- Sometimes I think a good fight accomplishes more than all the learning in the world.
- -- Kent Nelson src
Kent Nelson is Doctor Fate, a powerful sorcerer and agent for the Lords of Order who fights evil alongside his wife Inza. His amulet, cloak and helmet are creations of the ancient Nabu who acts as his mentor and spiritual guide. He is a founding member of the Justice Society of America.
Dr. Fate's first encounter with a hero of that era was the Spectre, the wrath of God. Together they destroyed a military gateway to a netherworld of demons. It was World War II and America was pulled into the war, Dr. Fate and many other mystery men help defeat an assassination attempt of President Roosevelt's life. At Roosevelt's request, they formed the Justice Society of America.
During this time, Kent found the helmet becoming more and more possessive of him, so rather than abandoning his battle against chaos, Kent created the half helm. Although Kent's powers were severely limited, he still had the ability of flight, invulnerability and super strength. However, Kent donned the helmet one last time in order to find the missing Spectre. Dr. Fate discovered that the Spectre was under the control of Kulak and in a titanic battle with the Spectre, he was defeated and the Helmet of Nabu was lost somewhere in the netherverse. It would not be until the early 1960s that Kent Nelson would somehow recover the helmet of Nabu and become Dr. Fate again. In the 1950s Kent Nelson had retired his fate persona and became a physician. It was not until the 1963 that Kent would rejoin the Justice Society of America. As their Justice Society comrades aged, Kent and Inza seemed immortal. The magic fate held over them, virtually stopped their aging process. Inza and Kent also received a small portion of Ian Karkull's power which gave them even more vitality.
When the Justice Society reactivated in the 1960s, Fate was a member - again wearing Nabu's helmet, though how it was recovered has not been revealed. Little is known of Fate's adventures during this period save for the JSA's annual gatherings with the Justice League of America from the parallel world of Earth-One (the JSA being on Earth-Two), and a pair of adventures he shared with fellow JSA member Hourman facing the monstrous Solomon Grundy and the villainous Psycho-Pirate.
Justice League International
Dr. Fate was also the founder of new Justice League where he and the Justice League foiled the plans of Darkseid to turn the people of earth against heroes. Kent's last adventure was against the Gray Man. During the late 1980s chaos and order were at breaking point. It was the Kali Yuga, the final age of man. Order had pulled out of battle, waiting for Chaos to engulf itself to create the new Golden Age. The strain of the Kali Yuga on Kent and Inza had caused them both to age rapidly. The strain on Inza was unbearable, in 1987, Inza committed suicide which left Kent devastated and on the verge of suicide. Nabu had become more dominant in the relationship and would not allow Kent to die until he could find a new host body.
Death and Return
Kent reluctantly helped Nabu find Eric Strauss as his protegee as the new Fate. It was only during these short few weeks that Kent discovered that Dr. Fate was meant to be a triad. Man, Woman and Fate. Kent broke the hold of Nabu over Fate which allowed Eric Strauss and his lover Linda to become the new Dr. Fate. Nabu allowed Kent to die. The Nelsons enjoyed an afterlife in which they lived normal lives unknowingly in the Amulet of Anubis. They raised a child called Kent and once again Fate would play a role in their lives again.
In desperation, Nabu travels to the Tower of Fate in Salem, to prepare the way for the TRUE Dr. Fate, Kent and Inza Nelson. As the they look into the amulet of Anubis, they see the souls of Kent and Inza Nelson. Jack C. Small and Petey venture into the amulet to find the Nelsons while Linda and Nabu prepare to fight Benjamin Stoner. With Nabu's help, Linda can touch the items and become Fate with Nabu. Nabu and Linda create a four armed Dr. Fate to battle the Anti-Fate. However, they fail and the Anti-Fate rejects the Lords of Chaos. Within the amulet, Jack C. Small and Petey discover that Hesse is inside the amulet. With his help they find the Nelsons and try to persuade them to come back to earth. Inza called this world heaven as the Nelson's could live the life they wanted to live. In this world, they even had a son called Kent junior. Inza does not want to leave this so-called heaven but eventually agrees that they could make this life happen on Earth.
Linda dies from her wounds from the battle with the Anti-Fate as her soul goes into Wendy, a woman who just recently died. There she is rejoined with her husband Eugene (Eric) and their daughter Raina where they will become the new seeds of humanity. Nabu is given the choice between humanity and being an immortal Lord of Order, he chooses humanity and his soul goes into Wendy's unborn child. Kent Nelson & Inza Nelson become the new Doctor Fate.
In 1994, Dr. Fate was once again formed into the male Dr. Fate but under the control of Kent and Inza. During Zero Hour, Dr. Fate led the Justice Society on its last battle against Extant, a minion of Parallax. Extant defeated the JSA and as he had the power of both a Lord of Order and Chaos, he forced the split of Dr. Fate, flinging the helmet and amulet through the netherverse which would eventually return to Egypt, a nexus of Fate's power. Kent and Inza tried to recover the items of Fate from Jared Stevens, a mercenary who would later become the new Fate. The items rejected Kent and Inza and the Nelsons chose Jared Stevens as the new holder of Fate. After a deadly battle with the servants of the demon Kingdom, the Nelsons were killed and were eventually allowed into the afterlife yet again. Kent and Inza did not die after giving the items to Jared Stevens but became disembodied spirits seemingly existing in a pocket universe inside Fate's amulet.
In their initial years of publication, the Fate's abilities were described as "the secret of the conversion of energy in matter and matter in energy". In the current continuity, the greater part of Doctor Fate's powers come from the mystical Helmet of Fate. However, Kent Nelson has trained throughout his career to become an accomplished adventurer as well as amassing his own personal sorcery skills.
- Magic; inside this power is this great array of abilities:
- Magic Sense: He can feel the presence of magic in his surroundings.
- Awareness: He can be tuned in with the cosmos and feel incoming mystical events.
- Astral Projection
- Dimensional Travel
- Eldritch Blast
- Energy Construct Creation
- Energy Resistance
- Flame Spell: Fate learned this ability in the Lost Book of Toth.
- Force Field: one of his fields could withstand the attacks from Aquarius during one full week.
- Illusion Casting
- Magnetic Manipulation
- Molecular Reconstruction
- Phasing: Kent wore this spell to enter in his Tower of Salem.
- Divine Empowerment: Nabu knows the true name of Ra, and can use his divine power to momentarily increase his own magic.
- Dr. Fate could make Superman immune to magic if he wanted.
- No emotions: With the helmet, Fate feels no emotion, and is completely immune to Psycho-Pirate's powers.
Without his helm, Kent Nelson has only the following magical abilities:
- Invulnerability: Dr. Fate could withstand military weapons and a explosion which could destroy a mansion.
- Telekinesis: when used in conjunction with his helmet, this ability was powerful enough to move a planet. Without it, Fate could be strong enough only to lift cars.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic)
- Medicine: In his adventures in More Fun Comics, Kent was a physician.
- Separation From Helmet: Although Kent Nelson is an accomplished magician and crime fighter, without his helm he is significantly weakened.
- His invulnerability does not protect him against gas-attacks.
- After long mystical battles or casting powerful spells, Fate's power would be depleted and needs to restore his mystical energy.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
Golden Age Dr. Fate Chronology:
Full Helmet Era
- Events of More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941) and Secret Origins v.2 #24, origin story, published out of sequence, took place at or before May 1940, as did the events of Dr. Fate’s flashback story in All-Star Squadron #47.
- Events of More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940) thru #68 (June 1941), plus DC Special #29 and Secret Origins v.2 #31, and All-Star Comics #3 thru #7, took place before Dec 1940.
- Doctor Fate's first and second battles with Ian Karkull, in More Fun Comics #69 and #70 (July & Aug 1941), took place in 1940-Dec.
- More Fun Comics #71 (Sep 1941), is an ambiguous case. These events may have taken place any time from Late Dec 1940 to 30 June 1941. Fate wore the full helmet while dealing with a planetary destruction level threat. The Earth had stopped rotating. This was Dr. Fate’s last Golden Age solo appearance in the full helmet.
- At the end of June 1941, after that third battle with Karkull, Dr. Fate had just started to realize that Nabu was taking control of him, whenever he donned the Helm of Nabu, and he withdrew from JSA activity, to address this problem.
Half Helmet Era
- All-Star Comics #8 (Dec.41/Jan.42) was Fate’s first JSA appearance in the new helmet. The JSA story is set in June 1941.
- More Fun Comics #72 (Oct 1941) was Dr. Fate’s first golden age solo appearance in the half helmet, and may have taken place as early as June 1941. Events of More Fun Comics #73 (Oct 1941) and More Fun Comics #74 (Nov 1941) took place between June 1941 and Dec 1941.
- Events of Justice League of America #193 thru All-Star Squadron #9 took place in Dec 1941. In All-Star Comics #11, the JSA disbanded and the members joined the armed forces.
- Roy Thomas, in ASQ#2: “The events of ALL-STAR #11 spanned a period which, at a conservative estimate, covered the first several weeks after December 7, 1941 – but by the end of the issue, America’s military leaders had seen the folly of allowing the JSA to fight individually against the enemy hordes.”
- In All-Star Comics #12 (Aug/Sep 1942) and All-Star Squadron #30, the team soon reorganized itself as the Justice Battalion, and called itself that until, at least, All-Star Comics #16. By early Feb 1942, most or all of the JBA members had resumed their civilian secret identities.
- In All-Star Squadron #23, during a dire emergency in early Feb 1942, Dr. Fate again briefly reverted to wearing the full helmet while searching for the missing Spectre. In All-Star Squadron #28, the Helm of Nabu, along with Kulak the High Priest of Brztl, were sent hurtling thru an infinity of dimensions. The helmet would not be seen again until Feb 1945.
- Events of All-Star Squadron #48 and #49 took place in March 1942, as did the events of More Fun Comics #75 (Jan 1942) thru More Fun Comics #77 (Mar 1942).
- Events of All-Star Comics #13 (Oct/Nov 1942), of All-Star Squadron #50 thru #59, took place during April 1942.
- Events of More Fun Comics #78 (Apr 1942) thru #84 (Oct 1942) had all taken place, and been documented in Miss America’s JSA archives, prior to June 1942, per Young All-Stars #27. That same month in All-Star Comics #14, Dr. Fate and the Spectre went on a humanitarian mission behind enemy lines in occupied Europe, and were able to avoid being corrupted onto the Nazi side, despite the unholy sorcery of the Spear of Destiny's Sphere of Influence.
- In More Fun Comics #85 (Nov 1942), Kent Nelson entered, attended, and finished medical school, with supernatural speed and ease. At this time, he stopped wearing the Cloak of Destiny.
- In All-Star Comics #21 (Summer 1944), Dr. Fate participated in the Justice Society’s deathbed rehabilitation of “The Man Who Re-Lived His Life”, as his final golden age JSA adventure. In More Fun Comics #98 (Jul/Aug 1944), Dr. Fate defeated “The Bashful King of Crime,” as his last golden age solo adventure. And in Wonder Woman #242 (Apr 1978) Fate had his last WWII-era adventure.
- Prior to his appearance in Justice League of America #21, Dr. Fate recovered the Helm of Nabu, sometime between Summer 1944 and February 1945, under circumstances which remain untold.
- At his most potent, Doctor Fate is an accomplished sorcerer, able to match most other wizards in the Universe. He has been credited as being one of the top 12 most powerful heroes in the Universe.
- Kent cast his spells using the "Eastern Way" by use of internal balance and internal focus as opposed to the "Western Way" by use of symbols and incantations.
- It is also revealed that Dr. Fate was not meant to be either male or female, but both united as one, and that unless this is realized Dr. Fate can never reach his full potential.
- 438 Appearances of Kent Nelson (New Earth)
- 101 Images featuring Kent Nelson (New Earth)
- 14 Quotations by or about Kent Nelson (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Kent Nelson (New Earth)
- ↑ More Fun Comics #67
- ↑ DC Special Series #10
- ↑ Doctor Fate #1
- ↑ 1st Issue Special #9
- ↑ More Fun Comics #55
- ↑ All-Star Squadron #47
- ↑ Secret Origins (Volume 2) #24
- ↑ Spectre Annual (Volume 3) #1
- ↑ All-Star Comics #3
- ↑ More Fun Comics #72
- ↑ All-Star Squadron #23
- ↑ Justice League of America #21
- ↑ Showcase #55-56
- ↑ Legends (Volume 1)
- ↑ Justice League #-7
- ↑ Doctor Fate (Volume 1)
- ↑ Zero Hour #3
- ↑ Fate #1
- ↑ Book of Fate #1
- ↑ JSA #3
- ↑ Blackest Night: JSA (Volume 1)
- ↑ DC Special #29
Justice Society of America member
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