And Then I Read: DOCTOR FATE #16

doctorfate16Image © DC Comics.

Here’s the last issue of this title with art by Sonny Liew, whose work I’ve enjoyed a great deal. The story by Paul Levitz pits Khalid against another ancient god, and it’s entertaining and well-written, but this time I want to focus on the art, and see if I can decide why I like it so much.

First, it goes against type in almost every way. Doctor Fate was portrayed as a typical superhero visually for a long time. Artist Shawn McManus moved away from that when he drew the character, and I liked that too. Sonny Liew takes it even further away from skin-tight muscles into the realm of quirky indy comics, with characters that are somewhat cartoony, but with lots of personality, emotion and even humor at times.

What always appealed to me about Doctor Fate was his use of magic, and magic has played a large part in this series. Sonny does a fine job with all the magic images. His tendency to exaggerate things visually works quite well for that.

Sonny’s layouts and design abilities also made this book better. The two-page spread near the end of this issue is a great example of that: beautiful drawing and design both.

Next issue there will be another unusual take on the character by Brendan McCarthy, who did this issue’s cover, and I’ll be reading, but I will remember this run by Paul and Sonny.

Highly recommended.

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