By Koppy McFad
December 25, 2009 - 23:59
This is another unusual self-contained Brave and Bold story with two very different protagonists. It features the late, unlamented original Dr. Fate, Kent Nelson, although much of the story actually takes place after Kent has passed away. So yes, it is very unusual.
Much of the story is spent with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), wounded and near death on an alien planet while he debates with Dr. Fate on whether the universe is ruled by fate (represented by the good doctor) or influenced by willpower-- represented of course by Hal.
There is very little action in this issue and much of the plot depends on knowing some of the backstory of the characters-- especially the 'fate' of Kent Nelson and the changes in Hal Jordan's personality. If you are a newcomer who isn't aware of who Kent Nelson was or what happened to him, then this issue may seem boring and will not make much sense.
But if you are a longtime follower of the DC universe and Hal Jordan and Kent Nelson in particular, then this issue will be rather moving and dramatic, showing how both characters can be so different, yet so much alike, particularly in their willingness to sacrifice for others. This issue also provides a glimpse in the humanity and heroism of Kent Nelson, a character who is often shown to be little more than a puppet to the Lords of Order. Although Kent was killed off decades ago, this issue finally makes the readers actually miss the poor guy.
The art is rather subdued but maybe that is what is necessary in a story that deals more with feelings and philosophical concepts rather than action. The depiction of Dr. Fate-- especially his golden "girdle" is a little overdone however.
Rating: 7.5 /10