Kent Nelson (DC)

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Kent Nelson is a male comic character that features in DC Comics.




Kent Nelson as Doctor Fate in More Fun Comics v1 #56.

Kent Nelson was born in 1928 where he was the son of noted archaeologist Sven Nelson and spiritual medium Celestine Babcock Nelson. His mother died under unknown circumstances following Kent's birth and he later joined his father during his adventures around the world. In 1940, he along with his father were conducting a dig at the Valley of Ur in Mesopotamia where Kent Nelson found an ancient sarcophagus holding Nabu the Wise. After entering the sarcophagus, a poison gas was accidently released by Kent that immediately killed his father. Nabu of the mystical Lords of Order revealed his origin as being from the planet Cilia and had taken pity on the boy. This saw him take away the grief from Kent's mind about the death of his father. In the following months, Nabu continued to school Nelson in the arts of mysticism where he taught him the art of casting spells and flight. During this time, he gradually aged over the weeks with his body maturing into adulthood by the end of the summer. By this point, Kent had grown fond of Nabu with the Lord of Order asking Nelson of one final act namely the destruction of his body. Kent did not want to harm Nabu but the Lord of Order removed the spell that had hidden Nelson's grief. With his grief restored, he went into a rage and seemingly killed Nabu. However, it was revealed that Nabu was in fact a being of energy due to his nature of being a millennia old Lord of Order. Nabu gifted Kent Nelson with two gifts namely the Helmet of Fate and a mystical amulet. Upon wearing the helm, Nelson was joined with Nabu who used Kent's body to maintain a hold onto the mortal with the pair operating as an agent of the Lords of Order. In this form, Kent Nelson adopted the name of Doctor Fate and operated as a superhero.

Though killed, Doctor Fate believed that Wotan still posed a threat and Inza accompanied him into the underworld. They travelled with the boatman to the Regions of the Dead where they reached the Seven Gates of Iron, Copper, Silver, Gold, the Unknown Grey Metal, Alabaster and the Emerald portals. After passing through them, they journeyed up the Stair of Judgement where resided bright entity known as the Wisdom, Who Rules the World who was referred to as the ruler of the dead. The being showed the location of Wotan who had made a new plan to destroy the world with Fate along with Inza moving to stop him. (More Fun Comics v1 #56)

One of the threats he battled were the Fish-Men of the underwater city of Nyarl-Amen that was a dynasty 50,000 years old. (More Fun Comics v1 #65)


As Doctor Fate, he encountered the dead body of Micah Cole leading to an encounter with the Spectre who believed him responsible for the man's death. They eventually settled any argument with Fate using his power to animate Cole's body who spoke of the Nightmare Codex and referenced the Elder God Koth-Shugoth that was known by as the Creepy Abyss. (Spectre Annual v3 #1)

The soul of Kent did not pass into the afterlife but came to reside in the amulet of Doctor Fate in a paradise pocket dimension alongside his wife Inza. Nelson learnt that Mordru intended to claim the power of Doctor Fate from the prophecised Fate-Child and wanted to serve as a mid-wife to his successor. Thus, he called on the Star-Spangled Kid where he told Courtney Whitmore to use the Scarabeus on the infant Fate-Child to unlock his hidden power. This allowed the child to become the new Doctor Fate and battled Mordru in order to safeguard the relics from the evil sorcerer. (JSA v1 #3) The Fate-Child was revealed to had been a reborn Hector Hall who with the power of Doctor Fate managed to defeat Mordru. In the aftermath, the spirit of Kent Nelson warned of future threats for the new Doctor Fate and stated that he would reside within the amulet if he ever needed his counsel. (JSA v1 #4)


Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.

With the Source Wall damaged, Nelson returned to the Tower of Fate in order to contemplate with Nabu about the actions needed to deal with the Tree of Wonder. Nabu concluded that magic had become a corruptive influence on the cosmos and decided to purge its influence from the universe. Such an act was extreme to Nelson who opposed to Nabu but the Lord of Order took possession of Kent's body and used his host to open a portal for the Otherkind to invade the cosmos so that they could feast on magic. With Nelson under his command, Nabu then made steps at removing all opposition to the Otherkind so that all magic could be purged whereupon the universe would be remade under the carefully crafted principles of the Lords of Order. (Justice League Dark v2 #9)


Personality and attributes

Powers and abilities


  • Kent Nelson was created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman where he made his first appearance in More Fun Comics v1 #55 (May, 1940).
  • Writer James Robinson commented about Kent Nelson's role in The New 52 universe on Earth 2 that the character raised the new Dr Fate, Khalid and played an important part in his past. In the interview that, "you know how sometimes people by being dead they're more interesting to the story than if they were alive? Kent Nelson will have that role, and there will be a mystery about Kent's death that we will get into down the line as well."

Alternate Versions

In other media


Doctor Fate in Superman: The Animated Series.
  • In the DC Animated Universe, Doctor Fate made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
    • In Superman: The Animated Series, a character that was presumably Kent Nelson due to his partner being Inza first appeared in the episode "The Hand of Fate" where he was voiced by actor George DelHoyo. He was a mystical hero known as Doctor Fate who had fought against the forces of evil for a century with the demon Karkull being among his foes. However, constant battles led to him being disillusioned in combat evil that always emerged leading to him to retreat from the world and seek enlightenment in the metaphysical realm at his tower. Superman sought his aid to stop the recently freed Karkull with Doctor Fate refusing but he became inspired by Superman's actions to return to being a hero. He aided Superman in defeating Karkull by sealing the demon back within the Artifact of Lorta.
  • In Young Justice, the character made an appearance in the animated series where he appeared in the episode "Denial" where he was voiced by Edward Asner. He was the former holder of the Helmet of Fate and operated as Doctor Fate after bonding with Nabu where he joined the Justice Society of America. Around this time, he met Inza with the pair falling in love with Kent calling her 'spitfire' for the way she challenged him. Inza convinced Nelson to stop being a superhero and he kept the helm hidden at the Tower of Fate. After the death of Inza, Kent was heartbroken but continued to live until the modern day as he lived a life after retiring from being a superhero.


  • More Fun Comics v1:
  • Book of Fate v1:
  • JSA v1:
  • Justice League Dark v2:

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