Supporting Cast

Inza Cramer Nelson

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Inza Cramer Nelson


Residence: Salem, Masschusetts
Occupation: Student, adventurer
First Appearance (Golden Age): More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Showcase #55 (March 1965)


Little is known of the life of Inza Cramer before she became a student of archeology at Columbia University in the middle part of the 20th century on Earth-Two.  She is American by birth, the descendant of Ezra Hawkins, a New England ship captain. In 1940 she was a student exploring Egypt on a school break when she stumbled upon ruins occupied by the ancient sorcerer Wotan.  After her guide is murdered, she is taken captive with Wotan believing she is some sort of sorceress and her plight draws the attention of the adventurer Doctor Fate.  After a brief battle, Wotan is repelled and Inza join Fate when he returns to America (All-Star Squadron #47).  Wotan, too, arrived in the United States and sensing a bond between Inza and his foe, hypnotized an agent to murder her.  Rescued by Doctor Fate, the two pursue Wotan to his lair.  Fate overcomes his foe, at one point lending some of his power to Inza so they she can defeat one of Wotan's gorilla minions.  When Wotan is evidently killed, Inza and Fate follow him into the afterworld and bind him there, seemingly for good (More Fun Comics #55-56).

From the point, Inza and Fate deepen their relationship.  She is drawn into additional adventures and eventually learn his true identity, Kent Nelson (More Fun Comics #66).  The two move into a doorless, windowless tower and establish residence in Salem, Massachusetts.  Early in Fate's career, he spent most of his energy battling mystical threats with the fully formed helm of Nabu.  In 1942, an encounter with the extra-dimensional socerer Kulak resulted in the full helm being lost and a smaller, less mystical half helm adopted (All-Star Squadron #27-28, More Fun Comics #72).  As a result, Fate became more involved his more conventional crime-fighting and working with the Justice Society. When Inza was integrally involved in his cases and even adopted his identity  to help the Justice Society overcome Brain Wave in 1943 (All-Star Comics #15).

In the mid-1940's, Kent and Inza decided to enter the medical profession, he as a doctor and she a nurse, their education likely accelerated by sorcery (More Fun Comics #85).  They worked in this capacity for at least the next year, their activities after which are not recorded for decades.

The next records of Inza's life occur in the mid-1960's, where she is now Inza Nelson, indicating that she and Fate have formalized their vows in some fashion (Showcase #55). They were no longer practicing medicine and largely cut themselves off from the rest of the world, obscuring the fact that neither of them no longer aged. Fate had also regained the full helmet, allowing Nabu to once again resume a deeper control of his identity.  Inza remained his steadfast helpmate in their Salem tower but as  the year wear on, she becomes more isolated and depressed, see Nabu as a third presence intruding into their lives. This begins to manifest as envy and jealousy when Fate confronts Khalis, a foe of Nabu from Egyptian times that had been revived as a mummy.  As Fate pursued Khalis, Inza's frustations boiled over, marking the first time she left him.  Feeling guilty and wanting to aide Fate, her discovery at the museum of an artifact bearing Khalis true name allowed Fate to banish him and brought a measure of reconciliation (First Issue Special #9).

In the 1980's, Inza was visited by a curse brought on by her ancestor Ezra Hawkins that turned into her monster until Fate resolved the matter (DC Comics Presents #23).  Inza continued to struggle with her role and identity, become more jealous and angry at Nabu's sway of her husband.  This envy was exploited by Malferrazae, a Lord of Order appearing as the Aztec god Totec.  Malferrazae extracted Inza's envy as an intact entity, sending it into battle against Fate knowing that killing it would also kill Inza.  Inza was willing to make the sacrifice but Nabu realized that Kent's love for his wife was integral to his ability to serve Order and returned the essence to Inza, saving her and defeating Malferrazae  (Flash Comics #306-309).  She continued to struggle with Fate's mixing with Kent's identity and while he confronted the renegade Lord of Order Ynar, she fell into infidelity with museum director Vernon Copeland.  Before she falls too far astray, she is pulled into the confrontation directly when Nabu brings her into the Fate identity and the combined powers of two beings allowed Ynar to be defeat (Flash Comics #310-313).  The experience draws her closer to both and the pledge to work on their relationship further.

Inza remained with Fate as the Crisis began but her final fate on Earth-Two remains unknown.


Prior Earth-0

The history of Inza Cramer Nelson prior to the 1980's is thought to be largely similarto her Earth-Two counterpart.  After the Crisis, the advent of Kali Yuga drew Nabu back to the Lords of Order, who informed him that he could not longer use the Nelsons as hosts. As a result, he fled and his magic weakened, causing Inza to age to her normal biological age and die.  Kent survived her briefly, passing on the mantle of Dr. Fate to Eric and Linda Strauss (Doctor Fate #1-4).

In the early 1990's, it is revealed that the spirits of Kent and Inza Nelson reside in Fate's amulet and when the Strasses die, they emerge into new reincarnated bodies.  Inza then becomes the dominant form of Doctor Fate (Doctor Fate vol. 2 #25).  While initially Kent is left out, they eventually learn to work together as Nabu instructed during the battle with Ynar as a single entity.  When Extant launched the Zero Hour, they were again aged into decrepitude (Zero Hour LS)  and the artifacts of Fate reformed into different forms, allowing Jared Stevens to assume a new identity as Fate.  The Nelsons then die at the hands of agents of The Kingdom, a demon from the Dreadlands (Fate #0).  They are briefly reincarnated but enter Heaven sometime later (Fate #22).  While some essence of the Nelsons appear to remain in the Amulet, they are believed to truly deceased in this timeline.


1st Issue Special #9
Adventure Comics #465
All-Star Comics #3,#5,#6,#8,#15, #66, #70-71
All-Star Squadron #23,#28.#47, #50
America vs. the Justice Society #2-4
DC Presents #23
Flash #306-313
Infinity Inc #21
Justice League of America #193
Showcase #55-56