The Weekly Pull (2/6/13) – EARTH 2 #9

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While Steppenwolf busies himself with amassing power, the new Wonders of Earth 2 try to get back to their normal lives. But is that even possible, given recent events? And who is the new Doctor Fate? What’s his connection to Hawk Girl? And what role does he have to play in this cosmic dance?

Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth 2, has had a rough couple days. His girlfriend broke up with him, he has no prospects, and Mercury fell from the sky, giving him super speed. And then he engaged in a battle for the fate of the world, one that was by no means easy. So you can forgive him for wanting to head on home and take a few days to sort his life out.

Unfortunately, the World Army is waiting for him. You can run fast enough to circumnavigate the globe, but you still can’t catch a break, huh Jay?

Meanwhile, we finally get to see Hawk Girl talk with the new Doctor Fate, a character she alluded to in previous installments. For those likely unfamiliar with the Justice Society of America, Doctor Fate is a power sorcerer who got his start, along with the rest of the JSA, in the Golden Age of Comics. He wears a golden helmet powered by the ancient wizard Nabu, and he’s been among the constants of the JSA throughout the years. He’s basically DC’s version of Doctor Strange, or Doctor Strange is more rather Marvel’s version of Doctor Fate.

So parallel are they, in fact, that during the whole Amalgam Comics thing, when DC and Marvel created miniseries combinations of their properties, the two were melded into a character called Doctor Strange Fate. It was a weird time.

Anyway, as for this continuity, our new Fate is a young man named Khalid, who obtained the helmet of Nabu at the same time Hawk Girl obtained her wings. What event transpired to do this to them remains hidden. While Hawk Girl cajoles Khalid to don the helmet and aid their loose group in the coming conflict with forces unknown, Khalid would much rather not. EARTH 2 sort of deconstructs the idea of Doctor Fate, because having a mortal bond with the mind of an ancient mage is not a pleasant experience. Using the thing at all, even to simply teleport, drives him temporarily insane, and even while lucid in full Fate form, he’s still of two minds.

Not that we see him in full costume yet. We’ll have to wait for subsequent issues.

Personally I have no problem with the new Doctor Fate so far. Really the new Sandman bothers me more, and that may just be that I’m too used to his depiction in the old continuity and in Vertigo’s Sandman Mystery Theater. There’s just something about a guy in an old-style gas mask running around the Great Depression gassing people. Here he’s a World Army officer with vague, undefined teleportation powers and a callous disregard for innocent life.

Though that last part might just be an act. Not sure.

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