Review: Doctor Fate #13

Doctor Fate #13. Paul Levitz- Writer, Ibrahim Moustafa- Artist, Lee Loughridge- Colorist.

Dr Fate 13 Skyscraper

Rebirth comes to Doctor Fate! Oh, what’s that you say, Doctor Fate isn’t a Rebirth title? Well, you could’ve fooled me! From the Tony Harris cover which is evocative a DC series about another Golden Age hero- Starman. Doctor Fate #13 reframes the series and character of Khalid Nassour in terms of content as well as visual appearance. Starman ran from the mid-‘90’s through 2001. One of the most significant themes that writer James Robinson and artists Tony Harris and Peter Snejbjerg explored was legacy. Not surprisingly, legacy was one of the aspects of DC Comics that Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns state he was bringing back in Rebirth. It should come as no surprise that Doctor Fate is an ideal book in which to utilize the concept of legacy. Doctor Fate was introduced way back in More Fun Comics #55 cover dated May 1940. I hope that this series gets a chance to run with the concept and doesn’t fall by the wayside. It may seem superficial at first, but after this issue it feels like Doctor Fate may have the potential to be the same critical success that Starman achieved 20 years ago.

Starman Omnibus

Kent and Khalid are on the beams of an under construction skyscraper observing the city below and discussing Kent’s reappearance. It’s all news to Khalid, he had no idea his great Uncle was Doctor Fate before him. There’s no discussion of other previous Doctor Fates- Eric and Linda Strauss or Hector Hall, but we do learn that Kent’s been away for a while and has heard the call back to his entry-less tower in Salem, Massachusetts.

More Fun 55 Panel

We also learn that Kent has the power of Fate in him without the need of the Helmet of Thoth. This sequence clearly sets up Khalid’s need and desire for a mentor and Kent’s willingness to guide Khalid, but not necessarily in the manner Khalid desires. Kent divulges to Khalid that there’s an evil attacking the city through burning it in effigy. They must find this evil and stop it. Kent suggests that the easiest way to do this would be to burn an existing model of the city. Khalid recalls such a model at the World’s Fair Grounds in Flushing Meadows.

Dr Fate 13 Salem tower

There’s a legacy here too. This location hosted the World’s Fair in 1964 and 1939. Now if you’ve been reading comics for a while and the 1939 World’s Fair seems significant, especially for a character like Doctor Fate, then you’re on the r