Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Doctor Fate-Howard Sherman-1942

In the sixties there seemed some confusion sometimes as to whether Doctor Fate--as Kent Nelson--was an archaeologist or an actual doctor. This story, the first with him as the wisecracking, capeless brawler rather than the mystic, helmeted wizard, seems to be where that confusion came from. In this Gardner Fox tale, Kent reveals that he's "secretly" been attending medical school!


  1. I was unaware that Doctor Fate ever pranced around without his cape, so even in comics, you really do learn something new every day.

  2. Funny, Kent Nelson had already enlisted to serve as a paratrooper in the war, then he turned around and went into medical school? Pick a career pal, there's a war on!

  3. It's amazing what they did to Dr. Fate. His early incarnation was one of my all time favorite heroes. Fate had an amazing ethereal feel to the stories and the art. This story is a virtual superman rip off! And they did the same thing to my other favorite hero the Spectre. To me this is a clear example of the shift all comics went through at this time. The early heroes were much grittier and aggressive. After the war started they became more campy. The seemed to keep softening them until the late 40's when most heroes were taken off the stands. But still it's nice to see Gardner and Sherman's work. Thanks!

  4. @Piperson

    I know how you feel brother! Those earlier, Lovecraftian Dr. Fate stories are gems all. The half-helmet stories? Meh. Some of the Mr. Who stories and the one about the magic painting are fun, but not a patch on the early stuff. I do find the Kildare-esque stories like this one to be fairly enjoyable, however.

    I didn't mind them lightening up Spectre too much, because his strip ALWAYS flip-flopped between bat-shit crazy, surreal adventures and lousy stories where he fought fur hijackers.