Review – Black Adam The Justice Society Files: Dr. Fate #1 – The Tower Awaits

Comic Books DC This Week
Black Adam: The Justice Society Files – Dr. Fate #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Black Adam: The Justice Society Files – Dr. Fate #1 – Cavan Scott, Bryan Q. Miller, Writers; Jesus Merino, Marco Santucci, Artists; Ulises Arreola, Michael Atiyeh, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The last of four one-shots leading up to the Black Adam movie later this month, this issue turns the focus on Doctor Fate and is probably the strongest installment since the first. Unlike Cyclone and Atom Smasher, Fate isn’t a rookie hero—he’s a battle-hardened veteran who has been waging a lonely war against the supernatural ever since the JSA fell apart. He’s still highly competent, but maybe a bit embittered as he guards the door—and into that void come four teenagers looking to explore his sanctum and find evidence of the supernatural for their own amusement. Two are pretty normal kids, one named Dex is a little timid, and one named Carrie is way too bold for her own good. They find what they’re looking for—but too much of it.

Battle of the mind. Via DC Comics.

After accidentally unleashing a villain and getting Carrie possessed by it, the kids are in a run for their lives—both from the villain, and potentially from an enraged Fate. Two of the survivors flee quickly, but Dex stays to help fight and shows Fate something about himself that he may have been missing for a long time. It’s a compelling story, if a bit compressed given that this is only a one-shot. The best thing about this story is definitely the art by Jesus Merino, a veteran artist who can draw the hell out of a demon. I doubt any of this story will affect the movie, but I do think it works as a complete tale and also sets Fate up for where he needs to be in order to be the elder statesman of the JSA once more.

The backup, showing Adrianna Tomaz’s escape from custody as she battles to stop corruption in Khandaq, is dramatic, but it’s very clear this story was just setup to get her where she needs to be for the movie. She’s a compelling character and I think she’ll be a good foil to Black Adam in the film, but this story probably would have been a bit more compelling as a one-shot rather than in four chapters. The flashbacks to Black Adam’s early years are probably the strongest part of this segment.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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