One Panel #517: Fighting Fate

From Doctor Fate: "The King of Crime" by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, More Fun Comics #76 (February 1942)

Half-mask Dr. Fate is the MAN! Well, obviously, I miss the total cray-cray of his magical adventures. It's pure Golden Age surrealism. But when I met Dr. Fate, it was in All-Star Squadron when he'd decided to forego Nabu's influence for a while. It made him more of a Superman-type, with enhanced physical abilities and not much magic, but I liked them exploring the dilemma.

And well, More Fun #76 was the last issue to feature him on the cover (damn you, Green Arrow!), so it's proper that I give him a little tribute here.


4 comments:

soma2034 said...

I always dug this version too. Do you know the explanation that was used in the Golden Age to explain when he went 1/2 mask? Did his powers simply become more Superman-like at the time too? I always figured the "shaking off Nabu" stuff was a Roy Thomas retcon to explain the 1/2 mask look.

Siskoid said...

Well as early as 6 or 7 months earlier, he was already acting like Superman and the adventures had become much more grounded/boring. So that particular change didn't accompany the helmet change. The creative team was the same, even.

The half-helmet premieres in issue 72, as does his lighter, jokier personality (so those two things ARE connected). No explanation is given for the change.

So unless I find evidence to the contrary at some point, yes, we can assume this is a Roy Thomas retcon (from All-Star Squadron #23).

soma2034 said...

Thanks for the response! I may be wrong but Doc's Golden Age career was relatively short right? Did the full helmet come back or did he keep the 1/2 helmet until he faded out and the full finally returned with the first JLA/JSA team-up?

Siskoid said...

More Fun 55 to 98 is solid, not incomparable to other noteworthy stars of the era, but brief for a JSA-er. His last appearance as a member of the JSA in All-Star 21 is cover-dated June 1944 (he and Sandman are then dropped from the team without comment) and his last in More Fun July 1944.

 

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