Friday, October 2, 2015

Review:DOCTOR FATE #1

DOCTOR FATE #1
DC COMICS – @DCComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Paul Levitz
ART: Sonny Liew
COLORS: Lee Loughridge
LETTERS: Nick J. Napolitano
COVER: Sonny Liew
VARIANT COVER: Ibrahim Moustafa
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (August 2015)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“Blood of the Pharaohs”

Doctor Fate created by Gardner Fox and Hal Sherman

Doctor Fate is a DC Comics magical superhero character that has had several incarnations.  The original version of Doctor Fate was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 (cover dated:  May 1940).

The “DCYou” publishing initiative offers a new version of Fate and a new Doctor Fate series.  The new comic book is produced by writer Paul Levitz and artist Sonny LiewLee Loughridge is the colorist and Nick J. Napolitano is the letterer.

Doctor Fate #1 (“Blood of the Pharaohs”) opens on Shore Parkway, Brooklyn, where we meet Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of Dead in the form of a mangy-looking dog.  He has launched a plan to restore “the Maat” (“the order of things”), and that involves flooding the world to wash the civilization of mankind away.  And the rain/deluge has begun...

However, Bastet, an Anubis rival, has found the human who must wear the helmet of Fate and preserve the Maat before the flood takes it all.  He is an overwhelmed Brooklyn medical student named Khalid Nelson.  Is he ready to take on such responsibility without even an instruction manual to guide him?

I placed Doctor Fate at the end of my reading slush pile of “DCYou” launches.  I have read very few Doctor Fate comic books over the years, and I have generally found them not to my liking.  Plus, the cover for this new Doctor Fate #1 is unappealing to me to say the least.

Yes, yes:  I know.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Doctor Fate #1 is quite intriguing.  I think it has potential, and I certainly enjoyed reading this first issue.  In fact, I think this is the most I have enjoyed anything written by Paul Levitz that he didn't write over 30 years ago.  The first issue is like one of the first chapters of a manga that gives the reader the basics about the hero, as well as a little about the opposition in about 20 pages.

The art and storytelling by artist Sonny Liew is just write for what seems like a quirky take on both Fate and also on magic and the supernatural in the DC Universe.  The storytelling is mostly clear and straightforward even when the art turns a bit eccentric.  I'm ready for a second issue of Doctor Fate.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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