DC Comics History
DC Comics History: Dr Fate 1964 - 1967: The New Look
By Deejay Dayton
October 31, 2019 - 08:14




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Dr Fate had made his Silver Age return as a member of the Justice Society America during the previous period, but during the years 1964 – 1967: the New Look, Kent Nelson appeared in two issues of Showcase, teaming up with Hourman. In my write up on Hourman I covered the second of those issues in more detail, so in this write up I will briefly mention that volume, but look more closely at the first.

 
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Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson handled both stories, and used Showcase 55 to bring back Solomon Grundy. As a result, Green Lantern Alan Scott is also given a supporting role in this tale. The tale begins with a prologue, recapping Solomon Grundy getting sent off to the Moon at the end of his battle with the Justice Society in the pages of All-Star Comics.  It ignores the Comic Cavalcade tale that followed, in which he came back to Earth.  Roy Thomas would, much later, tidy this all up in the pages of All-Star Squadron. A passing meteor pulls Grundy's bubble back to Earth, and Dr. Fate gets alerted to this.  We see that he has married Inza as Kent Nelson in the years since the end of his series.  This is Inza's first appearance since the 40s.  Grundy is on the pursuit of Green Lantern, as always, but first runs into Hourman.  He takes the guy down with one punch. The battle with Dr. Fate is more interesting.  Hourman is really outclassed in this team up. The story adds a weird element, that Dr. Fate's powers screw up around Hourman, while his Miraclo drives him to attack Dr. Fate.  Makes for a fairly dysfunctional team.

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In fact, with Dr Fate so much more powerful than Hourman, Rex Tyler seems to do nothing other than make the case more difficult for Fate. Grundy defeats the pair, and captures Green Lantern thanks to a sort of wood magnetism the meteor and Fate's magic and the swamp have endowed him with. Hourman and Dr. Fate recover and give chase.  It is only really in this section that Hourman gets to shine.  He gets a single page of solo action, complete with a countdown timer on his powers. Even so it’s Dr Fate that does the heavy lifting, reversing the swamp transformation that Grundy subjected Green Lantern to.  Then Fate and the Lantern use their powers to create an impermeable bubble.  Hourman gets the honour of punching Grundy into it.

 
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Showcase 56 introduces the second Psycho-Pirate, and sees Hourman get married. Inza makes a cameo, working along with Kent Nelson on a dig in which they discover the legendary Medusa Masks, which have the ability to induce emotional reactions in people.  Kent does not believe in the legends, which is kind odd, being Dr. Fate and all, and brings them back to display in a museum, where they wind up falling into the hands of Roger Hayden, who uses them to become the second Psycho-Pirate. As with their previous team-up, Hourman is outclassed by Dr Fate, but this doesn’t seem to bother him. Oh, I ought to mention that, at one point, the Psycho-Pirate makes Dr Fate think he is fighting his old foe Wotan, although that is just a hallucination.

 

Dr Fate continues in the next period, 1967 – 1970: It’s a Happening!

Dr Fate: Showcase 55 – 56 (March/April 65 – May/June 65)

Next up – Green Lantern!


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