Book Review – Doctor Fate vol. 2: Prisoners of the Past

  • Title: Doctor Fate vol. 2: Prisoners of the Past
  • Author: Paul Levitz
  • Artists: Sonny Liew
  • Line: New 52
  • Characters: Dr. Fate (Khalid “Kent” Nassour)
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected issues: Doctor Fate #8-12
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 3/25/2017

I really enjoyed the second volume of DC’s Dr. Fate. Young Khalid Nassour is starting to learn how to use his powers granted by the Helmet of Fate. The story picks-up after the disastrous floods in the last volume, as Khalid tries and succeeds it fixing what is broken and rescuing people. Though he is young and unsure of himself, it makes it that much sweeter when he succeeds. At Brooklyn College, Khalid looks up his professor and adviser, Professor Bradus, telling him he feels torn between different religious and philosophical traditions – his mother is Christian and his father, Muslim. When he tells the professor that he is being told he must “heal the world”, the professor assumes he now has a Jewish girlfriend who wants him to convert.

Meanwhile Akila, who wants to be Khalid’s girlfriend, has become involved in protests against the hard-line, Conservative, military leader in charge of their former country. When peaceful protests against that government suddenly turn violent, Dr. Fate (Khalid) intervenes to save the protesters and to find Akila. He rescues her, then decides to rescue the other protesters, who were taken to a military prison without any form of due process. At the prison, he’s threatened by the General-President, who, makes threats, but only orders those around him to attack Khalid. The General-President is even controlling Centurian ghosts who attack Dr. Fate. One of these ghosts is Julius Caesar. After a few experiments in fighting that don’t work – Khalid hits on destroying the dagger that the General-President uses to control the ghost, allowing Caesar to attack the General-President. Dr. Fate frees the protesters. Caesar destroys the bullying general.

With all his running around as Dr. Fate, one of Khalid’s professors tries to get him expelled for missing classes. However, during his meeting with the dean, the dean suffers a heart attack. Khalid, having been a EMT-Paramedic saves the dean’s life. His position as a medical student is safe. At his parents home, their cat, Puck, who is possessed by the spirit of Bast, wanders off. Bast leaves him. Khalid goes home to give his parents the good news about medical school, and finds not only his parents, but his uncle, Kent Nelson.

I really enjoyed this two-book series. Khalid is a wonderful character, with a complex and layered background. His friend, Akila, is cool – and would make a great supporting character if the series was continued. Alas, I think this book met the chopping block too soon in the transition between New 52 and Rebirth. (The new Dr. Fate is part of the Blue Beetle series in Rebirth and has finally arrived. We know very little about him so far, but he doesn’t appear to be Khalid.) Still, it is well-worth tracking down and reading this short two-book series. Highly recommended.

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