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Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Dr. Fate #16 review
By Deejay Dayton

Sep 21, 2016 - 12:35

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Paul Levitz, Sonny Liew
Penciller(s): Sonny Liew
Inker(s): Sonny Liew
Colourist(s): Lee Loughridge
Letterer(s): Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist(s): Brendan McCarthy
$2.99 32 pages


***image1***I have really enjoyed this Dr. Fate series, which is moving towards its conclusion in Dr. Fate 16.  This incarnation of the split-personalitied hero has a young American Musilm of Egyptian descent, Khalid, in possession of the helmet.  Or perhaps being possessed by it.  Well, ok, no, by this point in the series Khalid is beginning to master the vast power that the Dr. Fate helmet allows him access to.

The Dr. Fate series always had elements of a man-of-two-worlds nature, with the split between the ancient consciousness of the helmet itself, and the modern personality of the one who is wearing it.

Levitz and Liew have really amped up this side of the story in this book.  Khalid is Muslim, but with a Christian mother, existing in a predominately Christian, when not outright secular, country.  He is American by birth, but dealing with the racism against non-whites.  Plus he is a somewhat lazy and disorganized boy who wants to become a doctor, trying to balance the demands of family, school and life with magical super-heroics.

Liew’s art on this book is exceptional.  He blends realism and magic deftly and effectively.  In this story, Dr. Fate has to deal with Osiris, who views him as an usurper of the power, and decides to stop the sun from rising.  Gods and mortals and magical beasts all fit together, whether in an urban landscape or a mystical realm.  It’s not easy to make a book feel at home with so many varied elements.

Paul Levitz’s touch can be noted simply by the skillful way the story balances all its various concerns.  I am consistently impressed by the low key humour in the book, as well as the way its deal with the religious elements.  They are always in play, but never overwhelm the thrust of the storylines.

Sadly, I have been, more or less, waiting for this to get cancelled for a while.  The series that I really enjoy never seem to make it.  And Dr. Fate has only two more issues to run.  I hope he gets Rebirth-ed.



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