And here comes yet another brand new series from DC Comics, Doctor Fate by Paul Levtiz, featuring a new Muslim superhero. Let’s cut to the chase and see what we got. Is it good?
Doctor Fate #1 (DC Comics)
Picking up right where the Sneak Peek left off, the Egyptian Goddess Bastet has appeared before Khalid and is offering him the helmet of Fate, saying it is time for him to accept his destiny. However, the young adult is not so accepting and flees from this, not believing at all about what is being put before him.
Much like Doomed, this is essentially the origin story of the new Doctor Fate. Between this and the Sneak Peek, which you must absolutely read in order to understand what is going on, these two pieces go together well and make for a pretty good start to this new series. The Sneak Peek provides the look and background for the main character, while the first issue gets into the details about the situation with the flooding and what Khalid’s role is (though is also does add some more to his character as well). While it doesn’t have a lot of excitement, it does do its job at both establishing the character and the story well.
Levtiz’s writing is a lot stronger here than in a lot of his recent work. The characterization for the cast so far, especially Khalid, is handled pretty well. Everyone comes across as pretty likeable and down to Earth, while each having their own situations and troubles to deal with that can be relatable at times. The pacing keeps the story moving at a good speed and there’s no point where the comic feels like it drags at all, keeping you curious about what will happen next. There are some moments with the story itself where there are some abrupt cuts or jump forwards, like the final page, that wreck the flow, but that’s really it. The dialogue is good and while it can be heavy at times, it never becomes overwhelming and there are some amusing bits to it as well. I really hope the writer can keep this up as the comic goes on.
The artwork is by Sonny Liew and it’s not too bad at all. It’s like a cross between Riley Rossmo and Adrian Alphona in some ways with how the characters and locations are drawn to the way the layouts are setup. Liew makes each character look distinct and easily identifiable, but if the scene pulls out a bit, the details really drop and look very unappealing. The locations and some of the imagery are nicely done, especially when Khalid finally puts on the helmet. Lee Loughridge provides the colors and his work really does help make the visuals pop, like when Khalid is first offered the helmet. It’s not particularly my cup of tea, but it certainly has its appeal and helps with giving this book is own unique identity.
Is It Good?
Doctor Fate #1 is a nice start to this new series, offering up a good main character and story setup for the rest of the series to build off of. It has some weak points for sure and the artwork isn’t exactly for me, but I can’t deny the potential and also quality that the comic showed. Definitely keep your eye on this one.