When I was watching “Young Justice” on a weekly basis as it aired new on Cartoon Network, this was the episode that made me sit up and really take notice of what was going on here, and not just because Doctor Fate was one of my absolute favorite characters (the original version at least).
After a shot of Fate’s helmet spinning through the cosmos, the episode opens on New Orleans a month ago as an aged Kent Nelson enters the shop of Madame Xanadu to have his fortune read and to talk to his dead wife Inza. Xanadu, obviously not yet come into her powers, puts on a spook show fit for the tourists, but Kent, like Houdini a century before him is hip to the tricks. Just before Kent really lays into her, a man appears and teleports Kent Nelson away. And I am hooked.
Later, after the opening credits and a training session, Red Tornado allows The Team to help him in his search for Kent Nelson. He describes Kent Nelson as Doctor Fate, a 106 year old member of the Justice League’s precursor, the Justice Society. He guards the Helmet of Fate, and since they haven’t heard from him in a while, Red Tornado wants to make sure the Helmet is safe. He gives Aqualad the key to the Tower of Fate so The Team can find out.
At first Kid Flash scoffs at all the magic mumbo jumbo but when he finds out Megan believes, he’s all in. What’s curious is when we find Nelson, he’s being held by Klarion the Witch Boy and Abra Kadabra. Ironically, that latter dude is a Flash foe from the 64th century whose science seems like magic to us here in the 20th century, a thesis Wally keeps espousing when he’s outted for not being a true believer.
Klarion… bum bum bum… the Witch Boy is something quite different. He is an extradimensional evil, chaos personified, and quite literally a Lord of Chaos. For him to obtain the Helmet of Fate, the prime weapon of a Lord of Order, would be a gigantic coup for the forces of evil in the universe. Klarion and his pet cat familiar Teekl are very powerful and dangerous, later we learn that he is one of The Light.
As The Team explores the infinite spaces of Fate’s Tower, Klarion and Abra Kadabra are also there, forcing Nelson to take them to the Helmet, but he’s a tough old codger and won’t give them an inch. The forces converge and soon Kid Flash the unbeliever is caught in a showdown between Kent and Klarion atop the Tower with the Helmet the prize.
Forced to believe in what he had denied, Wally puts on the Helmet. After a chat with Kent in the quiet zone inside the Helm, Doctor Fate duels and dispatches Klarion. Prime superhero action, I loved it. That Helmet better not spend too long on Wally’s souvenir shelf. I loved this episode.
Notes for this episode include the fact that there was magic on Mars, and that Aqualad studied for a year at the Conservatory of Sorcery in Atlantis. The mystic arts even created his skin icons that power his water bearers. Wow, not just some origin on Aqualad’s powers, but names for his tech as well. We also learn that both Aqualad and Miss Martian are susceptible to extreme heat. We’re learning more and more each week…