In the previous issue of Earth 2, Khalid Ben-Hassin fully accepted his role as Doctor Fate, and set out with Flash to defeat the evil sorcerer Wotan.  Wotan is holding Jay’s mother as a hostage, waiting for Khalid to deliver him the power of Nabu’s helmet, but Fate and Flash have other plans in mind.

The final issue of “The Tower of Fate” arc hits us right off the bat with the magical battle between the good Doctor and Wotan, who are dueling it out in the skies above Boston.  A bit of time has passed since the end of last issue, and forces are in play around them that show just how inconspicuous the Doctor is.

Spoiler
Green Lantern and Flash are running protection duty to keep the World’s Army from interfering with the magician’s work.

The story cuts back several minutes to the realm of Nabu, where Wotan and Jay’s mother are waiting for the Wonders to return.  Every panel is so wonderfully drawn and colored that full credit should be given to Nikola and Trevor Scott.  Each burst of magic, and Doctor Fate in particular are so well drawn that I spent extra time examining every corner of each panel in order to absorb all of the art.  There’s more life in the artwork than what I’ve seen in the previous issues, and it seems that this arc has allowed the Scotts to branch out more and demonstrate just how good they are.

With the battle in Boston playing out between Doctor Fate and Wotan, Khalid and Nabu get their synergy together in order to reach the fullest extent of the Doctor’s powers.  Nabu’s strength comes from the Egyptian gods, and Khalid’s intellect and schooling have taught him about the gods and their abilities.  By combining Nabu’s strength with Khalid’s intelligence, Doctor Fate becomes an even more impressive and complete fighter.  There is also a brief interlude with Hawkgirl and Green Lantern finding out more regarding Sam’s killers, but

Spoiler
Green Lantern is pulled away from the investigation by his ring, which forces him to fly to Boston to help the Doctor and Flash.

An interesting conundrum is raised in this issue that I was thinking about long after I set down the book: Do our Wonders control their powers, or do their powers control them?  As detailed in the Spoilers, both Khalid and Alan are controlled in some way by their respective powers.  Are our Wonders simply vessels for greater forces behind their abilities, or were they chosen for a reason?  It’s a question that’s been raised by heroes before, but this was the first time where I was reading a comic and actively thought through the problem myself.

The end of the book sets up the next arc for our Wonders, who have a really cool moment together that was a change from the nonstop action of the rest of the issue. 

Spoiler
Jay, Jay’s mother, Alan, and the Doctor are just relaxing in Alan’s penthouse, talking about how Alan can use his position to spin PR to help the Wonders’ reputation. 
  A final panel highlights where the story is going, and it seems even more action is on the way as our Wonders come closer to the events foretold by Nabu at the start of the series.

The artwork is great, the fighting is brilliant, and the story is moving towards our Wonders facing their greatest threat yet.  I can’t stress it enough, I loved this issue.

Spoiler

  • Green Lantern and Hawkgirl found a lot of dead Parademons in a cargo ship container.  No explanation is given why they were there, but as Kendra says “I do love a mystery.”
  • Doctor Fate seemingly obliterated Wotan, which would have been an awesome way to end the battle, but it would seem that he simply transported Wotan to “an underworld or some other dimension.”  It would’ve been cool to see the Doctor either absorb Wotan’s powers or strip him of them.
  • Steppenwolf and Fury have declared war on neighboring countries, a conflict the World’s Army and the Wonders will certainly get involved in.

 Favorite Quote: “Thank you for showing me what a hero is, Flash – what I need to be.” – Doctor Fate

Recommended If…

  • You want some wonderful artwork from Nikola and Trevor Scott.
  • Doctor Fate is you favorite hero.
  • You like seeing heroes fighting together against a common enemy.
  • You want to see where this series is going.

Overall:

Another installment in The Tower of Fate arc, another beautifully drawn issue that offers a lot of fun moments for our Wonders.  Lines are drawn between the forces at play, with all signs pointing to conflict.  I can’t wait!

SCORE: 9.5/10