Golden Age Showcase: Doiby Dickles

Let’s talk about sidekicks.

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The sidekick’s job is to watch the main hero’s back and help in any way possible.  Sometimes this means providing support and help from afar and sometimes it means getting their hands dirty and joining the hero in his/her adventures.

More often than not, comic book publishers use sidekicks as a way to fill a need in the comic that the hero can’t fill.  In the case of Robin the Boy Wonder, it was a way for DC Comics to make one of their most popular heroes more kid friendly and accessible in a time where comic book superheroes were facing a lot of scrutiny.

Over the course of comic book history there have been plenty of other sidekicks.  Some have worked,

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and some have not.

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Today we’re talking about a Golden Age super sidekick that belongs in the “did not work” category, although if you ask me it’s a crying shame.

Today we’re going to talk about Doiby Dickles.

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Origin and Career

The Green Lantern of the 1940’s was radically different from the Green Lantern we know today.

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Instead of being an interstellar cop who got his powers from an advanced piece of alien technology, the Golden Age Green Lantern was a railroad engineer named Alan Scott who used a ring powered by magic.

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When popular heroes like Batman and Superman experienced a sales boost by adopting sidekicks, National Comics turned to legendary comic book creator Bill Finger to create a sidekick for Alan.

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I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Bill Finger wasn’t just a big name for the Green Lantern, he also helped create a huge chunk of the Batman mythos we know and love today.

Doiby made his first appearance in All American Comics #27 in June of 1941.

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The man was a Brooklyn taxi driver who drove Alan Scott around as needed.

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He spoke with a thick Brooklyn accent, always wore a derby hat, and wasn’t afraid to get into a fight when he needed to.

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He had something of a temper as well and could swing a wrench with enough power to make him a force to be reckoned with.

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Also, he was incredibly attached to his cab, who he named “Goitrude”.

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In short, Doiby Dickles was an ill tempered, foul mouthed cab driver who was quick in a fight and wanted to do everything he could to help.

He was magnificent.

So what happened?

The Golden Age of superheroes ended and the ensuing Silver Age took more of a science fiction bent.

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This included a dramatic revamping of the Green Lantern series which shifted from the magic wielder Alan Scott to the galactic space cop Hal Jordan that we know and love today.

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Sadly, this meant that the new age of comics didn’t have time and room for a hard talking fast punching maniac like Doiby,

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so DC decided to ship him off into space and marry an alien princess named Ramia from the planet Myrg after saving her from a forced marriage to a man named Prince Peril.

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Doiby and Ramia would return to Myrg where Doiby would become it’s king.  The people of Myrg would go on to adopt Brooklyn accents and recreate the baseball field where the Brooklyn Dodgers played.

God, the Silver Age was weird.

While Doiby was no longer a member of the main supporting cast he did manage the odd guest appearance where he actually helped the Green Lanterns defeat Sinestro.

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Sadly, Goitrude was destroyed in the battle.  It’s one of the most heartbreaking deaths in all of comics.

While that was the extent of his Silver Age career, Doiby was nowhere near done as a character.  He would continue to have revival after unlikely revival, even into the modern age.

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He made an appearance with a superhero group known as “Old Justice”.

It was a joke group of old superheroes who made it their mission to keep the younger generation of superheroes in check and make sure they didn’t mess things up too much,

Naturally they became a thorn in the side of the more famous “Young Justice” superhero team, although in the end they did manage to put aside their differences and let the young ones do their jobs.

If you want to read more stories with Doiby in them, I recommend the Young Justice “Sins of Youth” story line.

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Doiby’s next adventure would be with Young Justice again, when they agreed to help him travel back to Myrg and defeat an alien race known as the Slag by playing a game of baseball.


It’s worth mentioning that the team was only able to win by blatantly cheating.

Sadly, the baseball game was the last major appearance for Doiby Dickles.  The rest of his appearances are guest spots and flashbacks with Alan Scott.

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So, according to DC continuity, Doiby is still out there on an alien planet and is enjoying a long and happy life with an alien queen while ruling a race of Brooklyn accented extra terrestrials.

Shine on you crazy bastard, you deserve it.

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Golden Age Showcase: Dr. Fate

Today we’re back on track with talking about the original Golden Age members of the Justice Society of America.


This week we’re talking about one of the most powerful heroes in all of comics and one of my personal favorites: Dr. Fate.


Origin and Career

Dr. Fate first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 as a side story but his origin wasn’t explained until a year later.


In 1920 an archaeologist named Sven Nelson and his son Kent Nelson traveled to Egypt to unlock the secrets of the pyramids and accidentally opened the tomb of an ancient sorcerer known as Nabu the Wise.


Sadly the act of opening the tomb released a poison gas that killed Kent’s father leaving him an orphan.


However Nabu, who was actually an alien from another planet with mastery over scientific knowledge so advanced it looked like magic, took pity on Kent and decided to teach him a few tricks.


The training took over 20 years and at its end Nabu gave Kent a mystical cloak, amulet, and helmet to give him the power and abilities of Nabu and to assume the identity of Dr. Fate.


After his training was complete Kent met a girl named Inza Cramer in Alexandria Egypt and they would eventually become a couple.


Kent eventually returns to the United States where he begins his crime fighting career based out of Salem Massachusetts and mostly involved fighting a blend of traditional criminals and supernatural ones as well.


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When World War 2 rolled around Kent Nelson gave up being Dr. Fate and enlisted as a paratrooper.  He would resign the JSA in 1944 to become an archaeologist, ending the career of the Golden Age Dr. Fate.

So what happened?

Despite a pretty short Golden Age career Dr. Fate would go on to be something of a staple in the DC comic book universe.

Dr. Fate was revitalized in the 1970’s into the character we know today.  It turned out that whenever Kent put on the helmet of Fate he was actually possessed by Nabu and adopted the persona of the actual Dr. Fate.  Instead of disguising himself as Dr. Fate, Kent was simply a vessel for the persona of Dr. Fate.


It was also revealed that Nabu wasn’t just an alien but rather a timeless Lord of Order, a group of mythical beings dedicated to maintaining order and stability withing the universe and protecting it against the Lords of Chaos.

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Since it was revealed that Dr. Fate was actually an immortal non corporeal being bound to a helmet it made working with Dr. Fate much easier allowing him to have decades of history and plenty of opportunities for crossovers, retconns, and changes.  When Kent Nelson retired plenty of others would wear the helmet and/or adopt the persona of Dr. Fate such as Hector Hall


a couple named Eric and Linda Strauss


and the most recent incarnation, a man named Khailid Nassour


His abilities, coupled with his place as a Lord of Order in the DC universe, have also made him very adept at working with other heroes in other forms of media.  He played an important role as a powerful magician in Justice League Unlimited


Made a pretty memorable appearance in Smallville


and was a major plot point in the criminally underrated Young Justice.


Despite the fact that Dr. Fate has never really been one of the greatest or most popular heroes at DC comics he’s always played an important role.  Whether it’s being one of the founding members of the Justice Society or acting as the agent of the very thing that defines superheroes Dr. Fate is, and will continue to be, one of the most important heroes in the DC cannon and one of my favorites.