Lots of good stuff coming for Patrons in the next few
Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, created by Gardner Fox and Howard
Sherman in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
Kent Nelson is on an archaeological dig with his father Sven
when they accidentally awaken an ancient Sumerian God, Nabu the
Wise- the chamber was filled with poisonous gas, which kills Sven -
Nabu pities Kent and trains him in magic for 20 years before Kent
returns to the US and begins operating as a superhero
Wearing the Helmet of Nabu, he gains incredible magic power,
although it is revealed that Nabu is often in control of his body
while wearing the helmet
He later creates a half-helmet to retain greater control,
although it costs him some power
One of the founding members of the original Justice Society of
America in 1940, he later retires and focuses on being a physician
alongside his wife Inza
In the 1980s, Inza committed suicide, but Nabu wouldn’t allow
Kent to die until he found a successor, which he did (not getting
into Eric Strauss and all the problems therein) - at which point
Nabu granted him peace and let him die
Kent & Inza are resurrected into younger bodies, and Inza
operates as Doctor Fate for a time, before the two battle Extant,
who rapidly ages Kent & Inza to their “proper” bodies - they find
Jared Stevens, who becomes the new Doctor Fate, and Kent & Inza die
and enter a dimension in Jared’s amulet
Issues - theme is cost of magic
Nabu constantly controlling his body
Losses of Inza
What’s really the point of magic?
Plugs for Talk Me Into, Ignorance Was Bliss, and Saladin
Out of universe
Hello Kent, I’m Dr. Issues. -Hello, doctor.
So, what can I help you with? -I should be able to tell you
What does that mean? -You’re aware of my…condition?
Ah…that name’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it? -You’re one to
*laughs* I’ve always wanted to be on the other end for once.
Forgive me. -As much as it may amuse you, I’ll admit I’m not one
for small talk.
Neither am I…usually. For some reason, I’m a bit more loose
than usual, and I don’t even know you. *pause* that’s telling. I’m
not sure what. - I’m used to others obfuscating their motives for
some other time, but not when they consider themselves an ally. Is
there something you’re looking to avoid?
This isn’t supposed to be about me. The longer we talk about my
own iss…mindset, the less time we have to address yours. So, to get
back to your original point, no, I don’t want to know anything
about my future. - *phew* Glad I don’t have to put on the helmet,
Were you purposely flipping to questions on me because you
thought I’d want that? -That’s what most people want. They think
magic is part of a whimsical show. But the realms of gods are
deadly serious. A whimsical ask for lottery numbers leads to the
knowledge that their cousin will soon fall ill. Tears of joy, tears
of sorrow…they all stain the face the same.
How morbid -Again, from what I know, you’re casting stones from
a glass house.
Gallows humor is a well known defense mechanism. I know where
mine comes from. What about yours? -I never implied humor. You have
your own lens to view the world. I tend towards stoicism. Face
reality for what it is, and it will never harm you.
Then you are also aware that reality can bring wonderment,
enthusiasm, passion as well? I think your helmet is your way of
physically manifesting a protection from the worst, but it may also
limit your best. -The civilizations that have been saved would
I’m sure they disagree. Do you? -*pause* What if I
told you it’s not me? Well, not ALL me.
*sigh* I have done this enough times to take a hint. Who then,
if it’s safe to tell? -You’re going to think I’m crazy, that I have
multiple personalities or someth…
*interrupting* NO LABELS, *ahem* Please. It’s too quick to cast
such judgements, and I’d never use that kind of language. Heck,
I’ve even had sessions with someone who deals with ancient gods
granting power in exchange for loyalty. -*pause* And to think, I
figured this was a unique scenario
OH YOU GOT TO BE KID…***deep breaths, chanting***magnets draw
metal because they are strong, magnets draw metal, because they are
strong…sorry, I have a mantra I use to re-center myself. Every
situation is a new opportunity to enhance a mystical
being’s…attitude? Psyche? Aura? I don’t know what the proper terms
are. -This may be forward, but it is clear to me that you have only
been on the receiving end of magical influence. You are hindered by
what is instinctually unfamiliar. I may have a way to assist your
I enjoy reading new things, as long as there’s a decent English
translation. -The process is not done through theory alone. I may
not cast spells on myself, but if I know that it will be used on
Whoa whoa whoa…I’ve spent my career telling people to limit
their use of a surrogate, and you’re inviting me to jump in? Nope.
Uh-uh. No way! -The best analogue I can think of is guided
*pause* Safe word is “screwdriver,” got it? -If you say so.
***magical sound effect*** this is a facsimile of my own helmet,
since you wouldn’t be able to wear my own. You’ll have an
opportunity for just a piece of my existence.
***low tonal droning sound*** Ugh, my head…it’s like…a 3D game
set fire to my eyes - *Nabu* that is clarity beyond typical sight.
If you are not of pure mind, then your soul will be destroyed in a
matter of seconds. You have bent your mortal form to the whims of
Nabu for the good of the universe. This is no small sacrifice.
I’m…not…dying? I figured he just tricked me to knock me out or
something. -*Nabu* Kent Nelson and his wife have long been
sacrificial lambs for the world. You are joining esteemed company,
if that is any consolation. Indeed, you appear to have an
unwavering motivation to aide those around you, but you must let go
of your modest approach.
*groan* Oh wow, I can really help here. You’ve been ignored for
too long - That’s absurd! No one has ignored a Lord of Order
Oh, I think you’re wro…underestimating your vulnerability. You
have too often neglected kindness for weakness. Act after long
delays because of impulse. I can do something that no one else has
offered. I can listen. -*Nabu* I have travelled for eons, battled
entities that have no name, and even at your miniscule level guided
the pharoahs for centuries. What makes you any different from the
countless visceral vessels I have utilized though epochs of the
Try me. Tell me all of the frustrations you’ve had since
existence, and I’ll be right there, with every word you say.
-*pause, still as Nabu* Sometimes, I really miss Cilia. That’s the
home world…well, we were around well before the world, of course,
but have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, the fellow Lords are
way more petty than you can imagine ***clock ticking, clearly
different topic*** …and that’s why human ears have a tragus
Wow, I haven’t used that term since medical school anatomy
class. This is amazing! - ***genuine surprise*** I have been trying
to demonstrate the futility of human history and yet you still
stand there enraptured. What manner of magic are you sourcing? I
have never been in the presence of such…patient warmth.
Told you so -I only know of scripture that describes human life
lasting this long.
What? -You have been listening to me for…the colloquial term is
WHAAAAAAT? My life, my family…I didn’t mean… -***pause, then
laughter*** Oh man, I can’t believe you fell for that. I had a
temporal spell cast.
Oh, so it’s only been, what, felt like 2 or 3 hours, maybe? -No
it was a millenia. I just protected you outside of time itself.
I’ll place you back into your office, in your own time, as soon as
you use the helmet. *cracks his neck* ahhhh, you know, that really
was worthwhile. Kent shall know of your ability to help him. For
now, I shall leave you to your devices.
Good, because I’ve had enough of youuuuuuurrrrOH MY GOD -*Kent*
oh good, you’re back. I hope you don’t mind, I called for dinner
while you were…preoccupied. Thanks for saving the world, by the
I just listened to the voice of the universe and you’re talking
about saving the world? -Oh yeah, that’s the prototype half-helmet
I had a while ago. I didn’t remember anything Nabu did, but he had
carte blanche. On the other end though, he would yell at me and
said I just complained a lot. But I guess you two got along better,
eh? You even had this ominous “I am Doctor Issues” voice and cast
some spells I never knew existed. You got a whole terrorist cell to
surrender and do community service to boot!
*Pause* did I have a cool uniform? -Eh, too much of a black and
blue theme. Plus you destroyed any photo or video
That…sounds like something I’d do. Anyway…I don’t know how to
tell you this, but I don’t think I can -I have my other helmet, I’m
good. Say no more. I really wanted Nabu to get the help, anyway.
Maybe now he’ll show more respect because you proved humanity’s
worth in a different way. Keep it. If he wants another session,
trust me, he’ll let you know. Goodbye, doctor. *door shuts*
*crying*I DIDN’T GET TO ASK ABOUT MEGA MILLIONS!
Recommended reading: Doctor Fate Vol. 2 - although mostly about
the Strauss’s, Kent Nelson features heavily in many stories
Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.