Doctor Fate [1988 series]
30 issues [1988 - 1992]
1 - 10, 15 - 16, 18 - 24, 29 - 31, 33 - 37, 39 - 41
This is the longest series Doctor Fate ever had, following up on the take of the character (Lord of Order battling Lords of Chaos) introduced in an earlier mini-series by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. DeMatteis returned for the series, joined in art by Shawn McManus, with the two and some fill-in artists doing the first 24 issues. Following that, William Messner-Loebs wrote the series with various artists until it was cancelled with #41.
I was just getting seriously back into comics in late 1988 when this series started, so I was trying a lot of new things, and one book I was enjoying was the DeMatteis scripted JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL. I also really liked McManus's artwork and always liked Fate's design. The first few issues were fun, so I kept reading for a while, dropped it, picked it up again a year later for the end of the DeMatteis/McManus run, dropped it again, picked it up late in the Messner-Loebs run, just in time for the cancellation. I picked up some back-issues from both runs later.
I think I'll eventually pick up the DeMatteis/McManus issues I'm missing. I like a lot of stuff in those issues, even if other parts are irritating. DeMatteis played parts of it as pretty broad comedy, including a demon with a yiddish accent, a wacky neighbour and a wisecracking Lord of Order among the supporting character. A lot of that worked, although not quite all. He also mixes in a light version of the mysticism that he explores in some of this other work (MOONSHADOW, SEEKERS). The first half-dozen issues do the best job of mixing those, the later stuff works less well, but McManus's art does get better. Messner-Loebs run is hard to define from the bits I've read, but it had a pretty gentle touch and is worth taking a look at.