DC Comics Sneak Peek: Dr. Fate

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Next up in our tour through DC’s sneak peeks is the New 52 version of Dr. Fate. Now, I know everyone is expecting me to hate this version of Dr. Fate since I normally hate it when characters have their ethnicity or sex retconned. And I prefer the classic versions of characters. But, you know what? I’m fine with this New 52 retconning of Dr. Fate. This character being Egyptian makes sense since it works with the Egyptian roots of Dr. Fate’s powers and the origin of the Helmet of Nabu (Nabu being an ancient Egyptian wizard). Dr. Fate is a character that I have liked in the past. He has a cool look and interesting powers. To top it all off, my love for Paul Levitz is well documented as he scribed by favorite run on my favorite title of all time in the Legion of Super Heroes. So, let’s check out this sneak peek already!

Words: Paul Levitz
Art: Sonny Liew
Colors: Sonny Liew

Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with New York being flooded by usual heavy rainstorms. We see dogs fighting over garbage in the streets. We cut to Khalid’s parents’ apartment. Khalid’s mom, a white blonde lady, tells their black cat to stop hissing at the dogs running around outside.  Khalid’s dad complains about how the Nile ever flooded like what they are experiencing now. We see Khalid’s mother who is a white blonde lady. Khalid’s dad is a taxi driver. Khalid is beginning medical school. Khalid’s dad says that Khalid will be a doctor like him but will actually be allowed to practice in America. Khalid’s dad had to become a cab driver since he couldn’t practice medicine in America.

DC Comics Sneak Peek: Dr. Fate 1-2Khalid asks his father to take him to meet Shaya. The two get into the car and drive off. A dog in the street watches the two men in their car. We then see the dog talking to a black cat. The cat says  that the mortals are fools. The dog says that The Maat which governs all worlds must be restored. The cat asks if they are to watch and drown. The dog says that he will grant the cat safe passage to the House of the Dead. The cat calls the dog the “Carrion God” and says that perhaps the world will be unmade. Perhaps not. The cat says perhaps it will decide otherwise.

We shift to Khalid walking with Shaya. Shaya comments that the rain is stopping just like she knew it would. Shay then says she has to go back to her studies. She is preparing to be board certified in Neurology. Khalid asks if they are postponing life for the next decade. Shay replies “Only the fun parts.” The two then kiss each other. Shaya then gets into a cab and heads back to the dorms. Suddenly, it starts pouring down rain again. We see the black cat appear on the scene and meow at Khalid. Khalid says he is getting out of the rain and tell the cat to find its own way home. (Kind of a dick move by Khalid.) Khalid decided to go into the museum gift shop and find something for Shaya. Khalid says that Shaya likes junk from the old country. (Uh, which one?)

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We slide to Khalid strolling through the ancient Egyptian section of the museum. Khalid asks an employee where the gift shop is located. The employee points him in the right direction. Khalid then walks by a large glass display of Anubis (I think?). The large statue of Anubis says “Khalid Nassour, the tide is upon you.” In the hand of the statute of Anubis we see the Helmet of Fate. End of sneak peek.

The Good: Just to refresh people, The Revolution follows the Rule of Positivity. There is always at least one nice thing you can say about any story that you read. Hmm, what did I like about this sneak peek? The fact that it was free.

The Bad: This pains me to say this because I love Paul Levitz. I have met the guy and he is an absolute prince of a man. And there is no other franchise that I love more than the Legion of Super Heroes. And there is no other Legion writer that I love more than Paul Levitz. However, this Dr. Fate sneak peek was painfully dull. If I could sum up this story in one word it would be: Boring. Just so intensely boring.

DC Comics Sneak Peek: Dr. Fate 1-4All we got in this dull story was lots of talking. And not even interesting dialogue. There was no plot progression. There was no action. There was no mystery. Just a dry story that introduces the main character in such an ordinary fashion. Levitz failed at the main purpose of any sneak peek. The writer’s main objective is to tell the reader what the mission statement of the new comic book is going to be and what the reader can expect if they decide to start buying this title. That certainly did not happen with this sneak peek. I have no idea if I am going to be getting an adventure story with this title. A mystery story, a romance story, a humorous story, a supernatural story, etc. All I know is that I will probably get a boring story.

All of the characters are as generic as possible. They are flat cardboard cut outs that do not engage the reader. They are also a bit stereotypical as well. The lack of character work and average dialogue produced little chemistry between the characters and did not get me to invest in any of the characters at all. Maybe with further page time the characters would grow on me but I just find that Khalid comes across as a dope and Shaya as unbelievably perfect.

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I am not a fan of Liew’s artwork for this title. View’s artwork would be fine for a quirky Vertigo title or an offbeat indie title. But, it is a poor match for a mainstream super hero title. The simple style of the artwork combined with a dry story made this sneak peek even more boring.

Verdict: Fail. The Dr. Fate sneak peek totally failed to hook me in and get me to want to buy this new title when it hits the stands. It is too bad. Dr. Fate is a cool character. Unfortunately, this appears to be a title that will have niche appeal and probably will get cancelled within a year.