Doctor Fate (also known by the diminutive, Fate) is the name of a succession of fictional sorcerers who appear within DC Comics' universe. The original version was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940). Beginning in the 1940s, the character was also a member of the Golden Age superhero group the Justice Society of America.
Initially, Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson, the son of archaeologist Sven Nelson, who died after Kent opened the tomb of the ancient wizard Nabu. The orphaned boy was trained by Nabu in the arts of magic.
After DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, several different versions of Doctor Fate were introduced, but were relatively short-lived. Doctor Fate's appearances in other media and comics set outside the continuity of the DC Universe (for instance, in the DC animated universe) tend to be of the original Golden Age Kent Nelson incarnation.
More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940) introduced the first Doctor Fate. After a year with little background, his alter ego Kent Nelson and origins were shown in More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941). At this point, the character was shown to be an archaeologists' son who had discovered the tomb of an Egyptian wizard named Nabu.
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Dr. Fate Wiki Entry JSA Members: Dr. Fate Toonzone-Dr. Fate