Magic! Mystery! These are the purviews of a magical superhero. Doctor Fate is the major spellcaster of the DC universe. But who is Doctor Fate? Lots of people. Are they all doctors? Let’s find out!
Nabu the Wise
Shortly after the universe began, the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos came into being, this would turn into the longest struggle for control in existence. Eventually, one of the Lords of Order would descend and take the form of Nabu the Wise and become the adviser of Egyptian pharaohs.
Over the course of history, Nabu would find many powerful artifacts that would go on to have importance in superhero history, such as the scarab of the Blue Beetle. He would witness the raise of such beings as the Spectre, Black Adam, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl. All the while, defending Earth from the attacks of the Lords of Chaos as well as any other magical threats that came to be.
Just a child, Kent Nelson’s archaeologist father, Sven, took him on an expedition of the tomb of Nabu the Wise. Sadly, when his father opened the tomb, the safeguards to protect Nabu killed Sven. Nabu had not been dead, but in suspended animation for when he would be needed again. Feeling bad for the death of the boy’s father, Nabu spent years training him in magic and granted him his magical artifacts, particularly his helmet, which would house Nabu and allow him to aide the wearer in magic.
After all his training, Kent would venture forth as a superhero, protecting the world from supernatural threats. He would meet Inza Cramer and the two would marry. Kent helped form the Justice Society of America. He would also get the proper certifications to make him not just a doctor by the title Nabu held. (Nabu’s extensive knowledge gives him understanding beyond the doctorates of human knowledge) When World War 2 began, he left the helm of Nabu and other artifacts behind (Hitler held the Spear of Destiny which could take control of anyone with super powers, which was why many heroes could not go and fight the Nazis head on since many had inherent powers) to become a paratrooper. Returning afterward, he would retire from the JSA for a time and become an archaeologist like his father. He would return for a time and help start a new Justice League. Eventually both he and Inza would die of old age when their magics failed them.
Eric and Linda Strauss
Nabu, realizing how important Doctor Fate is for the world, seeks out a worthy successor and finds it in Erica and Linda Strauss. Son-in-Law and Mother-in-Law must fuse to become Doctor Fate. The two would fight many threats and even join the Justice League International team for a brief period. Unfortunately, Eric would be killed on Apokalips forcing Linda to be Doctor Fate alone. She would fight off an army of the Lords of Chaos but eventually be killed taking them out.
While Inza and her husband Kent had died, it turns out that some form of them had resided within a reality within the helmet. They are resurrected in younger bodies and it seems that the helmet will only work with Inza this time around. She takes on the mantle of Doctor Fate. It’s learned that this time around the helmet isn’t possessed by Nabu but by a Lord of Chaos, and that Inza herself has magic powered by Chaos. She is able to fight and gain control while learning new magics of neither Order or Chaos to power herself.
Inza could now fuse with her husband to become a more powerful Doctor Fate but the two could also separate and be their own Doctor Fates when needed. The two would face off with the being known as Extant during the Zero Hour event where Parallax attempts to remake history in his own image. Extant is able to fragment the helmet along with the other Fate artifacts and age Inza and Kent to their proper ages. The two retire from heroics.
Inza and Kent may have been down but they weren’t technically out. They hired mercenary Jared Stevens to collect the artifacts for them. Jared is able to recover them but the group is attack by demons. Kent and Inza are killed by demons and in the ensuing fight, the helmet explodes and fuses with Jared, leaving an ankh-shaped scar on his face. He would take and rebuild the artifacts to help him survive this magical world he’d stepped into. When Nabu explains he should become the new Doctor Fate he refuses but takes on the name Fate in his mercenary work. Working with many supernatural beings, Jared would be killed by Mordru, a Lord of Chaos. The artifacts would revert to their original form and jettison off to the Tower of Fate awaiting a new master.
Reincarnation is complicated. Hector Hall is the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl from back in their ancient Egyptian incarnations. He has been reincarnated and been other superheroes over the years. His latest reincarnation made him a full grown man and the child of Hawk and Dove, who are both agents of Chaos and Order respectively. This makes Hector in his current body a balance of both forces working to wield both magics.
His resurrection brought about the reformation of the Justice Society to protect him from the Lords of Chaos. While adventuring with the JSA, Hector would fight Mordru on many occassions and was always seeking out his reincarnated wife, Lyta. During one of their many fights, Hector would show Mordru his future in the year 3000 where he is routinely defeated by the Legion of Superheroes, never to succeed in any of his plans.
In his search for Lyta, Hector would learn that Nabu had manipulated many of the events of those who wielded the helmet. Learning that Nabu was a very “by any means necessary” kind of person shook him and all the other wielders of the helmet who now resided in an idyllic realm within the helmet. Uniting with the former wears they were able to bind Nabu into the helmet, no longer able to manipulate people in such a way. This also lead to Hector finding Lyta and the two lived happily until the Spectre decided all magic must go. He trapped them in a part of Hell where they were stuck on a snowy mountain forced to fight demons for all eternity. Knowing there could be no escape, their son Daniel, the Lord of Dreaming, came to them and offered to take them with him into the Dreaming as souls. The two froze to death on that mountain but their souls live on with their son in the realm of Dreams.
Kent V. Nelson
The Spectre is still rampaging around destroying all magic. The JSA find the helmet of Nabu and when Mordru appears to attack, Nabu is able to take physical form to fight him off. Sensing the end of this era of magic, Nabu entrusts the helmet with Detective Chimp and allows himself to be killed by the Spectre. Detective Chimp realizing the helmet is too much for him has it launched into space to find a new wearer.
Finding many new wearers, the helmet eventually finds Doctor Kent V. Nelson, named after his great uncle. The helmet would force him to become Doctor Fate and while he would befriend new people and make powerful enemies, it was witnessing the death of one Inza Fox that shook him into a drinking depression. Eventually he would learn to control his magics and himself to help the JSA and fight off Mordru. He would even go into outer space to learn new magics to better help the Earth.
In the New 52 on Earth 2, Khalid would work with Kendra Munoz-Saunders to find the tomb of Nabu. They would find it and the helmet would being speaking to Khalid which worried him greatly. When he finally puts the helmet on he is granted the powers of Nabu. He would go on to fight magical threats and work with other heroes.
There is a great storm coming. Both in weather and in confluence of powers. Khalid Nassour is about to enter medical school when the helmet of Nabu chooses him to be his champion. Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, he survives the experience.
There you have it, folks! The helmet of Nabu is one heck of an accessory and always looking to stop Chaos from taking over. Will Khalid be successful in his fights with magic and his studies as a doctor? Only Fate knows! See you next time!
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