Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from ToF!

Hoping everyone has a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dr. Fate 2013 Year in Review

Today we review 2013 and what it meant for Dr. Fate as well as look ahead at 2014.  Obviously 2013 was a big year for Dr. Fate as he returned to the pages of DC Comics with a brand new identity and a spiffy, redesigned costume.  I have to admit that I am very happy with James Robinson's re-imagining of Dr. Fate.  I like the fact that the good doctor's new identity is that of a native Egyptian (Khalid Ben-Hassin) but still has ties to the Nelson bloodline.  Also, the new costume is pretty darn cool.  I do wish they had kept the old, blue-gold, color scheme but I can live with the universe-contained uniform.  

The new Dr. Fate also has been marked as a link between Earth 1 and Earth 2 in the pages of the Trinity War event.  He made a one-panel appearance in the pages of Justice League Dark as Shazam opened Pandora's Box and connected all magical beings on Earth 1 as well as Dr. Fate from Earth 2 for one brief moment.  It will be interesting to see how that connection plays out when the two worlds finally meet.  We know that Superman, Batman, Power Girl and Huntress are all aware of the two different Earths, as are the two Mr. Terrifics (to me Terry Sloan will always be Mr. Terrific) on Earth 2. 

Dr. Fate also made some brief appearances in the final episodes of Cartoon Network's Young Justice before the show's cancellation.  There were some rumored DC Nation cartoon shorts featuring Dr. Fate that never came about, but hopefully will come to fruition in 2014.  And lastly, we got to see Dr. Fate make his adult film debut in Axel Braun's Man of Steel Parody.  His appearance was actually handled really well in Mr. Braun's film, and to those wondering Dr. Fate does not "get lucky" in the movie.  

A look ahead to 2014
In the year ahead we already have Dr. Fate featured on two Earth 2 covers.  One in this month's upcoming Earth 2 Annual and the other is in March's Earth 2 issue.  Khalid has had a rough go of it in his first year as Dr. Fate, most notably getting his ass handed to him by evil Superman.  Let's hope that in the upcoming year Khalid gets more confidence and learns to use Dr. Fate's powers to their full potential. 

In terms of television appearances, there are not much prospects.  I hope to see those DC Nation cartoon shorts that were rumored come out.  Also, with the DC Universe expanding on television I hope that he will eventually show up in either the Flash's television show or in the Hourman show.  I highly doubt he will appear in the Arrow universe.

There you have it folks, I am so happy to have Dr. Fate back in the DCU.  I only hope that he will get a bit more face time in the coming year but I realize that being a "B" character, other characters will get more face time.  Just happy that he was the main character for an entire arc of Earth 2 this year and am grateful for all his appearances.      

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Poetic Death: Shakespear Science Album Review

I know what you are thinking: "an album review? On a comic book blog?  WTF?"  Hopefully as I review this record it will become more apparent why I am reviewing it on here.  The record I'm referring to, and will be reviewing today is Poetic Death's Shakespear Science.

This is not Poetic Death's most recent release, but in my opinion this album is an absolute masterpiece.  The album was released in 2011 but it was, and still is, so far ahead of its time other artists still have not caught up to it.  The production, the lyrics, everything about this album is so incredibly dope.  The album is so dope that I HAD to write a review for it on my Dr. Fate blog.  In fact, it has replaced Outkast's ATLiens album as my favorite hip hop album of all time.  

The production on this album is incredible and matches the tone of Poetic Death's lyrics perfectly.  I enjoyed every single beat on every single song.  Musically, you will be hard pressed to find an album better than this. Now, as fair warning, if your idea of good music is club, commercial beats with dumbed down lyrics, this record is not for you.  But if you enjoy complex beats that will make you nod your head through the entire album coupled  with thought provoking lyrics then this record is most certainly for you.

Now, let's get into the lyrics.  This is where the album truly shines and why I think a review of this record is appropriate for this blog.  Poetic Death speaks on what most underground artists speak on: politics, what is happening in impoverished neighborhoods, and encouraging others to open their minds/third eye.  Where Poetic Death differs is in the mysticism he brings to his lyrics.  Yes, a lot of emcees talk about bending time and space and opening their third eye.  What Poetic Death brings to the table is a real understanding of the mystical, a real understanding of religion, and a  real understanding of the ancients of Egypt that goes beyond name dropping of a few gods.  His lyrics touch upon subjects such as Judas Iscariot, ancient mysteries of Egypt, the Anunnaki, and other sources of mysticism all while making it relevant to the struggles of today.   

I honestly have not heard another record quite like this.  And that is not to say that Poetic Death's other releases after this record have not been good, in fact most of his material is very good.  But this is one of those records that come along once in a very long while.  Truly an inspired piece of art.  Unfortunately, the record is very difficult to find now-a-days but if you are interested in checking it out one of the producers of the record (Kwervo aka Hellbound) is selling it on his site for a mere $5.  I can't recommend this record enough, I really suggest you pick it up as you will not be disappointed.  You can pick up the record at http://www.kwervo.com/albums/poetic-death-shakespeare-science/    

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from ToF!

Merry Christmas and Happy NCBD from the Tower of Fate blog.  Hope everyone has a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dr. Fate Fan Art

This is a really cool piece by http://aberrantkitty.deviantart.com/   Very reminiscent of the Dr. StrangeFate one shot.  Too bad there has never been a DC/Marvel Crossover where Dr. Fate and Dr. Strange team up.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rookie Dr. Fate = Balance of Power

One of the major complaints that I hear about Dr. Fate is that he is too powerful to be interesting.  With all that god-like power he can basically take care of villain with no effort at all.  This has also been said about Dr. Fate's JSA supernatural colleague, the Spectre as well as DC comics' bread and butter man, Superman.  The one thing about Superman is that he has certain weaknesses one can exploit: kryptonite and his vulnerability to magic, where as Dr. Fate really has no known weaknesses besides facing someone who's magic is more powerful than his own (which is rare).  Same goes for the Spectre.

It appears that the answer to that complaint by DC comics has been to have the wearer of the Helm of Fate be a neophyte to the world of magic.  This has been the course of action for all those who have won the helm after the original Kent Nelson, the original Dr. Fate.  The trend started with Eric and Linda Strauss who were the first successors to Kent Nelson after his death.  Eric and Linda Strauss not only had to learn about the world of magic, but also had to learn to deal with the merging of their consciousness into one in order to become Dr. Fate.  Suffice to say that they did not fair well as Dr. Fate with Eric first dying at the hand of Darkseid and Linda later joining him in a reincarnated form.

After Eric and Linda Strauss, Kent an Inza Nelson made it back to the world of the living.  However, this time Inza would be the bearer of the Helm of Fate which was occupied by a Lord of Chaos instead of a Lord of Order.  Although Inza was familiar to the world of magic, she had to learn the ropes of being Dr. Fate.

We'll just skip over Jared Stevens and go right into Hector Hall.  Hector Hall was reincarnated for the sole purpose of becoming the new Dr. Fate.  Although an apt and powerful apprentice, he struggled with Nabu's leadership and he and his wife Lyta were eventually killed by the Spectre.

Next was Kent Nelson's grandnephew, Kent V. Nelson.  He was chosen by the Helm, who was no longer home to Nabu's spirit, to become the next Dr. Fate.  Kent V. Nelson had it the hardest out of all the Dr. Fate's as he had virtually nu guidance on being Dr. Fate except for residual whispers left in the Helm to guide him.  Kent V. Nelson survived his role as Dr. Fate only to be changed in the New 52.

Finally we come to Khalid Ben-Hassin.  The new Dr. Fate for the New 52.  Khalid is the newest successor to the Helm of Fate with the benefit of Nabu's guidance fully restored.  However, Khalid, like some of his predecessors, is a reluctant successor to the Helm.  He did not want the power he was chosen to receive but finally accepted.  He is a complete neophyte to the world of magic and has had a rough go of it since defeating Wotan.  Most recently receiving a harsh beat-down by an evil Superman.  Being new to the world of heroism, Khalid perhaps did not handle the fight in the same way the original Kent Nelson might have and hence got nearly killed.

The line of novice Dr. Fates is, what I believe, DC comics answer to balancing the character's omnipotent power and to make the character more interesting.  Which is not bad.  However, I would argue that, that exact omnipotent power is what made the original Dr. Fate so interesting.  The Golden Age Dr. Fate would walk into the after life and be respected by its inhabitants.  He fought other evil doers who dabbled in the occult, he fought aliens, and Cthulhu-like monsters.  He traveled in between dimensions and battled creatures of chaos.  This is what made Dr. Fate awesome.  He fought evil threats that were beyond the grasp of other heroes.  His association with mysticism is part of what made him so intriguing.  The fact that he holds such power yet fights creatures even more powerful than himself, mystic, hellish creatures, is what makes a "hyper" powered Dr. Fate so damn cool.    

Friday, December 13, 2013

March Earth 2 Solicitation

Check out the cover of March's Earth 2 issue!  I hope this is in reference to the last beat down Khalid received and he doesn't get another one.  It looks like Batman either gave Dr. Fate another beat down or he is there to help him.  I hope he is there to help.  Anyhow, awesome to see Dr. Fate front and center on the cover.  Also, love that they are using more blue tint on his costume rather than the straight black.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dr. Fate Fan Art

This is a truly magnificent Dr. Fate piece by http://wanderlei78.deviantart.com/.  I really hope he adds color to it, but even without color it is a truly stunning piece of Dr. Fate art.

(click on image to enlarge)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Victory Station the Coolest Little Toy Shop in Burbank

This weekend I decided I wanted to get a Dr. Fate action figure to give away for the Toys for Tots Program.  I stopped by a little shop close to my home called Victory Station as it says that it sells toys and other collectibles.  To my pleasant surprise this place turned out to be awesome!  It has tons, and tons of old school DC toys as can be seen in the pictures below:

And these are just a few pictures I took, they had a whole lot more in stock.  But, it's not strictly a DC comics toy store, they also carry tons of Marvel stuff, Star Wars, Star Trek, Hot Wheels, comics, etc.  Also, the prices there are very fair.  The stuff that I looked at seemed to be priced very fairly, it didn't feel like anything was overpriced.  Below a picture of the Dr. Fate figure I bought and deposited in a Toys for Tots box at the Burbank Police Station:
Hope a kid receives it and begins to appreciate Dr. Fate as much as I do.  If you are interested in paying Victory Station a visit they are located at 200 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy Bodhi Day

Just wishing a Happy and Peaceful Bodhi Day to all my fellow Buddhists out there.

Friday, December 6, 2013

F.U., I'm Doctor Fate: Dr. Fate is an Equal Opportunity Kind of Guy

One thing about the Golden Age Dr. Fate is that he did not discriminate.  He did not give one f@ck if you were young, old, male, female, black, white, you name it.  You were an evil doer you were gonna get it.

Case in point, the panel below.  Dr. Fate is facing an elderly practitioner of the black arts.  You think Dr. Fate is going to take it easy on the old fella just because he is old?  Hell nah, SON!  Dr. Fate doesn't give a f@ck!  He drops the old man like a bad habit with a nice left hook to the jaw.

Let that be a lesson to all evil senior citizens out there.  You do the crime, you better be ready for a chin check by Dr. Fate.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy New Comic Book Day: Dr. Fate Fan Spotlight

Happy New Comic Book Day and Earth 2 Day everyone!  Hope you are all ready for the new issue of Earth 2 that comes out today along with a long list of other great comics, as well as a new Arrow show which will introduce Barry Allen (the Flash) to the show.

Today I want to spotlight a big Dr. Fate fan on the blog who is going through some difficult times.  His name is Dr. Steve Landman, but he is such a big Dr. Fate fan, that people actually call him Dr. Fate.  Dr. Landman has ben diagnosed with Anti-MAG Peripheral Neuropathy, an auto-immune decease that attacks the nervous system.  Dr. Landman, or Dr. Fate as some call him, is 62 and has been a comic book fan all of his life.  He is now selling his collection in order to help pay some of his medical bills which are quite extensive.  His comic collection will be on sale through http://www.comicconnect.com/ through December 13th.  So if you have some disposable cash laying around and want to help him while getting yourself some great comics be sure to stop by the comic auction online.  You can read more about Dr. Landman here: Chicago-Dentist known as Dr. Fate selling valuable childhood comic-book collection as he struggles with rare, incurable disease. And here: http://www.ibtimes.com/steve-landman-dr-fate-auctions-comic-collection-cure-disease-prevents-him-walking-1490294

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tons of News from DC Comics and WB Today

Wow, seems like Warner Brothers and DC Comics let out an avalanche of news for fans today.  Lets start with this: Spring And Fall – The New Slots For DC Entertainment Low Budget Superhero Films.  DC and WB are proposing releasing two low-budget, live-action, superhero movies a year during the Spring and Fall seasons.  Slated to these releases are Suicide Squad, Deathstroke, Booster Gold, and others.  As always, my thoughts go immediately to a Dr. Fate film.  That would be freaking awesome, although with his powers I don't know that you can do a low-budget Dr. Fate film and do it justice.

The second is some disappointing news about the Hourman show.  The following information is from  Bleedingcool.com:

"Because the proposal is that the drug Miraco from the comic book series, in the TV show will have a different effect on each person who takes it, summoning different powers and abilities based on their personality, enhancing existing talents or abilities tenfold, but with terrible side effects.
And a different person will get the powers each week…"
If this is the case, then the show might turn out to be pretty disappointing.  Unless, it is set in Earth 2 and we still get to see the Justice Society come together (hopefully with Dr. Fate being part of the group).

Lastly, there is the proposed live-action Young Justice television show coming to the CW.  Not sure how this show would work, it'll seem pretty difficult to focus on so many characters but I'm willing to watch it.  Especially if it means that Dr. Fate might show up every once in a while.

Dr. Fate Art

Some freaking awesome Dr. Fate art by John Rose aka http://bladepuppetmaster.deviantart.com/

This is his Dr. Fate character on DCUO based on the New 52 Dr. Fate.  The character looks great!