Whither Doctor Fate?

Okay, here’s what I know:

*Doctor Fate* will become the lead feature in a new, ongoing dual-feature title, along the lines of the current TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED. This new book will have the word “Countdown” in its name, but crossover-phobes need not panic. These are the same full-length stories, without alteration, that were slated for Fate’s own title. (The dual-feature titles contain almost twice the page count of a regular comic book.)

Personally, I’m hoping that the “Countdown” title and the presence of the book’s second feature will goose the sales a little bit.

At this point, I’d better hang back and let the rest of the news — the overall title of the book, the name of the second feature, etc. — come from DC. I will add, though, that I’m very pleased to be sharing a comic book with this character. In its Silver Age incarnation, it was one of my favorites, and I like the current, decidedly more twisted version a lot, too.

It’s my understanding that the book is being solicited for September, so you’ll be hearing all the details officially from DC very shortly.

And now, just to whet your appetites a little further, here’s a totally unauthorized look at one of Justiniano’s early concept sketches of Doctor Fate.

Doctor Fate is © 2007
Doctor Fate is ™ and © 2007 DC Comics, Inc.

The pencils for the first story are even better.

13 Responses to “Whither Doctor Fate?”

  1. Justin Newberry Says:

    Cool. My first “big” release bows at the same time as your “new” release. Las Vegans own the month of September!

    P.S. If that Starbucks truly be the land of mental milk and honey (and mocha and latte…), then I figure I’m going to have to start going there… The writer’s block on some of issue 3′s dialogue is gonna kill me otherwise.

  2. Johnny Bacardi Says:

    Glad to hear the Fate feature will live on, but that sketch…oy.

    Looks like the Doc has been getting fashion tips from artichoke farmers…

  3. Starocotes Says:

    This sounds great, really great, can’t wait to hold the first copy in my hands.

  4. Charles Bryan Says:

    I like that sketch!

    And now I’m verrrrry curious about the second feature, and the thinking that led to the decision to do a double feature book. (I know you wouldn’t want to discuss that now, but at some point in the future when the writing schedule allows). I’m also wondering what it’ll be called when Countdown ends.

    By the way, the portrait pic is quite distinguished. I should look so good.

  5. Steve Gerber Says:

    Johnny Bacardi: “Looks like the Doc has been getting fashion tips from artichoke farmers…”

    I’m not sure I agree. And anyway, I like artichokes.

  6. Bob Kennedy Says:

    Will the second feature be a magic character, or a “Nick Fury” type?

  7. Starocotes Says:

    I guess it will be a magic character and the book will be called:
    “Countdown to Mystery”

    Wild guess from this announcment here.
    http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=112581

    Since the Dr. 13 backup in the current Tales of the Unexpected would fit exactly what Steve said I guess (and hope) it will be him.

  8. John H Says:

    I’m guessing the second feature will be Eclipso!

  9. RAB Says:

    If it isn’t what Starocotes says…it really ought to be!

  10. Jim Bosomworth Says:

    Sounds great, but the cape – a little Kaluta, a little Spawn, eh, it could be worse. I can’t imagine it’s easy trying to come up with a cape design that looks completely original after all these years, and it is interesting – but not as interesting as the optical illusion of the smiling abs. Try not seeing it now! At the very least, I know the stories will be good. Stay healthy.

  11. Jack Holt (Bgztl) Says:

    Thanks for the teasers Steve.

    Jim Bosomworth Says “the optical illusion of the smiling abs. Try not seeing it now!”

    I did. I can’t. Grrrr. Curse you, Bosomworth!! ;-)

    Sadly, the sketch had the opposite effect on me as some of the posters. I’m just. . . nonplussed. It looks a lot like fan-art I’ve seen of Spawn or even a little like DC’s old Scarab character. There’s just nothing in the sketch to catch or hold my interest.

    To be fair, I’m not a big fan of Justiniano’s work to start with, so I’ll have to reserve judgment until I see the final art. One sketch does not a comic make as they say and I think Justiniano works very hard on what he does. I’m probably never going to be a fan of his figure work but his storytelling has been gradually improving. So we’ll see.

    I’m starting to get the feeling that a mini-series is going to be the result — not an ongoing title for Doc. What’s worse is . . . right now I’m not sure I don’t prefer it that way. I think this book might need a trial to shake the bugs out. I’d rather have complete, well-thought out stories on a more infrequent basis than a book plagued by delays.

    I feel like one of the Apollo 13 astronauts — hopeful of getting “home” but fretting every minute and saying “now what?”.

  12. Steve Gerber Says:

    Boy, I really disagree violently with many of you about the sketch. The thing is, I have a hunch you’re going to disagree violently with yourselves when you see the first issue. So I apologize in advance for the inner turmoil I’ve already set in motion.

    Jack — small favor: Please don’t wish for a mini. I’m having a hell of a good time writing this series. Everyone who’s read the scripts loves them. It deserves a long life. It’d break my heart to see it tank in single-digit issue numbers.

    And now, if you’ll all excuse me, I’ll march stoically to the laundry room. I need to scrub the heart off my sleeve… (choke)…

  13. Starocotes Says:

    @Steve: Actually Jack does NOT hope for a mini-series, he is in love with Dr. Fate too much to have such wishes (I know him from over at Comicbloc.com, Geoff Johns’ site).