Sunday, July 15, 2007

Society Signatures: Dr. Fate

Having surveyed offerings from Green Lantern, Sandman, the Spectre, and Hourman, I'm still on my search for a new signature saying.

Next up at bat is the mysterious Dr. Fate, occult master of the ancient mystic arts!

I'm thinkin' Doc's helmet's on just a little too tight, if ya know what I mean.

Okay, gotta hand it to you, Doc; that's definitely mysterious. But I want something more "Dr. Fate" and less "Mr. Wizard".

You take that helmet off this instant, Jack Kirby!

I'm as patriotic as the next fellow, probably more so. But I don't think "Let's go, Americans!" is going to work for me as a signature saying. Particularly not if it requires me to lurch about flanked by beknickered Bowery Boys.

Care to try again, Doc?

If you think it's bad having to play horsey for Dr. Fate when he's feeling spunky, sweetie,
wait'll you get to prison.

That's more like it! An ancient spellification with some Classical reference and a little "ride 'em, cowboy" action? Very much my style.

But I'm afraid for general utility, I'm still going to have to choose as Dr. Fate's entry his statement from last week:

It's hard to beat that for combining the mundane and the bizarre. Plus, I can say it all the time, and all anyone can do about it is smile. Even if I'm staring into a closet when I say it.


naladahc said...

From this day forward I will attempt to use "beknickered" in my daily conversations.

Jon Hex said...

Dr. Fate looks really excited to be riding that guy's back.

Anonymous said...

That's just the Jock-Cup Of Fate, one of Nabu's lesser known magical talismans.

Scipio said...

Yeah, Jon, I've never heard it called "cleaning the modern Augean stables" before...

Chance said...

Worst homemade gas mask ever.

So, apparently, Dr. Fate in his original appearances had no powers? Because if he has to MacGyver up a terrible gas mask and employ tiny, ineffectual kid sidekicks and actually wrestle a bad guy (or clean his stables, if you will), isn't he just some guy with a tiny, tiny half-helmet and not a magician at all?

Scipio said...

I think it's fair to say that for Dr. Fate (and many heroes of his day) his characterization was both vague and variable.

Anonymous said...

Actually the half helmat was later.
Took most of his powers and made him, like sandman, just another generic guy.


Anonymous said...

I feel really sorry for that poor guy in the orange suit. Now, that was a fellow to whom DC should have ginen the Killing Joke treatment in the mid-80s.

These panels could easily come from Garth Ennis's 'The Boys'; insane characters in ridiculous costumes doing degrading, belittling and plain vile things to unsuspecting citizens.

Anonymous said...

Who would've thunk - - -

Dr. Fate - Glue Huffer.

For shame.

Anonymous said...

Scipio, I'm really enjoying this series. You are truly a master of taking comic book panels out of context for comedic effect. Can't wait to see more of the JSA! (I'm certain the Atom is a vending machine of punch lines.)

Anonymous said...

Scipio -- whose art IS that in the jack kirby-esque panel? or did kirby draw an issue of Dr. Fate that I don't know about?

Scipio said...

Bill, that panel is the art of Howard Sherman. According to Lambiek:

Howard Sherman was an artist of DC Comics in the 1940s and 1950s. He was the regular artist of the 'Dr. Fate' comic. He drew stories featuring the characters in More Fun issues 55 through 73 in the period 1940-1943. Between 1945 and 1963, he worked on many other DC features. He had a brief stint on 'Batman' in 1946, before he went to do 'The Wyoming Kid', 'Vigilante', 'Congo Bill', 'Congorilla', 'Foley of the Fightin' 5th', 'Kit Carson', 'Space Cabby', and others. He was the creator of 'Tommy Tomorrow' in 1947. After his comic book career ended, he went on to do educational film strips for Hy Ross Associates and toy package design for Remco Industries.