilities.[89] Some versions are unable to cast counter spells against existing ones due to established "rules of magic" within the DC Universe.[16] Divine powers also disrupt their powers, including healing abilities.[17] Older aged versions can diminish their potency, power, and effectiveness as Doctor Fate[13] while inexperience hampers younger iterations' mastery of their magical abilities.[89][17] The character is also explicitly stated as being inferior to the Spectre in power.[109]

Other versions


Doctor 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/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.[124]

Lords of Order counterparts


In the second Justice League Dark comic book series written by James Tynion IV, several Lords of Order are introduced whom possess similar abilities to Nabu, inhabiting artifacts of great magical power and can usurp and coerce hosts to act on the physical plane as their agents. For a time, these Lords of Order forcibly adopted hosts to serve their agenda in wiping out magic from reality in order to starve the Otherkind, whom feed on magic and believed magic to be a root of many of the universe's problems.[97]

Sister Symmetry


The character's true identity is Cyra, a Lord of Order whom inhabits the magical artifact known as the Cloak of Cyra. She is the Lord of Order who intercepts members of the Justice League Dark and their allies, threatening to erase them from existence lest she wipes their memory of all things pertainnig to magic. is later defeated by an enhanced Detective Chimp, whom inherited the power of a Lord of Chaos and empowered his sword to cut against magic, freeing Xanadu in the process.[97] The cloak is later stored within an armory in the Dark Quarters, Justice League Dark's headquarters located deep under the Hall of Justice.[125]

Count Control


Among the ranks of the Lords of Order, the character's true identity is Dalphi and he inhabits the Boots of Dalphi. Dalphi usurps Extraño as his host and faces against a Lord of Chaos-empwoered Man-Bat. When the tide turns against them, Count Control retreats alongside his other allies and abandons Nabu and Cyra.[97] At some point, Extraño is relinquished out from his control, as the character's later appearances no longer has him as Count Control.

Brother Pattern


A Lord of Order whose true identity is Hoku, he inhabits the arcane artifact known as the Breastplate of Hoku. Hoku usurps the second incarnation of Ibis the Invincible as his host and is later an adversary of a Lord of Chaos-empowered Swamp Thing. He retreats alongside his brethren when the tide turns against them, abandoning both Nabu and Cyra.[97] He later relinquishes Ibis as his host but is later sought out by Xanadoth for his power.[126]

Lord Structure


A Lord of Order whose true identity is Myrath, he inhabits the eponymous Gauntlets of Myrath and usurps Prince Ra-Man, a sorcerer who originally died thousands of years ago but was reborn with the memories of Mark Merlin. As Lord Structure, he helps Nabu fight against the Justice League Dark, whom were enhanced by the Lords of Chaos. When the tide of battle turns against them, Lord Structure abandons both Cyra and Nabu.[97]

Villainous counterparts


Doctor Chaos


Doctor Chaos is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Martin Pasko and Kurt Schaffenberger, the character debuted in The New Adventures of Superboy #25 (1982). Both the mainstream universe and Earth-3, home of the universe containing the alternate Justice League counterpart, Crime Syndicate, features versions of Doctor Chaos. Within the mainstream comic book's continuity.

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.[127] A revised 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.[128]

In the comic book version of Injustice: Gods Among Us, a character named Doctor Chaos appears in different incarnations. The Injustice version of Doctor chaos features the Helmet of Apophis and Amulet of Apophis serving as counterparts to the Helmet of Fate and Amulet of Anubis. Hawkgirl briefly becomes Doctor Chaos after discovering the artifacts and falling under their influence. She kills Nazi opponents but spares Dirk Strasser, who later takes possession of the amulet. Dirk uses it to mind control others, including Johnny Thunder and Thunderbolt. Hawkgirl kills Dirk in retaliation for Johnny's death. Alan Scott hides the amulet, claiming it was destroyed, but someone knows of its existence. Joker eventually obtains the amulet and the helmet, becoming Doctor Chaos. He targets members of the Justice Society due to their connection to the present-day Justice League. However, he is defeated by the Justice League, and Superman destroys the amulet.


Anti-Fate. Art by Shawn McManus.

Anti-Fate, also referred to as Doctor Fate briefly when he usurped the mantle, is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Griffen, debuting in Doctor Fate #1 (1987). The alter-ego of Anti-Fate is Benjamin Stoner, the lead doctor in Arkham Asylum who was driven mad and possessed by the Lord of Chaos, Typhon. In a bid to destroy the Lords of Order's most notable agent on Earth, Doctor Fate. Typhon battled Doctor Fate, taking advantage of the fact that Kent Nelson's aging body made him vulnerable to being killed. Shortly after passing the mantle to Eric Strauss, he defeats the newly made Doctor Fate, usurping the Helmet of Fate, the Amulet of Anubis, and committing an age up and traumatized Eric Strauss into Arkham Asylum as a patient. The Phantom Stranger would appear before Anti-Fate, enlisting the aid of the Justice League International. Anti-Fate quickly dispatches the JLI and Phantom Stranger attempts to wrest Typhon's control of Dr. Stoner by reminding him of his old life, having been a doctor who strove to truly help mentally ill patients. Typhon intervenes and eventually overpowers The Phantom Stranger, seemingly killing him. Not long after, control of the Helmet of Fate and Amulet of Anubis is eventually pulled from Benjamin by Eric and Linda Strauss, making them the official successors of Kent Nelson and Nabu.[129]

Despite their defeat, the Lords of Chaos fashioned a corrupted counterpart of the Helmet of Fate and continue manipulating Benjamin. Eventually, Anti-Fate is used by both the Lords of Chaos and Order, the latter having no longer favor neither Nabu nor his agent, Doctor Fate, and uses him in a plot to destroy both Nabu and Doctor Fate. While Anti-Fate prevails in the battle, he is freed from their manipulations and influences while learning of their attempt of claiming supremacy to a universe which they do not truly own. With both the Lords of Order and Chaos unable to harm Benjamin, they both retreat, leaving him free to be a person once more.

Doctor Hate


Doctor Hate is a super-villain who debuted in Knight Terrors: Night's End #1 (August, 2023), created by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter. The character is depicted as the direct counterpart to Doctor Fate, akin to Doctor Chaos and Anti-Fate, and serves as an agent for the Lords of Chaos. However, their powers stem from a distinct source, namely the Helmet of Hate. This helmet was formed from a corrupted shard of the Helmet of Fate during the company-wide crossover event, Lazarus Planet, and further augmented by the Nightmare Stone, introduced in the subsequent crossover storyline Knight Terrors as the opposite of the Dreamstone. As a result, the character possesses comparable formidable magical abilities and the ability to manipulate the minds of others. The character is revealed to be the demonic half of the hero Raven, whom escaped and became an independent being.[130]

Cultural impact and legacy


As a character, Doctor Fate has established himself as one of DC Comics' enduring figures, although not reaching the same level of cultural recognition as iconic characters like Batman or Superman. According to Wizard Magazine, Doctor Fate's notable strengths lie in his name, distinctive design, and the recurring motif of the Helmet of Fate. While the character has experienced various cancellations over time, they have also been the focus of multiple miniseries and ongoing series.[131]

However, Doctor Fate has not been without its critics which has led to various redesigns and new iterations of the character. The late writer Steve Gerber, for example in hindsight, believed that the character's ongoing struggles to maintain interest could be attributed to various factors. Gerber specifically criticized Doctor Fate's design, particularly the helmet, which he felt limited the character's expressiveness. He also pointed out the character's inconsistent power level, which posed challenges for writers in defining the character effectively. Moreover, Gerber expressed reservations about the recurring element of the Nabu entity controlling Doctor Fate, as he believed it hindered the character's ability to form meaningful connections. Additionally, Gerber advocated for an original interpretation of magic, akin to the approach taken with Marvel's Doctor Strange, rather than Doctor Fate's association with Egyptian mythology and believed the character's history to be among the most convoluted.[132][133] Additionally, Earth 2 writer James Robinson believed the portrayal of the Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate to be rather stoic and statue-like. Robinson's decision to create an Egyptian-born incarnation of Doctor Fate ("Khalid Ben-Hassin") was under the belief it was more appropriate to cast a Doctor Fate of Egyptian heritage[134] a similar sentiment shared by Paul Levitz when creating the Khalid Nassour version an attempt to make sense of the Egyptian ties from Doctor Fate.[135] Of the numerous iterations of Doctor Fate, the Jared Stevens version is considered an unpopular reinvention of the character and was critically panned due to his departure from the common, associate elements of the character and the redesign.[8]

Critical response

  • ScreenRant included Doctor Fate in their "The 10 Most Powerful Wizards".[136]
  • Doctor Fate was included in CBR's "Top 50 DC Characters".[137]
  • Ashley Land of CBR included Doctor Fate in their "Greatest Supernatural DC Heroes".[138]
  • In 1998, Wizard Magazine published an article in which included Doctor Fate in their "All-Wizard Team", which consisted of a list of the most powerful, versatile heroes in a respective field.[139]

In other media







  • The Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate appears in series set in the DC Animated Universe, initially voiced by George DelHoyo before Oded Fehr took over.
  • The Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Greg Ellis.
  • Doctor Fate appears in Mad, voiced by Kevin Shinick.
  • Doctor Fate appears in DC Nation Shorts.[143]
  • Several incarnations of Doctor Fate appear in Young Justice.
    • Nabu (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson)[144] was originally a son of Vandal Savage who was regarded in Mesopotamian mythology as Marduk and a god of wisdom before he was killed due to Savage's alliance with Lords of Chaos member Klarion the Witch Boy and spiritually ascended as a Lord of Order. Following this, Nabu must anchor himself to Earth via a physical host, whom he completely overwrites as a requirement for those whom bear his helm, and has taken many hosts over the succeeding millennia.
    • Kent Nelson (voiced by Edward Asner) is a retired member of the Justice Society of America and mentor to Giovanni Zatara who ceased being Nabu's host due to its effects on Nelson's marriage. Despite being killed by Klarion, Nelson temporarily confines his spirit to the Helmet of Fate and grants it to members of the Team so they can use it for emergencies.
    • While in possession of the Helmet of Fate, Team members Aqualad and Kid Flash temporarily take up the mantle of Doctor Fate before Nelson's spirit convinces Nabu to release them. After Zatanna dons the helmet to fight Klarion however, Nabu refuses to relinquish her until Zatara convinces Nabu to take him instead.
    • In season four, Zatanna forms the Sentinels of Magic, which includes Khalid Nassour (voiced by Usman Ally) and Traci Thurston (voiced by Lauren Tom), to free Zatara and convince Nabu to alternate between all of them.
  • The Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate appears in the Justice League Action episode "Trick or Threat",[145] voiced by Erica Luttrell as a child.



Video games





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