While he might not be as famous as Marvel's Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate is one of the oldest heroes in the entire DC Universe. Many figures have donned the Helmet of Nabu and served as the mystical avenger over the years, but some have better luck than others.
Khalid Nassour, the newest character to wear the Helmet of Fate was created in 2015, but he's already gone on a massive and winding journey to becoming a strong sorcerer on his own. Now, we're taking a look back to explore the origins of this mystical hero, how he became Doctor Fate and what his role could be in the future of the DC Universe.
Who is Doctor Fate?
First created 1940 by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, Doctor Fate is the physical agent of Nabu, the Lord of Order within the DC Universe. The figure is a protector of the cosmos, and one of the most powerful magical figures in the entire universe. The title of Doctor Fate is traded from different wielders across history, with multiple people taking on the mantle over the years to serve as the new protectors of order in the universe. This is passed down by the Helmet of Nabu, part of a sacred armor that could infuse others with its magical power.
Kent Nelson was the first Doctor Fate introduced in the comics, serving as one of the founding members of the Justice Society during the real-world 1940s. Eric and Linda Strauss, a young man and his mother, briefly merged into one being to become Doctor Fate. However, both were killed in battle. Nelson's wife Inza briefly served as Doctor Fate, before losing her youth during the events of Zero Hour. Since then, Jared Stevens, Hector Hall and Kent V. Nelson have all served in the role briefly before the modern incarnation of the hero appeared.
Who is Khalid Nassour?
In DC's New 52 timeline, Khalid Nassour became the new Doctor Fate. The Egyptian-American medical student was offered the Helmet of Nabu and initially refused it. However, the title was forced upon him, and he took on the title of Doctor Fate. Khalid tried to use his powers for the betterment of others, not just to try and preserve order within the universe. This eventually bit back at Khalid when Anubis took his sight in return for curing his blind father.
However, Khalid was granted his vision again when he wore the Helm of Nabu, and grew to impress Nabu. Khalid was forced to contend with mystical figures such as Anubus, who was attempting to drown the world in a seemingly endless flood. Khalid faced them all, slowly learning more about not just his powers but also his personal history. It turns out that Khalid's family is descended from the same line as the Nelsons, which makes him the grandnephew of the first Doctor Fate to ever appear.
What Happened to Khalid?
After some time out of the spotlight, Khalid reappeared in the newest volume of Justice League Dark. When the titular team comes for Fate's aid after the nigh-indestructible Otherkind from the Dark Multiverse start attacking magic users, Doctor Fate initially appears to be an ally. However, Kirk Langstrom accidentally frees Khalid, who had been trapped inside a cursed vase. Khalid tried to warn them that Kent had not returned but that Nabu had unleashed the beings and was operating as Doctor Fate. Working with the other pieces of armor that had possessed formidable magical figures like Madame Xanadu, Ibis, Extrano and Mark Merlin, Nabu targeted the magical forces of the world and destroyed the mystical plane of Myrra.
Langstrom was able to uncover how to finally free Khalid, who revealed the truth that Nabu seeks to destroy all magic to create some new sense of order for the multiverse and to help prevent the destruction of all things. While the other possessed Lords of Order are distracted by Justice League Dark gaining power from the Lord of Chaos Mordru, Khalid confronts Nabu and, working with other magic users including Kent Nelson, is able to contain Nabu back within the helm.
Although Khalid is offered the chance to reaccept the Helmet of Nabu and try to become Doctor Fate again, he denies the offer out of fear that he couldn't handle it. Instead, Khalid joined up with Nelson to help the Justice League Dark on their missions, even if he isn't Doctor Fate anymore.