REVIEW: Doctor Fate #17

Ever been in an enclosed public place and there’s a distinct smell of a dogs pavement mine? You know THAT look everyone has as they try to determine who’s lost a foot to it?

That was pretty much the same face I had reading this. Several things sprang to mind while I chewed through it: I’ve recently watched and subsequently read the first volume of Doctor Strange and the new The Ultimates by Jason Aaron and they both knock seven shades of shogoth out of this as far as tripping balls in weird dimensions goes.

Fate himself comes across as an inconsequential whiner who more stumbled on an adventure that he then tries to stumble out of and whines about all the way through. He’s not a very likable protagonist. The story suffers for it to, it meanders through something that should be fairly straight forward throwing a few lazy feeling ideas in willy nilly that don’t really do anything.

The art is better than the writing but still feels a bit wishy-washy, but that might just be down to scripting problems. There’s some interesting concept work and it’s very colourful, but it feels like it’s compensating for the distinct lack of trippiness that should go with a story like this.

It might not be fair to compare this to Doctor Strange, but this could have been the ideal antithesis of that comic. Strange is all about the experienced sorcerer supreme this could have been the noob facing all the wonders of magic, instead it just feels like a slightly selfish little whiner who doesn’t really want the job.

By Paul Levitz & Brendan McCarthy, published by DC

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