DC Comics
Dr. Fate # 1
By Koppy McFad
Aug 21, 2003 - 15:45

DC Comics
Writer(s): Christopher Golden
Penciller(s): Don Kramer
Inker(s): Prentis Rollins
Cover Artist(s): Don Kramer, Prentis Rollins

This is the first part of a five-issue miniseries and is clearly a pilot for a possible continuing series of DC Comic's premier sorcerer. This time, the resident doctor is no master mage but is instead, a neophyte named Hector Hall, son of the current Hawkman. Let's just say his history is rather complicated.
Fortunately for Hall and the reader, the comic does not dwell overmuch on the tangled origins of the current Dr. Fate. Instead, we are plunged headfirst into his continuing struggle against various mystic menaces.

We see him battling the standard demonic menaces on another plane of perception while normal life goes on around him. We are later introduced to a coven of college students who have their own plans for Dr. Fate, as well as to a mysterious figure who hires a high-priced cat burglar to steal a mystic artifact. Then there is a helmet that looks like an evil version of Nabu's helm.

There are also the standard exchanges between the new Dr. Fate and Nabu--except that this time, Nabu is presented as an actual person who shares the tower with Fate, not just a voice whispering in the helmet.

This Nabu is a stern mentor who doesn't go easy on Hector Hall. Hector in turn is not the traditional compliant disciple either and the friction between them gives the new Dr. Fate a sense of tension not seen in past incarnations of this character.

Golden crams his story with so sub-plots, you'd think it was a 12-part miniseries. It will be interesting to see if he can bring it all to a smooth conclusion by part five. Too many comic-books have been ending abruptly in recent years, as if the writer didn't realize how hard it would be too tie everything up so neatly. Hopefully, Golden won't repeat this.

Kramer does the horror and majesty of magic rather well. It is his normal life which looks rather stiff. Perhaps I have set my standards too high but I actually prefer his recent fill-in work for "Hawkman" than his work here. Hopefully, this will change.

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