Nabu the Wise was a Lord of Order and cosmic being who arrived at Earth billion of years ago to take a proactive role in battling the Lords of Chaos. A cosmic being with near limitless magical power, his spirit resides in the Helmet of Fate and is the source of the great power hold by those whom bear the mantle, Doctor Fate.
Doctor Fate's origins begin over 10 billion years ago. Here, not long after the formation of the universe were born two elemental forces—the Lords of Order and Lords of Chaos, came into being at the beginning of the universe's struggle for supremacy.
On the world called Cilia, the Lords of Order manifested themselves as the first sentient race in the universe, a race of incorporeal magical beings. After millennia, circa 3500 BCE, one of the Lords of Order, descended to Earth from Cilia and became Nabu the Wise, an adviser to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
Nabu became the keeper of several powerful talismans. In the 26th century BCE, he created the Scarab of Kha-Ef-Re with the help of a time traveler from the 20th century. This was an attempt to overthrow Vandal Savage, who was at that time the pharaoh called Khafre. (Regardless, the Scarab was lost for 4,500 years before being rediscovered in the 20th century by archaeologist Dan Garrett, who became the first Blue Beetle).
Nabu's most powerful talisman, the Amulet of Anubis was created a few centuries later (c. 2025 BCE), but the circumstances are not certain. According to the devious creatures called Flaw and Child, Nabu commissioned the Amulet of Anubis from The Cutter, of the magical Gemworld. Another tale asserts that in the Egyptian city of Bubastis, the mad priest Khalis slayed his followers in the name of the god Anubis, who then granted Khalis the Amulet of Anubis as a reward for his service. Whatever its origin, this Amulet then became home to the Lords of Order.
During the reign of pharaoh Ramses (c. 1260 BCE), Nabu became a royal adviser and court magician. He was humbled in battle with the Spectre, who killed Ramses for his crimes against the Hebrews.
He was also on hand when a Thanagarian starship crashed. From it Nabu recovered a portion of the anti-gravity metal that powered the ship, called "Nth metal" by the dying Thanagarian pilot. Nabu and his ally, Teth-Adam used a portion of the Nth metal to forge a war gauntlet called the Claw of Horus, which they predicted would be instrumental in a battle thousands of years in the future.
Nabu faced one of the previous incarnations of Wotan, around this time. Mystically weakened by previous battles, Nabu put himself into a trance inside a tomb by millenia in order to heal from his injuries.
In 1940, archaeologist Sven Nelson and his son Kent were exploring an ancient temple in the Valley of Ur in Mesopotamia. The Nelsons found Nabu in suspended animation and woke him.
After the accidental death of Kent's father, Nabu transformed the boy into a full-grown man and taught him the magic of Order, then gave Kent the golden Helmet of Nabu, Amulet of Anubis and Cloak of Destiny. When Kent wore the Helmet, Nabu was part of him, and together they became the mystery-man called Doctor Fate in the 1940s.
Early in his career, Doctor Fate met the Spectre and both of them were founding members of Justice Society of America, in 1941.
Shortly after becoming Doctor Fate, Kent also met and began a relationship with a young woman named Inza Cramer. Unbeknownst to both Kent and Inza, their strong affinity had a higher purpose: they were originally intended to merge to form Doctor Fate, but Nabu withheld this information from them so that he could maintain his control over Kent.
Ironically, one of Doctor Fate's primary foes, Ian Karkull was responsible for the extended longevity of many JSA members. On June 28, 1941, Doctor Fate destroyed Karkull, releasing a burst of "temporal energy" that showered everyone present (Atom (Al Pratt), Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman, Hourman (Rex Tyler), Johnny Thunder, Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Starman (Ted Knight) and non-members Hawkgirl and Joan Williams).
Kent again joined Nabu during a clash with Kulak, after which the Helmet was lost. It would not be until the early 1960s that Kent would recover the Helmet and become the "complete" Doctor Fate again.
Eventually, Kent grew old and retired to another dimension. Nabu found new disciples, first in Eric and Linda Strauss, who together became the new Fate. During this time, Nabu was banished to Earth for having prevented the age of Chaos, and took residence in Kent's old body, enjoying life as a human. Later, Nabu created still another Doctor Fate by returning Kent to youth and merging him with his wife Inza.
After this, Nabu was reincarnated as the child of Eugene and Wendy DiBella, themselves reincarnations of Eric and Linda Strauss.
Still later, Kent and Inza died and Jared Stevens was chosen as the new Fate. Nabu returned and wanted to use Jared the same way he had used Kent, but Jared refused. Nabu grew mad and sabotaged the then-current "treaty" between Order and Chaos. As punishment, Nabu was turned into a Lord of Chaos.
Recently, Hector Hall became the the last in line of the Fate legacy. Nabu returned again, seemingly with his senses back. Currently, Nabu is a free spirit in the world of the Amulet, whispering to Hector through the Helmet. His presence has become increasingly oppressive, however, and Hector is suppressing him as much as possible.
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- Unique Physiology: A cosmic being made up of energy, Nabu possess great power because of this.
- Magic: At the height of his power, Nabu is a potent Lord of Order with near incalculable power, is considered one of the most powerful beings on Earth, and claimed to be the most powerful of all the Lords of Order. He is capable of battling the likes of the Spectre and Mordru.
- Occultism: A powerful sorcerer, Nabu has a vast amount of knowledge on the mystic arts.
- Vulnerability to Divine Forces: Although powerful, like other fellow Lords of Order, Nabu is capable of being slain by extremely powerful divine forces like those possessed by the Spectre.
- 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.
- 91 Appearances of Nabu (New Earth)
- 26 Images featuring Nabu (New Earth)
- 10 Quotations by or about Nabu (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Nabu (New Earth)