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Quote1 Sometimes I think a good fight accomplishes more than all the learning in the world. Quote2
Kent Nelson src

Dr. Kent Nelson is Doctor Fate, a powerful sorcerer and agent for the Lords of Order who fights evil alongside his wife Inza. His amulet, cloak and helmet are creations of the ancient Nabu who acts as his mentor and spiritual guide. He is a founding member of the Justice Society of America.


 Main article: Doctor Fate Origins

Kent Nelson was the son of archaeologist Sven Nelson and, around the year 1920, the two of them were exploring the Valley of Ur in Mesopotamia when they discovered an underground pyramid. It contained Nabu, an ancient immortal from the planet Cilia who had been held in suspended animation for thousands of years.

Nabu 003

Kent meets Nabu

Kent released him, but the lever accidentally unleashed a poisonous gas that killed his father. It would later be revealed that Nabu engineered this situation to gain a new host. Nabu decided to mentor the young boy in the secrets of the universe, giving him incredible powers through total molecular control and taking his grief away from him. He would serve as an agent of the Lords of Order in their never-ending battle against the Lords of Chaos. Having finished his training, Nabu gave him an amulet, cloak and helmet to become a champion of good as Doctor Fate.[2][3][4] Kent would go on adventures as Fate, although Nabu's spirit would always guide him through the helmet and he would awaken with little memory of his own exploits.[5] He would go on to meet a beautiful college student named Inza Cramer while traveling through Alexandria, and she would become his long-time romantic partner and confidante. His first battle was against the evil sorcerer Wotan, who struck at him through Inza using an agent named Thomas Frawley.[6][7][8]

Early Career

Doctor Fate went on to fight evil threats with his powers along with Inza. Having locked Wotan for good,[9] Fate stopped Magno the Mighty,[10] he recovered and destroyed the Lost Book of Toth,[11] defeated two species of evil space men,[12][13] and stopped the Norns.[14]

Like this, Fate accomplished many feats against supernatural threats.[15] Eventually, Doctor Fate was challenged by the evil genius Karkull[16] who later joined forces with Wotan to defeat Fate, without success.[17] Afterwards, Doctor Fate was challenged by the evil Mister Who on more than one occasion.[18][19][20][21] Fate later encountered other villains like Clock[22][23] and the Red Sage.[24]

Kent Nelson became dissatisfied with his current situation and he decided to become a real medical doctor in order to save more lives.[25] Shortly afterwards, Kent became engaged to his faithful companion, Inza and they spent more time together.[26]

Justice Society

Justice Society of America 001

First meeting of the Justice Society of America

Early in his career, Dr. Fate's first encounter with a hero of that era was the Spectre, the wrath of God. Together they destroyed a military gateway to a netherworld of demons.[27] It was World War II and America was pulled into the war, Dr. Fate and many other mystery men help defeat an assassination attempt of President Roosevelt's life. At Roosevelt's request, they formed the Justice Society of America.[28]

During this time, Kent found the helmet becoming more and more possessive of him, so rather than abandoning his battle against chaos, Kent created the half helm. Although Kent's powers were severely limited, he still had the ability of flight, invulnerability and super strength.[29][30] However, Kent donned the helmet one last time in order to find the missing Spectre. Dr. Fate discovered that the Spectre was under the control of Kulak and in a titanic battle with the Spectre, he was defeated and the Helmet of Nabu was lost somewhere in the netherverse. It would not be until the early 1960s that Kent Nelson would somehow recover the helmet of Nabu and become Dr. Fate again. In the early 1950s Kent Nelson had retired his fate persona and became a physician, but some time later he had recovered the Helmet of Nabu under never explained events, and in 1955 he fought Khalis, the mad Egyptian priest who once used his Amulet of Anubis.[5] It was not until the 1963 that Kent would rejoin the Justice Society of America[31]. As their Justice Society comrades aged, Kent and Inza seemed immortal. The magic fate held over them, virtually stopped their aging process. Inza and Kent also received a small portion of Ian Karkull's power which gave them even more vitality.

Little is known of Fate's adventures during this period save for the JSA's annual gatherings with the Justice League of America from the parallel world of Earth-One (the JSA being on Earth-Two), and a pair of adventures he shared with fellow JSA member Hourman facing the monstrous Solomon Grundy and the villainous Psycho-Pirate.[32]

Chaos and Death

Immortal Doctor Fate Vol 1 1

Fate fights Chaos

After an encounter with both Flashes from Earth-One and Two,[33] Doctor Fate tried to stop the threat of a Lord of Chaos released upon Earth.[34][35] Unfortunately, the Lord of Chaos took hold of Inza and used her against Fate, to weaken his powers and eliminate his resistance.[36] Although Fate was almost beaten, he managed to defeat the Lord of Chaos and restored the damage created, all thanks to his drive and determination to save Inza.[37] This wouldn't be Fate's last encounter with Lords of Chaos, as he was soon sent to a strange dimension, where he had to confront Vandaemeon.[38][39] Unable to beat the Lord of Chaos, Fate returned defeated, only to find that Inza had left him. Fate soon understood that this was all a plan to break him and the mastermind behind it all was a renegade Lord of Order called Ynar,[40] who allied himself with Vandaemon in order to take over the universe. Fate was helpless against their combined forces, but thanks to Inza's sudden return, he merged the consciousness of the Kents together inside the Helmet of Nabu, giving him enough power to defeat the Lords of Order and Chaos. After a successful battle, Kent and Inza realized their deep love for each other and started working to improve their relationship.[41]

Later, Dr. Fate became a founding member of the new Justice League and the heroes foiled the plans of Darkseid to turn the people of earth against heroes.[42] Kent's last adventure with the League was against the Gray Man.[43] At the end of that case, Fate retired into space to meditate on the situation.[44]

Doctor Fate v

Kent's last adventure

During the late 1980s chaos and order were at breaking point. It was the Kali Yuga, the final age of man. Order had pulled out of battle, waiting for Chaos to engulf itself to create the new Golden Age. The strain of the Kali Yuga on Kent and Inza had caused them both to age rapidly. The strain on Inza was unbearable, in 1987, Inza committed suicide which left Kent devastated and on the verge of suicide.[45] Nabu had become more dominant in the relationship and would not allow Kent to die until he could find a new host body.

Kent reluctantly helped Nabu find Eric Strauss as his protegee as the new Fate. It was only during this short time that Kent discovered that Doctor Fate was meant to be the result of the merging of two humans with a mystical bond, much like his bond with Inza. Kent convinced Nabu to allow Eric Strauss and his human bond, Linda to become the new Doctor Fate. Afterwards, Kent requested to die and Nabu allowed Kent to pass away.[46]

Afterlife and Return

The Nelsons enjoyed an afterlife in which they lived normal lives unknowingly in the Amulet of Anubis. They raised a child called Kent and once again Fate would play a role in their lives again.

In desperation, Nabu travels to the Tower of Fate in Salem, to prepare the way for the TRUE Dr. Fate, Kent and Inza Nelson. As the they look into the amulet of Anubis, they see the souls of Kent and Inza Nelson. Jack C. Small and Petey venture into the amulet to find the Nelsons while Linda and Nabu prepare to fight Benjamin Stoner. With Nabu's help, Linda can touch the items and become Fate with Nabu. Nabu and Linda create a four armed Dr. Fate to battle the Anti-Fate. However, they fail and the Anti-Fate rejects the Lords of Chaos. Within the amulet, Jack C. Small and Petey discover that Hesse is inside the amulet. With his help they find the Nelsons and try to persuade them to come back to earth. Inza called this world heaven as the Nelson's could live the life they wanted to live. In this world, they even had a son called Kent junior. Inza does not want to leave this so-called heaven but eventually agrees that they could make this life happen on Earth.

Linda dies from her wounds from the battle with the Anti-Fate as her soul goes into Wendy, a woman who just recently died. There she is rejoined with her husband Eugene (Eric) and their daughter Raina where they will become the new seeds of humanity. Nabu is given the choice between humanity and being an immortal Lord of Order, he chooses humanity and his soul goes into Wendy's unborn child. Kent Nelson & Inza Nelson become the new Doctor Fate.

Zero Hour

Death of Doctor Fate 01

Extant attacks.

 Main article: Zero Hour

In 1994, Dr. Fate was once again formed into the male Dr. Fate but under the control of Kent and Inza. During Zero Hour, Dr. Fate led the Justice Society on its last battle against Extant, a minion of Parallax. Extant defeated the JSA and as he had the power of both a Lord of Order and Chaos, he forced the split of Dr. Fate, flinging the helmet and amulet through the netherverse which would eventually return to Egypt, a nexus of Fate's power.[47] Kent and Inza tried to recover the items of Fate from Jared Stevens, a mercenary who would later become the new Fate. The items rejected Kent and Inza and the Nelsons chose Jared Stevens as the new holder of Fate.[48] After a deadly battle with the servants of the demon Kingdom, the Nelsons were killed and were eventually allowed into the afterlife yet again.[49] Kent and Inza did not die after giving the items to Jared Stevens but became disembodied spirits seemingly existing in a pocket universe inside Fate's amulet.[50]

Blackest Night

 Main article: Blackest Night

His current fate was unknown until Kent was re-animated as a Black Lantern, and then being destroyed in New York City as the JSA's bomb went off.[51]

A Last Sign of Life

When Hal Jordan was injured on a distant planet, and the energy of his ring is almost exhausted, it is revealed that a fraction of the original Doctor Fate was inside his ring. When Fate and Jordan shaken hands years ago, Fate set a fraction of himself, traveling through time, within the ring in the current times. Fate had only enough power to sustain him and Jordan, then return to his body in his own time, passing along what he had learned there. The two begin to discuss whether Fate should use his energy to save Jordan. Because it was never known the cause of Fate losing his immortality, maybe this very spell Fate used was the real reason. Even having the chance to be able to change his own destiny, Fate chooses to help Jordan to escape from that planet.[44]


  • Divine Empowerment: On his own, Kent Nelson possess limited levels of superhuman abilities in which are mystical in nature, having been altered by Nabu himself to make him a capable bearer of the Helmet of Fate. While possessing limited abilities on his own, he can bolster his powers by using the Helmet of Fate or having a patron.
  • Magic: Of his own admission, Nelson only knows a few spells he is able to cast on his own without the help of the Helmet of Fate.[53]
    • Phasing: Kent wore a spell to enter in his Tower of Salem.
    • Photokinesis: Nelson can cast light through the Spell of Coherent Light.[53]


  • Occultism: Tutored in the mystic arts by Nabu, Kent Nelson was considered one of the greatest sorcerers of his time.[54]
  • Medical Science: During the earlier parts of his adult life, Kent Nelson later held a medical doctorate degree (M.D). He is a capable surgeon.[25]
  • Archaeology: Kent Nelson once had a doctorate degree in Archaeology and was considered a brilliant archaeologist.[1]
  • Pedagogy: Nelson was a certified college-level professor whom taught Archaeology; his expertise was great enough to enable Nelson later to prove his knowledge when unable to use his credentials when in a younger body and later teach once more despite lacking his credentials.[1]
  • Multilingualism: He speaks Portuguese, Spanish[55], other and ancient languages as an archaeologist/occultist.
  • Martial Arts


  • Power Limitation: While among the most powerful beings on Earth as a sorcerer, Kent possess several limitations as Doctor Fate.
    • Dependency on the Helmet of Fate: Without the Helm of Fate, he is significantly weakened and can only perform some spells on his lonesome.[53]
    • Dependency on Patron: While an accomplished sorcerer, he is incapable of utilizing potent forms magic on his own without a form of assistance such as a Lord of Order.[53] It was once commented that he lacked the power on his own to sufficiently trap magic and must instead channel it through another being.[53]
    • Vulnerability to Breathlessness: In his earlier years, Nelson was vulnerable gas of any kind or he could also be completely paralyzed if he was deprived from air to breathe.[57]
    • Simultaneous Spell-Casting Limits:His grand-nephew asserted that Kent, while capable of casting more than one spell simultaneously, can do less than six at a time.[58]
    • Power Instability: Long mystical battles or casting powerful spells can affect Fate's power, causing depletion and needs to restore his mystical energy with rest from time to time.[59]


  • In their initial years of publication, the Fate's abilities were described as "the secret of the conversion of energy in matter and matter in energy". In the current continuity, the greater part of Doctor Fate's powers come from the mystical Helmet of Fate. However, Kent Nelson has trained throughout his career to become an accomplished adventurer as well as amassing his own personal sorcery skills.
  • The first Doctor Fate series depicted Kent Nelson's identity as Doctor Fate eventually becoming public knowledge during Inza's tenure following a battle with Chaos. However, Fate and Countdown to Mystery later re-established his identity as Doctor Fate being secret, with the general public having minimal information regarding Doctor Fate's activities beyond his exploits within the Justice Society of America.
  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.

Golden Age Dr. Fate Chronology:

Full Helmet Era

Half Helmet Era

  • Kent was 12 years old when he met Nabu[65], whom physically age him about 15 years.[62]
  • Kent became Doctor Fate in 1940.[66]
  • During the Doctor Fate series after his ressurection, Kent remarked to being 87 years old but physically about 27.[62]
  • Kent is of both Swedish and American descent.[67]
  • Nelson once lost his Aracheology doctorate degree credentials due to being unable to prove them on account of inhabiting a younger body.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Doctor Fate (Volume 2) #28
  2. More Fun Comics #67
  3. DC Special Series #10
  4. Doctor Fate #1
  5. 5.0 5.1 1st Issue Special #9
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 More Fun Comics #55
  7. All-Star Squadron #47
  8. Secret Origins (Volume 2) #24
  9. More Fun Comics #56
  10. 10.0 10.1 More Fun Comics #57
  11. 11.0 11.1 More Fun Comics #58
  12. More Fun Comics #59
  13. More Fun Comics #61
  14. 14.0 14.1 More Fun Comics #60
  15. From More Fun Comics #6168
  16. More Fun Comics #69
  17. More Fun Comics #70
  18. More Fun Comics #73
  19. More Fun Comics #74
  20. More Fun Comics #79
  21. More Fun Comics #91
  22. More Fun Comics #81
  23. More Fun Comics #92
  24. More Fun Comics #82
  25. 25.0 25.1 More Fun Comics #85
  26. More Fun Comics #90
  27. Spectre Annual (Volume 3) #1
  28. All-Star Comics #3
  29. More Fun Comics #72
  30. All-Star Squadron #23
  31. Justice League of America #21
  32. Showcase #55-56
  33. The Flash #305
  34. The Flash #306
  35. The Flash #307
  36. The Flash #308
  37. The Flash #309
  38. The Flash #310
  39. The Flash #311
  40. The Flash #312
  41. The Flash #313
  42. Legends (Volume 1)
  43. Justice League #1Justice League International #7
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 The Brave and the Bold (Volume 3) #30
  45. Doctor Fate #2
  46. Doctor Fate (Volume 1)
  47. Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #3
  48. Fate #1
  49. The Book of Fate #1
  50. JSA #3
  51. Blackest Night: JSA (Volume 1)
  52. More Fun Comics #68
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 53.5 53.6 53.7 53.8 Doctor Fate (Volume 2) #36
  54. DC Comics Encyclopedia: New Edition
  55. All-Star Comics #9
  56. All-Star Comics #10
  57. More Fun Comics #80
  58. Justice Society of America (Volume 3) #35
  59. 59.0 59.1 DC Special #29
  60. DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  61. Justice Society of America (Volume 3) #35
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Doctor Fate (Volume 2) #25
  63. Justice League of America #22
  64. More Fun Comics #98
  65. DC Special Series #10
  66. Day of Judgment Secret Files and Origins #1
  67. All-Star Squadron #47

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