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Every One Of Doctor Fate's Powers And Abilities Explained

"Black Adam" not only finally brings Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to a film role he's been chasing for a decade-and-a-half, but it also brings us Pierce Brosnan as a mysterious man in a golden mask. While you may have heard the name Doctor Fate before, there's so much more to learn about this iconic DC Comics character making his film debut.

Doctor Fate is a superhero first introduced during what is now called "The Golden Age of Comics," roughly the 1930s to the 1950s. The character's real name is Kent Nelson, and his first appearance was in "More Fun Comics" issue #55 which came out in 1940. Since then, Fate has been a consistent presence in DC as a force of good fighting against supernatural threats to the world. Within his lore, Doctor Fate serves as an agent of Nabu, an all-powerful being who gave Nelson powers and enchanted items to serve as an enforcer of order within the universe.

With his first DC Extended Universe appearance in "Black Adam," Fate seems likely to play a significant role going forward. While his immediate motivation in "Adam" is a desire to protect humanity and his friends in the Justice Society from all threats, including Black Adam himself, there is far more to the character. Read on for a breakdown of every one of Doctor Fate's powers and abilities that might aid him in his cinematic efforts, and what they mean.

Super Strength

It may seem like a given when it comes to superheroes, but Doctor Fate has super strength, which plays an important part in leveling the playing field against adversaries both good and evil. While Fate may not look very strong on the surface, he has been imbued with cosmic powers that completely change his power level. Keep in mind that Doctor Fate is generally considered one of the most powerful magic users in DC, so such enhancements go a long way.

Due to his training and assistance from Nabu, Doctor Fate has been supernaturally modified to have increased resistance to damage across the board. His strength has been boosted in many different ways, which allows for more options during a fight, as well as an ability to survive blows that would typically kill a man. This strength can be seen in "Black Adam," as Doctor Fate does several feats that seem impossible on the surface — including ramming through a door, and holding his own against Black Adam himself. 

Fate's durability has helped him survive countless would-be-fatal blows in the comics — being impaled, struck by lightening, in the range of an atomic detonation, and withstanding hits from the most powerful beings in the DC Universe — like Superman and The Spectre. 


If you ask someone what superpower they would want, there's a good chance they'll say flight. Being able to shoot up into the sky without any restrictions is one of the greatest power fantasies of all, which is why it's such a common ability for superheroes to have. Doctor Fate is no exception, as flying is one of his most useful powers throughout all his comic appearances. Doctor Fate can't fly because of any ingrained power, but instead the gift comes from an artifact he wields called the Cloak of Destiny

This article of clothing was created by Nabu as an enchanted accessory to allow his agents the ability to fly around as they see fit. When wearing the Cloak of Destiny, Doctor Fate can move through the air freely at whatever speed he desires (he can even levitate in place). This power is limited in certain depictions, such as in the "Injustice" video game series, where players who choose to fight as Doctor Fate can only slowly levitate since free-flying would be more unbalanced. Unfortunately, if the Cloak is removed from his body he is likely to plummet to the ground. The cloak is also fireproof, which comes in handy.

Helmet of Fate

At the core of Doctor Fate's abilities is a strange, unusual artifact he wears on his head: the helmet of fate. It is an incredibly ancient, alien relic that imbues the wearer with superhuman abilities beyond imagination. It was created long ago by Nabu, the Lord of Order, as a means of transferring his own power into a worthy vessel along with two other important objects called the Cloak of Destiny and the Amulet of Anubis. When all three artifacts are worn together, they transform the person into Doctor Fate.

When wearing the helmet, Doctor Fate is granted even more powers than what he normally uses thanks to the direct connection he gains with Nabu. Some of these extra abilities include an increased intelligence, hyperawareness, and in some situations even the option to be directly possessed by Nabu and used as a host for its consciousness. In the comic "Injustice 2 #2," Doctor Fate directly states the importance of his helmet by saying "This is the Helmet of Fate. It is not a "shiny target." It holds untold power." Although it's important, the helmet has changed hands numerous times throughout its existence and even somehow once ended up in the possession of Detective Chimp.


Similar to his Marvel counterpart, Doctor Strange, it seems as though Doctor Fate has the ability to sense future events before they happen. This power is central to the plot of "Black Adam," since Doctor Fate sees a vision of the future where the entire Justice Society is destroyed by Black Adam. As a founding member of the Justice Society, Doctor Fate feels responsible for trying to prevent this dark fate from occurring by trying to reason with Black Adam before it's too late.

Seeing into the future is sometimes called "precognition," which is when someone can either see or generally sense impending events ahead of time. Many superheroes across both DC and Marvel have this ability (Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, and Raven included). In the comics, Doctor Fate also has access to an ancient artifact called the "Orb of Nabu," while allows him to see into the future when he looks at it. In "More Fun Comics Vol 1 82," he explained the nature of this sphere by saying "It's not really magic, but the radio-sensitive crystals react to the minute electrical waves emitted by the brain. They establish a contact with the personality I think of!"

Spell Casting

Many questions remain unanswered within the DC Universe, some of them intentional, others less so. One of the more unexplained areas is how magic works; when DC has traditionally tried to explain, the answers remain mysterious at best. 

As a magic user, one of Doctor Fate's main abilities is the casting of spells. Within the DC Universe there are lots of different kinds of spells that can be used, so it all really depends on who is the one wielding that power. Doctor Fate's conjuration relies completely on the mystic energy given to him by Nabu through the Helmet of Fate and Amulet of Anubis.

When using his magical amulet, Doctor Fate can cast an assortment of spells with both offensive and defensive capabilities. One such spell is known as an "Eldritch Blast," which is when he shoots out a dangerous energy beam from his amulet towards an enemy. It also features various defensive protection spells which prevent anyone other than Doctor Fate from using the amulet. Some spells seem to be unique to the "Black Adam" film's version of the character, such as his ability to project clones of himself in battle. While this feels reminiscent of a similar scene in "Avengers: Infinity War," it may just be a coincidence.


A superpower often associated with the extremely powerful is telekinesis, or the ability to move things with only your mind. Fate is able to lift objects using his thoughts, via the power of Nabu. For this to work, he simply has to point his hand at something and then use his mind to carry it around through space and time. It's safe to assume he can use his telekinesis without holding a hand forward, but it sure does look a whole lot cooler that way.

Telekinesis is a less common superpower than most, and is usually reserved for characters who have mind-based abilities like Professor X, who wields both telekinesis and mind reading. Doctor Fate takes a more magical approach to the ability since he can do it most effectively when wearing the Helmet of Fate, which enhances his mystical arts. 

This is yet another power featured prominently in "Injustice 2," where Fate can use his telekinesis to prevent players from interacting with certain items within the fighting space. Telekinesis is one of the more interesting abilities in this character's arsenal, and is something that has always fascinated people. After all, one of the biggest film franchises of all time heavily features something that's essentially just space telekinesis: The Force from "Star Wars."

Tower of Fate

Every good superhero needs a base of operations, and Doctor Fate is no exception. While he doesn't have anything as grand as the Fortress of Solitude or Avengers Tower, he does have a place to call his own in the Tower of Fate. This mysterious complex is a windowless, doorless fortification dating all the way back to ancient Viking times and contains a multitude of secrets. It has an elaborate history (as do most things in comic books) which dates back to the time of Nabu.

What makes this location so special is that Doctor Fate is the only person who can enter and exit the building — unless he casts a spell on someone else to allow access. The Tower of Fate functions as the Doctor's primary hub of study and collection for countless artifacts, books, tomes, and spells (which he constantly studies). One of the most precious items kept safe within the tower's walls is called "The Orb of Nabu," a mystical crystal ball which allows Doctor Fate to see into the past, present, and future whenever he wants. While the tower is almost exclusively used by Doctor Fate and his family members, he does have the ability to allow others through the walls by touching them.

Dimension Hopping

Doctor Fate's powers and abilities aren't just limited to one reality; he can transcend the multiverse itself. When wearing the Helmet of Fate and the Amulet of Anubis, he is able to hop between various dimensions at will. There have been a few different times he has done this in the comics that show the nature of his dimension-hopping skill. While Doctor Fate has often bounced between Earth-1 to the alternate Earth-2, the bulk of his trans-dimensional travel has been during crossovers between the Justice Society of America and the Justice League.

Eventually, this was all subsumed into one universe after events like "Crisis on Infinite Earths," but all you need to know is that Doctor Fate does have the ability to travel across the multiverse when need be. Additionally, his enchanted artifacts allow him to create miniature dimensions of his own. This is most notably seen when using the Amulet of Anubis to conjure a pocket dimension within the amulet itself, which can be seen in "Injustice 2" when landing a super move on an opponent. In the game, Doctor Fate sucks his rival into the Amulet of Anubis to toss them around within the pocket dimension with the help of some clones.

Ankh Summoning

There's more to Doctor Fate's magical spells than just shooting bolts of energy out of his hands. This character is deeply tied to Egyptian roots, and the symbolism associated therein. While the origin story for comic book superheroes is always subject to change, Doctor Fate's beginnings were tied closely to Ancient Egypt, as he was the son of an archeologist killed while exploring the ruins of Ur. The ancient Mesopotamian god Nabu witnessed this, then decided to bless Kent by choosing him as his champion to become Doctor Fate.

All this backstory is crucial, because throughout his appearances in comics, games, and live-action, Doctor Fate's powers are imbued with Egyptian iconography that may be confusing without understanding where his power comes from. The biggest example of this is how many of his spells manifest in the shape of an Ankh, or the Egyptian symbol of life. Doctor Fate is able to summon ankhs of pure energy that can be used to attack or defend himself in combat. In some incarnations of his iconic suit there are even Ankhs detailed onto his chest, helmet, and amulet to reinforce the connection.

Mind Reading

Yet another connection Doctor Fate shares with everyone's favorite bald hero, Professor X, is that he has the ability to read a person's mind. Telepathy is generally considered to be the action of communicating with another person without any usage of physical or conventional means. It is a particularly useful power to give superheroes (or villains, for that matter), because it allows them to have an edge in combat as well as knowledge that would otherwise be impossible for them to know.

Doctor Fate isn't just your average, everyday telepath. He is considered by many to be one of the more powerful mind readers in comics, with abilities that go beyond just knowing what others are thinking. With the aid of the Helmet of Fate, Doctor Fate can peer deep into an enemy's mind and alter the thoughts within. He has been known to erase memories, erect mental blocks, feel what the other person feels, and even mind control people. 

Power like this is dangerous, and can easily be viewed as unethical or even evil when used irresponsibly. Taking away someone else's autonomy is an unacceptable overstep for a hero, but Doctor Fate's obsession with order sometimes makes him cross that line.


While not as mystical as many of his other powers, it should not be ignored just how much of a genius Doctor Fate is. Even without the help of Nabu's artifacts, Kent Nelson is an extremely intelligent individual. After all, you don't become the most powerful sorcerer in the DC Universe without reading a few books.

As a human being without magical aid, Fate has proven himself to be a hyper-intelligent person thanks to his many worldly achievements. One is that he gained a doctorate degree in archaeology (taking after his father), which made him a real doctor and not just a guy who calls himself "Doctor." There's even a "More Fun Comics" issue that touches on this by having Kent Nelson outright declare his intentions of getting a real medical doctorate so that he doesn't feel like as much of a fraud. In that issue he said, "Inza, I'm going to become a doctor ... a real doctor! Doctor Fate heals men's souls — so I've decided that Kent Nelson should help heal their bodies!" Aside from his official credentials, Kent Nelson has also proved his intellect by spending significant time studying, reading, and learning of ancient knowledge in his home base of the Tower of Fate.