Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Justice League Unlimited #14

This was a great Halloween Justice League Unlimited issue that was printed in 2005.  It's appropriate that I recently became aware of this issue as Halloween happens to be tomorrow! (Some might even call it Fate)  This issue features many of DC's supernatural heroes including Dr. Fate, Dr. Occult, the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, Etrigan, Deadman and Zauriel.  

It's a neat little story that reminds me a bit of Reign in Hell, but much, much, shorter and much more kid friendly.  In this story Deadman finds out that three demons have taken over Limbo and are not letting souls pass on to the other side.  He enlists the above mentioned heroes with ties to the supernatural and travel into limbo to battle the demons. 

Once in Limbo, the heroes engage the three demons in battle:

However, it doesn't go so well for our heroes as they are double crossed by Etrigan and end up getting captured:

What the three demons did not know was that Etrigan was only pretending to double cross the heroes in order to free Zatanna from their grasp.  Once freed, all the heroes combine their powers in order to defeat the demons: 

Overall this was a fun little story featuring pretty much all of my favorite characters from DC comics.  Would have been cool to see Madam Xanadu in there as well but it's all good.  It's really cool that they featured Dr. Occult who rarely gets any love in comics.  Also, cool to see Dr. Fate invoke Nabu's name.  I don't think he ever did in the Justice League cartoons.  This would have been a great story to see animated.  

Happy Early Halloween Everybody!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tribute to Inza Nelson

I've been rereading Inza's run as Dr. Fate (written by William Messner-Loebs) the last few days and I have really been enjoying it.  What I love about her run is Messner-Loebs focus on the micro instead of the macro.  In her adventrures, Inza is more concerned about cleaning up and helping the people in the neighborhood where she and Kent have moved into (a home Kent's father owned in the 40's and is set in a bad neighborhood in NY). Also, being that Inza is female her powers as Dr. Fate differ from that of her husband's, Kent Nelson, run as Dr. Fate.  She finds that that her fighting prowess is not very strong but her healing and creative energy is very powerful.  Makes for a very interesting Dr. Fate.  So with no further ado, I give you my tribute to Inza Nelson:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

F.U., I'm Doctor Fate!

Today I am introducing a new segment to the Tower of Fate Blog.  As you may have read in the title, this segment is going to be called "F.U., I'm Doctor Fate."  One thing that I loved about the Golden Age Doctor, is that he did not give a f@ck.  Not one!  He would go where he wants, do what he wants, and kill who he wants (as long as they are bad guys of course).  You didn't like that sh!t you might get knocked the F out, and consider yourself lucky he didn't throw you off a building.  This segment seeks to highlight some of those unintentionally funny moments.

Today's segment of "F.U., I'm Doctor Fate!" features Doctor Fate's visit to the underworld and his first meeting with Nergal.  As you will see, Doctor Fate steps into Nergal's home and makes him his b!tch, because F@ck Nergal! That's why! (and also Nergal's minions were terrorizing the land of the living)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Covers of January Earth 2 Solicitations

Check out the covers for January 2014 Earth 2 comics that were released yesterday.

Earth 2 Annual #2
Awesome to see Dr. Fate prominently displayed on this cover.  And if you notice he looks a lot closer to old school Dr. Fate with no marking on his helmet and his suit having that blueish tint.  I know that the blue is a reflection of the lighting on the black suit, but still, the blue looks so great on him.  

Earth 2 #19
 Looks like our heroes on Earth 2 continue to struggle to get the upper hand against Brutaal aka Superman.  If you look on the right hand corner the Helm of Nabu is below GL's hand and right next to Batman's cowl.  Who will be able to defeat Superman?

Can't wait to read what Tom Taylor has in store for us Earth 2 fans.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mystical Beings are Mystical

Happy New Comic Book Day everyone!    Found this great panel below of some of DC's supernatural characters working together, just hanging out being mystical and stuff.  You know, just saving the world, no big deal.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Dr. Fate T-shirt has a new Dr. Fate t-shirt in stock!  Check it out:

And here is their description of the shirt:

Before the Helm of Nabu transformed people into the mystical superhero Doctor Fate, it was the 100% cotton Dr. Fate Stars Yellow T-Shirt! That Nabu was always a big fan of short sleeved shirts for some reason...nobody ever quite figured it out. There might even be some magic left in the retro artwork of Doctor Fate surrounded by a burst of stars on the Dr. Fate Stars Yellow T-Shirt. You'll have to check though; I lost my ability to quantify magic after the Spectre banished me to a frozen mountain during the Day of Judgement. 

Ha!  I thought the description was very clever.  Go online and pick this shirt up!  I am ordering mine as soon as I get paid this week.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Earth 2 #16 Review

Wow, talk about going out on top!  James Robinson's last issue of Earth 2 literally made me say "Oh sh!t!" out loud.  For those of you who read the issue, you know what part I am talking about.  All though many of us Earth 2 fans had already guessed the identity of Brutaal, James Robinson and Nicola Scott still manage to make the reveal scene shocking.  It was also cool to see Dr. Fate use his magic in different ways, not just as a form of attack or defense.  While we are on the subject of Dr. Fate I have to point out the only thing that bothers me about the book and that is that Nicola Scott continues to struggle with the Helm of Nabu.  In some panels the Helm looks awesome and in others it looks just terrible.  Take for instance the panel below:

In this panel the Helm looks long, over-sized and awkward.  One of the things that killed Hector Hall for me, was that the artists at that time also struggled with the Helm.  Also, take a look at the following panel:

It looks a little better here, but why is she trying to draw a nose on the Helm?  I've seen her do this on a few other issues (trying to draw facial features on the helm).  The Helm should be smooth and devoid of facial features.  This is what gives Dr. Fate that classic aloof look.  This is why I hope to see Dr. Fate on other titles, so I can see him drawn properly.  Nicola Scott is a fantastic artist, but doesn't seem to get Dr. Fate or just struggles with the Helm.  It's funny because the Helm is fairly simple, and when drawn properly looks amazing.  However, when not drawn well, it makes Dr. Fate lose that iconic, individual look that draws many people to that character. 

I know that Nicola Scott has a lot of fans and I'm probably going to get some hate mail for my criticisms.  Not saying she's a bad artist, but with this particular character she does struggle.  One can't look at those panels above and say that is a great looking Dr. Fate.  

Overall, James Robinson's final issue on Earth 2 was a blast.  Loved the story and for the most part I enjoyed the art.  Just looking forward to seeing a Nicola Scott improve on Dr. Fate's Helm.  

Essential Dr. Fate Reading List

Today marks two momentous occasions in the Earth 2 world that James Robinson has built in the new DC universe: 1) the Tower of Fate story arc is released in trade format covering the origin of this universe's Dr. Fate and 2) with the release of Earth 2 # 16 his awesome run on this book comes to a close.  To address the second part first, I would like to thank James for all the great Earth 2 stories he gave us in the last year and a half, but mostly thank him for the great new Dr. Fate he re-imagined.  As a huge Dr. Fate fan, James filled, and topped, all of my expectations on the new Dr. Fate.  In fact, it is amazing how close our visions of the new Dr. Fate were.  We were pretty much in agreement with everything the new Dr. Fate should be, and I thank him for that.  Thank you Mr. Robinson for the great new Earth 2 you gave us fans, and the awesome Dr. Fate origin.  Khalid is a great Dr. Fate, I'm sure Kent Nelson is looking down on him with pride as is Gardner Fox.  

On to the first part, today we get the entire arc of how Khalid Ben-Hassin became the New 52's Doctor Fate!
This is a great jumping on point for those unfamiliar with Dr. Fate.  However, if you are curious about the past Dr. Fates, here is a list of books that you should invest in:  

The Golden Age Doctor Fate Archives, by Gardner Fox:  This is the original Dr. Fate.  Keep in mind that the source material is from the 40's so it can be a bit dated and silly at times but the mystical influence is still very heavy.  

Dematteis' 4 Part Dr. Fate miniseries from the 80's: Unfortunately this was not released in trade format by DC but you can still find all four for sale by many sellers on ebay.  Although I was not a fan of Dematteis' ongoing Dr. Fate run, this 4 part miniseries is a classic.  A must read for every Dr. Fate fan.  

Golden's Dr. Fate miniseries from the early 2000's:  Another great Dr. Fate miniseries that featured Hector Hall as Dr. Fate.  I've often stated that if there is ever a Dr. Fate movie, they should adapt this series as the script.  

The Immortal Dr. Fate, by Martin Pasko:  A classic among classics.  Pasko is definitely one of my favorite writers that touched Dr. Fate.  This is another collection of short Dr. Fate stories that were not collected in trade format, but were oddly collected in (I believe) 4 different extended comic books.  You can also find all four (maybe five) for sale on ebay.   

Dr. Fate Countdown to Mystery, by Steven Gerber: Gerber wrote what is probably my favorite version of Dr. Fate.  It is a shame that he passed before he had a chance to complete the entire story but what he did was fantastic.  This was not so much a story of sacrifice, as have been all prior Fates, but instead a story or redemption.  Definitely a must read (as are all other on this list).  

There you have it, ToF's essential Dr. Fate reading list.  All this books truly represent what I believe Gardner Fox had envisioned his creation to be.  So after picking up Earth 2 Vol. 2: The Tower of Fate, and you still want to know more about the good Doctor, check out the titles on this list.