Monday, August 13, 2012

Reign in Hell (trade) Review

This is one of my very favorite Keith Giffen stories.  It features many (if not all) of DC's magical characters in a fierce battle to either keep a rebellion from taking power in hell or helping said rebellion change the current guard in hell.  Most characters are either forced into hell or voluntarily make the descent in to the underworld to join in the fight.  Although Doctor Fate is not one of the main characters in the book, this is an important arc for the last incarnation of Dr. Fate before the New 52, as it was Kent V. Nelson's first official outing since Gerber's Count Down to Mystery.  At this point, Kent is still learning the ways of magic and trying to figure it out on his own with minimal guidance from the helm.  

Focusing on Dr. Fate's role, he is on the side of keeping the current guard in hell which is currently ran by Neron.  Fate is initially called to a council meeting hosted by Captain Marvel (now Shazam) and attended by Detective Chimp, Zatanna, Zauriel, and of course Dr. Fate.  The meeting is to discuss whether or not they should get involved in the current war/revolution occurring in hell.  The reader is left without knowing what the decision is and eventually each character makes up their own mind as to whether or not to get involved.

Next time we see Dr. Fate, he is flying solo in hell searching for Lady Blaze who is part of the revolution.   Fate engages Lady Blaze in battle managing to defeat her by focusing his power on the amulet of anubis and leaving her badly scarred/disfigured in the process.  He is then attacked by hordes of demons who he manages to burn to a crisp with another powerful blast from the amulet.  The scene leaves Dr. Fate in amazement of what has happened.

After some time focusing on the other characters of the story, we pick up with Dr. Fate flying around hell trying to find a way home.  Dr. Fate mentions that he doesn't remember making the decision to go to hell so we don't know if he consciously made the decision, if the helm decided for him, or if he was one of the characters dragged into the fight.    Dr. Fate eventually meets up with Dr. Occult and a group of super heroes also trying to find their way home.  Dr. Fate is able to open a passage way for Dr. Occult and Nightshade to find their way home.  Once they find their way, Dr. Occult and Nightshade open the portal again to bring Dr. Fate and their comrades safely home.

Overall, this book is so much fun to read.  I've lost count of the times I've re-read it.  As I said before, the book features many of DC's magical characters so if you like that aspect of comics you will really enjoy the story.  The art work by Tom Derenick and ink by Bill Sienkiewicz is top notch.  Reign in Hell is a great book to have in your collection.  


  1. I agree this is one of my favorite book of that year, and the like you said the art and ink work in the book are TOPS!!!! If you have not pick this up, you are missing out on a great read!

    This and the day of vengeance book are must haves,

  2. Love this mini-series! We didn't really know what to expect when it was coming out issue by issue, so it was a real treat when it was this excellent!

    Love the Blue Devil and Doctor Fate stuff!

    The Irredeemable Shag