Review: Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult #1

The 1970’s cult comic gets a revision for the 2000’s with this new series by scribe Mark Waid creating an updated version of the occult investigator.  No longer just an ordinary paranormal policeman, this new iteration uses his vast wealth and myriad of modern tech to thwart the supernatural threats.  With all that at his disposal, Spektor does his investigations via a popular television show. We start off our introduction to the good Doctor as he investigates and vampire named Rackenham.  Waid pulls off a pretty cool means by which Spektor defeats this foe, and you will have to read the book to see just what I mean.  I won’t spoil that little gem.

In an interlude between the supernatural, Spektor hires a new assistant named Abby.  Through her perspective and courtesy of the line manager for Doctor Spektor’s show, Lenny, we come to see that the title hero has some ghosts of his own haunting him.

Spektor01-Cov-Ward copy 2Madame Rose, a spiritualist, joins Spektor in studio.  She channels three other Gold Key heroes (Solar, Turok, and Magnus) and a robotic menace.    Yes, you read that correctly, the spiritualist summons comic book characters from the some publisher and a robot.  The last time I checked, a robot doesn’t have a soul for a spiritualist to summon.  So what the heck is it doing attacking a supernatural investigator?

The robot attacker seems to break Spektor’s arm because blood spurts out, but that wound somehow disappears.  Was the robot just some trick?  No.  The villain punched through Lenny’s chest and murdered him.  Lenny’s ghost instructs Abby to chase after Spektor.

What starts out as an interesting concept devolves into a logic-defying mess.  On top of that, the illustrations by Neil Edwards complicate the story.  At the start I can’t tell if Doctor Spektor was grabbing a wall of dirt or balling up his fist.  Additionally, the design for Spektor comes off like a Benicio Del Toro/Jim Carrey love child.

With no real charisma, no genuine scares, nor any comedic upswing to balance the rest, this concept falls terribly flat at its first issue.  I couldn’t help but think of Image Comic’s far superior Witch Doctor series that has all the elements of fun.  That would be a preferable read over this troubled story.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Neil Edwards Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/28/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital