Doctor Fate Q&A – 4

From Jack Holt:

I hope magic still has some tricks up its sleeve, some quirks that keep the good Doctor on his toes.

I like the idea of Doc using a system of magic, but somehow I hate the idea of magic itself being limited. Fairy queens, will o’ wisps, and the music of the spheres all have their place to me.

As far as I’m concerned, there are at least as many systems of magic as there are, say, branches of science. Over time, Doctor Fate will develop a system for his own use, but that in no way precludes the existence of others — or of magical personages and phenomena like the ones you mention.

Actually, it doesn’t even “limit” Fate’s magic. As with any sorcerer (or scientist), his limitations will be demarcated by the extent of his knowledge and skill.

What I want to avoid with Doctor Fate is the trap that ensnares so many supernaturally-based characters in comics: the ability to cast an appropriate spell for any occasion at the writer’s convenience. Just as Superman can’t suddenly gain the power to read minds or turn invisible to suit the needs of a story, Doctor Fate won’t have a spell on hand for every kind of peril.

10 Responses to “Doctor Fate Q&A – 4”

  1. Julio Capo Says:

    Very interesting stuff.
    I’m a Ph D student studying cultural history and have a few questions I would like to ask you.
    Could you send me your information, if possible?
    Or please e-mail me at [email protected]

    Thanks for your time,
    Julio Capo

  2. Jason Arnett Says:

    Thanks for approaching a magical character in SUCH a smart, considered way. I like how you’re thinking of him and his abilities.

  3. mister_pj Says:

    That’s the kind of thing which has killed Doctor Strange for me any time they’ve put him into his own title.

  4. scott Says:

    Ever want to have ogres attack Fate like they attacked Battle Boy in the last episode of ?

    That would be really cool!! Grundy needs friends and allies! He’s too cool to be the only swamp ogre! I want to write a fate/Battle Boy/Grundy/Cyborg Superman mega-cross-over! An internet/Comics crossover! Think how cool it will be!!!

  5. lyn Says:

    A friend is working on a graphic novel of one of your Howard the Duck era characters and would like to talk to you.
    I was going to ask Mary to pass along the message but her L.V. office is closed today.
    Could you mail me at the above and I’ll give you Kevin’s contact info.

  6. Charles Bryan Says:

    Let me say again that I think this approach to Doctor Fate will be a very smart one for storytelling — what suspense is there with a character that can just snap his fingers and get out of any jam?(Except for his newspaper reporter girlfriend constantly trying to expose his secret identity?)

    Maybe Fate can pull from real life and try to work up a spell to make things right with ex-girlfriends and/or other old acquaintances that have been forgot.
    However, it’s a matter of appeasing some minor deity in charge of “Sorry I haven’t called in decade or so . . . “

  7. Steve Gerber Says:

    Charles: “Maybe Fate can pull from real life and try to work up a spell to make things right with ex-girlfriends and/or other old acquaintances that have been forgot.”

    I don’t want to spill too many beans here, but that’s one area in which he’s going to find magic pretty much useless.

  8. Jack Holt (Bgztl) Says:

    As you can imagine, I am biting my nails over the launch of this series. Conceptually, I think it’s going to be very well grounded. I hope it takes off like gangbusters because Doctor Fate is still my favorite character. He has been since I read my first Doctor Fate story — his origin — as a back up in Justice League of America #95. Len Wein’s Justice League # 100 and the stories from First Issue Special and Flash in the same decade just cemented that first impression.

    The new version is going to be different from what I would have thunk up for myself. But the mastery of magic SHOULDN’T be an easy thing. Come to think of it, relationships aren’t either. Charles may be on to something: the analogy between mastering magic and understanding ex-girlfriends!!!

    Vexing and Hexing. They go together. 😀

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Will # 1 be out in June now?

  9. Charles Bryan Says:

    Steve:”…that’s one area in which he’s going to find magic pretty much useless.”

    But that there’s a possibility that he might even try it is what makes me look forward to this title, because it’s what an actual real human being might do.

    I’m going to be presumptuous and say that this book is going to be great.

  10. Charles Bryan Says:

    And Jack, “Vexing and Hexing” is just waiting to be the title of an autobiography — even better if we throw in one more word that rhymes.

    I’m thinking of one that starts with S.