DC Comics’ newest promotional wave is one which finally let go of the number 52 and has instead looked to cash in on the immense popularity of some other recent successes at the company under the imprint of DC You, notably focused around Batgirl and Gotham Academy. This character first kind of approach is one that has been effective over the years, and in different applications can be used to explain the popularity of Spider-Man and others. This new focus on characters is what has defined this new approach, though it is not yet evident if it is working. One of the cornerstones of this new approach has been to turn Superman into a depowered version of himself to see what he is really made of, but it has somewhat failed. Although not technically under DC You, the same has been done with Batman with the same level lack of success. While the executives might have been hoping that the popularity might give these two a boost, it has not worked so much in a critical sense except as a stunt, especially as the regular versions of the characters are doing so well elsewhere as in Justice League. As usual, DC tends to rise and fall on those two characters, and so this new wave might not last, but if that is indeed the case then it would be a shame, as it would lose two of its most intriguing recent characters, in Doomed and the new Doctor Fate.
The reading of the two series is so close that they do bear being compared to one another. Doctor Fate features a young cast with characters dealing with their personal problems, and Doomed is not much different except for the manner of problems and their specific location with New York City (well Metropolis is not officially NYC, but whatever). Both hit the stands with a strong main character and a strong collection of supporting characters that breathe life into the main character and both have stories which are engaging and fun.
Perhaps most evident is the fact that the success of these two series comes from the fact that there is a real organic nature to the story telling, something that has been missing elsewhere in DC You. The locales seem real because they are real, and the characters work despite the fact that they have been “Batgirled” even though there is nothing girl-like about them. That is perhaps the true success of these two series, and why they can be discussed as one even when they are in effect quite different in their overall focus on story telling, and on their basis on the occult or science-fiction. It is the only two examples thus far of either comic company being able to spread the idea of Batgirling to a male character, and it proves that not only the young female characters at both companies needed a makeover, but that the male characters needed it as well. As these series are unlikely to survive on their own without the help of the bigger two heroes making DC You into something sustainable, it is also unlikely that these will survive into the long run, but also worth noting that they should.
Story: Scott Lobdell/Paul Levitz Art: Javier Fernandez/Sonny Liew
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy