This is the last issue folks, where all the beans are on the table! Is it good?
Doctor Fate #16 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the official DC summary:
In this climactic concluding chapter, chaos reigns as New York City is plunged into darkness and terrifying mummies rise to wreak havoc on the streets. And in the center of it all, Osiris, has come to render judgment on Doctor Fate and the rest of mankind. But can even the combined might of two magic wielders be enough to defeat the God of Death?
Why does this book matter?
Sometimes you have to put your hero to the test and Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew do so in this issue. Together they attempt to show us the New 52 Doctor Fate deserves some credit in the grand scheme of things. Can they pull that off though?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
What an interesting bunch of folks.
This issue is rather simply structured–it sets up a threat to New York that has blocked out the sun, brings in the original Doctor Fate, and then pits the villain he can’t defeat against Khalid. By the end you’ll feel as though the creative team has made a strong statement that this character matters and that it won’t be the last we see of him.
As the issue progresses we check in with Khalid’s parents, see the power and might of the God of Death, and check in with Dinah too. All of these elements converge in the ending which forces Khalid to be judged.
The art by Sonny Liew continues to be a treat, especially where magic is concerned. The wavy, more cartoony style gives the book a unique feel that allows the magic to seem otherworldly and special. Liew creates one hell of a splash page too, with an Egyptian page that conveys the power and might of the God of Death beautifully. The issue concludes with a double page splash that has a nice circular layout of panels as they revolve around the God of Death, showcasing people and creatures important to Khalid’s life.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those issues that feels like it’s a rush to get to the end and conclude things. While it’s nice to see Khalid is worthy, he doesn’t actually do anything to achieve it, which makes the issue seem light on action and more telling than showing. The message sent, dialogue of the characters and their beliefs, along with Khalid getting a handle of his powers for once, are all well and good, but they are hung on a limp plot.
Is It Good?
This is a good farewell issue that reminds us why the character is a strong one. Just don’t expect a climax of fireworks, but one of shrug-worthy acceptance.
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