Black Adam: Who Is Doctor Fate?


Doctor Fate is coming to the DC Universe! I can finally say it: It’s Black Adam week! The DC anti-hero is about to make his cinematic debut in just a few days, we know that now. After the New York premiere, critics online seem to love the movie, which makes me breathe a little easier. While we’ve seen a lot of Black Adam on social media these last few months, we haven’t seen much about the other characters who are about to make their cinematic debut.

In my opinion, Dwayne Johnson has been handling the promotional tour a little too well. I say that because now, the majority of the media outlets are focusing on Johnson’s interviews, eager to see if the actor is going to give another cryptic information about the future of the DCEU.

The other actors – and even the director himself! – haven’t enjoyed the same following, and that’s a pity. I mean, Pierce Brosnan is in the movie! Given his giant career, he deserves just as much – if not more – attention than the Rock.

We’ve talked about Hawkman’s comic origins, let’s now see who Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate is! Where does the character come from? Does he have any connection to Black Adam? How strong is he in the DC universe? Let’s investigate!

Who is Doctor Fate?


Credit: Talenthouse

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Like many superheroes, many people have carried the hero’s name. To make this article as easy to read as possible, I’m going to focus on the version the movie is going to choose: Kent Nelson, the first-ever version of Doctor Fate, created in 1940. Just like Hawkman, he’s one of the oldest DC characters and one of the founding members of the JSA, which is crazy to me: 82 years after his first comic appearance, he’s hitting the big screen!

It’s essential to talk about Nabu before talking about Doctor Fate, so here we go:

Who is Nabu?


Credit: DC Extended Universe Fandom

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Nabu was born shortly after the formation of the universe. It is an immaterial Mesopotamian deity. It eventually takes a human form, descends to Earth and becomes Nabu the Wise, an advisor to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. In its human form, he served as a court sorcerer for various Egyptian Pharaohs, including Khufu (Remember Prince Khufu and his wife Chay-Ara?) along with one of his allies: Teth-Adam!

Nabu meets Kent Nelson


Credit: Warner Bros. Discovery

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In 1920, a little boy named Kent Nelson goes on an expedition with his archaeologist father. While exploring a temple discovered by his father, Kent opens the tomb of Nabu the Wise and brings him back to life. Unfortunately, by opening the tomb, the boy accidentally releases a toxic gas, killing his father instantly.

Nabu feels pity for the child and decides to become his mentor. He teaches him the art of sorcery for the next twenty years before giving him the famous helmet, amulet and mystical cloak, which will lead Kent to become Doctor Fate.

It’s worth remembering that Nabu resides in the helmet itself. Meaning that whenever Kent puts on the helm, he is inhabited by Nabu. Depending on the versions, this collaboration is either willingly done, or Nabu completely takes control over the bearer’s body, making them a prisoner in his own mind.

Doctor Fate’s powers include:

  • Necromancy,
  • Dimensional travel,
  • Teleportation,
  • The ability to fly
  • Invisibility
  • Healing
  • Manipulation of natural elements (wind, earth, water, fire, lightning)

Nabu’s helmet grants the bearer godly-level powers and is considered as one of the most powerful magical artefacts in the DC Universe.

A cursed gift


Credit: DC Comics

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Doctor Fate is considered as one of the most powerful and unstoppable characters in the DC Universe. But despite his enviable power, the helmet bearer suffers a terrible curse when he allows Nabu in, as he must constantly live with a mystical god inside his mind. The bearer is sometimes completely crushed by Nabu, who takes complete possession of the body, causing the host to be trapped in their own mind. Doctor Fate is a mentally tortured character most of the time!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the fact that Black Adam, Hawkman, and Nabu/Doctor Fate not only crossed paths, but they did during ancient Egypt, where they originated from. These characters have mystical roots, making them even more compelling to me! I can’t wait to see how their origins are going to be used in the DCEU!

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