Doctor Fate

Doctor Fate #10

Doctor Fate #10 580 816 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

Doctor Fate travels to Egypt, where the young hero discovers that an ancient, malevolent superpower is making things unduly difficult for his ancestral homeland.

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Doctor Fate #9

Doctor Fate #9 1080 1660 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

Khalid’s quest for answers leads the young Doctor Fate to his ancestral homeland of Egypt, where he discovers that malevolent supernatural forces have conspired to make life a lot harder for humanity than it should be.

Doctor Fate #8

Doctor Fate #8 475 730 Paul Levitz


With art by: Ibrahim Mustafa
Cover by: Sonny Liew

Can young Khalid heal the world from the flood tides of Anubis while he wrestles with questions of faith and heritage? He’ll have to, for Fate has given the new hero no choice!

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Storytellers 900 1294 Paul Levitz

One of the occasionally contentious and often confusing questions in comics is the nature of the collaboration between writers and artists. Leaving aside the grand debates about Stan’s work with Jack and Steve since all three are or were friends, even in the much more modest cases there’s often no clear cut boundaries that are consistent from situation to situation.

So when I’m working with an artist in a true collaboration, inviting them to participate in the direction of the story and its structure, I’ve often adopted the practice of jointly asking us to be credited as “storytellers.” This last month’s issues provide some interesting examples of that, which I thought I’d share.

DF-7-3-e917dDOCTOR FATE #7 was a particularly challenging (and therefore particularly delightful) art task–largely inventing a view of the Duat, the Egyptian underworld. Unlike the Greek/Roman land of the dead, it’s largely unknown to modern readers, and didn’t have a long tradition of being depicted in Western art. Some depictions survive from when it was an active religion rather than a historic mythology, but not much. So Sonny had a lot to do in bringing the dead to life, and he did it in incredibly well. I got a book of Egyptian mythological art from Columbia’s library, ordered a dupe for him and shipped it off to Singapore, and we went to work.

But he also contributed to the story structure. The way I’d set up the final battle didn’t choreograph particularly well for him–how Thoth’s staff merged with Khalid’s DNA and the bouncing around of Khalid’s heart didn’t make a clear visual story. So Sonny built out an alternative choreography, and I adjusted the copy a little to fit.

Brooklyn-Blood-PG-02BROOKLYN BLOOD premiered this month too, and because of geography, this represented a different kind of collaborative opportunity. Tim Hamilton and I were able to get together a couple of times to flesh out the story as it will evolve over its 15 or so chapters, and he’s been able to make suggestions based on the years he’s been living in Brooklyn of specific locales in addition to the ones I called from my old days in Brooklyn or more recent visits.

I’ve been incredibly lucky in my collaborators over the years, and while some of the great artists had no desire to get involved beyond their officially appointed tasks, it’s great fun to play with those who do. And of course, some of the artist who’ve drawn my stories are also brilliant writers too (I knew Keith should be writing comics long before he started to…).

Doctor Fate #7

Doctor Fate #7 900 1384 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

One of the most acclaimed new DC Comics series concludes its first amazing epic as Anubis defeats Fate and takes his body and soul on a surreal journey into the ancient and mystical House of the Dead.

Doctor Fate #6

Doctor Fate #6 600 922 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

New York City goes dark as the new Doctor Fate battles the ancient god Anubis to the death—but gods can’t die, can they?

Doctor Fate #5

Doctor Fate #5 608 935 Paul Levitz


In case it’s not obvious from the work, I’m greatly enjoying doing the new DOCTOR FATE series. The collaboration with Sonny Liew is a special joy, from his innovative covers (love this month’s ode to Frank King and Chris Ware), hate that he does them completely digitally so I can’t get an original to hang on my wall. With issue #5, Khalid has grown a bit more confident and competent (though it’s still less than a week of real time since he became Fate), but it’s clearly not enough to face off against a god.

Part of the fun for me is exploring things that are genuine Brooklyn, sadly even including looting in the wake of a blackout or disaster. The good news is that hasn’t happened much in the wake of Sandy, but it’s certainly something I remember from the big blackout of my childhood, most of who’s waking hours I spent on my front porch in East Flatbush, waiting for the power to return.

Have to find a moment to get a good slice of Brooklyn pizza or a chewy Brooklyn bagel into the story!

Doctor Fate #4

Doctor Fate #4 900 1384 Paul Levitz



Life is getting harder for the new Doctor Fate. Now, an ancient god wants to destroy him, a mystical flood threatens to drown him, and the riddle of the Sphinx eludes him. Also, homework.

Doctor Fate #3

Doctor Fate #3 1041 1600 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

It’s literally raining cats and dogs as the mystic forces of Anubis and Bastet use a tidal wave to settle an ancient score, and only the new, hopelessly inexperienced Doctor Fate can save a city from drowning.



Doctor Fate #2

Doctor Fate #2 600 922 Paul Levitz


With art by Sonny Liew

The new Dr. Fate is already having trouble controlling the power of Nabu – and time is of the essence because he’s about to be tested by an ancient evil!