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Written By: Paul Levitz Art By: Sonny Liew, Lee Loughridge Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: July 15, 2015
Worst Hero Ever?
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Is it our fate to read this? Well, is it my fate? There I was, all excited when the books for June were announced and wasting no time, I quickly pounced on the Doctor Fate title to review because I thought it would be a solo book of the Earth-2 Doctor Fate and from where we left that character at the end of the Earth-2 series, I was dying to find out more.......... Maybe I should have stayed my hand a little. First off, this wasn't going to be a book about that Doctor Fate and secondly, it was going to be written by Paul Levitz. Yeah, I hate to come down on creators because they're my own personal rock stars, but nothing that Paul Levitz gave us during the New 52 was worthwhile and for the most part, all he did was ruin the characters that I love. In the previous issue of Doctor Fate, we saw young Med School student Khalid Nelson....... named Khalid Nassour for this issue, get all Fated up when he was chosen to protect the world from Anubis by the Goddess Bastet. Well, all that happened was Khalid flew on top of a monument and got stuck and Anubis took his frustrations out on Bastet choosing a vessel for Fate by dropping a tree on Khalid's father's taxi. Hopefully we get more from this issue and I can stop being such a Negative Nancy and get on board the Doctor Fate trolley. Let's check it out.
Our story begins with Khalid continuing not being able to believe what's going on, but thankfully, he eventually gets on the trolley when he magically hears his father's cries for help. So with a little dawning of the helmet, Khalid flies over and gets his father out of his crushed taxi and meets Anubis. Even with Khalid flying with his hurt father in his arms, he still doesn't really believe what's going on and when a talking jackal starts saying to him about paying in blood, Khalid ignores it as simple nonsense and proves to me that he's the worst hero ever..........even on his first day. Since Khalid won't let the wild dogs that Anubis has summoned dine on his father's flesh, Anubis figures that he'll get his blood some other way and causes a plane overhead to crash. Okay, this is the part where Khalid realizes his fate and saves everyone, right? Well, no. He actually causes them to crash faster by creating wind to go under the plane's wings instead of over it. Well, this the part where he feels terrible and goes and gets everyone to safety, thus cementing his "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" stance, right? Well, no. This is the part where he pretty much says "Oops" and goes and gets his father to the hospital, leaving a downed plane on the streets of Brooklyn. Where the hell is Sully at when we need him?
So yeah, it's possible at only the second issue that this Doctor Fate is the worst hero ever. Khalid's father is going to have to undergo surgery for his injuries and there's a chance that he might end up blind as well, so with nothing more to do at the hospital, Khalid and his girlfriend go back to his place and get ready to start their first day of Med School tomorrow........ No, they're actually getting ready because they're responsible and whatnot....... so no hanky panky. I'm kind of peeved too because since this is only the second issue, I'd think that DC would want to pound the names of these new characters into our heads and yet, I have no idea what Khalid's girlfriend's name is. I could always go back and look at the first issue, but that sounds exhausting. Anyway, after Khalid's nameless girlfriend leaves, the Helmet of Thoth comes to life..........that's right the Helmet of Thoth and it wants Khalid to learn about his origins, so it's time for Khalid to have himself another vision that he refuses to believe in. There we meet a follower of Bastet, who tells Khalid that he needs to become Fate and stop Anubis........ and that's about it. Everything that we already know. The best part from this whole bit is Khalid telling the Helmet when it wants him to learn, that he's going to Med School, not getting a useless PhD in Archeology........ and the reason that's so funny to me is because Jim wanted to be a archeologist when he was a kid and his father yelled at him and told him it was useless as well. This is about the only point in this book that I like Khalid and that's simply because he made Jim cry........ Just like his dead dad.
In the end, Khalid puts the helmet back on again when he hears the pack of dogs outside of his window and for our main moment of heroes overcoming adversity, we get Khalid using his powers poorly to "shoo" away a pack of dogs........ but not before one of them bites him. I guess this is so Khalid and us could know that his powers range in the healing area as well and our issue closes with Khalid still in disbelief about what's happening to him as a tidal wave rushes down the street behind him.
That's it for this issue of Doctor Fate and I'm still not sold on this character. He is so annoying in his disbelief and completely aggravating in his lack of empathy for the plane full of people who died due to his actions/non-actions. Now I love the whole alter ego dilemma that Khalid has for this book, where he's a kid beginning Med School and doesn't have the time to be a hero, but I liked it a whole lot more when we saw it in Spider-Man fifty years ago and let me tell you, Khalid is no Spider-Man. He just seems so devoid of emotion that it's hard to even like him on a normal level, let alone a hero one. I wish I could say that I like the art in this book and at least that does something to enhance your reading experience, but half the time I start hearing the theme song from the cartoon Doug in my head because it reminds me so much of that style. I wish I could like this more because I love Doctor Fate and while this issue is better than the first, I can't recommend this book at all.
Bits and Pieces:
I guess we're fated to have a disappointing Doctor Fate title because nothing from this series has been able to stand out for me and the majority of it hasn't even been that good. Yeah, you'll be able to find snippets that you may enjoy, but the complete lack of emotion that Khalid presents here and the cartoony style relegates this to something that feels like it should appear in the Funny Pages of the Sunday paper. Really disappointing and at this point, I don't see it redeeming itself.