An article by, Aaron Burton
As consumers of pop culture, we are often led to believe that our favorite creators are living satisfying lives. While that is the case for many, a lot of creators and personalities are tortured by a lack of fulfillment. Stressful and demanding environments can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. Having to be on the go constantly can make it hard to find fulfillment in other aspects of life such as having a family. Just because their life looks glamorous does not necessarily mean everything is as great as it seems.
Doctor Spektor is the world’s best occult detective. He has been battling the paranormal since 1972 when he first appeared in Mystery Comics Digest. He was created by Donald Glut and Dan Spiegle. This character has gone through many runs and iterations. The most recent version of the character was developed by Dynamite Entertainment. Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult was written by Mark Waid with art by Neil Edwards. The book debuted in November of 2014 and ran for four issues. It is also available in trade paperback.
The 2014 version of Doctor Spektor adds a new twist to the character’s mythology. The doctor’s battles against occult beings are televised on his own reality show. On top of having to be on-point when fighting dangerous monsters, Doctor Spektor has the added layer of pressure from being a famous television personality. People on television see this heroic man fighting his way through paranormal entities. Behind the scenes we see a man battling depression while trying to find a way to fill the hole in his life.
The duality of Doctor Spektor adds a new layer to the characters perspective. We get to see our protagonist battling both external and internal demons. We can see the effects of this torment ripple through aspects of his life, especially regarding those who work closely with him. One humorous example of this can be seen in the beginning of the series. A depressed Doctor Spektor is approached by his assistants to try and get him to go back to work. Not wanting to deal with it, Doctor Spektor teleports his colleagues to a faraway land.
Another interesting aspect of the series is it’s use of time. The panels jump back and forth between different time periods. The changes in time often parallel each other in different ways. There is one point in the first issue where the characters get a knock at the door to find that no one is there. This event is repeated in different time periods. Playing with time is always an interesting way to tell a story. This is especially true in comic books where the writer and artists are confined so a certain number of panels and pages.
I had never heard of the character of Doctor Spektor before deciding to read the 2014 iteration of the story. The experience of reading this book was similar to when I read Supreme: Blue Rose. Both books are reinventions of older characters. In both instances, I had to go back and do some research on the history of the books. Both books deal with time and flashbacks in interesting ways. Most importantly, both books were very fun reads.
If you enjoy the paranormal or classic monsters then this book may be for you. If you are a fan of dark drama and creative uses of plot devices then this book may also be for you. Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult is available on Comixology. It can also be purchased (along with some amazing variant covers) directly from Dynamite Entertainment’s website.