Kent Nelson, the young son of American archaeologist Sven Nelson, accompanied his father on an expedition to the Valley of Ur. When his father opened the tomb of the wizard Nabu, a poison gas was released which ultimately resulted in the death of Sven Nelson. Nabu took pity on the orphaned Kent, raised him, taught him the skills of a wizard, and then bestowed upon him a mystical helm and amulet. He returns to the United States and resided in an invisible tower in Salem, Massachusetts. From this sanctum he embarked on a career fighting crime and supernatural evil as the hero, Doctor Fate.
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