By Mark Waid, Neil Edwards, & Jordan Boyd
At this point it’s easy to trust any comic Mark Waid writes, knowing his tremendous history of works, and Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult is no different. From the combined talents of Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come) and artist, Neil Edwards (Fantastic Four, X-Factor), comes Doctor Spektor, hunter of the strange and paranormal. The interesting twist of Doctor Spektor is that all of his unreal adventures are captured on a popular television series for the whole world to see.
Spektor is a likable, interesting character with an arrogant charm that adds humor and reduces the severity of the situation, even if that situation involves werewolves or vampires. The fact that he is the star of a popular paranormal TV show only adds to his overconfidence, which can sometimes be his downfall as we see in this premiere issue. Waid knows how to take a simple concept and add layers of background and mystery to complicate the situations, which only enhances the quality of his stories. Waid certainly has a lot to work with on Doctor Spektor, with elements of the paranormal, combined with Spektor’s unique character; there is a lot of material to expand on.
The premise, at its core, is very familiar as the story essentially follows a “monster hunter”, but with the added elements of it being televised, Spektor’s inner demons and troubled life off the set, Waid’s writing makes it feel as original a story as ever. Hunting monsters is only the base of the story as the rest of the issue is filled with surrounding information on the supporting characters and a close look at Doctor Spektor behind the cameras. Based on just this first installment, there are many more stories to be told regarding classic villains like vampires and werewolves, as well as the mysteries surrounding Spektor, like that strange girl he keeps seeing in his dreams.
The art is great and easy on the eyes. The combined works of artist Neil Edwards and colorist Jordan Boyd create a simple design of characters and landscapes that provides an excellent example of what most comics should look like. Edwards’ art excels in the large panels, allowing him to really invest time in elaborating on tiny details that add to the overall quality of the image. The art is great throughout the entire issue, but look for those full-page pictures for the details to really shine. Boyd’s colors are reminiscent of classic comic books with the simple shadows and simplistic color palette that works well alongside Edwards’ pencils.
This first issue raises more questions than answers but there is no question about the quality of the book itself. The creators were chosen well and each of their respective creative roles mold together effectively. The idea of pursuing these fictional creatures should provide many interesting stories, and with the all of the other magical elements displayed in this issue, there are definitely more mysterious and adventures to come. Overall, Waid and company present a good first issue with exciting action scenes, dynamic panels and an interesting base of a story that is sure to grow more complex and surely more gripping.