Black Adam: Who is Doctor Fate?

Audiences know DC Comics primarily for its “trinity” of three of the most heralded superheroes in written history: Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman. Other DC heroes like The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman have only recently gained mainstream attention, thanks to a few TV shows and some big blockbuster movies.

However, Black adam shows some promise of introducing us to a whole new element of the DC Extended Universe: Dark Magic and the Fictional Kingdom of Khandaq. It will also introduce moviegoers to an incredibly powerful Dr. Fate character, played by Pierce Brosnan.

Related: Is DC planning for Black Adam to be his Loki?

Black Adam won’t be the first DCEU film to demonstrate that magic exists in this universe, since Shazam already done. Corn, Black adam will be a much darker film (the clip that audiences saw at DC Fandome was darker than the set Shazam movie). Dr. Fate should have a big role to play in setting an ominous, otherworldly tone for the upcoming film. Dr. Fate appears periodically in DC comics and graphic novels, primarily through crossover events. He also appeared in the DC video game Injustice 2 as well as the television series Small city. However, for mainstream moviegoers, he is an entirely unknown entity. At DC Fandome, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who plays Black Adam, said of his character: “The hierarchy of power in the DCEU is about to change.” That may be true, but not just because of Black Adam, but also because of Dr. Fate.

Dr. Fate Comics cropped

In the tradition of comics, Dr. Fate has many alter egos and is not tied to one character, but to several. His first incarnation dates back to 1940, which makes him only two years younger than Superman in the post.

The version Brosnan is to portray is Kent Nelson. While on an adventure with his father in the port city of Ur, the Nelson’s stumble upon a grave and revive the Mesopotamian god of wisdom, Nabu the Wise. During this process, Kent Nelson’s father is killed and the god has mercy on the boy. Nabu the Wise takes Kent Nelson under his wing and teaches him witchcraft for twenty years. Dr. Fate has appeared alongside the Justice League and the Justice Society of America in several comic book adaptations.

Dr Fate Injustice Floating Cropped

Dr. Fate has a fairly unique skill set. In a nutshell, if one were to create a Venn diagram of Thor’s powers and Dr. Strange’s magical abilities, Dr. Fate’s abilities would be in the middle.

Physically, Dr. Fate has super strength, near invulnerability, and the ability to fly. In addition to this, he can manifest and manipulate lightning and ice, create magical spells, teleport between Parallel Earths, and communicate with others telepathically.

This rather absurd skill set makes Dr. Fate an almost divine figure. It does make sense, however, as he was formed by an actual god. It’ll be interesting to see how powerful Dr. Fate is in Black Adam, especially if both characters come to grips with it.

Black Adam Cartoon Cropped (1)

Little is known about the plot of Black adam, despite the fact that the film is due out in less than a year. However, Black Adam is best known as a supervillain, especially opposite Superman. At best, Black Adam served as an anti-hero when the occasion required it.

Without Superman appearing in this film, Dr. Fate may be accused of being Black Adam’s light of darkness. That remains to be seen, but given Black Adam’s show of strength in the DC Fandome clip, it’ll take a character like Dr. Fate to give the supervillain a worthy fight.

Dr. Fate Comic cropped

To put it mildly, the DCEU is a ship that is built while it is already sailing. While die-hard DC fans help pump up the box office numbers, reviews are largely lukewarm on the universe as a whole. This is especially true when comparing the DCEU to the MCU. If a Marvel movie isn’t rated above 90 on Rotten Tomatoes and doesn’t make a billion dollars worldwide, it’s almost considered a failure at this point. The same can’t be said for DC movies, the bar is just lower.

Still, Dr Fate might be able to strike a balance between Shazam‘s campy cheesiness and Batman versus. Superman: Dawn of Justicedark nihilism. If Warner Brothers and the creative team behind Black adam can make Dr. Fate likable but formidable, he could quickly become a fan favorite and a ticket seller.

Black adam has been in development since around 2014; DC Comics fanatics have been waiting for this movie for a long time. Between Johnson’s experience and charisma as an action star and Brosnan once portraying James Bond, I hope the two have what it takes to bring Black Adam and Dr. Fate properly to the big screen.

Black adam debuts in theaters on July 29, 2022.

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