Tag Archives: doctor fate

Mezco Reveals a One:12 Collective Doctor Fate

Mezco Toyz‘s Fall convention and reveal is underway and while the comic related news has been slim, today fans got an unexpected surprise. The toy and collectible company revealed Doctor Fate will be joining their One:12 Collective line of figures.

While full details haven’t been revealed, there’s opporunity for some really cool accessories to be released with it.

We’ll have more news as it’s revealed.

Preview: Doctor Fate #18

Doctor Fate #18

(W) Paul Levitz (A/CA) Brendan McCarthy
In Shops: Nov 16, 2016
SRP: $2.99

In this stunning series finale, Fate is captive on the world of the Dreamspinners as their threads of doom reach out to threaten Earth. Can Khalid find the power within himself to survive in a mythology not his own?

df_cv18

Preview: Doctor Fate #17

Doctor Fate #17

Written by: Paul Levitz
Art by: Brendan McCarthy
Cover by: Brendan McCarthy

The threads of fate are dangling down to the Freedom Tower, latching and taking away the souls of New Yorkers, including the current Doctor Fate Khalid’s family and friends. Khalid’s mad pursuit to save them will take him on a cosmic journey, through space and time, to the world of the Dreamspinners—all illustrated by the uniquely fantastic art of Brendan McCarthy (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, ROGAN GOSH).

df_cv17

Preview: Doctor Fate #16

Doctor Fate #16

Written by: Paul Levitz
Art by: Sonny Liew
Cover by: Brendan McCarthy

In this climactic concluding chapter, chaos reigns as New York City is plunged into darkness and terrifying mummies rise to wreak havoc on the streets. And in the center of it all, Osiris, has come to render judgment on Doctor Fate and the rest of mankind. But can even the combined might of two magic wielders be enough to defeat the God of Death?

df_cv16

DC’s Doctor Fate Signing at Midtown Comics

20160401_193853Last Friday evening, both Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew were on hand at Midtown Comics’ NYC downtown location, promoting the release of their Doctor Fate seven issue run as a trade paper back. The line was long, as both the veteran Levitz, and younger Liew, attracted a new merry band of merged followers.

The newfangled TPB is a refreshing look at DC’s  Doctor Fate character, with Thoth’s helmet being taken over by a reluctant Egyptian-America, caught in the middle of a war of gods, and his own inner battles with belief and culture. Khalid Nassir–a medical student on his way to becoming a doctor in more ways than one–juggles family, work, school, and a declining love life. Added to his mess of a life, is the apocalyptic flooding of the Bayshore area, where old forgotten Egyptian gods conspire to cleanse the earth, and usher in a new era sans humans. Chosen by Fate, to take on the unwanted duties of stopping Anubis and his co-conspiratorial Egyptian pantheon, the rookie Khalid must learn quickly to harness his new prophetic powers over nature, while he tries to sort out his more mundane problems.

The book reads more like an indie title, than the normal fare I would expect at DC. Also, as an ex-Brooklynite, the real life settings–which is atypical of DC comics–add a personal emotional element (i.e. the fire scene at Maimonides Hospital, where my daughter was born). Plus, it is extremely well illustrated by Sonny Liew, whose relaxed art explodes into an energetic frenzy when necessary. I didn’t pick up the originals, but after reading the trade, I am rethinking that. Back issues are still readily available, so go buy them before everyone else wises up, and supply dwindles out.

As a bonus, Sonny Liew was also signing his 300 page opus graphic novel: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. More on that later (it’s a thick one, and it’s going to take me a few days to work through it). Here’s a sneak peek:

 

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and we’ll be at the Rose City Comic Con and SPX! That’s right, multiple con coverage all in the same weekend.

While you await for that, here’s some news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – Google Play Applies Double Standard to Erotica in Comics – Yup.

Newsarama – G.I. Joe Creator Looks To Reclaim Ownership From Hasbro – Well this should be interesting.

Reading Eagle – Many superhero comic books have historical Jewish roots – Some good history.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Captain America: White #1

Talking Comics – Captain America: White #1

Bam Smack Pow – Doctor Fate #4

CBR – Star Wars #9

CBR – Tokyo Ghost #1

Review: Doomed #3 and Doctor Fate #3

doomed003DC 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.

df003The 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

 

The Strangest Members of the Justice League

snapperThe Justice League of America is best defined by its core of main characters.  As opposed to other major superhero teams like the X-Men, Avengers, or Teen Titans, the core seven members of the team are considered as almost sacrosanct.  Without Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter, the League is considered to not be at full power (though Manhunter has been somewhat replaced on this list by Cyborg.)  That being the case, the membership of the League has mostly remained constant over its publication history, but as with every team there are always the odd ones that find their way in.

Snapper Carr – The modern reader of comics might not recognize it immediately at a glance, but the history of comics is the history of trends.  Characters that might seem to represent some diversity in the modern day such as Power Man/Luke Cage or Shang Chi were in fact added to comics as they helped to capitalize respectively on the popularity of blaxpoitation and kung fu films.  One character long before them was Snapper Carr.  Although he existed as a sidekick more than actual superhero, he was nonetheless a vital member on some missions, (such as the first involving Starro).  The character was inspired by the Beatnik generation which was somewhat popular at the time, and for those that might look for a related Marvel character, they would be wasting their time, because the trend of beatnik characters came and went long before Marvel got established.

daleDale Gunn – After the X-Men took over the medium of comics in the 1970s it was determined that the Teen Titans became DC’s best hope to fight against this success.  After the youth oriented book performed well it was decided to give the Justice League a makeover as well, and what resulted was what has become known as Justice League Detroit, a weaker version of the team, but one focused more towards the street.  Out were Batman and Wonder Woman, in were street level characters like Gypsy and Vibe, the latter of which was enough of an attempt to cash in on the breakdancing genre that was actually popular for a while, for those that remember their Electric Boogaloo.  The stranger character though was Dale Gunn, introduced as a ladies-man character that was the custodian/tech expert for the new team, who wore a superpowered suit of armor in his first appearance, but then just faded into the background.  Zatanna and Vixen both fell in love with him almost from the get go, but his impact was never really noticed after a few issues.

maxMaxwell Lord – Whereas the X-Men had Dazzler and the Outsiders had Looker, the Justice League never really managed to capitalize on the big hair and big money 1980s, or at least they wouldn’t have except for the influence of Maxwell Lord.  The character was essentially a Gordon Gecko rip-off, and one whose moral code was also somewhat skewed.  He served as the bank roll for the team, but had delusions of heroism at times, and eventually went bad when he almost had every superhero killed during Infinite Crisis.

Blue Beetle – The Justice League of the post-Legends DC Universe was one very different from what came before.  Legends was kind of an attempt to do the final clean-up on what had happened during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it resulted in a new Justice League.  Whereas a lot of titles were getting darker at the time, or at least geared more to a mature audience, this team went the opposite route, becoming goofy.  Another trend at the time was that the Justice League becoming a dumping ground for characters who couldn’t hold their own series.  Thus the League assimilated Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Captain Atom among others, but it really became the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold show, with their not-so-serious antics proving to be the fodder for most issues as opposed to real threats.  The character had been serious before, but never really recovered before being killed off.

drfateZan and Jayna – The so-called Wonder Twins didn’t come from the Justice League exactly, but instead came from the children’s show spin-off, the Super Friends.  It might have seemed likely that the characters might have just retired into obscurity as many others did, but they were actually revived for a time in the 1990s.  As a bit of a running joke before hand they never really caught on, and were used for only a few issues.

Dr. Fate/Guy Gardner – These two are not exactly the strangest characters exactly, except in how they were used.  Once again another influence of the post Legends Justice League, the writer Keith Giffen was a big enough fan of gender swapping some of his characters.  Not as in the usual sense of making a separate character like Supergirl or Batgirl, but in simply finding a way to switch genders.  It was done first with Doctor Fate and recently with Guy Gardner.

Ambush Bug/Super-Chief  – After Infinite Crisis the creators promised to give exposure to pretty much every character that had ever shown up in the pages of DC Comics.  This meant that some strange and obscure characters had to be brought in.  In this case it was a Firestorm led Justice League that contained among its members the Ambush Bug and Super-Chief.  They showed up for a couple of panels and then were never seen of again.

poisonivyPoison Ivy, Lex Luthor and Captain Cold – It turned some heads in the pages of the Waid led JLA when the rotating cast of team members included what was kind of Catwoman for one issue.  People wondered how it was that a thief was allowed membership to the team, even when she didn’t really join.  This was later rendered somewhat moot in the era of rooting for the bad guys in comics.  In the modern day, many series focus on villains, and Lex Luthor, Captain Cold and poison Ivy have worked alongside the Justice League, the latter in the most recent issue of Justice League United.  As villains become the new cool characters, it is not surprising to see some join the ranks of the superheroes.

To read the list of the strangest members of the League is partially a way to read the trends which have defined the medium of comics since the team’s inception.  There have been characters that have been stunts, or put in place to take advantage of what was happening in popular culture.  The team usually goes back to the main seven, but it is interesting to note that they are not always there, and sometimes some odd choices are made.

Around the Tubes

HeroesCon has come and gone. We’re getting closer to San Diego Comic-Con! We’ll have some of the news that came out of this weekend today, and you can catch some of that news right here too.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – HeroesCon: Deconnick to End Run on Captain Marvel; Milkfed Criminal Masterminds Talk New and Upcoming Issues – Boooo! And Yay!?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Doctor Fate #1

ICv2 – In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way HC

CBR – Justice League of America #1

Talking Comics – Letter 44 #17

Talking Comics – Runaways #1

The Beat – Thors #1

Review: Doctor Fate #1

drfate001Doctor Fate is one of DC Comics older superheroes, having appeared for the first time in More Fun Comics #55 in 1940.  As a recurring character with his own stories or as a member of the Justice Society or the All Star Squadron, the character has generally been a relatively popular one, only perhaps lacking somewhat in the ability to be featured as an A-List superhero.  While the character is compelling, there is also a lot of back story that comes with him, between the Lords or Order and Chaos, the increasingly crazy status of Kent Nelson as the helmet became him, and even the gender swap of the character on two occasions to Linda Strauss and Inza Nelson.  Every subsequent attempt to reboot the character and to give him or her a chance at popularity has been only mildly successful at best, as the character generally is reworked to fit the comic culture at that particular time.

If that is the case, then this character is being reworked at a time when the comic landscape already has its first Muslim American superhero (Miss Marvel), and now seems to be on the verge of its second.  The new Doctor Fate is a young man by the name of Khalid, barely into his 20s but already setting off into a character as a medical doctor as he is on the verge of starting medical school.  This would have been fine if he didn’t happen to be in a museum at the exact time as an Egyptian god decided that it was time to flood New York City in retribution for the supposed sins of the world needing to be washed away.  It is not an easy path to accepting the helmet, as he first thinks that he is hallucinating but then later realizes that there is something more to what he sees.

The path which Khalid is taking to becoming a superhero is perhaps formulaic, but being formulaic does not mean that it cannot also be fun.  Such is the case here as the young hero is hesitant to take on the responsibility, and also is clumsy once he does so.  At the same time the writers are careful to give the main character compelling enough supporting characters to rely upon, and thus to automatically give the character a bit more depth.  It will be a long road to making this character finally work, but it would seem that all the pieces are here and that the time might finally be right for him.

Story: Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew Art: Lee Loughridge
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read