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Battle Wizard

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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: My personal favorite was Kent Nelson...
Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 10:34:16 pm EDT (Viewed 456 times)
Reply Subj: Who Worked Best as Doctor Fate?
Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 08:23:03 pm EDT (Viewed 575 times)

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Doctor Fate was never a character easy to like, aloof and inhuman by nature he may have had an additional barrier between him and the audience in the form of the helmet, a character with no face is never a good idea... but for me surprisingly the Fate I liked best was Hector Hall. To say the least I was surprised when the series launched and revealed Hector as the new Doctor Fate, Hector has two barriers hindering his chances for ressurection: 1] He was both very dead at the time with a fairly spiky personality, a spoiled rich kid who's resentment of his dad was projected onto the hapless Northwind in the form of verbal bullying. And 2] A very convoluted basis for an origin. The only child of two perpetual reincarnates who lived under an eternal curse with a temporary carreer as a Sandman (but let's not go there...)

Hector Hall though confounded expectations, he was a far more approachable and open Fate than Kent Nelson had ever been and his struggle against the hardline of Nabu's control would made him a stronger figure than Nelson had ever been. Hector had earned the title of Doctor Fate by resisting isolation and not forgetting to relate to the people around him, the decision to suddenly and forcibly retire him has never been elaborated on but it was definitly a stepback for the character.

It's a shame DC had to go back to the well to ressurect the Kent Nelson aspect, Nelson jr never had much of an identity as Fate and the same lack of empathy that characterised Doctor Fate historically has dogged his chances of success as well....

What my biggest frustration for the various Dr. Fate's has been is the ease by which in some appearances they can be taken down by lower level types who wouldn't rate as a blip on the radar of the beings the various incarnations of Dr. Fate has taken on and either beaten at cosmic levels or at least held their own against.

The gap is disturbing to me. Batman operating outside of his weight class as merely a non-powered human with access to plenty of money, a lifetime of physical training to peak levels, and the drive to succeed, is the exception to the rule, but shouldn't be the norm. I was constantly flabbergasted that the various Dr. Fate incarnations seemed so easily taken down by opponents and with the most ridiculous of explanations. To me, this is why the whole Dr. Fate series of incarnations failed, despite their longevity.

Their longevity was because of their pre-eminence as a magic wielding necessity in a DC where magic of that level on team-hero was needed, but not very well developed. So they kept coming back to Dr. Fate hoping that with each re-invention, they could find someone who would stick, but never did.

Hector Hall seemed my 2nd favorite overall. I really never liked any of the others.

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