Saturday, September 7, 2019

Dr. Fate #6 (1989) Review


Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Penciller: Shawn McManus
Inker: Mark McKenna
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Cover Price: $1.25
Release Date: April 11th, 1989

Review by Joey Casco of

To read the other reviews of this arc, check out the "The Night of Brahma" label. 

Kent Nelson is dead but Nabu inhabits Kent's corpse to mentor the new Dr. Fate, Eric Strauss, who was a 10 year old boy aged up to an adult by Nabu. But the catch is that Eric must merge with his stepmother Linda in order to become Fate. Joined by a shapeshifting demon named Petey and a lawyer named Jack Small (who has had his body taken over by a Lord of Chaos named Typhon), they must all stop the Lords of Order from bringing about the end of the world.

The Lords of Order have employed a vampire named Andrew Bennett, who just wants to friggin' die already. In the last issue he purified himself by drinking from the Holy Grail so he could play Krishna's flute to start the Mahapralaya (the Sleep of Brahma). At the end of the issue, that's exactly what he did. He played the flute and everything went black.

But, just like always, Andrew Bennett came back. And you really can't help but feel bad for the guy.

"This can't be! It just can't be! For over four hundred years I've lived... unlived... with the vampire's curse. Time and again I've died... only to be reborn. I thought I'd never know rest... peace... oblivion. But the Lords of Order offered me extinction. 'Bring on the Mahapralaya,; they told me; 'The sleep of Brahma. Let all the universe dissolve into nothing... and you will dissolve with it.' So I did the deed, drank the blood, piped the pipe... and all creation ended. Silence so loud it's deafening. Blackness so deep it's blinding."

But how do you destroy something that can't be destroyed? So they stand there, not knowing what to do now. And suddenly a smile of light appears. The smile behind the universe.

They stand in awe as they watch the universe be reborn.

Throughout this arc we've seen a visual focus on smiles. From the monks, to Buddha, to Jesus, and now this. 

"But I see it now. We see it now. So let me live forever, drinking blood! Let me be burned to ash and scattered on a thousand wins! Let creation spring forth from the mouth of God! Let it dissolve in this fiery breath! It doesn't matter. The smile remains.

Fate and Andrew smile, everything goes back to black, and then we're popped right back to India where we left off.

One of the Lords of Order shows up and they're pissed! He insists that Andrew play the flute again, but Andrew explains that it doesn't matter and the Mahapralaya will happen in it's own time. In "his" time. So he gives a goofy smile and plays it again, and nothing happens. The Lord flies away, enraged.

Of course now that this is all over, the deal between Team Fate and Typhon is done so Eric can finally get his revenge.

Five pages of fighting!

But Fate is able to defeat Typhon and free Jack Small...

... and things are worked out with Andrew.

"Either way, Dr. Fate -- I'll be in good hands."

He looks up at the smiling sun, plays the flute, and burns away in the sunlight.

Fate is exhausted from the fight so he has to split back up into Eric and Linda. There'll be no Fate flight to Bombay so they're going to have to walk back.

Bits and Pieces

Wow. What a way to finish a story. Torment, mystical wonder, spirituality, and a big brawl that we've been waiting for. Everything is tied up, issues are resolved, connections are made that you weren't event thinking about the whole time, and we get a bittersweet ending. Andrew is such a great character that you kinda hope he doesn't die just so he can come back and we can see him again, but you also really want him to finally be at peace.

This was such a great arc to read and review, and even though I'm moving on for my retro reviews, I'm in the midst of reading this entire DeMatteis Dr. Fate run and it is fantastic. I highly recommend all of it.


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