Wednesday, October 2, 2013

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.  


  1. Good list! Especially love IMMORTAL DOCTOR FATE! Many similarities to my own list (written prior to EARTH 2).


  2. I was thinking of adding some JSA stuff as that should be required reading for Dr. Fate fans but decided to keep it on Dr. Fate solo stuff.

  3. Understandable. I would say the JSA ALL STARS issue read like a stand alone (if memory serves).

    Keep up the great work here!!

    1. Thanks! And yes, the JSA All Stars issue was a stand alone story. I loved the Golden Age story with Dr. Fate and Inza in that issue.

  4. What a topic to have stumbled upon here! If I can add 2 cents: it's funny you both have the Golden mini from 2004(?) listed as necessary reading - I loved the idea of Hector as Fate, but found this story dull-dull-dull (plus never liked Cramer on art - the covers were fantastic and best part of the series). I'd have to include the story of how Hec' became the Good Doctor, from JSA Secret Files #1 & JSA #s 1-4 as pretty essential and much more enjoyable to read (for me).
    Also 2nd Shag's favorable opinion of the DeMatteis/McManus run - some pretty great stuff, there.

  5. Mark - Good suggestion on Hectors origin as Fate!