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Golden Age Doctor Fate Archives Volume 1 (DC Archive Editions) Hardcover – June 6, 2007


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Hardcover, June 6, 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition edition (June 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401213480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401213480
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Keith on August 3, 2007
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The long delayed Golden Age Doctor Fate is finally out. It's a very handsome volume that's been worth the wait. This one has a higher price point than most of the other DC Archive Editions, but that's only because it's got a much higher page count. Almost like getting 2 books instead of one.

Comparing the content to some of the other Archive Editions; this volume is pretty solid. The artwork is good, esp. the earlier stories, though not as good as the Golden Age Starman (which has the best artwork from the Golden Age books).

The stories are quite different than what we see today. The early Doctor Fate usually defeats his enemies by killing them, and in one story Fate destroys a entire planet of aliens by hurling it into the sun! That's beyond blood thirsty. Still, my vote for the most engaging of the Golden Age volumes story-wise is the Black Canary, whose stories hold up surprisingly well.

Recommended for those delving deeper into the Golden Age. I wouldn't start here, but it's an interesting follow up after reading some of the stronger titles and easily worth the admission price.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Absentia on October 7, 2007
Without question, one of my favorite DC Archives. This volume is much larger than most of the other archive editions, and sports almost 400 pages of wonderfully reproduced comic book action.

What struck me immediately about this collection, is how it progressed counter to most of the other golden age super hero comics. Unlike Superman, for instance, Doctor Fate starts out fighting super bad guys and otherworldly threats (not just thugs and hoods). There is some really fast-paced and fun-loving action in the early stories, as Fate faces off against master of science and magic, such as Wotan.

Fate also doesn't play around, either. The doctor has no problem dishing out capital punishment to his adversaries in the earlier stories. He has a death count second maybe only to the Golden Age Hawkman, who was also OK with filling cemeteries, not jails.

The art from the early stories was weird and beautiful; almost a mix between Alex Raymond and Basil Wolverton. As the stories progress, the art becomes a little less interesting, and so do the stories; by the halfway mark, Fate fights less potent villains, and mixes it up more with run-of-the-mill crooks and criminals.

Another interesting element in this book is watching the gradual metamorphosis of Dr. Fate's costume. Like Batman, Doctor Fate's look was often revised during his early adventures. The strange tear-drop shaped golden helm soon melts into the more fin-topped helmet seen today; and his bare hands soon get gloves, to better fit the growing super-hero tradition. At some point, fate reveals some skin, and trades his full-face mask for a mouth revealing version. By the end of the book, he has also shed his yellow cape, and runs around in more of the two-fisted tradition.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. David Swan VINE VOICE on March 25, 2008
So it's all come full circle. My interest in Doctor Fate was piqued with the release of Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron in 1981 featuring a surprising Doctor Fate with a truncated helmet and reduced powers. I was intrigued by a pair of interesting villains, Wotan and Ian Karkull. Now, over a quarter of a century later all the old Doctor Fate stories from More Fun comics are compiled in one oversized archive edition and appropriately enough the introduction is written by Roy Thomas. I have to say that the introduction was the best part of the book because the stories are a HUGE disappointment.

The collection starts off well enough with a fully powered Fate fighting strange otherworldy foes. These included aliens, mythological beings and Lovecraftian monsters. The stories were a bit flat but they were different. The main problem may have been that they were limited to about 5 to 7 pages which meant there was almost no time to develop the story. About half way through the archive Doctor Fate goes through a dramatic alteration. The writing and art change completely despite the fact that the stories were being produced by the same team. His helmet was chopped in half and over time he lost his shoulder pads, his cape and the little rectangle on his bottoms. I figure they had to stop the series because after another dozen or so stories he would have been naked.

Unfortunately Fate lost more than pieces of his costume. He lost his dignity. Gone were the mystical villains and alien life forms replaced by common thugs. Rather than weave mystical spells the new Fate would rather punch out his foes while spouting some of the worst one liners I have ever read. Gardner Fox is a legend but one of his bad habits was to latch onto a heroes one weakness and exploit it for everything its' worth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Trtek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 9, 2014
As some other reviewers have noted, Doctor Fate was a character who did not improve over the course of his run. Starting as a grim protagonist in cosmic battles, he wound up -- after costume changes -- fighting relative small-fry villains. The artwork was not bad, but by the same token not particularly enthralling most of the time, and the stories showed little texture or development. Back in the early 1960s, when the first glimpses of Earth-2 were revealed, the doctor was one the Golden Age heroes who most intrigued me. Reading his stories now, I find myself -- like at least one other reviewer -- sadly disappointed overall. Through the early tales have some merit and deserve four stars, the later ones fall way short of the mark. My average verdict: Okay and nothing more.
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